National Consultant (Chief Technical Advisor) Women SMEs’ Support Project, Prosperity Pillar UNDP

Location : Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :19-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :7d 15h 37m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :12 months (with maximum 240 Working Days)

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.


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.

Background and Organizational context of the position:

As Afghanistan is battling the COVID-19 pandemic with enforced quarantines, lockdowns, and movement restrictions, these measures significantly impact the private sector, including emerging female-owned businesses, due to limitations of trade and business activities.  

As Afghanistan emerges from protracted conflict, the private sector provides a pivotal foundation for sustained economic and social development in support of the 2030 SDG Agenda, contributing to peace and social cohesion. While the overall formal private sector is estimated to provide approximately 20% of GDP, there are an estimated 16,000 registered micro (fewer than ten employees) or small (10-49 employees) enterprises operating in Afghanistan.

Women-driven SMEs play a direct role in empowering women and providing services that contribute to women's empowerment. While there is a re-emergence of the private sector in Afghanistan, the proportion of businesses owned by women is estimated to be less than 5% of MSMEs and only 3% of registered companies. Most are operating in the services sector, Afghanistan's primary sector, and provides 52% of GDP and small-scale manufacturing. According to the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA), 78% of women's participation was in small businesses (1-10 employees).

The proposal builds on previous UNDP efforts in support of women-owned/managed MSMEs and will specifically address Access to business financing, which is a key structural barrier for addressing gender disparity across entrepreneurship in Afghanistan.

The proposal will further the capacity building support includes a major focus on a digital transformation of women-owned/managed MSMEs through training on business management and promoting business models that leverage eCommerce and digital banking opportunities to enhance market access, both locally and abroad; and overall equipping them with relevant digital and IT skills, required for the process to be successful. By leveraging eCommerce and digital banking technologies, the proposal further seeks to "build--better forward" and overcome social and mobility barriers associated with women-owned/managed business in the public space, hence improving the gender-responsiveness of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Afghanistan. E-services and e-commerce business models are already gaining momentum due to high levels of smartphone ownership and internet penetration in the larger cities, with evidence of increased engagement by women-owned enterprises, and a forward-looking capacity strengthening project will further this momentum. Capacity strengthening efforts will include a women empowerment focus, and non-financial barriers will seek to be addressed by working with many complementary projects and initiatives (e.g., EGEMA). 

Duties and Responsibilities

Overall Objective of the Assignment

Under the supervision of the Assistant Resident Representative (Prosperity) and the day-to-day coordination with the UNDP Programme Analyst, the Chief Technical Advisor acts as the main substantive advisor of the Project. S/he is responsible for the provision and coordination of all policy support activities in the Project and provides technical advice on quality management. S/he provides strategic advice to the UNDP in the Project´s scope of work and building and links Project and UNDP to knowledge networks. Ensure the direction of project activities and the achievement of project targets and results including through providing technical guidance and strategic orientation on anti-corruption.


  • Ensure provision of relevant and timely policy support and policy advisory services by the Project
  • Provide strategy advice to the Project, project partners and UNDP
  • Provide technical advice on project quality management to the Project
  • Facilitate building and management of knowledge in Project´s area of work


Specific Objective and Scope

Chief Technical Advisor acts as the main substantive advisor of the Project. S/he is responsible for provision and coordination of all policy support activities in the Project and provides technical advice on quality management. S/he provides strategic advice to the UNDP in the Project´s scope of work and building and links Project and UNDP to knowledge networks.


Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Ensure provision of relevant and timely policy support and policy advisory services by the Project, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Systematically monitor the national policy-agenda and reform processes within the field of the Project ensuring that Project´s policy support remains relevant and timely.
  • Identify key issues for policy support and advisory within the scope of the Project. Develop a plan for policy support to be delivered within the Project.
  • Conceptualize and formulate policy-related discussion and position papers, policy proposals and concepts for internal and external discussions within UNDP and with partners and other Project stakeholders.
  • Plan and coordinate provision of Project advisory services. Define scope of work and develop ToRs, identify and select technical experts. Lead implementation of advisory activities ensuring the highest technical standards, including the team of experts as applicable, in close collaboration with Project Manager, UNDP CO and IP(s). Ensure that activities in support of policy support such workshops; training events; study tours or reports and assessments are delivered timely and up to the required technical standards. Review and quality control technical outputs such as reports and assessments.
  • Identify key policy-related issues and stimulate thinking processes within the Project and IP in the area of work.
  • Initiate policy-oriented discussions and contribute to country debates on issues related to focus of the Project.
  1. Provide strategy advice to the Project, project partners and UNDP, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Act as a senior advisor to UNDP, Project and IP in the area of work.
  • Actively analyses developments in the area of work and establish links between country priorities, positions of the international community and Project (and UNDP) strategies in the area of work. Identify key policy/programmatic gaps and opportunities.
  • Contribute to development and drafting of substantive and thematic papers, reports and publications for the Project. Serve as peer reviewer.
  • Conceptualize and draft articles, papers and other contributions related to the Project and upon request, to other activities within area of expertise. Provide support to PI activities such as interviews or public speaking as requested.
  • Identify and develop proposals for new strategic initiatives in the Projects’ scope of work, develop inputs to proposals for resource mobilization as requested.
  • Actively communicate Project´s results and impact to partners, donors and stakeholders. Support UNDP´s resource mobilization in the area of work as requested.
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration within the UN system within the area of work.


  1. Provide technical advice on project quality management, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  1. Contribute to enhancing Project´s performance by proposing alternative and/or new approaches towards achievement of Project´s results.
  2. Provide advice on the implementation of the results-monitoring system of the Project such as formulation of annual targets, analysis and interpretation of data (qualitative and quantitative). Formulate inputs to results-reports and other periodic reports.
  3. Participate in, and provide conceptual and written inputs, to project planning processes such as AWP, implementation, HR, procurement and communications planning. Provide inputs to budget formulation as requested.
  4. Contribute to project level technical working groups and coordination meetings. Draft substantive and technical inputs prepare presentations and contribute to discussions.
  5. Communicate with Project partners and donors to explain and clarify technical/substantive issues.
  6. Participate in planning of Project´s periodic reviews, assessments and evaluations. Provide substantive inputs and drafting support.
  7. Provide inputs and drafting support to Project-related strategy papers, new project concepts and funding proposals.
  8. Represent the Project at meetings, workshops and conferences.
  9. Quality-assure Project´s knowledge outputs.


Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

Estimated Duration to Complete

Target Due Dates

Review and Approvals Required

A timesheet with a monthly summary of tasks and activities completed, including minutes of all meetings as well as other supporting documents and materials.

Up to 20 working days per month

Within seven days of the end of each month

Assistant Resident Representative - Prosperity










Payment Modality: 

Payments under the contract shall be time-based, including a timesheet according to UNDP procurement formats for individual contractors. The monthly reports will be reviewed by the Senior DRR Programmes and Assistant Resident Representative of Prosperity Pillar. The payments will be paid upon the full completion and acceptance of contractual obligations, as accepted by the the Senior DRR Programmes and Assistant Resident Representative of Prosperity Pillar.


Institutional Arrangements:

Under the overall guidance of the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative of Prosperity Pillar and the oversight of the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, the Chief Technical Advisor will lead the Support to Women SMEs project.


Duration of the Work:

The duration of the assignment is 240 working days over 12 calendar months.


Duty Station:

The consultancy is based in Kabul, Afghanistan.  


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:

  • Building Strategic Partnerships.
  • Ability to identify needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners.

Results Orientation:

  • Ability to take responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved.

Teamwork and Communication skills:

  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms.
  • Knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency written and oral and English required.
  • Superior English drafting skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualifications:

  • Master’s or bachelor’s degree in Financial Management Sciences, Business Administration or Economics.

Required experience:    

  • Master’s degree and 5 years of experience OR Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of relevant experience.
  • At least 5 years of experience in the areas of financial management, asset and liability management and credit provision, and management experience within Financial Institutions;
  • Experience in planning, designing, implementation, management and monitoring and evaluation of private equity finance projects;
  • Proven managerial competence to administer large, complex development projects with international organizations; 
  • Computer literacy – MS office applications, web-based management information systems – is required.
  • Experience working with or in women/led enterprises or related projects is as asset;
  • Experience in project development and development of project proposals and associated documents is an asset;
  • Experience in working at country level in a conflict or post-conflict environment is an asset;
  • Experience working with UNDP or another UN agency is an asset.


  • Excellent written and oral English skills a necessary requirement as well as knowledge of Dari and Pashto.



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 insurance and evacuation). The number of working days for which the daily fee shall be payable under the contract is 240 working days.


The total professional fee shall be converted into a lump-sum contract and payments under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment linked with deliverables.



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:
  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable.
  • 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%


Technical Criteria for Evaluation (70 points)

  • Criteria 1: General qualification (10 marks)
  • Criteria 2: Experiences relevant to the assignment (20 marks).
  • Criteria 3: Technical Approach and Methodology and workplan (Max 20 points). This explain 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. Moreover, The incumbent 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.
  • Criteria 4: Interview (Max 20 Points).


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


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):
  • 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.  

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