Programme Specialist (Governance), ASGP (2 posts, Kabul and Bamyan Afghanistan)

UNDP supports stabilization, state building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, has contributed to institutional development efforts leading to positive impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years UNDP support has spanned such milestone efforts as the adoption of the Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive arms of the state, and key ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and subnational levels. UNDP has played a key role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund, which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and in efforts to stabilize the internal security environment. Major demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation and area-based livelihoods and reconstruction programmes have taken place nationwide. UNDP Programmes in Afghanistan have benefited from the very active support of donors. UNDP Afghanistan is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.

Organizational Context:

The Afghanistan Sub-national Governance Programme Phase II (ASGP II) is the UNDP’s flagship governance programme and plays a key role in developing the institutions and systems to ensure effective implementation of the sub-national governance strategies outlined in the Afghan National Development Strategy and the Afghanistan Compact.

The Afghanistan Sub–national Governance Programme (ASGP) works with and through the Government of Afghanistan to build the institutional structures required for effective service delivery at the central, provincial, district, and municipal levels. ASGP’s activities are designed to achieve long term sustainability through institutional, organizational and individual capacity development.

ASGP is directly implemented in partnership with the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), and has worked with the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC). Currently in its second phase, following a five year period through 2010 with a total budget of USD 43.2 million, ASGP II will expand significantly with a budget approaching USD 180 million.

Under the direct supervision of the Provincial Governance and Development Advisor/Component Manager, the Programme Specialist (Governance), ASGP  provides support and capacity building to central government agencies responsible for formulating and implementing sub-national governance policy and developing the legal and regulatory framework for sub–national governance. S/he provides support to the government’s public administration reform strategy to build institutional and administrative capacities in provincial, district and municipal administrations to manage basic service delivery through reforming organizational structures, streamlining management processes, developing essential skills and knowledge of civil servants and improving management of public service delivery. S/he provides support to the development of representation and participation in sub-national governance by strengthening the capacity of provincial councils.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Provide advice to sub-national government counterparts and facilitate knowledge management and learning on local development planning, implementation, and performance measurement;
  • Provide guidance and technical assistance to sub national government counterparts in undertaking their basic functions and responsibilities to achieve a more cost-effective delivery of services to the people;
  • Build strategic partnerships to implement provincial and regional resource mobilization strategies;
  • Advocate and promote UNDP’s mandate and mission;
  • Provide oversight in the management of other ASGP staff assigned in the region and provinces.

Provide advice and support to sub national government counterparts and facilitate knowledge management and learning on local development programming, implementation, and performance measurement focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Advise provincial and sub-national administration officials on strategic development planning and implementation;
  • Promote a strong knowledge management culture within ASGP, and among sub national and central government partners, and other development partners;
  • Advise on lessons learned from ASGP activities; record, share and disseminate effectively through various forums and media;
  • Document provincial and other sub national government development initiatives, focusing on best practices, lessons learned and knowledge needed to build a management knowledge base within the provinces and region.

Provide guidance and technical assistance to sub national government counterparts in undertaking their basic functions and responsibilities to achieve a more cost-effective delivery of services to the people focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Work with the Provincial Governor, District Governors, Mayor and Directors of all executive related agencies on local development and improved service delivery, including efforts related to planning, budgeting and implementation of annual and multi-year provincial and sub national development plans;
  • Provide periodic advice in coordinating various development and reform efforts introduced by the central government for sub national governance entities;
  • Provide advice in formulating a process to better identify, prioritize and coordinate the implementation of a public investments program, including government and donor-assisted initiatives;
  • Assist in developing and fostering enhanced levels of partnership and cooperation between and among the Office of the Provincial Governor, Provincial Councils, directorates, donor agencies, international military organizations and civil society organizations in addressing critical socio-economic development and service delivery requirements;
  • Provide advice and technical assistance to the governors’ offices on integrated implementation strategies and performance evaluation methods to ensure successful implementation of provincial development plans and provincial strategic plans;
  • Support the formulation of a user-friendly development information system for monitoring provincial programme implementation and delivery of basic services;
  • Coordinate the preparation of provincial development plans and budgets, consistent with the overall provincial development policies and with the ANDS and other government reform initiatives and policies;
  • Guide the preparation of service delivery models that match the realities of sub-national programme implementation in Afghanistan, which will at the same time build the capacity of governors’ offices to provide oversight and supervision of the activities of line agencies within their territorial jurisdictions.

Actively participate in the building of strategic partnerships and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Assist in developing and fostering an enhanced level of partnership and cooperation between and among the Provincial Governors’ offices, Provincial Councils, directorates, donor agencies, and civil society organizations to address critical socioeconomic development requirements and service delivery;
  • Support the development of partnerships with UN Agencies, government agencies, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private actors , international military organizations, and civil society organizations based on the strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and provincial priorities;
  • Responsible for local studies and analysis of information on possible areas of regional and inter-provincial cooperation;
  • Oversee the production of periodic updates and briefs on the local development situation for use by stakeholders;
  • Oversee the development of selected studies/research on emerging local development concerns that feed into government/development partners processes;
  • Identify and assess the requirements for additional technical assistance services in the province;
  • Closely collaborate with other technical assistance teams undertaking development and service delivery initiatives within the assigned province or region.

Participate in advocacy and promotion of awareness of UNDP’s mandate and mission     focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Provide support on policy advocacy for the Millennium Development Goals, Human Development and pro-poor and equitable economic growth by participating in relevant forums, conferences and training;
  • Responsible for supporting the production of advocacy papers by provincial staff for presentation at regional workshops and conferences;
  • Participate in monitoring progress and formulation of strategies towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Responsible for the management of publications on local development issues, advocacy of the reports’ findings among relevant government agencies, civil society organizations, and donors.

Supervise and provide guidance to a team of ASGP experts, international and national consultants and project staff assigned in the region and provinces focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Guide staff in the preparation of detailed individual and provincial work plans, including expected outputs with agreed upon performance indicators;
  • Assist the ASGP Project Manager or the Manager’s designate in identification of technical assistance needs and in the preparation of terms of reference for additional national and international consultants;
  • Maintain close relations with government counterparts and with other ASGP development partners operating in the area, such as other UN Agencies, Government officials, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, international military organizations and civil society organizations.


Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Technical Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Promotes sharing of knowledge and experience and contributes to UNDP Practice Areas and actively works towards continued personal learning and development;
  • Ability to provide top quality policy advice on sub national governance issues;
  • In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to go beyond established procedures and models, propose new approaches which expand the range of projects;
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to lead formulation and evaluation of development projects.

Management and Leadership

  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Encourages risk-taking in the pursuit of creativity and innovative solutions;
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure; Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills.

Education and Experience:



  • Master’s Degree in a field relevant to Urban or Regional Development, Economics, or Public Administration.


  • 7 years of relevant experience in development in a governmental, multilateral or civil society organization in a multi-cultural setting, preferably in the context of sub-national governance and reform, decentralization or local autonomy;
  • Experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of local development projects is desirable;
  • Professional experience in preparation of presentations and other communication or training tools.

Language Requirements:

Strong written and spoken skill of English language.

Submission of Application:

Interested and qualified international candidates should apply on-line through the UNDP Jobs site at and please ensure that to fill up and upload Personal History Form-P.11 which is available at  in the relevant field of the on-line application

Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing date (23 May 2012) will not be given consideration. Please note that only applications who are short-listed will be contacted.

For more detailed information about UNDP Afghanistan please visit our website at  

Successful candidates must be prepared to start work within 3 weeks of the offer of appointment.

Internal candidates who have served a minimum of 12 months in the current assignment are invited to apply.

Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply

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