Programme Officer

Deadline: Sep 27, 2007
Title: Programme Officer
Functional Title: Project Manager
Initial Analysis of Hydropower Potentials in the Lower Mekong
Basin in Relation to Cumulative Trans-boundary Impacts
Division: Operations Division
Level of post: M-11i (Riparian Professional)
Duration: One-year contract up to 1.5 years
Location: MRC Secretariat, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Reporting to: Division Director, Operations Division

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 Operations Division is charged with managing the implementation of programmes in various sectors: the Agriculture, Irrigation and Forestry Programme (AIFP); the Fisheries Programme (FP); the Navigation Programme (NAP); and will now start the new Hydropower Programme (HP).
Hydropower is considered a key sector for sustainable development in terms of utilization of the significant available natural and renewable hydropower potential in the Lower Mekong Basin to provide reliable and affordable power to promote economic growth and social development.
MRC’s involvement in this sector shall focus on the strengthening of basin-wide cooperation between line agencies in the energy and water related sectors, and private sector as well as assisting the member countries to address issues by taking a broad perspective of all options, and sustainable development of water resources in general.

In view of the above, the MRC formulated a Hydropower Development Strategy in 2001 identifying roles of MRC concerning the hydropower sector. In December 2004, the MRC Council approved a proposal on formulation of a Hydropower Programme and assigned the MRC Secretariat to process with fund raising for implementation of the Programme. In pursuance of the decision, the MRC Secretariat established a LMB’s hydropower project database and has prepared a Concept Paper of the MRC Hydropower Programme in close consultation with the member countries. The concept paper was approved by the MRC Joint Committee in August 2005.
In December 2005 the MRC Council approved in principle MRC’s Strategic Plan 2006-2010, and in August 2006 the MRC Joint Committee endorsed its final revision. The Plan details MRC’s IWRM approach for coordinating sustainable development and management of water and related resources in the basin, and among other issues highlights the importance of MRC’s strategic partnerships with other regional initiatives and clarifies MRC’s role in the project cycle of larger water sector investments.

Leading a consultation process with member countries, development partners, banks, private sector investors and partner NGO MRC now wants to verify the strategic orientation of the MRC Hydropower Programme, and formulate the Programme Document.

In parallel to the formulation and start-up of the Hydropower Programme MRC will implement the project ‘Initial Analysis of Hydropower Potentials in the Lower Mekong Basin in Relation to Cumulative Trans-boundary Impacts’. This project is funded by the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) under the framework of ASEAN cooperation. The scope of the project includes: (i) collection of data on hy2 dropower developments (the MRC hydropower data base); (ii) regional consultations with member countries to support to the formulation of the MRC hydropower programme; (iii) an initial analysis of benefits and cumulative trans-boundary impacts of foreseeable hydropower developments. At a later stage this project will be integrated into the Hydropower Programme.

Under the direct supervision of the Division Director, the Programme Manager, in cooperation with the International Technical Advisor, will be responsible for the implementation of Project ‘Initial Analysis of Hydropower Potentials in the Lower Mekong Basin in Relation to Cumulative Trans-boundary Impacts’, including all technical, administrative and financial aspects.

The incumbent performs the following tasks:
Project management and administration
  • Jointly with the International Technical Advisor the Project Manager will manage all technical, administrative and financial activities to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the project in full compliance with donor requirements, the Hydropower Development Strategy and Programme Document, and MRCS procedures and standards;
  • Collaborate in the drafting of the Project’s Inception Report;
  • Collaborate in operational planning and project budgeting, in drafting of progress reports and other routine reports in accordance with donor requirements and MRCS procedures;
  • Prepare term of reference and budgets for consultancies;
  • Prepare work agreements and budgets for line agencies delivering project specific tasks;
  • Liaise with MRC programmes on sector related issues;
  • Liaise with NMCs, Line Agencies, private sector, NGO and other relevant stakeholders;

Project specific tasks

  • Maintain the MRC hydropower data base, coordinate involvement of other MRC programmes collaborating to this task, i.e. BDP and IKMP;
  • Prepare and support field assessments;
  • Contribute to the drafting of the report ‘Initial analysis of benefits and cumulative trans-boundary impacts of hydropower developments in the Lower Mekong Basin’;
  • Prepare and facilitate national and regional consultations in the preparation process of the report, and assist in subsequent finalization of the report;
  • Collaborate in formulating the MRC Hydropower Programme Document;
  • Prepare and facilitate national and regional consultations in the preparation process of the Programme Document;
  • Organise a study tour to hydropower sites in the Mekong Basin.

Additional tasks

  • Conduct sector specific research in MRC member countries;
  • Prepare and participate in sector-specific and cross-cutting meetings and conferences with
    concerned agencies, development partners, international financial institutions, private sector, civil society organizations, resource persons and academia;
  • Collaborate to drafting of position papers and briefing notes on individual hydropower projects and particular technical issues;
  • Performs other relevant duties as assigned.


  • (a) Supervision requirements: The incumbent co-manages consultants working on the project and with the Technical Advisor shares the responsibility for their outputs.3
  • (b) Level of autonomy: Decision-making is largely recommendatory, subject to the final approval of others, unless decision is clearly in line with MRCS policy.
  • (c) Level of problem solving required: Problem solving is complex and the incumbent must display initiative and creativity.
  • (d) Level and type of communications required: Communications are wide, both within and outside of the organisation, and a variety of written documentation is required of the position.


  • (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.


  • A university degree in civil or water resources engineering (master degree is preferable).
  • At least 10 years experience and progressively advanced responsibility in hydropower design, construction and/or operation of plants.
  • Excellent computer literacy, advanced user skills in data base and GIS applications highly
  • Very good command of English, both written and spoken. Working knowledge of one more
    riparian language is desirable.

Remark: the reporting line of this position might be revised upon appointment of a Programme
Coordinator, Hydropower Programme.

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$ 22,455.00 (M-11, 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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