Azerbaijan's economy has witnessed strong growth over the last decade with average real GDP growth rate exceeding 10%. Income of population increased by 5.2 times and the poverty rate decreased from close to 50% to 4.9%. However, important disparities remain, notably between the oil-rich capital and the rest of the country, and more generally, between the urban centers and the rural areas. These problems have been exacerbated by the recent oil price driven crisis and reinvigorated the need to revive the economic self-standing of the regions and, more generally, to support the economic diversification of the country. For now the centralised management approach still dominates, although positive changes towards more regionally diversified support measures are expected. In anticipation of this process, the action will target one selected region (Lankaran Economic Region) enabling the project to support local communities in a holistic manner to efficiently address their problems.
The Lankaran Economic Region was selected for this targeted EU assistance Lankaran has the lowest regional economic output and income per capita and the lowest levels of investments per capita. At the same time, the region has undisputed potential in the production of high-value horticultural produce, which can be better marketed in future through improved transport infrastructure, for instance the newly created South-North corridor. Further, the region's features respond to the EU's policy on supporting rural development through measures targeting added values in processing chains, quality schemes, environment, areas with natural constraints, diversification and even rural heritage; iii) the region has not hosted much of the presence of international assistance until now, but has recently received increased Government attention in the form of pilot support to small family businesses.
The technical assistance project consists of two components:
Component 1: Strengthening the capacity of the Government of Azerbaijan for better planning and management of territorial development and smart specialisation strategies, which also will support local businesses facing economic consequences from the COVID-19 outbreak
Component 2: Improving the cooperation and communication between fruit and vegetable sector actors and the enhancement of market access by establishing a modern collaborative network of local economic and community cooperation hubs.
The KE1 will be in charge for overall management of the project in terms of priorities, content, policy dialogue, overall coherence of approach, liaising with all stakeholders and local offices of other donors, ensuring adequacy of activities towards attaining objectives and purposes of the project and delivering timely and quality outputs. He/she will also be managing the selection of non-key experts and support staff and supervising all expertise and coordinating reporting activities. He/she will closely coordinate the work with the EU Delegation.
The team leader / Regional development planning expert will be responsible for the overall management of the project and the TA team.
Qualifications and skills
- At least a university degree relevant to this tender or 3 years professional experience in regional and/or territorial development above the required general professional experience;
- Excellent spoken and written English ( C1);
- Working knowledge of Azerbaijani, Russian or Turkish would be an asset
General professional experience
- At least 8 years of professional experience in regional and/or rural development in the last 12 years
- Relevant work experience in the above subjects working in the EU or EU candidate countries would be an advantage
Specific professional experience
- Demonstrated experience as a team leader in managing multidisciplinary team of experts in at least one project with a budget minimum EUR 3 million with minimum 200 wd input in the last 8 years
- At least 4 years of professional experience in the design and / or monitoring and/or evaluation of integrated regional development programs/plans in the last 8 years
The intended start date is 1st of September 2021 and the period of implementation of the contract will be 38 months from this date.