Senior Program Assistant (Re-advertised)



Hanoi, with regular travel to Son La and Lao Cai provinces.

Period of Assignment:

1-year contract (plus potential multiple extensions)

Reporting line

Deputy Team Leader


With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specialising in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 2500 projects in more than 95 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the European Union, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organisations, 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 from 2017 to 2021.


GREAT is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program.  The program promotes women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam, through the integration of a market systems development (MSD) approach.

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 Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have improved economic benefits.
  • Objective 2 Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have increased confidence and social status, including more balanced workloads and greater decision making within the home, workplace, and community.      
  • Objective 3 Women, particularly ethnic minority women and household members living in Son La and Lao Cai benefit from more gender responsive, inclusive, and effective provincial and national policies, plans, strategies, and programs.

Our approach to women’s economic empowerment focuses on:

  • Reach: Engaging women in all project activities and addressing barriers to participation.
  • Benefit: Improve women’s access to assets, financial services and support services.
  • Empower: Strengthen the ability of women to make strategic life choices and put these into action.

The program is entering its second phase and will end in June 2027. GREAT 2 will continue its focus on agriculture and tourism, identifying specific sectors that lend themselves to opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and work with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase productive value of the sector. Cross-sector strategies such as women, access to finance, digital transformation, policy advocacy and behaviour change will complement the sector strategies.

The program will be implemented in Lao Cai and Son La provinces and will work with 6 ministries and national agencies to apply proven market-based approach in NTP programs.  

This TOR is developed for Senior Program Assistant for one year from September 1st, 2023 to August 30th, 2024 with the possibility for extension.


The Senior Program Assistant, reporting to the Deputy Team Leader, is responsible for providing high quality program administrative and logistical support to the GREAT program. This includes providing support to ensure smooth communication and arrangements with government counterparts in Lao Cai and Son La provinces, relevant ministries and national agencies. The Senior Program Assistant also provide logistic support and coordination to the organization of GREAT internal and external events.The Senior Program Assistant also providesinformalinterpretation services to the Team Leader and International Gender Equality Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Manager when required.


Planning, reporting and Communication

  • Work with the Deputy Team Leader and portfolio managers to compile the monthly financial forecasts
  • Prepare correspondences to partners, PMUs, Steering Committee and provincial and national government authorities
  • Support the Deputy Team Leader in scheduling and coordinating meetings/workshop with partners, donors and government authorities
  • Ensure all technical program team administrative activities are coordinated effectively
  • Support the organisation of regular technical team meetings and monthly meetings with the PMU
  • Translate and coordinate translation of documents from Vietnamese to English and vice versa as required. Proof reading translated documents
  • Provide interpretation services for the Team Leader, International GEDSI Manager and other international staff as required
  • Format and prepare formal documents for printing and copying upon approval of the Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader
  • Systematically file GREAT progress and annual reports/workplans and correspondences in both electronic and hardcopy formats
  • Update and maintain the database of contacts of government counterparts and partners

Logistics arrangements

  • Assist the organisation of GREAT events (workshops and meetings) in Hanoi and provinces including venue coordination, invitations, participation confirmation, travel and accommodation arrangements, supplies and materials, equipment hire; copying handouts and preparing payment documents to submit to process payment to event suppliers; check required supporting documents and make payments participants.
  • Coordinate with provincial, MERL and Operations teams, PMUs and partners to arrange field visits by GREAT, donor and Steering Committees
  • Prepare budget estimate and commitments in relation to technical activities
  • Arrange all travel of technical team and other experts including the coordination with operations team on car and accommodation bookings
  • Guide administrative staff in the provincial offices for proper administrative follow-up

Admin support for government approval

  • Coordinate with Deputy Team Leader, DFAT for finalising Project Documents and Agreements
  • Arrange with PMUs of Son La and Lao Cai to facilitate the approval of the partner project approval by respective Provincial People Committee upon signing of the partnership contracts. 
  • Assist the Deputy Team Leader to update partners on general program regulations and changes;
  • Keep un updated filing system of all document related to partnership funding approval process


  • Bilingual (English and Vietnamese) at an advanced level
  • Ability to prioritise and perform multi-task
  • Ability to coordinate and organize events
  • Experience in working with government and development projects is an advantage
  • Ability to provide interpretation services as required
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in a similar role.


  • Excellent organisational skills and coordinate across teams and with partners, PMUs and local authorities
  • Quality (accurate, precise, thorough, attention to detail)
  • Timeliness (meet deadlines, generally handle duties in an efficient and timely manner)
  • Helpfulness / positive and supportive attitude / diplomatic
  • Good communication skills (oral and written in both Vietnamese and English)
  • Good problem-solving skills


Candidates are encouraged to apply no later than 5pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7) Friday 18th August 2023. We thank all applicants, however, only those making the shortlist will be contacted.

Interested candidates are invited to send an application to [email protected]. Please indicate in the subject “Application for Senior Program Assistant.

Applications must include:

  • A cover letter responding to the selection criteria.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • Contact details of three referees.

Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, and people from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.

For more opportunities, please visit our website at or facebook page at

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Application Deadline: 
Fri, 2023-08-18