Field Assistant in Lebap Region, Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Closing date: Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Job Identification : 13387

Locations : Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan

Posting Date : 09/05/2023, 05:59 AM

Apply Before : 09/19/2023, 06:59 PM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Grade : NB2

Vacancy Type : National Personnel Service Agreement

Practice Area : Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Bachelor’s Degree – 1 year(s) experience OR High School certificate- 4 year(s) experience

Required Languages : Russian, Turkmen

Desired Languages : English

Vacancy Timeline

2 Weeks

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Most of the territory of Turkmenistan, the second largest country of Central Asia stretching over 491,210 km2, is covered by Karakum desert. Turkmenistan is heavily impacted by climate change, the impact of which include: (i) steady increase in average temperature of 1.40C; increasing occurrences of daily temperatures of over 40oC occasionally surpassing 500C in Karakum desert and accentuation of differences between hottest and coldest temperatures (ii) variability in monthly precipitation has been growing and the amount of precipitation during recent years has slightly increased, particularly in spring months, with the lowest precipitation values being observed in summer (iii) an increase in the average regional evaporation rates of 48% by 2050 (iv) an increase in the frequency and intensity of drought and flood spells; (v) 10-15% reduction in flow rates for the Amu Darya river; and a 30% reduction in other rivers and tributaries’ discharge. Drought represents the biggest threat increasing the pace of desertification. During dry years, the pasture productivity and harvests are reduced by 50-70 %, significantly affecting food security.

The drying up of the Aral Sea is one of the ecological disasters for the CA region. Most of the water basin has already evaporated, and intense wind erosion is occurring from the drying sea zone to the adjacent irrigated areas, thereby leading huge economic losses in agriculture, public health and environmental stability. The project area (Dashoguz velayat and Darganata etrap in Lebap velayat) is most affected by the negative effects of the Aral Sea, which has been devastated over the past few decades by poor water management and agricultural practices, and is currently one of the most degraded landscapes in the country. Truly addressing sustainable land and water management, conservation of biodiversity and high-value ecosystems across the Aral Sea basin landscape requires regional cooperation, effective coordination, and the cultivation of synergies among all stakeholders.

Project strategy

The overall objective of the proposed project is to promote land degradation neutrality, restore and improve the use of land and water resources in Turkmenistan’s Amudarya watershed in Lebap and Dashoguz provinces to enhance the sustainability and resilience of livelihoods and globally significant ecosystems. The project will attempt to achieve this objective through a multifocal strategy, that includes the following four interrelated outcomes:

  •  Outcome 1: Integrated land use planning that will contribute to the land degradation neutrality and improved integration of key biodiversity habitats into surrounding geographies, thus securing critical ecosystem services in Dashoguz and Lebap regions;
  •  Outcome 2: Addressed direct drivers of biodiversity degradation, to protect globally important biodiversity, habitats, and species, through PAs system expansion and targeted support in strengthening the management effectiveness of some of the key existing PAS in project regions;
  •  Outcome 3: Strengthened national capacity and better informed engagement of Turkmenistan in implementation of regional cooperation for improved management and restoration of Aral Sea Basin land and water resources; and
  •  Outcome 4: Project results properly monitored and evaluated

The long-term solution for sustainable development and conservation of high value ecosystems has multiple key goals, but revolves around the concept of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and around leveraging KBAs/IBAs within the wider landscape as the focal points for integrated land use management with biodiversity benefits from mainstreaming. These includes promotion of models of non-depleting farming, but at the same time effective conservation of critical ecosystem services. The experience will be shared and replicated beyond project boundaries through a serious of lesson sharing events.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Field Assistants (FAs) will be responsible for coordinating the direct implementation of all field-based project activities in the Dashoguz and Lebap project regions, with the support and in close coordination with the Local Project Committees (Local Steering Committees). The two Field Assistants will report to the Project Manager on all of the project’s administrative and management aspects, including political back-up of the relevant authorities, management of risks and the technical issues. In addition, the FAs will be responsible for assisting the field staff of the responsible state institutions in meeting their field-based obligations under each component.

More specifically, the FAs will perform the following duties:

  •  Supervise and coordinate the work of all field-based project staff, consultants and sub-contractors;
  •  Prepare and revise project work and financial plans;
  •  Liaise with all relevant field-based government agencies, and all project partners, including donor organizations and NGOs for effective coordination of all project activities;
  •  Facilitate technical backstopping to field-based subcontractors and training activities supported by the Project;
  •  Provide inputs into the Combined Project Implementation Review/Annual Project Report (PIR/APR), Technical reports, quarterly financial reports, and other reports as may be required by the PM;
  •  Report progress of project in the regions to the PM;
  •  Document all field-based experiences and lessons learned;
  •  Ensure the timely and cost-effective implementation of all outputs;
  •  Provide technical guidance to project experts;
  •  Support field missions and monitoring project results derived from the implementation of various demonstrative measures;
  •  Coordinate and assist expert teams and academic institutions with the initiation and implementation of any field studies and monitoring components of the component;
  •  Carry out regular, announced and unannounced inspections of all project sites;
  •  Ensure the implementation of risk management measures at the local level in collaboration with project experts to development of Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA);
  •  Ensure implementation of Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) at the local level, related to water and land use planning and demonstration of efficient measures at project sites;
  •  Review Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) annually, update and revise corresponding risks;
  •  Other tasks as assigned by Project Manager.



Achieve Results:

LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline

Think Innovatively:

LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements

Learn Continuously:

LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback

Adapt with Agility:

LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible

Act with Determination:

LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident

Engage and Partner:

LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships

Enable Diversity and Inclusion:

LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies

Thematic Area



Administration & Operations

Documents and records

Overall document (hard or electronic) management; registry and retention policy including storing and archiving

Administration & Operations

Documents and records

Events management (including retreats, Ability to manage events, including venue identification, accommodation, logistics, catering, transportation, and cash disbursement, etc.

Business Management


Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature, Climate and Energy

Climate Change Adaptation: water management

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature, Climate and Energy

Ecosystems and Biodiversity: access and benefit sharing of biodiversity, land, forests and oceans

2030 Agenda: Planet

Nature, Climate and Energy

Environment: Environmental and social impact assessments, including data collection and analysis

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Completion of a High school diploma is required or
  •  Bachelor’s degree in Land Resources, Land Management, Pasture, Forest, Agronomy or another related will be given due consideration


  •  At least 4 years with High School or 1 year with a Bachelor’s degree of relevant or associated experience in the area of sustainable land/water/pasture/eco-system management;
  •  Experience in similar assignments preferably implemented by UNDP or other development cooperation agency;
  •  Demonstrated ability to work effectively with broad range of stakeholders on various levels (national, regional , community levels);
  •  Strong ICT skills, including application of digital tools in day-to-day work;
  •  Strong communication skills to be able to interact with decision-
  •  makers as well as grassroots communities;
  •  Strong abilities in writing, as well as delivery of presentations;
  •  Close familiarity with the institutional processes and organizations involved with Land management, LDN and irrigated agriculture in Turkmenistan;
  •  Understanding of UN conventions (UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD) and knowledge of issues related to the Aral Sea basin;

Language requirements:

  •  Fluency in Russian and Turkmen.
  •  Knowledge of English is a strong asset.


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

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