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Senior Project Specialists (4 posts)

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About PLACED/MoLSAMD

This is a unique opportunity. We are looking now for new team members with the potential to be the future leaders of public services in the country. We promise to take you outside of your comfort zone. To expose you to learning from some of the best in the world. To demand extraordinary performance from you. And to give you a career-defining opportunity.

PLEASE READ THIS ADVERTISEMENT CAREFULLY. ONLY COMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED. (This is a re-advertisement for the team, now that funding is in place. Previous applicants are encouraged to re-apply but must please submit new applications in full.)

We are building a team in the Ministry of Labor Social Affairs Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD), with funding from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund and technical assistance from the World Bank. This team is going to oversee two ground-breaking employment programs under the PLACED Project. The programs will be contracted out with innovative ‘payment by results’. You will be founding members of a new ‘centre of excellence’ in performance-based contracting and program management. In the process, you will deliver real, lasting social impact through helping as many people as possible to find jobs.

You must have, as a minimum, a good Degree. You will not necessarily have experience of government work or of project management. Above all, we are looking for potential – enormous, energetic, undeniable potential. We want exceptionally clever, committed people, who are hungry to make a tangible difference. Your role will grow, as you grow. We are working with the World Bank to bring in world-leading experts to train and develop you.

You will be able to demonstrate:

• Exceptional intelligence;
• The ability to think creatively and analytically;
• The ability to collaborate in a high-performing team as well as work on your own initiative;
• The desire to work hard, with stretching deadlines and targets;
• An optimistic, positive psychology that focuses on solutions.

You must also have excellent communication skills, including very high-level written and spoken English. The team will operate in English, managing international contractors and with most of the team’s training in English.

Introduction:

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD) in particular, is planning to prepare for project activities with a Project Preparation Grant (PPG) from the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). The project is called PLACED. Under the PLACED PPG, three distinct activity components are defined: (i) opening a managed international labor migration corridor to GCC countries, (ii) enhancing the employability and employment outcomes for high school graduate jobseekers through supported job search and possibly private sector internships and, (iii) integrated capacity building at MoLSAMD for the management of the pilots under the PPG as a core for sustained capacity to manage employment programs. The pilots will target two discrete groups of unemployed Afghans, designed to meet the identified needs of these groups and their potential employers, thereby increasing the jobseekers’ employability. The implementation of the pilots will be integrated with extensive on-the-job capacity building at MoLSAMD on key aspects of contracting and managing high-performing labor market programs.

The PLACED pilots will service approximately 4,400 jobseekers. Learning from these pilots will be informed by rigorous monitoring and evaluation, leading to the scaling up and rollout of these interventions. Following a period of MoLSAMD team building, procurement, (c.6 months) and implementation (c.4 months), the pilots will run for up to 21 months, with interim evaluations (and emerging recommendations) prepared after the first, and second years. The components are expected to be structured as follows:

Component 1: PLACING LABOR ABROAD (PLA) Pilot: This component will target unskilled and low-skilled Afghan male jobseekers, with the objective of: (a) preparing them for identified job opportunities in GCC countries; (b) matching them with those vacancies; (c) facilitating their travel to the host country and settling in; (d) supporting the employer (and covering salary costs) for the first two weeks of on-the-job training, and; (e) establishing systems for payroll deductions and remittances to cover some program costs as well as transfers back to families. The objective is to enhance these jobseekers in the eyes of GCC employers and inform the development of efficient systems for managed labor migration to GCC countries. The project will also aim to include mechanisms to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the participants while working abroad. The proposed pilot will finance activities to help approximately 2,000 participants.
Component 2: CONNECTING WITH EMPLOYMENT DOMESTICALLY (CED) Pilot: The biggest challenge for young job applicants with a reasonable level of appropriate skills (notably literacy and numeracy), as identified by employers, is a lack of soft skills and workplace awareness, including knowledge of workplace culture and employer expectations. Often this is as a result of a lack of work experience, and it is exacerbated by a lack of any understanding of how to find and communicate with potential employers. This component will target beneficiaries between 18 and 29 years of age who have completed high school. The pilot aims: (a) to assist as many jobseekers as possible to secure good jobs through intensive supported job search, and (b) for those who cannot access employment given personalized job search support, provide private sector internships to enhance employability through supported work experience. The pilot will ensure parity of outcomes for women and men, providing additional support as required for any female jobseekers. The proposed pilot will finance activities to help approximately 2,400 youth (50% male and 50% female) during the two and a half years of implementation.
Component 3: Integrated capacity building: This component will aim at strengthening the capacity and performance of MoLSAMD in delivering the PLACED pilots, and eventually contracting and managing national employment programs, through an innovative program of technical assistance. In particular, a team recruited with support under this component within MoLSAMD will undertake procurement, implementation, and contract/performance management, including monitoring and evaluation activities. A capacity-building program will be launched, with each stage of the pilot programs preceded by technical assistance workshops equipping the MoLSAMD team with the required knowledge and skills. The personnel initially recruited under the PPG are expected to transition to civil service positions requiring similar competencies learned throughout the PPG implementation.
The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, implements this project under the overall supervision of the Deputy Minister for Labor Affairs (and in his/her absence the Minister). In close cooperation with the Director of Labor Market Studies, and under the guidance of the Steering Group, the project is led by the PLACED Project Director.

Job Summary

The Senior Project Specialists will be responsible for the contracting, implementation and performance management of one of the two pilots. The duration of this assignment shall be 24 months (with the possibility of extension) and entails the following:

Job Details

Date Posted: 04 Mar 2018 Reference: MoLSAMD-PLACED/IC-02
Closing Date: 27 Mar 2018 Work Type: Full Time
Number of Vacancies: 4 Gender: Any
Functional Area: Programme Open Ended: NO
Nationality: Afghan Salary Range: As per NTA Salary Scale Policy
Contract Type: Consultant Years of Experience: 7 Year(s)
Contract Duration: 1 Year(s) & 0 Month(s) Extension Possibility: Yes
Probation Period: 3 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

• Developing, with the rest of the MoLSAMD team, a systematic approach to performance management, including development of Standard Operating Procedures that maintain and drive quality, compliance and performance;
• Acting as a champion for the pilot, driving its performance and promoting its profile, ensuring resources are available as required;
• Overall responsibility for the performance of the pilot, and for any/all contractors delivering the service;
• Being the prime point of contact with the contractors of the pilot, maintaining that relationship in order to maximize the contract performance;
• Leading weekly catch ups with the contractors, and formal monthly and quarterly reviews;
• Taking the decision (in consultation with the team and close coordination with the Project Director) regarding the exercise of any ‘step-in rights’ to improve performance or address any quality or compliance issues;
• Signing off each claim for payment by contractors, following appropriate consultation with other team members;
• Coordinating learning from the pilot to inform future scaling up of services and policy directions.
• Managing organization resources within defined boundaries;
• Taking independent decisions, planning and finding solutions for various problems;
• Playing the Leadership role in their related expertise area for the organization in order to encourage development and a model culture.

Travels to Provinces

Require Travels to Provinces

Qualifications

a. Having at least a Masters degree or its equivalent with 5 years working experience or having a Bachelors degree with 7 years experience (exceptions may made for candidates with outstanding academic backgrounds);
b. A demonstrable interest in programs or services that help people who are socially excluded or disadvantaged;
c. Exceptional interpersonal skills, including the ability to influence behaviour
d. A willingness to roll up your sleeves and make things happen;
e. Exceptional intelligence;
f. The ability to think both creatively and analytically;
g. An eye for detail and desire to deliver beyond expectations;
h. Very high-level written and spoken English. The team will operate in English, be trained in English, and will be managing some international contractors in English. In particular, you will be working extremely closely with the English-speaking advisors from the World Bank.

The project team will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Bank’s Guidelines: Procurement Regulations for IPF Borrowers
https://consultations.worldbank.org/Data/hub/files/consultation-template/procurement-policy-review-consultationsopenconsultationtemplate/phases/annex_f_procurement_regulations_for_borrowers_june_11_2015.pdf
Remunerations:
Salary will be as per the National Technical Assistance (NTA) Remuneration Policy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Job Location

Afghanistan - Kabul: PROVINCIAL CENTER (KABUL)

Education:

Bachelors Degree,

Submission Guideline

The selection process for these unusual positions is going to be unusually rigorous. Only the best need apply! We expect at least half of our team to be female.

Interested candidates should submit their applications, in writing, to the National Skills Development Program (NSDP), Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled located in first Macroryan, Kabul, or e-mail their application (indicating in the subject line the VA number and the title of the post applied for) to: Mohammad Haroon Sherzai

In the first instance, please send the following THREE things (all in English):

• Your curriculum vitae (including full contact details);
• A covering letter of no more than one page, telling us which role(s) you are applying for and why you are interested;
• One page explaining why you think jobs are important for social cohesion.

Please note that if you do not submit these three things as described, your application will NOT be considered.

The closing date for applications is midday on the 18th March 2018. Selection days will commence 25th March. Selection will be conducted in English and will include a written test, an interview and a presentation.

Submission Email

placed.molsamd@gmail.com must have in CC: hashimisa@hotmail.com/ajmal.qaboli@yahoo.com

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