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.

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. Since the takeover by Taliban in August 2021, Afghanistan has witnessed a progressive erasure of women’s rights and freedoms, through both formal and informal edicts, messages and practices. The 24 December 2022 edict banning Afghan women from NGOs and INGOs and the escalation of the ban in April 2023 to Afghan women working with the UN has further amplified this restricted space from women and women CSOs creating operational conditions of uncertainty. 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. In the evolving context UN Women continues to reconfigure and adapt its programming to be responsive to ensure the full spectrum of rights of Afghan women and girls are met.

UN Women’s programming approach in Afghanistan 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 five key programme priorities: (1) Gender in Humanitarian Action, (2) Ending Violence Against Women, (3) Women’s Economic Empowerment, and (4) Women, Peace and Security. Given the operational context in country, UN Women has also strengthened its sub offices through presence across 5 Sub Offices to ensure a more localized approach to its programming.  Working across the thematic pillars and sub offices, the post holder will provide substantive and hands on support to ensure coherence, relevance and robustness of the programme commitments under the Strategic Note 2023-25 for the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office (ACO).

Under the guidance of the Special Representative , the Programme Coordinator will directly report to the Deputy Country Representative (Programmes). S/he will work closely with Programme Managers and Heads of 5 Sub -Offices support to the management, development and implementation of the progammes. This function will require closely working with the Deputy Country Representative (Operations) as well with the head of the Programme Management Support Unit (PMSU) to support timely progress against mutually agreed results frameworks and performance indicators to meet agreed targets and results.

Duties and Responsibilities

1- Programme development for the Afghanistan Country Office anchored in the Strategic Note 2023-2025

  • Provide specialized technical support to guide the overall direction of ACO programming portfolio,  ensuring responsiveness and relevance to the evolving operational context in country.
  • Develop the strategic documents, policy papers, talking points and similar materials highlighting ACO’s policy and programmatic positions for information and presentation to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ensure coherence and synergy across the ACO programme portfolio, ensuring efficient utilization of resources, adherence to deliver rates, in alignment with the Country Office's goals and vision, by providing direct technical and hands on support to programme managers in implementation of ongoing programmes and projects/workplans, informed by a regular analysis of operational landscape
  • Provide direct technical support and substantive inputs to programme teams in ensuring documents /packages on program implementation (e.g. Project Appraisal Committees, Partner Selection etc.) are of optimum quality and align with UN Women policy and guidelines, before onwards processing for approvals and clearance.
  • Develop and support drafting of concept notes, proposals and similar materials in close coordination with Programme Managers, sub offices and relevant functional units and sub offices 
  • Substantive support in drafting technical and donor reports prepared by the PSMU and Programme Managers that capture progress of programme implementation.

2- Manage and coordinate the implementation of cross-pillar ACO programmes

  • Lead the coordination of cross pillar projects, in close liaison with the thematic, operational and cross cutting functions.
  • Analyze and ensure alignment of project budgets with logical framework matrices and work plans and manage coordination across the relevant Programme Managers, Communications and M&E.
  • Provide hands on, technical and substantive support to the programme teams in the management of the cross-pillar projects, ensuring programme quality, compliance to programme delivery rates against mutually agreed results frameworks, flagging off track programme delivery and challenges.
  • Develop strategic documents, talking points, donor reports etc. as required for internal and external use.
  • Manage the collection of stories and lessons learnt related to the projects and develop knowledge management products.
  • Lead and manage the regular technical briefings on project updates with donors.

3- Technical support in identifying opportunities for strategic partnerships for program development

  • Identify and guide the ACO on opportunities to develop and advance programmes through innovative programming partnerships and provide necessary guidance and support to programme teams and sub offices in that regard.
  • Provide regular and comprehensive analysis on opportunities, bottlenecks and mitigation actions with a programme focus that allows coherent, consistent and flexible approaches across the ACO program portfolio.

4- Coordinate sub offices for programme development and implementation

  • Ensure coordination across the 5 sub office in developing and managing programmes, in close collaboration with Programme Managers and sub office teams
  • Provide support to the heads of sub offices in identifying and operationalizing localised programming opportunities to ensure UN Women remains responsive to emerging crises and effectively meets the need to Afghan women and girls.

5- Represent UN Women and support advocacy strategies

  • Represent and advocate for UN Women in organizational, regional, global, public information/ relations events and key meetings, as delegated
  • Develop and implement advocacy and public communication strategies.

6- Facilitate knowledge management, innovation and capacity building

  • Contribute to the process of collecting and sharing lessons learned that highlights programme adaptations and effectiveness on gender equality and women’s empowerment to build knowledge and capacity of partners and stakeholders.

7- The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization. This includes backstopping the Deputy Country Representative (Programme) as necessary.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example


Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:



  • Excellent programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them
  • Ability to provide policy advice and support to partners
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent leadership skills, ability create enabling work environment
  • Excellent knowledge of Results Based Management
  • Strong knowledge of the UN system
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Ability to work in a conflict or post conflict context

Required Skills and Experience

Education and Certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in in international development, public administration, public policy or other relevant social science fields 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 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience that combines intellectual, strategic and managerial leadership in development of programmes with a strong focus in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment at the international level, preferably in developing countries and humanitarian contexts within the UN system, Agencies, Funds or Programmes;
  • Field based experience working with multi-cultural teams is required;
  • Experience in working in a conflict or post-conflict country is desired;
  • Experience in leading and coaching staff in international settings is required..
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems is required.
  • Experience in the use of a modern web-based ERP System, preferably Oracle Cloud, is desirable.
  • Experience and familiarity of operating in Afghanistan is desirable



  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in Dra/Pashto is desirable.
  • Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable (French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).





In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW, and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.


Inclusion Statement:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits employ, trains, compensates and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity, and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.)