Head of Sub-office

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Last update: Aug 25, 2022 Last update: Aug 25, 2022


Deadline: Sep 7, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Afghanistan Afghanistan
Sectors: Programme & Resource Management Programme & Resource Management
Job type: Contract, 4 to 12 months
English English
Work experience: From 5 years
Date posted: Aug 25, 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. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations System efforts to ensure that commitments to gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action worldwide. It provides strong and coherent leadership supporting Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s most complex emergencies and the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Afghan people are grappling with the impact of conflict, poverty, economic decline, and natural disasters. In this context, Afghan women and girls face unique vulnerabilities and require urgent support as gender inequality is interwoven with conflict dynamics and humanitarian needs. It is essential that Afghan women and girls can continue to shape the development of their country and that their gains are protected. UN Women remains fully committed to supporting Afghan women and girls and to putting them at the center of the global response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

UN Women have been in Afghanistan for two decades. UN Women’s programming approach is informed by analysis of the political, economic, and humanitarian situation, risks to and capacities of partner organizations, and needs of Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan currently has four key programme priorities: (1) Gender in Humanitarian Action, (2) Ending Violence Against Women, (3) Women’s Economic Empowerment, and (4) Women, Peace, and Security.

Since May 2021, UN Women Afghanistan has capitalized on its five Sub-Offices in Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar. At present, comprising of a Programme Coordinator, a Programme Associate, and a Driver each, the five Sub-Offices are supporting UN Women programming and monitoring in their respective regions across the four thematic programming areas, and in alignment with the Humanitarian Response Plan (2022) for Afghanistan and the UN Transitional Engagement Framework (TEF). In addition to supporting programme implementation and monitoring, the Sub-Offices are fostering stakeholder engagement and partnership building at the provincial level, including with Civil Society, UN, and other humanitarian and development partners. They support the roll-out of gender analysis and key advocacy and communications activities to ensure their reach beyond Kabul. The selected Sub-Offices are strategically situated to enable co-location with other UN agencies and deepen operational and programmatic synergies.

Given the importance of sub-national level engagement in support of Afghan women and girls in the current crisis context, the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office is scaling up its field presence. It is recruiting a Head of Sub-Office for each of the five Sub-Offices in Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar, and Nangarhar.

Reporting to the UN Women Afghanistan Operations Manager and working closely with the programme, communications and management support units, the Head of Sub-Office represents UN Women Afghanistan at the sub-national level and is responsible for coordinating and leading UN Women stakeholder and partner engagement, and programming, monitoring and operations at the local level.

Duties and Responsibilities

Manage programme coordination and oversee programme implementation in the geographic area of responsibility of the Sub-Office

guide the efficient implementation of programme and project activities and the timely delivery of results against agreed upon work plans, in close coordination with the UN Women Country Office Programme Managers;
Manage programme and project monitoring against agreed upon results frameworks and performance indicators and prepare technical monitoring reports;
Provide substantive recommendations for the adaptation of programme and project activities where indicated, based on programme and project monitoring reports,;
Ensure effective internal communication and coordination at Sub-Office level and effective and proactive communication between relevant Country Office units (both programme and operations) and the Sub-Office;
Coordinate and support programmatic missions from the Country Office to the Sub-Office.

Represent UN Women at the sub-national level and develop and manage UN Women’s strategic partnerships and stakeholder engagement

Manage and coordinate relationships with key counter parts, especially representatives from women’s civil society, and provide technical inputs to efforts at the country level to develop new and innovative partnerships;
Represent UN Women in humanitarian coordination mechanisms and coordinate UN Women inputs to interagency initiatives at the sub-national level;
Maintain collaboration and coordination with other UN and development partners to ensure programmatic integration and sharing of best practices;
Establish effective communication channels with and ensures that stakeholders (civil society, humanitarian and development partners, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, civil society, UN agencies, and other) have a consistent UN Women counterpart at the sub-national level.

Lead technical support and capacity development to civil society partners

Provide substantive technical support to partners in regard to programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation;
Provide partners with training, and capacity development initiatives as needed;
Build relationships with local partners to support implementation and expansion of the country programme;
Manage capacity building opportunities and initiatives for key partners and stakeholders.
Respond to any potential problems, as possible;

Provide region-specific advice, analysis and support to support evidence-based programming and communication in the geographic area of responsibility of the Sub-Office

Provide analysis of local socio-economic, political and security situations and trends as related to the situation of women and girls;
Identify programming, advocacy and communications opportunities and entry points for UN Women and advise the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office on policies, programmes and strategies to adequately respond to local challenges and needs regarding gender equality and women’s empowerment;
Monitor the perception of UN Women at the local level and suggest and ensure that UN Women programming objectives and local programming results are effectively communicated in collaboration with the Communications Unit in the Country Office;
Technically contribute to the development of knowledge products and mechanisms to effectively position UN Women in the region;
Identify and provide technical inputs to the development of new programme and project opportunities based on region-specific inputs;
Provide technical support to strategic planning processes for the UN Women programme in Afghanistan;

Manage Sub-Office personnel and financial resources

Ensure smooth running of the Sub-Office, promote team work and an environment that is conducive to delivering results;
Ensure full responsibility for the appropriate use and management of resources attributed to the Sub-Office by tracking use of financial resources, ensuring the integrity of financial systems and consistent application of the Internal Control Framework and/or rules and regulations.
Ensure that the security needs of office and projects are met, in collaboration with the Operations Manager.
Mitigate possible risks and impacts associated with the Sub-Office programmes and operations by proactively designing and implementing mitigating measures in collaboration with the Operations Manager and Security Specialist;
Supervise and coach programme personnel and manage performance;
Write terms of reference for new staff, consultants and contractors and oversee the recruitment process, as necessary.

Key Performance Indicators:

Timely and quality of programme delivery in line with budget and workplans
Timely and quality technical advice and support
Timely and quality capacity development support
Strong relationships with partners and stakeholders
Timely and Quality monitoring and reporting
Sub-office follows all security requirements


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 management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills;
Strong knowledge of Results Based Management;
Strong budget and finance skills;
Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making;
Strong knowledge of gender equality and women's empowerment;
Strong knowledge of country and/or region;
Ability to identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising and develop strategies.

Required Skills and Experience


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 (such as PMP®, PRINCE2®, or MSP®) would be an added advantage.


At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience at the national and/or international level in management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian or development projects;
Experience in working on gender equality programming in a humanitarian setting;
Experience in establishing relationships among and working with international organizations, civil society organizations and local stakeholders;
Experience in leading a team is an asset;
Experience in administrative systems and UN system norms is an asset;
Experience in country and/or region is an asset;
Experience in working independently with minimal supervision.


Fluency in English is required;
Knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto will be an asset.