Programme Management Specialist

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Last update: Jan 24, 2022 Last update: Jan 24, 2022


Deadline: Feb 6, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Afghanistan Afghanistan
Sectors: Gender, Humanitarian Aid & Emergency, Programme & Resource Management Gender, Humanitarian Aid & Emergency, Programme & Resource Management
Job type: Contract, 4 to 12 months
English, Pashto, Dari English, Pashto, Dari
Work experience: From 5 years
Date posted: Jan 24, 2022


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UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

The Taliban takeover of Kabul on 15 August 2021 has had a seismic impact on Afghanistan. With the shift in political power, the future of women from all walks of life who have shaped the fabric of the country over the past 20 years, is unknown. The conflict dynamics in the country are multi-layered, and Afghanistan’s people are facing the devastating effects of a protracted conflict, increasing poverty and natural disasters, all of which are amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are some 5.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan, and approximately 80 percent of nearly a quarter of a million Afghans forced to flee since the end of May are women and children. 2021 has to date been one of the deadliest years for Afghan women and girls, with more women and more children killed and injured than ever before recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for the first half of any calendar year. Following the record displacement of nearly 700,000 people in 2021, some 9.2 million IDPs and returnees remain in some form of displacement and in need of support to return where possible. The Afghanistan Humanitarian Response 2022 appeal stands at USD 4.44 billion to reach and aims to reach 24.4 million people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance.

Despite gains on women’s rights achieved over the past 20 years, Afghan women continue to struggle to avail themselves of their rights and to consolidate and advance their progress. In 2019, Afghanistan ranked 166 out of 167 countries on the Gender Development Index, an index designed to measure gender equality in three basic dimensions of human development: health, education and command over economic resources. Women and girls face barriers to their participation and decision-making in the public, economic, social and political sphere. These include deeply entrenched patriarchal socio-cultural and traditional norms regarding the role of women; women’s lack of awareness of their rights, linked to low levels of literacy; a lack of access to education and economic opportunities; and harmful traditional practices such as honour killings, underage and forced marriages, and discrimination in public and private sector services delivery.

What progress has been achieved on the advancement of gender equality in Afghanistan in the past decades is now at risk of being erased - and at worst regressed. The Taliban have not yet articulated their vision for women’s rights and protection, stating only that “women’s rights will be protected under Islamic principles”. The Taliban military offensive has been marked by unlawful restrictions on the human rights of women and girls. There have been reports that Afghan women and girls are already seeing restrictions on their access to health and education, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression. In a statement issued on 16 August 2021, just before the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government, UN human rights experts warned that reports from almost half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces show that the majority of women are experiencing the same rights violations as 20 years ago under the control of the Taliban.Under the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) mandate UN Women contributes to promoting gender informed decision making within the humanitarian system. This is anchored on two themes: 1) providing gender in humanitarian response across the UN humanitarian system as the permanent co-chair to the Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group (GiHA), established in line with the global IASC guidance. The GiHA Working Group provides technical support to the humanitarian system in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls (GEEWG) for a better response and delivery, including advocacy work towards the promotion of women and girl´s voices; and 2) providing direct humanitarian response through national partners with the establishing and running of Multi-purpose Women Centers (MPWCs) to support enabling space for women’s empowerment and access to services and livelihoods skills.

To meaningfully advance these two priorities areas UN Women-Afghanistan is announcing this SSA contract of a Programme Management Specialist to work closely with the Gender in Humanitarian action team, under the matrix supervision of the GiHA Specialist and Humanitarian Programme Manager, to actively support the work of the UN Women GiHA team under the two above mentioned components.

Duties and Responsibilities

Manage the programmatic development for the Afghanistan Country Office based on the Strategic Note

Provide overall programme advisory support to the Office Management;
Guide the development of the GiHA programme, and provide technical support to the design and formulation of programme/ project initiatives;
Review and provide feedback to project/ programme strategies and documents, workplans, case studies and related knowledge products and publications, as needed;
Provide technical advice on the development of systems, processes and mechanisms to support programme planning, implementation, monitoring and progress reporting;
Review and evaluate proposals and oversee the preparation of donor proposals and reports;

2. Provide technical support to the implementation of the Afghanistan Country Office’s GiHA programme

Review programme annual work plans to assure compliance with UN Women programme goals and results-based indicators;
Analyze and ensure alignment of project budgets with logical framework matrices and work plans;
Lead the partner NGO management processes in line with partnership agreement.
Draft reports on activities, outputs and outcomes; and compile information in preparations of country office donor and UN Women reports;
Analyze and ensure alignment of project budgets with logical framework matrices and work plans;
Manage programme quality control and identification of potential challenges;
Align programme activities with operations team in close liaison with Operations Managers;
Provide substantive technical and overall programme management support to the implementation and management of the establishment and running of Multi-purpose Women Centers (MPWCs)
Lead the implementation of programme activities;
Provide technical assistance and capacity development support to project/programme partners
Develop technical knowledge products
Maintain relationships with relevant national partners to technically support implementation and expansion of the programme;
Identify opportunities for capacity building of partners and facilitate technical support and trainings to partners, and beneficiaries as needed.

3. Manage the monitoring and reporting for the GiHA programme

Recommend and establish programme monitoring standards, criteria, and other indicators for measuring and assessing progress/results;
Monitor progress of implementation of activities and finances using results-based management tools;
Lead monitoring and reporting efforts in liaison with UN Women sub-offices and UN Women M&E, operations and programme management teams;
Review, coordinate and monitor the submission of implementing partner financial and narrative reports.
Draft reports on monitoring missions, programme results, outputs and outcomes;
Manage the monitoring of mutually agreed results frameworks and performance indicators;
Coordinate the process of gathering information and preparing progress reports on programme implementation; prepare technical reports;
Prepare programme team for audits and monitor implementation of audit recommendations;

4. Support knowledge building efforts and coordination

Provide substantive technical and overall coordination and information management support for the Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group and the Afghan Women’s Advisory Group
Support and coordinate consultations, surveys and other data collection exercises with key stakeholders at the national and sub-national levels under the GiHA portfolio.
Provide support to GiHA WG co-leads on the monthly meetings organization and follow up and data/information management.
Support the development, implementation and monitoring of the GiHA WG annual work plan.
Work closely with key partners including GIHA WG co-leads Identifying and analyze gender data gaps and trends. Regularly review and systematize relevant information from strategies, plans, surveys, assessments, and research products developed by humanitarian partners, contributing to ensure that gender content and SAAD are integrated.
Support the development of training materials and organization of training and capacity development events for gender focal points, enumerators and member of the HCT Afghan Women Advisory Group.
Support the secretariat functions that the GiHA WG provide to the HCT Afghan Women Advisory Group.
Programme team workplans and budgets are developed and implemented in line with Strategic Note and Afghanistan Country Office work plans
Programme team adhere to UN Women’s Rules, Regulations, policies and procedures, using a results based management approach
Programmes are implemented according to workplan and budget
Regular monitoring of programmes, issues/deviations are raised in a timely manner
Timely and quality reporting and regular dissemination and sharing of information, including best practices/ lessons learned


Core Values:

Respect for Diversity

Core Competencies:

Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
Creative Problem Solving
Effective Communication
Inclusive Collaboration
Stakeholder Engagement
Leading by Example

Functional Competencies

Strong programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them
Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
Strong analytical skills
Strong knowledge of Results Based Management
Good knowledge of UN programme management systems

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Political Science, Development, Public Administration, Gender is required.
A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience in programme management, including programme design, programme coordination, monitoring and evaluation, donor reporting and capacity building;
Direct experience working on gender in humanitarian action in the context of Afghanistan;
Demonstrated ability to build relationships with diverse stakeholders;
Experience in setting priorities, budgets, work plans, participating in programme development and programme writing;
Experience in leading teams effectively is an asset.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English and Dari, and/or Pashto is required
Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.