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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.
UN Women has been working in Afghanistan since 2002 (as UNIFEM until 2010). Afghanistan has emerged as one of the world’s most complex emergencies. The crisis dynamics in the country are multi-layered, and Afghanistan’s people are facing the devastating effects of successive decades of conflict, increasing poverty, economic decline and natural disasters, all of which are amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per the Humanitarian Response Plan 2022, 24.4 million Afghans – more than half of the country’s estimated population of 42 million – are projected to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, with a staggering 55 per cent of the population expected to face crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity.
In this context, Afghan women and girls face unique vulnerabilities as gender inequality is interwoven with conflict dynamics and humanitarian needs. Women’s fundamental rights have been continually threatened since the Taliban takeover and the limited gains made over the past twenty years are now at risk of being erased – and at worst regressed. The contest around gender norms remains at the center of the political, peace and security landscape in Afghanistan, putting women and girls at the frontlines of this crisis. Responding to this crisis, the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office is consolidating its programming under the humanitarian-peace-development nexus, anchored in the Country Office Strategic Note (2018-2022), and continues to deliver on its triple mandate across four thematic areas: 1) Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action; 2) Ending Violence Against Women; 3) Women Economic Empowerment; and 4) Women’s Leadership and Participation. UN Women Afghanistan thereby capitalizes on its five Sub-Offices located in the provinces Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar respectively, and is part of inter-agency Joint UN initiatives, such as the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (STFA)
Under the overall guidance from the Country Representative and Deputy Representative, the WPS Specialist will report directly to the WPS Programme Manager and will primarily focus on engagement with afghan women civil society and women human rights defenders- in country and in the diaspora; the UN and INGO partners and other stakeholders. She/he will support the ACO, on the planning, coordinating, implementing, and monitoring UN Women interventions to advance its overall priorities under the WPS portfolio, working in close collaboration with programme and operations team, UN Women Regional, and HQ staff.
Duties and Responsibilities
1. Provide design and develop programme for women civil society and women human rights defenders, focusing on Women Peace and Security
Draft programme/ project proposals and initiatives on WPS – with focus on civil society organizations and women human rights defenders;
Draft inputs to country strategy documents, briefs, policy dialogue and other documents related to WPS
2. Oversee the coordination, implementation and management of civil society other stakeholders’ components under WPS programme
Finalization of the WPS (coordination of civil society, women CSOs, WHRDs components) annual workplan and budget, and manage their implementation;
Provide technical support to the implementation of the programme/project; ensure synergies with other teams;
Oversee the submission of implementing partner’s (mainly civil society organizations) financial and narrative projects reports;
Guidance to partners on Results Based Management tools and performance indicators;
Facilitate Project Steering Committee, project review and/or evaluation meetings, as needed.
3. Capacity development to projects/programme civil society partners
Contribute to the implementation of technical advice and guidance. Develop and implement technical tools, and initiatives
Facilitate the building and sustaining relationships with specifically women civil society and WHRDs to support implementation and expansion of the WPS portfolio
Facilitate capacity building needs assessments of partners and support the coordination of technical assistance, mentoring, training and capacity development initiatives to civil society partners.
4. Lead the monitoring and reporting of the WPS Projects implemented by civil society organizations, and/or women human rights defenders’ networks,
Undertake monitoring of civil society projects implementation under WPS and finances using results-based management tools;
participate in field missions and review reports on monitoring missions;
Draft quarterly reports and donor reports, focusing on results, output and outcomes;
Draft donor and UN Women report.
5. People management and financial resources of specified WPS Projects programme
Draft and support the e WPS implementing partners projects budget and financial reports;
As assigned by the WPS Programme Manager, provide support to the guiding relevant consultants, mentor and coach staff and conduct performance assessments;
Support the recruitment processes, as necessary.
6. Building of partnerships and contribute to the developing resource mobilization strategies
develop and support the implementation of partnerships and resource mobilization strategies;
Contribute to the finalization of relevant documentation on donors and potential opportunities for resource mobilization;
Undertake relevant research information on donors, prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost sharing.
7. Inter-agency coordination on WPS to achieve coherence and alignment of UN Women programmes with other partners in Afghanistan
Provide technical analysis of issues for the WPS Programme Manager, and as requested by Representative and Deputy Representative on inter-agency coordination related WPS activities by attending meetings, events, and participating in groups and committees as needed;
Convene and facilitate specified coordination platforms with civil society and relevant national and international partners/stakeholders; and as relevant for the UN agencies to ensure the projects’ capacity development programme is harmonized and aligned with other in-country efforts.
8. Advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts
Draft background documents, briefs and presentations related to WPS Programme area the
As delegated represent UN Women in meetings and policy dialogues on issues related WPS;
Draft advocacy strategies and support their implementation;
Draft best practices and lessons learned to guide programme improvement and strategy planning;
Draft knowledge management strategies, products and methodologies in line with civil society engagement component of the WPS.
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
Respect for Diversity
Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
Creative Problem Solving
Leading by Example
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, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field 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.
A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage
At least 5 years of progressively responsible work experience at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects;
Technical experience in Women Peace and Security;
Experience coordinating and liaising with international-bilateral and multilateral partners, and/or donors is an asset;
Experience working in the UN System is an asset;
Experience in leading/managing a team is an asset.
Fluency in English is required
Fluency in Dari and /or Pashto is required;
Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset;