Technical Specialist Consultant, Mekong Safeguards

Location: Thailand
Program area: Environment and Climate Action
Deadline: September 26, 2021

USAID and Australia Mekong Safeguards Program (aka “Mekong Safeguards”) is a five-year, $10.55 million partnership project between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Asia Foundation implements this regional and bilateral Program which operates in the five countries of the Greater Mekong: China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Mekong Safeguards’ goal is to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of the region’s large energy, transportation, and water infrastructure. A combined $8.6 million USAID cooperative agreement and a $1.85 million Australia DFAT grant support the project.

The Foundation is seeking a part-time, qualified, and experienced professional(s) for the position of technical specialist consultant for Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and/or Cambodia to assist Mekong Safeguards to implement activities in the countries mentioned as well as regionally in the area related to reducing negative impacts from infrastructure project development. Knowledge of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies, standards, and institutional practices is preferred as well as strong stakeholder relations and understanding of the energy and transportation infrastructure landscape. Interested professionals with experience and capability in each or a combination of the indicated countries are encouraged to apply.

Under the guidance of the chief of party/deputy chief of party/director – Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia & Myanmar of the Mekong Safeguards program/ country representative, the technical specialist consultant will be responsible to, proactively and upon request, support the execution of the program to achieve the intended targets in reducing the negative impacts from energy and transportation infrastructure development activities. The technical specialist consultant will be required to gather information on energy, transportation, environmental, and social updates in Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and/or Cambodia, such as policy, regulation, directive, announcement, memo, engagement, collaboration, etc. from the government and private sector. The technical specialist consultant will coordinate closely with Mekong Safeguards and each country office to i) actively engage stakeholders in the country to execute program activities—including government, utilities, companies, international organizations, donors, private companies, financial institutions, and/or regional entities such as ACMECS, MRC, ASEAN secretariat, HAPUA, etc.; and ii) report regularly to program management on developments related to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies, standards, and institutional practices with aims to reduce negative impacts of new infrastructure development projects.

The role of the technical specialist consultant is to support both Mekong Safeguards staff, Foundation staff, and government counterparts to complete the technical tasks mentioned above. Activities include collaborating and coordinating with government counterparts to initiate, conduct, and follow-up with the activities in Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and/or Cambodia and scheduling meetings with and obtaining buy-in from government and private sector counterparts. Certain activities may require travel to locations outside of the base city.

Specific roles include:

  • Liaison with government counterparts and related agencies for Mekong Safeguards activities
    • Coordinate, collaborate, negotiate, and obtain buy-in
    • Research local institutional requirements and collect vital data for analysis
    • Follow up with and assist counterparts in advancing the progress of the work
  • Liaise with the Foundation Country office, leadership, and Mekong Safeguards Director
    • Advise on government interactions and program progress
    • Inform on current and emerging issues affecting the program and programmatic landscape
  • Supporting the organization of virtual or in-person events (meetings/workshops/ webinars)
  • Communication with USAID mission in-country, existing USAID program(s), and other relevant entities for the activities conducted in the target country
  • Providing and assisting with protocols and culturally appropriate methods for designated tasks
  • Establishing and fostering relationships with relevant national and local governments and international organization counterparts
  • Producing written material for reports
  • Performing other duties as assigned


  1. Locally based in Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, or Cambodia for effective stakeholder engagement.
  2. At least 5 years experience working in the energy and/or transport infrastructure sector, and 2 years experience working with USAID, donor programs, or governmental entities related to environment, social, energy, and/or transportation sector.
  3. Understanding of governmental structure, entities, responsibilities, protocols, and internal processes.
  4. Possess the skill to navigate through government and private sector landscape.
  5. Possess a successful track record for program engagements all the way to implementation with government and/or private sector organizations.
  6. Ability to communicate in local language and English fluently.
  7. Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information.
  8. Proficient in using Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and virtual communication platforms (Zoom, Teams, WebEx, etc.).


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and CV by September 26, 2021 to [email protected] with the position title listed in the subject line. The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, EOE/M/F/D/V. No phone calls, please.