Senior Social Safeguards Advisor, Mekong Safeguards

Location: Thailand
Program area: Environment and Climate Action
Deadline: November 28, 2021

The Asia Foundation’s Thailand office seeks a talented part-time senior social safeguards advisor with a practical focus on strengthening social safeguards to support the USAID and Australia Mekong Safeguards Program. This position reports to the deputy chief of party, based in Bangkok, Thailand, and Director of Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia & Myanmar, based in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

USAID and Australia Mekong Safeguards Program (Mekong Safeguards) is a five-year $10.6 million project working with major banks, governments, and developers in Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, and China on large energy and transportation infrastructure investments to strengthen environmental and social standards and practices in Southeast Asia’s Lower Mekong Region. The program is an exciting opportunity to support new and improved ways governments, financiers, developers, and civil society organizations can invest and build sustainable energy and transportation infrastructure.

The breadth of Mekong Safeguards’ activities demands the senior social safeguards advisor have a mastery of social safeguards practices and how they can be applied broadly and acutely across policies and development projects to measurably mitigate and improve the way infrastructure projects affect people’s lives. The SSSA is expected to have experience pertaining to mitigating infrastructure impacts to communities and livelihood, women and vulnerable populations, transboundary crime such as human and drug trafficking, population resettlement, and impacts to heritage sites. Cross-disciplinary environmental, social, and governance experience in the areas of environmental and health impacts, human and labor rights, economic improvement, and climate change resilience is also desirable. The SSSA should have demonstrable experience conducting field surveys and community engagement in the Lower Mekong, as well as designing improvements to ESG standards, practices, and implementation on infrastructure projects in the energy, transportation, and water sectors. Though preferably based in Bangkok, consultants in the Mekong Region will also be considered. Travel and fieldwork are likely required to Lower Mekong countries such as Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, and/or Cambodia.

Responsibilities

  • Lead expert analysis, planning, and implementation contributions to social safeguards and community engagement activities at the regional, transboundary, national, and local infrastructure projects.
  • Lead and advise on applied ESG improvements and implementation to policies, standards, and specific infrastructure project developments in the power, transportation, and water sectors. Specific infrastructure project types, including transboundary high-speed railways, powerplants (hydropower, conventional, and renewable), canals, and waterways.
  • Lead and support applied environmental, social, and governance improvements to lending practices conducted by multilateral development banks, national banks, and transnational funds, including but not limited to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund, and national private lenders.
  • Collaborate with government development partners, cross-disciplinary experts and researchers, and field teams to implement capacity building, training, and technical assistance of ESG related applications. This includes work with communities, universities, local authorities and national ministries, and multilateral development organizations, as well as consulting work to large corporations and other private entities.

Requirements

  • At least 7 years of experience in environmental, social, and governance, with a focus on social safeguards and community engagement.
  • Master’s degree in International Development, Environmental Science, Sociology, Social Psychology, Human Geography, Gender, Economics, Statistics, or similar applied disciplines.
  • Fluent English speaking, reading, and writing; knowledge of Thai or Lao language desirable.
  • Demonstrable experience working with infrastructure project stakeholders, including communities, small business owners, developers, financiers, local government authorities, and similar populations.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of social and cultural environments and of issues related to involuntary resettlement and indigenous peoples/ethnic groups in lower Mekong countries, particularly for Thailand and Lao PDR.
  • Demonstrable experience applying data and statistical/economic analyses to social and environmental impacts as related to infrastructure development externalities in the energy, transportation, and/or water sectors.
  • Experience leading development and publication of robust studies in development and social impacts related to infrastructure development.
  • Experience developing studies, reports, memoranda, white papers, and analyses of publication-level quality.
  • Experience conducting work in the field, including rural areas in Thailand and/or Lao PDR preferred.
  • Experience with USAID and/or DFAT preferred.
  • Experience in managing programs or initiatives to support regional cooperation or regional policy agendas in Asia.
  • Ability to work under pressure and against deadlines.
  • Women are highly encouraged to apply.

Please send a cover letter specifying the position to which you are applying with your resume or CV by email to: [email protected] by November 28th, 2021. In the email subject title, please include “Position 9891.”