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International Private Sector Development Specialist

International Private Sector Development Specialist


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mission of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013 as well as the Abu Dhabi Declaration adopted at the eighteenth session of UNIDO General Conference in 2019, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States. The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in four strategic priorities: Creating shared prosperity; Advancing economic competitiveness; Safeguarding the environment; and Strengthening knowledge and institutions.

Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programs, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation. Such core functions are carried out in Departments/Offices in its Headquarters, Regional Offices and Hubs and Country Offices.

The Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business (DTA), headed by a Managing Director, coordinates and mainstreams the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in its technical cooperation, strategic, normative activities aiming at fostering the inclusive and sustainable development in the era of 4IR. The Directorate creates new and innovative technical cooperation deliverables in the areas of trade, investment, technology innovation and agro-industry and agri-business. The Directorate comprises the Department of Digitalization, Technology and Innovation (DTI) and the Department of Agri-Business (AGR).

Responding to the growing demand for supporting inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in the era of the new industrial revolution, the Department of Digitalization, Technology and Innovation (DTA/DTI) leads the way in addressing opportunities, challenges and risks stemming from the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and its contribution to sustainable socio-economic progress. The Department is responsible for the strategic coordination of 4IR-related matters with designated focal points in other technical Departments and organizational entities of UNIDO, as appropriate. In consultation with public and private partners, DTI designs and implements holistic interventions that are tailored to specific country needs. The Department’s interventions actively identify and combine complementary services from across three Divisions, namely: Innovation and Digitalization Division (DTA/DTI/IDD); Investment and Technology Promotion Division (DTA/DTI/ITP); and Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division (DTA/DTI/QIS).

This position is located under DTA/DTI/QIS. The division seeks to build national and regional quality infrastructure systems needed to provide internationally recognized services, including strengthening institutional capacities (i.e. metrology, standardization and accreditation); building conformity assessment capacities (testing, inspection, certification, calibration, etc.); supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of new technologies and standards for smart production and thus participate in global value chains; trade facilitation and promoting quality awareness with the public sector, economic operators and consumers.


In view of the challenges and substantial benefits of modernizing the food control and quality infrastructure systems and capacitating institutional and unit-level actors operating in this landscape, the EU is funding a programmatic framework titled “Support to Food Safety & Quality in Sri Lanka”. The overall objective of this programmatic framework is to contribute to a more productive, sustainable, diversified, climate-resilient, market-oriented and inclusive agri-food sector in Sri Lanka. Its two interrelated specific objectives (SO) aim at:

1) Increasing food safety and quality compliance through adoption of best practices by food producers and processors and an updated risk-based and well-coordinated food control system;

2) Increasing the organic market share through better standards, higher investments and increased consumer demand. Under SO 1, the project titled “Mainstreaming standards-based best practices for agri-food sector development” is to be co-implemented by UNIDO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), with UNIDO as the lead agency; SO 2 is to be implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

UNIDO and FAO joined hands as “One UN” to upgrade the food safety and quality control system in Sri Lanka, strengthen the compliance capacity and production processes of producers, processors, and food business operators, and promote linkages along the agri-food value chain through a market-driven approach. This will have benefits for Sri Lanka’s agri-food sector in terms of increased trade competitiveness and long-term benefits for Sri Lankan citizens, residents, and visitors in terms of improved consumer safety and better access to higher quality food. It will support Sri Lanka’s efforts to sustainably grow its agrarian economy for economic development.

The project aims to support target beneficiaries in modernizing the food control system (regulatory and institutional frameworks for food safety and quality compliance) in line with international benchmarks and best practices, upgrading the quality infrastructure system to provide adequate services to the agri-food sector, strengthening food safety and quality-related compliance capacity of the private sector, and raising stakeholder awareness and adherence to best practices end-to-end along the agri-food value chain, including that of producers and consumers.

OVERALL OBJECTIVE: To contribute to a more productive, diversified, climate-resilient, market-oriented, sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Sri Lanka.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE: To increase food safety and quality profiles of agri-food products through development, adoption, and compliance with enhanced food safety, hygienic practices, and quality requirements by food producers and processors and an updated risk-based and well-coordinated food control system.

The implementation by UNIDO shall entail Expected Result (ER) 2, ER 3, and Sub-ER (S-ER) 4.2. The implementation by FAO shall entail ER 1 and S-ER 4.1.

ER 1: Food competent authorities operate an effective food control system in line with international best practices for consumer protection.

  • S-ER1.1: Inclusively formulated national food safety policy with recommendations for performance enhancements of food competent authorities for enhanced regulatory oversight of the food control system proposed with a reviewed food safety policy direction – developed in an inclusive manner – and recommended enhancements of the performance of food competent authorities, including institutional adjustment.
  • S-ER 1.2: Key food regulatory protocols and pilot programs developed or enhanced and deployed for strengthened food regulatory operations.

ER 2: Quality infrastructure (QI) institutions and service providers meet conformity assessment demand of selected agri-food value chains.

  • S-ER 2.1: QI institutions achieve technical competence towards international recognition.
  • S-ER 2.2: QI service providers demonstrate strengthened proficiency and technical capabilities.

ER 3: Targeted value chain actors are responsive to food safety reform measures and better comply with food safety and quality requirements.

  • S-ER 3.1: Food standards, codes of practice, protocols, guidelines and procedures are proposed in accordance with international best practices.
  • S-ER 3.2: Private sector engagement, through industry / sector associations, supported for a more effective and inclusive public-private partnership on food safety.
  • S-ER 3.3: Food safety performance of targeted value chains enhanced through strengthened compliance with food safety control solutions and access to related services.
  • S-ER 3.4: Enterprise productivity enhanced through quality management system compliance, value addition, and technology upgrading.
  • S-ER 3.5: Networks/clusters and buyer-supplier linkages piloted for target value chains for enhanced market access.

ER 4: Consumers, enterprises, institutions and other stakeholders are more aware, informed and demanding of food safety and quality.

  • S-ER 4.1: Consumer-driven communication campaign implemented to change the social behaviour of consumers towards improved food safety.
  • S-ER 4.2: Producer-driven communication campaign implemented to strengthen awareness of commercial and public health benefits of compliance with technical regulations, voluntary standards, and market requirements for greater access to high-value markets.

DUTY STATION: Colombo, Sri Lanka
DURATION: 6 months (with possibility of extension)

The International Private Sector Development Specialist (IPSDS) shall play an active role in facilitating private sector development in support of selected agri-food value chains in Sri Lanka and spearheading project planning and implementation of ER 3 and 4, ensuring inter-divisional and inter-agency technical coordination and synergies. Under the strategic guidance of the Project Manager of the Quality Infrastructure and Smart Production Division (DTA/DTI/QIS), UNIDO HQ in Vienna and in close concert with the Senior Specialist for ISID (DTA/DTI/QIS) in Colombo, the IPSDS shall undertake the following duties:

1. Execute inception phase-related diagnostic and stakeholder engagement activities under ER 3 and 4, considering government commitment (in view of assuring political sustainability), absorptive capacity of beneficiaries, project scalability, conformity assessment needs of the agri-food sector, and complementarity of interventions.

Expected outputs:

  • Baseline assessment for verification/calibration of logical framework (logframe) key performance indicators (KPI) baselines/targets for ER 3 and 4, ensuring alignment with the Integrated Results and Performance Framework (IRPF) indicators, and development of a master work plan and corresponding budget. This includes:

– Stakeholder consultations
– Baseline tools (e.g. questionnaires/surveys)
– Data analysis
– Validation workshops

  • Terms of references for project working groups.
  • Mapping of complementary technical interventions with a focus on private sector development in the agri-food sector.
  • Courtesy call visits to project counterparts/stakeholders, as necessary.
  • Development of project management & monitoring tools.

2. Spearhead project planning and implementation of ER 3 and 4 in close concert with DTA/AGR/SFS and DTA/DTI/IDD.

Expected outputs:

  • Formulation of the master workplan for ER 3 and 4 and its deployment, leveraging synergies with other projects, where practicable.
  • Identification, recruitment, and management of expert consultants to leverage the work of the project team and QIS Division at-large, ensuring high quality of deliverables.
  • Continuous results-oriented monitoring (ROM) and evaluation of ER 3 and 4 to achieve expected results (outputs); propose corrective actions/adaptations to deliver targets against key performance indicators of the logframe.

3. Contribute significantly to the public-private dialogue and related coordination on private sector development in Sri Lanka.

Expected outputs:

  • Spur policy dialogue with counterparts on issues relating to private sector development, focusing on topics such as value chain development, standards compliance, technology transfer (e.g. digitizing supply chains), enterprise competitiveness, trade facilitation, and enabling environments for business in the agri-food sector.
  • Coordination across and forging of complementarities between technical cooperation activities with concurrent and pipeline projects within and without UNIDO.
  • Drafting and/or technical review of reports and publications, as relevant, to the project.

4. Conduct analyses of the trade climate and main constraints to and gaps in private sector development in Sri Lanka based on QIS knowledge tools and analytical work, considering opportunities for inclusive growth and feasibility to stimulate change in the agri-food sector; consequent with the analyses rendered, proffer recommendations and action plans to the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the agri-food sector.

Expected outputs:

  • Primary and secondary research, including preparation of market surveys and document review of relevant literature, to identify key challenges and opportunities along selected agri-food value chains against market requirements and the capacity of relevant agri-food value chain actors and the undergirding trade support system to meet those requirements.
  • Recommendations and action plans to the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and agri-food sector representatives that are attuned to (1) the context / structure of the agri-food market system, gaps in the post-harvest chain and standards compliance capacity of upstream actors, existing trade support services, and rules and regulations & other market requirements; (2) agri-food sector growth and prospects for quality improvements and export growth; and (3) availability of market players, capacity of market players to change, willingness of market players to change, and likelihood of distortion.
  • Relevant technical documentation (e.g. terms of references for programmatic scope, memorandums of understanding with partner institutions, selection criteria for beneficiaries, etc.) for a bespoke technical assistance program on value chain development, focusing particularly on cluster development and strengthening uptake of mandatory and voluntary compliance schemes for food safety and quality control.
  • Relevant technical documentation for producer awareness program (e.g. social and behavior change communication campaign strategy & plan, training curriculum, etc.) on technical regulations, voluntary standards, and market requirements to enhance access to premium markets.

5. Support overall guidance of the project management unit (PMU), including strategic steering, corporate reporting, monitoring, and evaluation, and project coordination at the intra-divisional, intra-departmental. and inter-agency levels.

Expected outputs:

  • Provision of oversight and reporting inputs to the PMU to facilitate inter-divisional and inter-agency coordination in respect of UNIDO’s Secretariat duties of the Project Steering Committee, particularly on ensuring compliance with reporting requirements to the donor and to the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as per Clause 7.1.3 in the Special Conditions of the Contribution Agreement.
  • Knowledge management tools, including good practice case studies, presentations and other material, and peer-to-peer learning events.

All applications must be submitted online through the Online Recruitment System Correspondence will be undertaken only with candidates who are being considered at an advanced phase of the selection process. Selected candidate(s) may be required to disclose to the Director General the nature and scope of financial and other personal interests and assets in respect of themselves, their spouses and dependants, under the procedures established by the Director General.

NOTE: The Director General retains the discretion to make an appointment to this post at a lower level.

Cidade: Colombo


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