Sector Learning and Innovation Advisor

Terms of Reference: Sector Learning and Innovation Advisor

Location: Hanoi, Son La and Lao Cai, Vietnam.

Assignment duration: 12-month contract (possibility to extend)

Days: 25 days (approximately) per sector

Start date: July 2019

Deadline to apply: 30 June 2019


With more than 30 years of experience, CowaterSogema is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as  DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018.


CowaterSogema is seeking to recruit highly qualified organisations or individuals to support sector learning and coordination for the Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program.

The GREAT Program is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program in Vietnam – it commenced in November 2017 and will run for five years (2017 to 2021). The Program seeks to promote women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam. The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

  • Objective 1 – Empowering local women: Women living in local communities have increased capacity, space and choices to beneficially engage with agriculture and tourism businesses.
  • Objective 2 – Inclusive businesses partnerships: Selected private sector actors within the agriculture and tourism sectors innovate to profitably and sustainably trade with more women entrepreneurs and operate in gender sensitive ways.
  • Objective 3 – Improving sector governance and policy: Government agencies reinforce policies, and enact plans, regulations and services that enable more inclusive socio-economic development.

Key approaches applied by the program include: Market system development (MSD), Partnership, Adaptive Management, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Women’s Economic Empowerment and Innovaton. The program will partner with approximately 50 partners to deliver results, including private sector actors, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and research institutions.

The program has two funding schemes, with grants for non-business partners up to 90% of project costs and grants for private sector partners up to 49% of project costs.

To support sector learning and innovation, we are seeking to recruit organisations /individuals that are recognised industry experts in the target sectors to support the GREAT Program and partners.


GREAT has identified four sectors where we will take a sector-based approach to working with our partners and other stakeholders. These target sectors are based on having a critical number of partners in the sector, having identified market systems issues that need to be addressed and have the potential to create wider impact. The specific sector groups that will be established are:

  • Vegetables
  • Tea
  • Passionfruit
  • Medicinal plants

The sector-based groups will help generate cross-learning among GREAT Program partners, be a forum to share the latest innovations in the sector and aid coordination. It will be an opportunity to cover topics of mutual interest such as regional branding of agricultural products or to identify sector wide challenges and opportunities. It will also provide a mechanims to connect partners with government agencies, existing local service providers and other stakeholders, and to address policy issues. The appointed individuals/organisations will provide high level strategic advice and input to the GREAT team to ensure the potential synergies are maximised.


One Sector Advisor is needed for each sector. GREAT will provide all administrative and logistical support.


  • Jointly develop interactive learning mechanisms with partners to optimise their knowledge and resources and share the latest innovations in the sector.
  • Work with GREAT focal point to design sector meeting formats.
  • Help promote joint efforts to pilot new technologies/approaches to address market systems issues in the sector or for upscaling.
  • Connect Program Partners with other market actors, research institutions and government agencies for effective learning and project implementation.
  • Identify areas for innovation that can be addressed by partners or supported by GREAT’s innovation fund.
  • Produce a knowledge product/brief that includes input from partner discussions.


  • Strategic advice and involvement to support sector meetings and learning mechanisms.
  • Help identify and document agreed joint actions and areas for innovation.
  • Produce 1 knowledge product/brief.
  • Strategic input into GREAT’s work planning and programming as required.


  • Industry leader/expert in the specific sector.
  • Excellent understanding of the context in Son La and Lao Cai.
  • Strong existing private sector and government networks in the sector.
  • Strong coordination and partnership building skills.
  • Understanding of knowledge management and learning.
  • Strong communications skills in Vietnamese and English is preferred.
  • An understanding of women’s economic empowerment.


Please submit your proposal to [email protected] by 5 pm (Hanoi time) 30 June 2019 specifying the sector/s you are applying for in the email title.

The proposal should include:

  • Cover letter addressing the selection criteria (maximum 2 pages)
  • Organisation profile if relevant (maximum 2 pages)
  • CV of proposed Sector Advisor (maximum 4 pages)
  • A budget inclusive of any taxes with the daily rate of the Sector Advisor clearly specified. Travel costs do not need to be budgeted. Renumeration should be in line with DFAT’s Aid Advisor Renumeration Framework. and EU/UN cost Norms for national staff.
Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Hanoi, Son La and Lao Cai
Application Deadline: 
Sun, 2019-06-30