Policy Specialist (Provincial and Municipal Governance)

Location : Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :28-Jan-12 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One year with possiblity of extension


UNDP Global Mission Statement:
UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.
UNDP Afghanistan Mission Statement:
UNDP supports stabilization, state-building, and 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 sub-national levels. 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 Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.
Policy Resource Unit:
Within UNDP, the Policy Unit (PU) coordinates with international multi-lateral and bi-lateral institutions, draws upon a vast network of internal and external experts, and provides thematically focused strategic planning, policy advice and development support to the Government. The functions of the PU include the following: 
  • Ensure the provision of top quality and innovative policy advisory services to the Government and facilitation of capacity development, knowledge-building and management;
  • Support strategic assignments of policy and technical specialists as requested by Government of Afghanistan(GoA) and secured by UNDP through the PU;
  • Provide high quality substantive inputs to UNCT/UNDP programmes and ensure that UNDP programmes are in line with national policies and priorities;
  • Support nationally-led “Expert Councils” of world class-authorities, meeting periodically to address various dimensions of Afghanistan’s social and economic concerns;
  • Create Communities of Practice of national and international development professionals organized around national development topics, to interact, share knowledge and experience and collaborate around the common objective of problem-solving. Communities would also be tapped for the strategic assignments and for inputs into Expert Council deliberations, ensuring that the assignments commissioned and policy advice provided are grounded in Afghanistan’s realities and maximize national inputs and perspectives.
The Policy Specialist (Provincial and Municipal Governance) will be under the direct supervision of the Head of the Policy Unit and the overall supervision of UNDP Afghanistan Country Director.
Note: UNDP Afghanistan reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP Afghanistan at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and education requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
Under the direct supervision of the Head of the Policy Unit and the overall supervision of UNDP Afghanistan Country Director, the Policy Specialist (Provincial and Municipal Governance) will perform the following functions: 

Prepare reports, advocacy and communications material, and provide input to partner entities including UNCT, development agencies, and donors relating to the work of the unit, especially in Provincial and Municipal Governance:

  • Prepare regular reports and briefings on the PU’s activities and provision of thematic support;
  • Develop clear and concise reports and power-point presentations for various meetings, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Contribute to development of communications and advocacy material related to the work of the unit;
  • Channel information and policy related findings of PU to UNCT and other partner organizations;
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Provide research and analysis support to the thematic groups of the PU and assist internal and external experts  in providing high-quality policy support:

  • Undertake research and analysis on political conditions and policies, development, economic growth, state-building, governance, rule of law, security sector issues and other thematic areas in order to facilitate the support provided by UNDP to the Government;
  • Assist in the development and formulation of assistance projects and programmes that will most effectively help the achievement of national priorities;
  • Act as a resource person for effective knowledge management of best practices in related thematic areas;
  • Participate in the review and dissemination of best practices and lessons learnt from implementation of partners projects with a view to strengthen programming within UNDP;
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Coordinate activities of the PU Secretariat, including support to the solution exchange mechanism and community of practice for Provincial and Municipal Governance, so that thematically focused support services are effectively provided to client entities (Government of Afghanistan, ministries):

  • Identify national policy areas where effective UNDP support can be provided;
  • Liaise and coordinate with government institutions regarding support to national policy on PU thematic areas;
  • Ensure creation of partnerships between Government entities and UNDP so that assistance is provided in line with national policies and priorities;
  • Support expert councils, solution exchange interactions, communities of practice, and other knowledge networks as required;
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Assist in preparing concept papers, and strategic and policy documents as related to the mandate of the PU, with a focus on Provincial and Municipal Governance:

  • Coordinate, compile, manage and disseminate research and analysis findings across various thematic areas of PU;
  • Help develop policy tools and strategic plans that facilitate achievement of policy objectives;
  • Support the preparation of concept notes and strategic planning documents based on research findings of PU thematic assets;
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.

Undertake administrative, planning, and operational activities of the PU Secretariat to ensure effective functioning of the unit:

  • Complete work plans, budgets, and related programme and operational requirements of the PU;
  • Provide programme, policy, and operational support to PU components as required;
  • Organize meetings, workshops, missions and coordination and policy events related to the PU’s activities;
  • Prepare TORs and mission reports as required;
  • Undertake any other tasks assigned by the supervisor.


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, religious, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Functional Competencies: 
  • Fully proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications, e.g., word processing, spreadsheets, internet, PPP, database packages, etc. Experience with web-based management systems.
  • Ability to work with a wide cross-section of partners including Government, donors, I/NGOs and community-based organizations.
  • A team player and self-starter able to inspire and influence action.
  • Mature judgment combined with a proactive, resourceful and energetic approach to problem solving. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; and strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Capacity to work under pressure and to meet strict deadlines.
  • Demonstrated behavior of professional and personal ethics, transparency and openness.
  • Willingness to undertake regular field visits and interact with different stakeholders, especially with primary stakeholders

Required Skills and Experience


  • Minimum Master’s Degree in International Relations, Political Science or other related social science field.


  • Minimum 5 years of experience in research and analysis, policy and programming, reporting and advocacy, communications, coordination.  
  • Previous work experience with the UN is an asset.  
  • Previous experience in Afghanistan is an advantage.  
  • Knowledge of the region’s political, social and economic dynamics is an asset.


  • Fluency in English language is required  


  • Interested International candidates should apply on-line through the UNDP Jobs site at http://www.undp.org.af/Jobs/index.htm  
  • Please ensure that you upload your UN Personal History Form-P11 (available at http://www.undp.org.af/Jobs/index.htm) in the relevant field of the on-line applications.  
  • Incomplete applications or applications received after the above closing date 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 www.undp.org.af    
  • Candidates, who are currently holding UNDP or UN Agencies contracts, are asked to declare the type contract and duration, in their application.
  • Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

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