International Consultant (Transitional Justice and Human Rights Institutional Support / Strengthening Advisor) UNDP-Governance for Peace Unit

Location : Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :04-Feb-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 months (with maximum 100 Working Days)


UNDP Global Mission Statement:

The United Nations Development Programme (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 in Afghanistan:

UNDP supports stabilization, State-building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIROA), 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, Ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and sub-national levels. UNDP has played a role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and strengthen human rights compliance through comprehensive justice and anti-corruption efforts across the country. 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 (UNAMA) and the UN system to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.


Organizational context:

UNDP in collaboration with OHCHR in UNAMA are jointly committed to augmenting the capacity of the GIROA to administer Rule of Law and improve human rights compliance and monitoring across the country. UNDP has globally supported National Human Rights Institutions in over 90 countries with capacity strengthening and technical advisory services. In continuing with this global effort, UNDP Afghanistan seeks to support the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). OHCHR supports the establishment and strengthening of NHRIs and works closely with NHRIs including at the country level to support them in the implementation of their broad mandates to promote and protect human rights. The OHCHR in Afghanistan under the UNAMA’s Human Rights Service continues to cooperate with and support the AIHRC in its current composition. The AIHRC is accessible, eager and proactive in seeking advice and recommendations, from UNAMA and UNDP as well as donors and other entities including the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF).


Background and Organizational context of the position:

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is a constitutionally established, Paris Principles compliant “A” status national human rights institution, considered by government, civil society and the international community as Afghanistan’s leading institution on human rights and transitional justice. The AIHRC is going through a very delicate transition (new leadership, financial shortfall, low staff morale) whose resolution is key to its future, and to its role on peace and human rights, including transitional justice. UNAMA, with support from UNDP, is closely mentoring and assisting AIHRC in this transition including support to its functional review; advocacy with donors; and support on an approach to transitional justice meaningful to Afghanistan. Accordingly, this consultancy focuses on supporting the AIHRC in better understanding its strengths and weaknesses, and supporting its  direction and strategic engagement for the next five-year term through identifying the best possible approaches to change management through a portfolio review for the organisation.


The AIHRC has separate units covering human rights education, monitoring and investigation of human rights violations, women’s rights, children’s rights, persons with disabilities, transitional justice, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, research and investigation, monitoring of international humanitarian law, a police ombudsman, and publications. The AIHRC’s main office is in Kabul, supported by eight regional offices and six provincial offices across the country.  The AIHRC develops every five years a Strategic Plan and an Action Plan,  in consultations with state institutions, civil society, media, judges, prosecutors, police, human rights defenders. The AIHRC plays a key role in monitoring, reporting and advocating for human rights country wide.


Examples of success stories are numerous.  The AIHRC advocated for the adoption of anti-torture legislation in 2018 (the AIHRC chairs the Anti-Torture Commission set up under the new law), a new criminal code and other key human rights laws (e.g. the law of “bacha bazi”, the law on freedom of peaceful assemblies), as well as undertaking reviews of relevant laws, policies, procedures as a follow up to UN recommendations, in coordination with the human rights units at the Ministries of Justice and Interior. The AIHRC actively participates in the UPR process and regularly submits reports to Treaty Bodies. It also successfully advocated for Afghanistan’s ratification of CRPD in 2012 and of OPCAT in 2018.


It should be underlined that the AIHRC has the very difficult task to implement its mandate in a country absorbed in a prolonged conflict. In addition to issues related to access to victims, territorial as well as security and budget-related constraints, this translated over the years in AIHRC staff being at the frontline in the protection and promotion of human rights in Kabul and in the regions. Some of the AIHRC staff have paid with their lives for their engagement in this important work: most recently, on 3 September 2019 the Taliban abducted and two days later executed the AIHRC acting director of the Ghor provincial office, Abdul Samad Amiri. 


AIHRC’s financial long-term sustainability remains at the time of writing unresolved. The AIHRC’s budget has since 2006   been funded through a Joint Financial Agreement by several interested donors.  The Government has later increased its funding for AIHRC to about USD 1 million per financial year, used for development and operational expenses (not for salaries or programmes). The pool of donors seems interested (at least in the short term) in continuing funding under the current arrangement, although intervals in between grants has the potential to put AIHRC’s financial stability at jeopardy.


Based on its mandate, UNAMA’s Human Rights Service continues to cooperate with and support the AIHRC in its new composition. The AIHRC is accessible, eager and proactive in seeking advice and recommendations, from UNAMA and UNDP as well as donors and other entities including the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (APF). Aware of the challenges ahead, a strategic approach looking at reforming key areas has been undertaken (e.g. on communications; human resources; financial management – areas where pro bono evaluations have been commissioned, as well as a capacity assessment looking at change management and structural needs) while delegating thematic areas to the eight commissioners. AIHRC is also focusing on the protection of human rights defenders (an updated action plan was presented to the President for endorsement), peace discussions and the monitoring civilian casualties. An audit is expected to be finalized by the end of November.


Current (and expected) financial constraints are expected to affect the AIHRC’s operations in the future. The AIHRC needs to plan for such contingencies by identifying its strengths and weakness, as well as the threats and opportunities available to it. The AIHRC is aware that the quantity and skillset of its staff may need to change and its regional footprint may need to be recalibrated in the short term. The AIHRC is aware of the need to review its core vision and its strategy, as the Strategic Plan 2019-2022 (notwithstanding its participatory and bottom-up approach) appears to have been based on an optimal scenario rather than what the forecast income would permit.


Against the background of AIHRC’s mandate and priorities as implemented in the past 17 years, as well as the current precarious financial situation, the AIHRC’s leadership intends to embark in change management and a fully-fledged portfolio review. The review will analyze and evaluate each segment of the AIHRC’s portfolio (and their interaction) with the aim to generate scenarios for strategic engagement by the national human rights institution in the coming years. Based on the OECD/DCA criteria for evaluation (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability), the portfolio review will look at past thematic engagement in order to generate options for meaningful future action (why, where and how to engage in which thematic priorities, also looking at resources required, work processes analysis, necessary quality controls, bottlenecks as well as communication dynamics).


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Deputy Resident Representative (Programmes) and the Chief of the Governance for Peace Unit (G4P) and this Individual Consultant will be responsible for supporting an initial scoping study in preparation of the portfolio review for AIHRC and a comprehensive change management process within the AIHRC in the upcoming months. This consultant will work closely with the AIHRC Chairperson and small Change Management Team, drawn from among Commission staff, and in coordination with all AIHRC thematic units, in coordination with the UNAMA’s Chief, Human Rights Service and under the direct supervision of the Senior Deputy Resident Representative (Programmes) and the Chief of the Governance for Peace Unit (G4P) will conduct the scooping study through workshops to be undertaken within AIHRC and deliver a scoping study report as the final deliverable for the duration of this contract.

Duties and Responsibilities


Objective of this assignment:

The Individual Consultant (Transitional Justice and Human Rights Institutional Support / Strengthening Advisor) will undertake the following activities as part of this assignment:

  • Undertake a portfolio review that will be based on meetings within AIHRC (including visits to field offices where security protocols allow) and with selected external interlocutors (embassies, international organizations, international and national civil society organizations).

  • Advise an internal core team within AIHRC on change management that is necessary to be undertaken as per the request of the Commissioner of the AIHRC.

  • Develop, circulate, collate and analyze questionnaires as part of an assessment to support the portfolio review / change management process within the AIHRC.

  • Complete the assessment through a desk review to look at the quantity, quality, focus and advocacy approaches related to thematic or other reports generated by the AIHRC over the last 17 years including its program of national inquiries and its work on transitional justice.

  • Review, Analyze and provide recommendations on horizontal issues (including inter alia advocacy approaches, communication, human rights monitoring and reporting methodology, national inquiries and strategic approaches to legislative processes) for the AIHRC.

  • Sharing the findings of the portfolio review / change management process regularly with the AIHRC leadership and providing (written) advice and options for change management within the AIHRC to the senior leadership.

  • Produce briefs on each area and provide a final report at the end of the assignment on the overall work undertaken for the change management and portfolio review process. This includes the need to produce interim reports (briefs) to enable the Commissioners undertake informed decisions and implement them on an ongoing basis without waiting for the final report. The final report will include a thorough analysis, including a SWOT and TOWS analysis focused on the AIHRC’s current standing, with a set of recommendations to strengthen the mandate and Transitional Justice based focus for the AIHRC.

  • Conduct focus groups and thematic workshops with AIHRC commissioners (and relevant staff) to discuss interim and final findings, with the consultant acting as resource expert in terms of presentations, facilitation or other roles as needed during this debriefing process with the AIHRC.

 Deliverables/ OutputsEstimated Duration to CompleteTarget Due DatesReview and Approvals Required


Deliverable 1: Thematic portfolio review: 30 – 40 page report (s).

  • Work with a small “Change Management Team”, drawn from among Commission staff, and in coordination with all AIHRC thematic units, the consultant will develop a work plan as well as a reporting template;

  • Providing an evaluation of AIHRC’s work in each thematic area along with recommendations for improvement, including upgraded internal workflows;

  • Thematic areas include elections, deprivation of liberty, protection of civilians, women’s rights, children’s rights, anti-discrimination, human rights education, civil rights, economic rights, social rights, cultural rights, transitional justice, reporting to UN human rights mechanisms and others.

  • Report (s) of 30 – 40 pages on the results of this exercise.

25 days (25%)25 working days from the start date of the contract.

Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit


Deliverable 2: Assessment of the AIHRC thematic units and horizontal issues: 30 – 40 page report (s).

  • Taking into account the thematic portfolio review above, the consultant and the change management team will undertake an in-depth analysis of the structure and work of the AIHRC eight thematic units as well as horizontal issues;

  • This exercise is to include the monitoring and investigation unit, special investigation team, women’s rights unit, human rights education team, child rights unit, and the research unit;

  • A report of 30 – 40 pages that details the results of the interaction with the change management team, relevant Commissioners and other pertinent actors and will contain a short analysis of the thematic area as well as forward-looking recommendations.

25 days (25%)50 days from the start date of the contract.Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit


Deliverable 3: AIHRC’s regional footprint assessment: 30 – 40 page report (s).

  • The consultant will undertake an in-depth assessment of the current regional footprint (14 provinces) of the AIHRC, as it affects and relates to the thematic areas above, and to the horizontal issues below.

  • Based on UN prevalent security restrictions on travel, the consultant will conduct visits to the field offices – regional and provincial offices (14 different provinces as suggested by AIHRC for now). Video conference calls will be explored as alternative option as needed (without any additional costs to be incurred by the IC / UNDP).

  • The consultant will assessthe contribution that the field offices provide to the promotion and protection of human rights in Afghanistan and how they add value to the AIHRC’s work. The consultant will provide specific, practical and time-bound recommendations for improving the relevance, effectiveness and added value of the AIHRC’s field offices. The consultant will also assess the physical space and make recommendations on its utilization to collaborate with civil society, meet community needs, hosting resource centers, etc.

  • Report (s) of 30 – 40 pages an optimization proposal for the following scenarios:

  • How to reduce the cost of field offices without great impact on quality of work by reorganizing priorities and sharing resources;

  • Reviewing the need for the Kabul office as a separate entity as it is co-located with HQ and for the Uruzgan office in the short-medium term, due to the security situation in the province and the mismatch between office costs and impact;

  • Reviewing the number of staff based on areas of focus, security and area of coverage;

  • Exploring models of collaboration with civil society for cost-saving and impact, i.e. AIHRC offices as incubators for human rights social enterprises and organizations.

25 days (25%)75 days from the start date of the contract.Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit

Deliverable 4: Guidance to AIHRC on transitional justice 30 – 40 pages report (s)

  • The consultant will provide strategic and planning advice to the AIHRC on Transitional Justice, including the development of a transitional justice work plan for the Commission;

  • This will include outreach to civil society organizations to reinforce their links with the Commission such as through partnerships, resource-sharing and joint initiatives;

  • Support and, where requested, training will also be provided to Commission personnel and specific transitional justice related projects undertaken by the Commission, such as the consultation with Afghans on their priorities for dealing with the legacy of the conflict;

  • Report (s) of 30 – 40 pages including strategic advice and planning to support the AIHRC to position itself as a leader in Afghanistan in this field, building on its earlier work through the 2000s and in the first part of the current decade, and will include developing its profile and interactions with the Government, other parties to the conflict, civil society and the international community.

25 days (25%)100 days from the start date of the contract.Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit

Payment Modality: 

Payments under the contract shall be delivery-based and be made on receipt of the specific milestone report indicated above, including a timesheet per UNDP procurement formats for individual contractors. This shall be as indicated above, and shall be deemed delivered upon the approval of the Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit.



Institutional Arrangements:

The International Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the Senior DRR Programmes and Chief, G4P Unit at UNDP Afghanistan. The consultant shall work in close collaboration with AIHRC and its staff as well as the UNAMA Human Rights Unit and the Programme Management Specialist (Justice) at UNDP Afghanistan.

The G4P Unit will provide office space and internet facility, logistical and other support service including transport and security applicable to UNDP international personnel. 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). No costs are expected to incur to arrange meetings for this consultancy.  Workshops are expected to be organized by AIHRC on their premises at the organisations own cost and arrangements.

Duration of the Work:

The performance under the contract shall take place over total contract duration of 100 working days, excluding joining and repatriation travel days. The target date for the start of work will be 16 February 2020 depending on the availability of the selected consultant and the completion of the formal IC recruitment process in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedures under UNDP.

Duty Station

The duty station for the contractor is Kabul, Afghanistan for the entire duration of the contract. All field visits outside Kabul will be supported through UNDP and adequate costs will be covered by the organisation to support such travel and stay in compliance with UN MORSS.  The Contractor will be required to report regularly and be present at G4P Unit (UNOCA) during the working hours and / or the AIHRC office and / or the UNAMA Human Rights Unit office in Alpha compound, security conditions permitting. The contractor will follow the working hours and weekends as applicable to UNDP CO staff. Contractor’s movement for meetings and consultations shall be coordinated by the G4P Unit and upon the strict advise of the UNDSS and UNDP Security Focal Points. The contractor is at all times be required to observe UNDP security rules and regulations. The contractor is expected to reside only in MORSS compliant accommodations in Kabul and during any travel outside of Kabul.


Core competencies:

  • Promotes ethics and integrity and creates organizational precedents;
  • Builds support and political acumen;
  • Builds staff competence and creates an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Builds and promotes effective teams;
  • 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.


Functional Competencies:

Job knowledge/technical expertise:

  • Possesses expert knowledge of advance concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines and in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures;
  • Applies knowledge to support the organizational objectives and to further the mandate of UNDP;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in the area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge in technical area of expertise and the use of these regularly in work assignments.

Conceptual innovation in the provision of technical expertise:

  • Conducts assessment to improve development of models and methodologies;
  • Designs policy models to support comprehensive interventions linking UNDP´s policy objectives to programme delivery and capacity development objectives for the targeted organisations;
  • Ensures that the design of policies are appropriate to country social and development context;
  • Demonstrates the ability to engage development partners at all levels in conceptual and methodological innovation that is pertinent to the context.

Advancing a policy-oriented agenda:

  • Advocates for inclusion of UNDP´s focus areas in the public policy agenda;
  • Brings visibility and sensitizes decision makers to relevant emerging issues;
  • Builds consensus concerning UNDP´s strategic agenda with partners on joint initiatives;
  • Leverage UNDP´s multidisciplinary expertise to influence policies and programmes;
  • Demonstrates political/cultural acumen in proposing technical sound, fact-based solutions/approaches;
  • Dialogues with national counterparts and other stakeholders to strengthen advocacy efforts, incorporating country, regional and global perspectives;
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity, political savvy and intellectual capacity in handling; disagreements in order to promote and position UNDP in complex environments.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications:

  • Master´s Degree in International Law, International Development, or Social Sciences with a specific focus on International Human Rights International Humanitarian Laws.

Required experience:    

  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressive experience in work on Transitional Justice and Institutional Building / Support to National Human Rights Institutions, globally and in Afghanistan preferable;  
  • Demonstrated experience in providing legal advice, technical assistance and institutional capacity building to national human rights institutions in accordance with international human rights institutional practices is a requirement;
  • Proven track-record in designing and developing portfolio’s and strengthening human rights compliance capacities and human rights monitoring is a requirement;
  • Experience in working at the country level in a post- conflict environment is a requirement;
  • Previous experience working with the UN, UNDP and international donors is preferable;
  • Solid technical knowledge in International Human Rights Laws and International Humanitarian Laws is necessary;
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal, excellent report writing and organizational skills;
  • Good computer literacy – MS office applications, web-based management information systems


  • Excellent written and oral English skills a necessary requirement.



Shortlisted candidates (ONLY) will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal.  The consultant shall then submit a price proposal when requested by UNDP, in accordance with the below:

  • Daily Fee – The contractor shall propose a daily fee which should be inclusive of his/her professional fee, local communication cost and insurance (inclusive of medical health and medical evacuation and etc). The number of working days for which the daily fee shall be payable under the contract is 100 working days.
  • DSA/Living Allowance – The Consultant shall be separately paid the Living allowance/DSA as per applicable UNDP rate for stay in Kabul and travel to other locations as per actual number of nights spent in Kabul or other locations. Deductions from DSA shall be made as per applicable UNDP policy when accommodation and other facilities are provided by UNDP. An estimated provision in this regard shall be included in the contract. The consultant need not quote for DSA in Financial Proposal.
  • Accommodation in Kabul - The Consultants are NOT allowed to stay in a place of their choice other than the UNDSS approved places in Kabul, Afghanistan. UNDP will provide accommodation to the Consultant for the duration of the stay in Afghanistan in UNDSS approved places. Deductions in this regard shall be made from DSA payment as per applicable UNDP Policy.
  • Travel & Visa – The contractor shall propose an estimated lump-sum for home-kabul-home travel (economy most direct route) and Afghanistan visa expenses.
  • The total professional fee, shall be converted into a lump sum contract and payment under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the abovementioned schedule of payment and the timeline proposed.



Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as follows:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
  • Technical Criteria weight 70%
  • Financial Criteria weight 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.


  1. General Qualifications and Experience relevant to the assignment (20 marks)
  1. Technical Proposal (20 marks)

Technical Approach & Methodology (10 marks) - This explains the understanding of the objectives of the assignment, approach to the services, methodology for carrying out the activities and obtaining the expected output, and the degree of detail of such output. The Applicant should also explain the methodologies proposed to adopt and highlight the compatibility of those methodologies with the proposed approach.

Work Plan (10 marks) - The Applicant should propose the main activities of the assignment, their content and duration, phasing and interrelations, milestones (including interim approvals by the Client), and delivery dates. The proposed work plan should be consistent with the technical approach and methodology, showing understanding of the TOR and ability to translate them into a feasible working plan.

  1. Interview (30 marks)

Financial Evaluation (30%):

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

p = y (µ/z), where

p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated

y = maximum number of points for the financial proposal

µ = price of the lowest priced proposal

z = price of the proposal being evaluated


Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document

  1. Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  2. Technical Proposal (can be attached with CV or response can be provided to mandatory question on jobs site):
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment;
  • A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment and work plan as indicated above.


Annexes (click on the hyperlink to access the documents):

Note: Incomplete application will result in automatic disqualification of candidate.  

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.

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