Economist / Planner

Deadline: Sep 24, 2007
Title: Senior Specialist
Functional Title: Economist / Planner
Division: Basin Development Plan Programme, Planning Division
Level of post: M – 12 (Riparian Professional)i
Duration: One-year contract renewable up to 2010
Location: MRC Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Reporting to: BDP Programme Coordinator
The Mekong River Commission (MRC) was established by the 1995 Agreement on Co-operation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, between the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam. In accordance with this Agreement, the Mission of MRC is: “To promote and coordinate sustainable management and development of water and related resources for the countries’ mutual benefit and the people’s well being by implementing strategic programmes and activities and providing scientific information and policy advice.”

The Planning Division works towards the implementation of MRC’s core programmes including Water Utilization Programme (WUP) and Basin Development Plan (BDP) Programme. The Basin Development Plan (BDP) programme will institutionalise a planning process necessary for the responsible management and sustainable development of the Mekong River Basin’s resources. The BDP will achieve a balance between socio-economic development and environmental concerns and ultimately create a framework for development based on technical knowledge, as well as public, stakeholder and political views.
Under the overall guidance of the Director of Planning Division and direct supervision of the BDP Programme Coordinator, the Economist / Planner will be responsible for coordination and implementation of economic analysis related to BDP activities.

The incumbent performs the following tasks:
  • Ensuring that economic considerations are incorporated in the BDP;
  • Assessment of economic and financial aspects of large water utilization projects, such as
    irrigation and hydropower projects;
  • Valuation of the fishery industry and other benefits from water related ecosystems;
  • Supporting the assessment of development scenarios by using economic tools;
  • Supporting the identification of large-scale projects based on existing plans and participatory project analysis that takes a longer term view of the opportunities that the Mekong offers to support socio-economic development;
  • Preparation social and economic parts of a planning atlas;
  • Identification of training needs, preparing training plans and training materials, and deliver training sessions with an emphasis on the economic aspects of project and basin
  • Liaison with national counterparts, National Coordinator, Working group and other related
    national line agencies involved in the implementation of BDP at country level.
  • Assisting Programme Coordinator and other Specialists in the BDP-Team in the preparation of different types of reports;
  • Performing any other duties as assigned by the Programme Coordinator and the Director
    of Planning Division.


  • a. Supervision requirements: The incumbent does not supervise any staff.
  • b. Level of autonomy: Decision making is largely recommendatory unless clearly in line with MRC policy
  • c. Level of problem solving required: Problem solving can be complex and is based on specialist technical knowledge.
  • d. Level and type of communications required: Communications are wide, both within and
    outside of the organisation and includes a variety of written documentation.


  • a. Core Values: Integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity
  • b. Core Competencies: Communication, teamwork, planning and organising, accountability,
    creativity, client orientation, commitment to continuous learning, and technological awareness.


  • M.Sc. or higher degree(s) in economics.
  • At least ten years varied experience in the economics of Integrated Water Resources Management and/or natural resources, and/or the economic/financial evaluation of large (water) infrastructure projects.
  • Knowledge/experience related to water resources development in river basin context is an advantage.
  • Familiarity to the fisheries and/or irrigation sectors is an advantage.
  • Ability to work and co-operate in an international environment is a necessity.
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken, is required. Working knowledge of one more riparian language is an advantage.

Brief information on remuneration
The remuneration package, subject to change, includes (i) annual net base salary exempt from tax by Lao authorities, starting at US$ 27,981.00 (M-12, step I); (ii) 6 weeks’ annual vacation; (iii) MRC’s contribution to staff member’s Provident Fund of 14% of basic salary upon completion of 3 years in service; (iv) Contribution of MRC to Health and Accident insurances (on shared basis with employee); (v) other entitlements and benefits such as dependency allowance, sick leave, maternity leave etc.

Non-resident staff members receive an additional (i) 7% of basic salary for Post Adjustment allowance; (ii) 7% of basic salary for Hardship allowance; (iii) Rental subsidy of 40% of the rent rate up to maximum of US$ 6,000 annual; (iv) Education Grant of 75% of max. expense of US$ 13,000; (v) Travel cost and Shipment expenses on assignment and upon separation; (vi) other entitlements and benefits such as Relocation Grant allowance, Home Leave Travel, Education Grant Travel, etc.

The duration of the assignment of MRC Riparian Professional Staff is up to maximum 6 yearsaccording to 1995 Mekong Agreement and Procedural Rules.


Apply for the position
Only nationals of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam are eligible to apply. The application must include a cover letter outlining clearly how the candidate meets the requirements of the position. The post title/programme must be indicated in the application letter. In addition to the cover letter, the applicant should include his/her detailed CV and references, together with a passport-sized photo and contact email address and send to the National Mekong Committee in the applicant’s home country.

Cambodia National Mekong Committee: 23 Mao Tse Toung Road, Phnom Penh, CambodiaTel. (855-23) 218 727 Fax. (855-23) 218 506E-mail:

LaoNational Mekong Committee: Prime Minister’s Office, Vientiane, Lao PDRTel. (856-21) 260 981-3 Fax. (856-21) 260 984E-mail:

Thai National Mekong Committee: Department of Water Resources180/3 Rama 6 Road, Soi Phibul Watana BuildingPhayathai, Bangkok 10400 ThailandTel. (66-2) 271 6165, 271 6620Fax. (66-2) 298 6605

Viet Nam National Mekong Committee: 23 Hang Tre, Ha Noi, Viet NamTel. (84-4) 825 4785 Fax. (84-4) 825 6929E-mail:



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