Senior Access Specialist

Location : Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :29-Jul-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :IPSA (Regular)
Post Level :IPSA-11
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Instructions to Applicants: Click on the "Apply now" button. Input your information in the appropriate Sections: personal information, language proficiency, education, resume and motivation. Upon completion of the first page, please hit "submit application" tab at the end of the page. Please ensure that CV or P11 and the Cover letter are combined in one file.

The following documents shall be required from the applicants:

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past positions held and their main underlying functions, their durations (month/year), the qualifications, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate, and at least three (3) the most recent professional references of previous supervisors. References may also include peers.

A cover letter (maximum length: 1 page) indicating why the candidate considers him-/herself to be suitable for the position.

Managers may ask (ad hoc) for any other materials relevant to pre-assessing the relevance of their experience, such as  reports, presentations, publications, campaigns or other materials.


UNDP will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Include any official travel expected to be associated with performing the functions

Office/Unit/Project Description

Afghanistan is moving into the future against the backdrop of ongoing peace negotiations, it is confronted with many uncertainties and growing level of violence, but also faces several opportunities. UNDP is committed to supporting Afghanistan’s transition from a war economy to a peace economy. Attaining peace is the main precondition for taking advantage of development opportunities at the national and sun-national levels. Afghanistan also still needs to deal with the frequent droughts, floods, earthquakes, and gradual environmental degradation that have consequential effects on livelihoods of Afghan people.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has added strain to these challenges and may compromise past gains, halt progress, and threaten the country’s prospects. The pandemic also can further aggravate pre-existing fault lines by reducing trust in Afghanistan’s already weak institutions and strengthening perceptions among citizens of government inability or neglect in addressing pre-existing poverty and inequality. The success of leadership is conditioned not only on good governance, but also on its ability to provide public services to all citizens.

In view of the changing situation, the Government has proactively updated its plans and policies recently. This is reflected in the recent publication “Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF II): 2021 to 2025” which revolves around Peace-building, State-building and Market-building. Following the revised priorities of the Government. UNDP is adjusting its current programming, considering synergies with other UN agencies and the broader donor community.

The ultimate objective is to support the transition of Afghanistan while mitigating the effects of the dynamic of conflict and COVID-19 pandemic on the achievement of its longer-term development goals for which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a critical guide. In line with the current changing situation, UNDP is working towards developing new ways of working, including updating ongoing programmes and plans using integrated area-based approach, while keeping safety and security of staff and implementing partners as top priority.

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. UNDP is 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 helps countries to achieve sustainable development by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shock. In Afghanistan, a country in conflict, UNDP works for development and recovery choices that reduce vulnerability and contribute a development perspective to strengthen humanitarian and peace-building responses.

Organizational Context

UNDP is committed to supporting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) with the achievement of its core objectives of self-reliance and peace and helping it to meet the challenge of the transition from a war to a peace economy. To meet these goals, the Government has identified a comprehensive set of national priorities in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF). To achieve the Agenda 2030, the Government has also developed a set of 16 Afghan Sustainable Development Goals (A-SDGs) and national priority programs (NPPs) to place the country on a path towards sustainable development. Progress towards self-reliance and peace across the country will be guided and measured by the targets and indicators described in each of these frameworks. To support the Government’s efforts to implement the ANPDF, NPPs and the A-SDGs, UNDP offers a unique and highly integrated model for sustainable development based mainly on its traditional strengths in three main areas: 

  1. Promoting Human Development to improve human wellbeing, resilience and support environmental sustainability.
  2. Providing technical expertise in the use of a Multi-Dimensional Poverty approach to reduce vulnerabilities, inequalities, and exclusions.
  3. Promoting Human Rights to ensure a fair distribution of development opportunities and benefits in social, political, economic, and environmental dimensions.

In addition, UNDP now has the mandate and the comparative advantage to support SDG integration and inclusive development to ensure faster progress on sustainable development. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted an urgent need to adopt a systems approach that is orientated towards building resilience at national and sub-national levels to future shocks through continuously reviewed scenario analyses.

UNDP is committed to achieve sustainable development that maintains and improves the quality of human life in social, economic and environmental terms while being keen on current and emerging needs and achieving safety and economic justice between regions and rationalization of resources. The government of Afghanistan with support of international partners has made progress in governance and local development. However, Afghanistan has seen rapid demographic changes due to migration to cities which has affected the already weak and under-resourced local governance and delivery mechanism. Therefore, UNDP is updating its programmes and plans to enhance supporting development intervention at the local level, using integrated area-based approach to address disconnection between central and local development planning and between urban and rural areas, and to enhance ownership and participation of people in development planning and implementation.

Institutional Arrangement

The International Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the UNDP Resident Representative and in close collaboration with UNDP Security Unit and UNDP Portfolios teams, as well as other units within the UNDP Country Office. UNDP Office will provide office space and internet facility, logistical and other support service including transport and security applicable to UNDP international personnel when based in Kabul. The consultant however is expected to bring his/her own laptop and mobile phone and meet local communications costs (UNDP will provide a local pre-paid SIM card). Costs to arrange meetings, workshops, travel costs to and DSA during field visits (if any), etc, shall be covered by UNDP Office and included in the contract.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work

In line with the above, UNDP recognizes that safety and security issues, and access to target areas plays a key role in implementing planned interventions and achieve desired results. Therefore, UNDP Afghanistan seeks technical support of an International Senior Access Specialist to cover the following activities/tasks:

  • Supports linkage of UNDP security work with access, and provides access negotiation support to UNDP Sub-offices and UNDP Programme and projects teams. Also, to facilitate establishing and maintaining key contacts relation with the authorities in the areas of operation,
  • Develop and update safety protocols for staff movement and operations inside the country,  share regular context updates, and provide guidelines and extensive support in critical incidents,
  • Undertakes and provides support to technical assistance and other field missions, e.g. participates in field trips to undertake in-depth and provides support to local and regional access groups.
  • Reviews of specific country work mechanisms, and work closely with UNDP Portfolios (Peace and Governance; Prosperity; Sustainability and SDG Integration) to facilitate UNDP plans implementation at national and sub-national levels,
  • The Senior Access Specialist will conduct a thorough consultation with respective staff in the Country Office, especially those working on similar tasks, relevant Afghanistan government officials including officials at Provincial Municipalities, and UN and other international and local organizations involved in this thematic area.
  • Monitors, analyses and reports on access developments, disaster relief/management or emergency situations in UNDP programme target areas particularly related to or affecting development access.
  • Ensures appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms; and develop in coordination with UNDP Security team, the Access Monitoring and Reporting Framework and database with responsibility for access incident tracking and trend analysis; provides information and advice on a range of related issues.
  • Prepares situation briefs and weekly updates and evidence-based recommendations on emergency and access issues and develop related information/communications products (e.g. Access Snapshot, Info-graphs, Maps. etc.) to include proposing topics, undertaking research, determining appropriate medium and target audience, preparing production plans, writing drafts, obtaining clearances and finalizing texts, editing reports, and coordinating design approval, printing procedures and distribution.
  • Organizes, monitor and follow-up work, including interagency technical review meetings to support policy development work and decision-making on important issues, including but not limited to, preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc.
  • Reviews and provides advice on policy issues related to access and ensuring the effective delivery of UNDP work, in close coordination with UNDP partners and other humanitarian and development agencies to plan and evaluate humanitarian and emergency assistance programmes and
  • Document and share latest findings, lessons learned, policy guidelines, and ensure that UNDP policies and rules incorporated into planned activities, including gender- related considerations.
  • Support area management teams in crisis management, incident management and post incident management, and serves as a member of the United Nations Security Management Team, contributing to implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of the access plans.
  •  Provides substantial support to sector /cluster working groups as required and facilitate exchange on cross cutting issues, and establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.



Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication:Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Required Skills and Experience

Min. Academic Education

  • Master’s degree from a recognized university in any of the following areas or related field: Security, Political science, social science, public administration, international studies, international humanitarian law, economics, development or a related field.

Min. years of relevant Work experience

  • Minimum 7 years’ international experience in security analysis operation in conflict setting and humanitarian access is required,

Required skills and competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of security management, combined with solid background of military, police of security specialization is required.
  • Proven experience in security analysis/operation is required.
  • Proven experience in humanitarian access analysis is required.
  • Excellent drafting skills required.
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with private sector, NGOs, and multilateral agencies, is required.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Maturity combined with tact and diplomacy.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Creates and promotes environment for open communications;
  • Leverages conflict in the interest of UNDP and sets standards;
  • Shares knowledge across the organization and builds a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Demonstrated  the ability to lead consultations with senior government officials and facilitate discussions among a wide group of stakeholders, an asset.
  • Demonstrated experience in deconfliction issues in a conflict intense environment
  • Demonstrated experience in access negotiations with Non-State Armed Groups
  • Knowledge and experience with UNDP or UNDP administered agencies is desirable.
  • Knowledge and experience of UNDP Afghanistan is an added advantage.
  • Previous experience working with national and international military is desirable.
  • Experience in Afghanistan is desirable.
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a multi-cultural and multiethnic environment.
  • Ability to conduct required research, analyze and produce proposals and reports;
  • Excellent analytical aptitude, communication, writing and presentation skill;
  • In-depth knowledge on security and access issues, and on humanitarian and development and peace linkages;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice,

Required Language(s) (at working level)

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a requirement.
  • Excellent writing skills is required,

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