Research Coordinator

Deadline: Sep 24, 2007
Functional Title: Research Coordinator
Division: Agriculture, Irrigation and Forestry Programme,
Operations Division
Level of post: M-12i (Riparian Professional)
Duration: One-year contract renewable
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 the various programmes including the Agriculture, Irrigation and Forestry Programme (AIFP), the Fisheries Programme (FIP), the Navigation Programme (NAP), the Tourism Programme (TOP). These programmes focus on specific sectors and address regional issues that are significant to the management of the entire Mekong River Basin. While the programmes have a regional focus, they also complement and support initiatives at the national and trans-boundary levels.
The Agriculture, Irrigation and Forestry Programme
The goals of the MRC's AIFP are to ensuring that sound watershed management will preserve the natural resource benefits of watersheds for the future, to develop improved irrigation and water use methods and engage in research on the best methods for monitoring land-use changes and the complete important baseline studies on watershed management, forestry and land use planning.
The AIFP completed its first phase in December 2005.
At present AIFP is conducting activities based on two components: the Water Use Efficiency
Component and the Watershed Management Component.
Under these two components, AIFP currently operates four projects:
  • Demonstration of Multi-functionality on Paddy Fields (DMPF);
  • Improvement of Irrigation Efficiency on Paddy Fields (IIEPF);
  • The Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF);
  • The Watershed Management Project (WSMP) executed by GTZ.

The Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF)
The CPWF is a CGIAR Challenge Program designed to take on the global challenge of water scarcity and food security. It takes the form of an international, multi-institutional research-for-development initiative that brings together scientists, development specialists, and river basin communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It seeks to create and disseminate international public goods (IPGs) helpful in achieving food security, reducing poverty, improving livelihoods, reducing agriculture–related pollution, and enhancing environmental security (see the CPWF web site, This Challenge Program is a three-phase, 15-year endeavour. Four years have passed since the start of Phase 1 (2003-2008) which began with an inception phase in 2003 and was followed by full CP launch in January 2004. Research projects began field operations in mid-2004.

The CPWF has a geographical focus on nine ‘benchmark’ river basins around the world. The Mekong is one of these, and here, the CPWF coordinating institution is the Mekong River Commission. Each basin has a ‘basin coordinator’, a role that the AIFP Research Coordinator will play.

Under the direct supervision of the Director of Operations Division, the Research Coordinator will be responsible for:
The primary responsibilities of the AIFP Research Coordinator are to implement the responsibilities of the MRC to the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), Mekong River Basin. As the Basin Coordinator for the CPWF, key tasks are research management, coordination and M&E; networking; and synthesis research.
The secondary responsibilities of the AIFP Research Coordinator are to liaise with the OPD Director to coordinate and integrate program activities within the AIFP.

The incumbent’s tasks are divided between the CPWF and the AIFP as follows:
Challenge Program on Water and Food
Identifying opportunities and complementarities

  • Identify research and development activities within a basin that can complement CPWF
  • Through interactions with other implementing institutions, networks and stakeholders,
    identify opportunities where the CPWF can achieve impact via its research results.

Synthesis research
Contribute to synthesis research at the basin scale by identifying and obtaining data sets
that contribute to the CPWF’s Integrated Database Information System (IDIS), and
contributing to the production of basin-level synthesis documents.


  • Develop and maintain networks that can contribute to these above activities so as to
    support them, and add value to them. These should (a) link CPWF projects together; (b)
    link CPWF projects with other, non-CPWF, but complementary research activities; (c) link
    CPWF research outputs with agencies that have the potential to deliver these to end users
    and create positive developmental impact.
  • Identify, design and implement appropriate evnts for the exchange and dissemination of
    CPWF research ideas, results and dialogues. This should include a single CPWF Project
    Leaders’ Workshop each year.

Monitoring and evaluation
Monitor the progress of CPWF projects in the Mekong River Basin. This activity shall include (a) reviewing and commenting on six monthly project reports; (b) visiting each CPWF project in the basin at least once a year, and reporting on the trip; (c) monitoring impact pathways as research projects unfold; and after projects end, the path of research outputs through the positive developmental impact.


  • Develop effective dissemination strategies, targets and products in conjunction with
    projects and CPWF communications support, including a Mekong Basin CPWF website.
  • Identifying exciting research results and communicating these to the CPWF
    Communications Officer.
  • Contribute to the CPWF News Letter.

Other duties
As requested by the CPWF Basin Network Coordinator.

Agriculture, Irrigation and Forestry Program

  • Attend MRC Program Management Meetings on behalf of the AIFP and CPWF.
  • Fulfil reporting requirements as requested by the CPWF or the MRC, including reporting
    the Joint Committee and the MRC Council on behalf of the AIFP.
  • Liaise with MRC staff and brief them on CPWF progress and the nature of CPWF
  • Work to integrate AIFP projects into a coherent program structure, and contributing
    AIFP cohesion and outputs.
  • Contribute news of CPWF events and progress to the MRC Communication Officer.
  • Monitor the use of CPWF and other AIFP funds and report to the MRC Finance
    Administration Section.
  • Contribute to the development of MRC outputs, drawing on CPWF experience and
  • Represent the MRC at functions and events as requested.
  • Any other duties as requested by MRC Senior Staff and/or the Director of OPD.


  • (a) Supervision requirements: The incumbent does not have any supervisory responsibilities but is responsible for the on-the-job training of MRC, NMC and line agency staff as required.
  • (b) Level of autonomy: Decision-making is largely recommendatory, subject to the final approval of others, unless decision is clearly in line with MRC policy.
  • (c) Level of problem solving required: Problem solving can be 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 & organising, accountability, creativity, client orientation, commitment to continuous learning, and technological awareness.
  • (c) Managerial Competencies: Vision, leadership, empowering others, building trust, managing performance, and judgement/decision-making.


  • Master or higher degree(s) in natural resources management related fields (PhD degree is
  • At least 10 years of experience in networking and/or research coordination capacities;
  • Proven networking and research management experience, as well as communications and
    writing skills;
  • Ability to work and cooperate in an international environment is a necessity;
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken. Working knowledge of more than one iparian
    language is desirable.

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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Cambodia Jobs: Research Coordinator
Research Coordinator
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