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ILO Jobs: MSME Digitalization Coordinator 2021

Job Title: MSME Digitalization Coordinator

Organization: International Labour Organization (ILO)

Grade: NOA  

Vacancy no.: DC/MANILA/NO/2021-04
Application deadline (midnight Manila time): 06 June 2021

Job ID: 6082 
Department: RO-Asia and the Pacific 
Organization Unit: CO-Manila 
Location: Manila, Philippines 

Contract type: Fixed Term 

Contract duration: 12 months 

Under article 4.2, paragraph (e) of the Staff Regulations, the filling of vacancies in technical cooperation projects does not fall under Annex I of the Staff Regulations and is made by direct selection by the Director-General.

In order to support the best informed process in the filling of the above-mentioned vacancy by direct selection, the ILO invites interested candidates to submit their application online by the above date. 

The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates* 

*The recruitment process for National Officer positions is subject to specific local recruitment and eligibility criteria. 

Technical cooperation appointments are not expected to lead to a career in the ILO and they do not carry any expectation of renewal or conversion to any other type of appointment in the Organization. A one-year fixed-term contract will be given. Extensions of technical cooperation contracts are subject to various elements including the following: availability of funds, continuing need of the functions and satisfactory conduct and performance. 

*Conditions of employment for external candidates: In conformity with existing ILO practice, the appointment of an external candidate will normally be made at the first step of this grade. The entry level salary for this position is 1,114,544 (Philippine Peso) yearly.


Brief information on the Country Office and supporting Units/Departments:

International Labour Organization (ILO) is the specialized UN agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. ILO is the only tripartite UN agency bringing together governments employers’ and workers’ representatives. 

The ILO holds the Country Office in the Philippines since 1970. Its office premise is located in the centre of Makati business district of Metro Manila. Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Country Office remains operational with the work from home arrangement. It continues developing and implementing a wide range of projects and researches to address the challenges in the world of work to build back better from the COVID-19 crisis with a human-centred, inclusive and sustainable approach. 

The Country Office is supported by a pool of technical specialists mostly pooled in the Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific (DWT-Bangkok) housed in the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok (ROAP), except for the Enterprise Development Specialist resident in the Philippines. For the purpose of this project, two technical groups of the ILO headquarters will provide technical support: the Enterprises Department (ENTERPRISES) with expertise on small and medium enterprises, formalization of informal businesses, social finance and responsible supply chains, and; the Labour Administration Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch (LABADMIN/OSH) of the Governance and Tripartism Department (GOVERNANCE) with particular focus on occupational safety and health (OSH). 

Brief description of the Project – “Bringing Back Jobs Safely under the COVID-19 Crisis in the Philippines: Rebooting Small and Informal Businesses Safely and Digitally”

The COVID-19 crisis has brought unparalleled impacts on the people of the Philippines, particularly those in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as the backbone of the economy and employment. The pandemic not only reduced existing jobs and income of them, but prompted many to resort to alternative livelihood, often as informal activities, to survive the prolonged community quarantine measures with various restrictions imposed on businesses. The challenge for the MSMEs continue even after a year since the initial lock down in March 2020. As of late March 2021, Metro Manila and its neighbouring provinces entered into the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the face of the second wave of the epidemic surpassing the peak of the first wave of mid-2020. The vaccine programme has started rolling out, but it is expected that it would take at least by the year end till the vaccinated population reaches the level of herd immunity. Besides that, the new strains of virus are spreading, which further complicates the containment scenario. All these contribute to the continuing uncertainty for the businesses, particularly for the small and informal ones with limited resources to cope with the external shock.

While tremendous efforts have been made to address the extreme vulnerability of MSMEs and informal businesses under the pandemic, there are two areas which would merit further support in the world of work at this stage – first, the occupational safety and health (OSH) including the prevention and mitigation of the COVID-19 risks (COVID OSH) and; second, the digitalization of business operations for those currently left behind the big wave of the digitalization of the economy prompted by the pandemic. The COVID-19 risks for MSMEs and the capacity gaps among them are deemed larger outside of Metro Manila, and more prominent among the smaller and informal ones. 

With this understanding, the proposed project aims at contributing to improving the safety and health of workers in MSMES in the non-metropolitan regions of the Philippines and mitigating the negative socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. To achieve its goals, the project will work with the national network of training service providers to deliver the training on i) COVID OSH and ii) digitalization of business operations (e.g., digital entrepreneurship, e-commerce strategies and digital financial literacy). The ILO’s training programmes in respective areas will be translated into the specific local and sector context, and transmitted through training-of-trainers (ToT) seminars, mostly online. To win the mind of the numerous MSMEs not directly benefiting from the training, the successful experiences will be compiled into case studies and disseminated in ways attractive to the MSMEs, especially for those outside the National Capital Region. 

To bridge the digital divide outside Metro Manila, the project will also support the pilot implementation of the three Innovation Hubs. Through these Hubs and the affiliated satellites such as the local internet cafes, the project will provide the internet connectivity, co-working spaces, back-office services and linkage to the support programmes for the MSMEs.

To support agile learning to respond to the rapidly changing situation of the pandemic and to make the interventions sustained beyond the life of the project, an interdisciplinary knowledge management system will be established in coordination with the authorities and experts in the public health. For the ownership and sustainability of the project, the institutional capacity of key partner organizations will be strengthened. 

The OSH component of this project will be implemented in the framework of the Safety + Health for All Flagship Programme of the ILO.


Within the policy and procedural requirements established by the ILO and the Project (Bringing Back Jobs Safely under the COVID-19 Crisis in the Philippines), the MSME Digitalization Coordinator will be responsible for the implementation of the project activities related to the digitalization of MSMEs such as the adjustments and the production of the training materials, the identification of the bottlenecks and the development of the solutions/remedies for MSMEs, the organization of the training-of-trainer (ToT) seminars for the national trainers, the management of the post-training coaching, the case study development and dissemination, the establishment and operationalization of the Innovation Hubs and their satellites, and the institutional capacity development of key training delivery partners. The incumbent will promote ILO policies in the project related technical areas and other fundamental rights at work. 

Reporting lines: The MSME Digitalization Coordinator will work under general supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) who will be responsible for the overall leadership and management of all aspects of the project. The incumbent will receive technical guidance and support from the CTA as well as relevant technical specialists at the Country Office for the Philippines (CO-Manila), DWT-Bangkok and from ENTERPRISES and LABADMIN/OSH of ILO HQ.

Duties and responsibilities:

Project management:

1. Assist the CTA on effective coordination and planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of project activities related to the MSME Digitalization including in particular the operationalization of the Innovation Hubs and satellites, and the training and advisory services, in conformity with ILO policies and project strategies, and in accordance with ILO programming guidelines and country/action programs, and administrative and financial procedures, in consultation with the responsible field office if applicable. Provide accurate, timely and complete information on the status of project activities relevant to OSH to the CTA.

2. Plan, organize and conduct seminars, workshops, training and meetings and consultations on the digitalization for MSMEs including the informal ones. This may involve the development/adaptation of training and capacity building guides, manuals and other knowledge sharing materials.

3. Coordinate with the CTA and the rest of the project team for the effective management of funds/budget assigned to the project, particularly of the MSME Digitalization component. Provide accurate, timely and complete information on the status of project activities relevant to the digitalization of MSMEs to the CTA.

4. Assist the CTA in managing efficiently the human resources of the project including recruitment, performance and talent management aspects as far as the MSME Digitalization component is concerned. 

Technical leadership and advice:

5.  Provide technical support to the project team and when/if necessary to the stakeholders of the project including relevant government agencies and other key institutions in the area of MSME Digitalization covering such areas as the connectivity and the training fit for the digital economy on entrepreneurship, e-commerce strategies, financial literacy and so on, subject to the prioritization of the training programmes with the national stakeholders. This may involve the following among others:

  • Development and operationalization of the Innovation Hubs and their links to the local satellites to provide the internet connectivity, co-working spaces, training, back office and advisory support to the MEMEs outside of the Metro Manila.
  • Design, adaptation and implementation of training and capacity building guides, manuals and other knowledge sharing materials.
  • Provision of technical inputs at seminars, workshops, training and meetings and consultations on the digitalization of MSMEs.
  • Missions to the project sites, as part of capacity building processes and technical support to constituents and stakeholders.

Duties and responsibilities (continuation)

Advocacy, networking and partnership:

6. Assist the CTA in fostering contacts and relations with governments, ministries, employers’ and workers’ organizations, non-governmental organizations, target groups and donors, and promote opportunities for collaboration towards planning and implementation of programme activities as far as they are related to the MSME Digitalization. Identify new opportunities for collaboration with the stakeholders on the digitalization of MSMEs including the informal ones at various levels, and promote and facilitate coordination between them.

7. Assist the CTA in liaising with other UN agencies counterparts to promote ILO’s values, increase the project’s visibility and facilitate the scaling-up of the project’s interventions. Ensure a more effective coordination with a range of relevant national policies and strategies of various projects, including those being undertaken by other agencies or in complementary fields of activity.

8. Promote ILO policies in the related technical areas of the project/program, other fundamental rights at work and the relevant International Labour Standards in collaboration with other technical/labour standards specialists.

Mobilization of resources:

9. Assist the CTA and CO-Manila in promoting relationships with multi-lateral and bilateral donor community and oversee and monitor resource mobilization proposals in coordination with the responsible country office and the Partnerships and Field Support (PARDEV) in HQ.

Knowledge management:

10. Assist the CTA in developing and reviewing project / program information materials from the MSME Digitalization perspective.

11. Assist the CTA in ensuring the development of information systems covering ILO technical activities covered by the project / programme, preparing periodic and ad hoc reports on the status of program planning and implementation, and establishing coordination with concerned ILO departments and programs as far as they are concerned with MSME Digitalization. This will involve the development and dissemination of data collection tools, and support research activities and case studies to identify good practices.

12. Coordinate with the CTA, the rest of the project team and the concerned ILO specialists and CO-Manila team to identify training needs and organize training workshops and meetings for the tripartite partners, NGOs, other agencies, target groups and staff as appropriate to reinforce the professional capabilities as far as they are concerned with MSME Digitalization -related activities of the project.

13. Assist the CTA in representing the Office at project meetings, seminars and evaluations and building and enhancing strategic partnerships and sub-regional networks of government policymakers, worker’s and employer’s organizations and civil society organizations.

14. Assist the CTA in developing lessons-learned reflection spaces (either by documents, conferences, webinars, etc.) on the technical components implemented, with the purpose of scaling solutions up for further projects in the Philippines and by the ILO.

15. Perform any other duties as assigned by the CTA or the CO-Manila Director.

Required qualifications


First level university degree in economics, management, social science, medical science, engineering or a related field with complementary or specialization studies on MSME development, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, financial literacy or related subjects.


At least two years’ experience in the fields of MSME development and/or productivity, preferably covering such topics as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and business management. 

It would be preferrable if the candidate possesses the hands-on knowledge of the MSME challenges under the COVID-19 crisis or other major epidemic of the past, including the small and informal businesses. In particular, it would be a plus to have the knowledge and insights on MSME digitalization as an effective response to the pandemic. 

Familiarity with ILO policies and procedures including experience working with officials of ministries of labour and/or concerned thematic areas would be an advantage.


Excellent command of English and Filipino/Tagalog.


  • Sound knowledge of programme and budget, project formulation and management, administration and monitoring and evaluation methodologies.
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective relationships and negotiate effectively with government officials, representatives of civil society, representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations, academia and other stakeholders.
  • Excellent time management abilities, team work, and organizational skills.
  • Good analytical skills and ability to justify requirements and approaches to problem resolution.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively incorporate inclusion of vulnerable groups, gender and environmental sustainability in the implementation of projects.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, including proven ability to create high-quality written documents.
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), web-browsers and database applications.
  • Demonstrate collaborative and team work experience and work effectively with a multicultural and interdisciplinary team as well as work on his/her own initiative.
  • Familiarity with monitoring and evaluation (M&E) would be an asset. Working knowledge of the ILO and/or UN procedures and systems would be an asset.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender –sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.
  • Ability to deal with people with tact and diplomacy.

Recruitment process 

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website. The system provides instructions for online application procedures. 

Fraud warning 

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account – – should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

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