Consultancy for the External Review of AUSSP

Master's Degree   Kabul, Afghanistan Full Time 741
Date Posted:Jun 17, 2020
Closing Date:Jul 9, 2020
Work Type:Full Time
Number of Vacancies:3
Functional Area:Monitoring and Evaluation
Salary Range:As per company salary scale
Years of Experience:5 Years
Contract Duration:25 day(s)
Extension Possibility:No
Contract Type:Consultancy for external review
Probation Period:Unspecified
Required Languages:Dari,Pashto,English

About Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation:


Afghanistan is one of the world’s fastest-urbanizing countries. Although the country’s population remains predominantly rural, the pace of urban growth ensures that the proportion of citizens living in cities will triple in 35 years[1].Every year, Afghan cities grow by over 320,000 people, placing enormous pressure on local governments and security providers to provide services and achieve safe, peaceful, and inclusive cities.

Cities concentrate the risks associated with insecurity and disorder: chronic poverty, steep inequality, state weakness, and the reduced solidarity and collective efficacy associated with city life[2]. Afghanistan’s cities are sites of humanitarian aid delivery, absorb vast displaced populations, and confront urgent demands for basic services and infrastructure. Young people, women and girls, IDPs and returnees are particularly marginalized and vulnerable, excluded from public space as well as public decision-making, and are disproportionately affected by urban insecurity and exclusion.

For the time being, subnational authorities are not in a position to address all of these challenges due to lack of capacities and staffing. Governance entities like those that the neighborhood-level Community Development Councils (CDCs) and Municipal Advisory Boards (MABs) are considered to offer the best prospects for effective local governance, at least until Municipal Councils (MC) are elected, as foreseen in the constitution. Current institutional weaknesses notwithstanding, Afghanistan’s cities present unique and untapped opportunities for peace and state building. Unlike other Sub-National Governance (SNG) entities, municipalities are entitled to raise revenue enabling a concrete accountability relationship between state and citizens. With additional capacity, and in concert with communities and security providers, municipalities can foster a safe urban environment and reduce social exclusion.

1.2. Programme background

The Afghanistan Urban Safety and Security Programme (AUSSP) is a three-year programme jointly financed by the governments of Switzerland and the Netherlands and implemented by UN-Habitat. The AUSSP is predicated on the vital linkage between state-society relations, local government capacity, and basic service provision in strengthening safety and security. It provides direct assistance to the development of state capacity at the sub-national level, focusing on municipal administrations in eight of the country’s most strategic cities (Kabul, Jalalabad, Mazar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah, Bamyan and Nili). By concentrating on the urban terrain of peacebuilding and state building, the programme strengthens the production of public goods, especially security; improves local government responsiveness and accountability; and strengthens partnerships with communities, civil society, and security providers. The programme complements the international community’s efforts to support a highly centralized state building approach, with a bottom-up strategy that builds the state out from community and subnational levels.

The expected impacts of the AUSSP is: "Women and men, girls and boys, in cities have increased trust in the local government’s capacity to uphold rights, achieve safe, secure and inclusive cities, contributing to improved government legitimacy, and for women, girls, boys and men to be active participants in determining area-based urban interventions that enhance their community safety, security, and inclusivity ".

To achieve the overall impact, the programme includes the following three outcomes:

·        Increased social and economic benefit to communities, particularly excluded and under-represented groups (women, children, youth and IDPs/ returnees) through higher engagement in municipal governance and urban safety services in municipal governance and urban safety service.

·        Improved municipal governance and delivery of safety services

·        Enhanced national framework on accountable municipal governance in the area of safety and security municipal governance

1.2. Switzerland’s strategic orientation as per the Country Strategy 2019-2022

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is the Development Agency of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and responsible for the overall coordination of Switzerland’s international development activities and cooperation in Afghanistan. The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Afghanistan 2019-2022 is to reducing poverty, human suffering and loss of life in Afghanistan. Switzerland promotes social cohesion and a peaceful society with effective, accountable and inclusive institutions for all people to be safe and live in dignity. To achieve this goal, Swiss interventions are aligned on three interconnected domains, Rule of Law and Protection; Agriculture and Natural Resources Management and Basic Education.

1.3. SDC’s current engagement in local governance and community development (Rule of Law and Protection domain)

SDC started the support for local governance and community development through Afghanistan Sub-National Governance Programme (ASGP) between 2008 and 2018 and Afghanistan Urban Peace Building Programme (AUPP) since May 2015.

During the last first phase of the AUPP, the program partnered with municipalities for implementing 25 subprojects prioritized and implemented through participatory assessments for city‐wide safety and security. The implementation was carried out in partnership with CDCs and line departments. For advancing municipal governance to be more participatory and inclusive, Municipal Advisory Board (MAB) was assisted for its capacity building and a subcommittee for safety and security was established under it in seven cities.

The program also supported communities to implement 136 subprojects which were successfully completed implemented by 95 Community Development Councils (CDC) and 19 Gozar Assemblies (GA) again based on safety assessments and planning in a participatory manner. Civil Society Organizations (CSO) have also played a crucial role in AUPP operation, who worked together with the communities for advocating and advancing the civil rights of Afghan citizens.

[1]Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (2011), World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision, DESA: New York.

[2]UN-Habitat and UNODC (2011) Policing Urban Space; Introductory Handbook.Criminal Justice Series. United Nations: New York 

Job Summary:

SDC is commissioning this review in order to assess the relevance, efficiency and sustainability of the second phase of AUPP and receive recommendations for the development of next intervention, aligned with SDC’s strategic priorities for Afghanistan. The review should also assess the perspectives, potentials and constraints ahead of municipal governance and should come up with strategic recommendations on mainstreaming governance in municipal context. Furthermore, the review should focus on if and how SDC as a small donor can provide an added value to strengthen and promote local governance followed by aspects of decentralization in Afghanistan.

6. Logistics and Security

The team must be able to arrange logistics (transport, accommodation, and visa) on its own account. SDC will support the team in the visa process upon request. SDC will also facilitate access to relevant information, organizations and stakeholders upon request.

The team is responsible for its own safety and the safety of its staff (including relevant insurances). SDC is not liable for any kind of damage to staff or property and cannot be held accountable for any claims or costs related to covid, injury, death, and loss of or damage to property. SDC will facilitate access to security related information and provide the team with a security briefing upon request.

7. Timeframe

The review is to be conducted in August/September 2020. A maximum of 25 working days including travelling to and within the country is allocated to this review, as outlined below:


No. of Days

Preparation (work plan, methodologies, timeframe etc.)


Desk review, meetings in Kabul, preparing for travel to the field


Two field visits (Herat/ or Jalal Abad and Bamyan)


Briefing and Debriefing in Kabul


Preparing/Writing the Review Report


Finalization of the Report after SDC and partners comments


Total max

25 days


Duties & Responsibilities:

2.2. Review Questions

In particular, the review should focus on the following aspects/questions:

A)  Programme evaluation

  • The effectiveness of the project from a results-based perspective
  • The overall direct and indirect results (outputs and outcomes) of the project produced through the utilization of SDC and other donors’ financial and technical contribution during the phase

·        What are the major external and internal factors that have influenced the achievement or non-achievement of the expected results?

·        To what extend are the programme deliverables relevant to the needs of Municipalities, Municipality Advisory Board (MAB), CDCs, Police-e-Mardumi (Community Policing)? What is the government approach/support towards these institutions?

  • To what extent has gender mainstreaming and the inclusion of the excluded parts of the communities, especially women, youth and children been addressed and realized?
  • To what extend does the programme contribute to the promotion of good governances in municipalities?
  • To what degree has the programme improved communication and trust between people and municipalities? Has this led to stronger perceptions of safety and stability among people, especially marginalized groups?
  • What are the key constraints ahead of municipal governance and what are possible strategic solutions?

·        How is the programme aligned with Afghanistan’s development plans and policies?

  • To what extent has, the program achieved sustainable local commitment to maintain current programs and continue the established partnership cooperation, with or without future external funding?
  • How effective is the coordination between national partners i.e. IDLG, Deputy Ministry of Municipalities, Police Mardumi and Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Urban Development and Housing?
  • What is the level of coordination and cooperation between AUSSP and other national level donors funded sub-national governance programmes? Are there synergies or overlap between AUSSP activities and other programmes like LOTFA, LoGo, Strong Hub for Afghan Hope and Resilience (SHAHAR), Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP) and Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project (CCAP)?
  • Does the programme represent value for money, including the appropriateness of expenditures?
  • How conflict sensitivity are handled at community level and at UN-Habitat level?

B)  Recommendation for next phase:

  • What are good practices and the lessons learnt from this phase that could be replicated and upscaled in a next phase?
  • What measures in next phase can help to deepen the positive community and benefits impacts of AUSSP programme interventions?
  • How can the programme in next phase strengthen government partner’s capacities?
  • In terms of geographical coverage, should the next phase of AUSSP continue working within the current institutions and provinces?
  • How can the programme further include marginalized groups, such as women, youth, IDPs, and returnees?
  • How can the sustainability of the programme be further improved? 
  • How can the programme contribute towards peace-programming, stabilization, enhanced inclusive prosperity of urban communities?
  • How can the programme support the re-integration of anti-government elements after peace process if happen?
  • What are key adjustments needed to scale-up the AUSSP Programme -to national scale implementation (consider required adjustments needed from perspectives of UN-Habitat, Donors, and Government Partners)?


3. Methodology

The external review will be carried out in the following stages:

  • Desk review: A comprehensive review of available documents, reports and evidence that may include but are not limited to: project document, project progress and financial reports, log-frame, minutes of the project Steering Committee meetings, mission reports, agreements/contracts and any other available, relevant and important documents such as SDC cooperation strategy (2019-2022).
  • Semi-structured interviews with key stakeholder/interlocutors including, but not limited to: government main counterparts, donors, project implementer, beneficiaries (mayor, Municipality Advisory Board (MAB), Community Development Councils (CDCs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at municipal level.
  • Field visits to up to two provinces in different regions (a small municipality like Bamyan and bigger municipality like Herat or Jalalabad) of Afghanistan.
  • Analysis of the collected data, materials; elaboration of the draft report, finalization of the report by taking into account comments and feedbacks received.

The review team, nevertheless, is allowed to revisit the proposed methodology and come up with a modify/revised methodology, shall the review team feel such a need. In any case, the review team shall submit to SDC a work plan of its proposed methodology with the following information:

·        A specific and time bound work plan within the suggested timeframe

·        Details of how the review will take place

·        Reporting, debriefing

It is anticipated that the review team will present its methodology and detailed work plan to a joint meeting (briefing) attended by SDC the Embassy of Netherland (co-donor) and UN-Habitat prior to commence the review.

4. Deliverables

The review team is expected to produce the following specific outputs:

a)   A brief inception report detailing how the review will be conducted; including key research questions and methodology aligned with the objective and scope of the study, as well as a work plan and a list of potential meetings/interviewees both in Kabul and in the field.

b)   Briefing and presenting the work plan, methodologies, procedures etc. to SDC, the Embassy of the Netherlands (co-donor) and UN-Habitat in Kabul prior to the start of the review process.

c)   De-briefing at the end of the review in Kabul presenting SDC, the Embassy of the Netherlands (co-donor) and UN-Habitat the initial findings and recommendations.

d)   A draft report, providing comprehensive and well-structured information and answering the review questions outlined above. It should be submitted no later than 13 working days after the debriefing and will be subject to SDC and other partners (The Embassy of the Netherlands and UN-Habitat) comments and suggestions.

e)   A final report, taking into account comments and feedback on the draft report.

The External Review Report should not exceed 30 pages, summarizing key findings and recommendations, and comprised of at least the following parts:

a)   Executive Summary (maximum 5 pages);

b)   Overview of the mandate;

c)   Key issues, findings and recommendations for the next programme phase;

d)   Conclusions

SDC will be the primary recipient of the reports. The draft review report will be consulted with the Embassy of the Netherlands (co-donor) as well as UN-Habitat. The final report will be shared with the aforementioned partners as well as with governmental counterparts of the project, i.e. the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), Ministry of Interior-Police Mardumi Unit and the Ministry of Urban Development. Upon request, SDC can share the final review report with third parties.

Job Requirement:

This announcement is open to a consultant or a team of consultants (max. 3, international and national, female and male).

The consultant/team should have solid expertise in subnational governance. In particular, the consultant/team should have the following expertise and skills:

·        Master degree in a relevant field;

·        At least five years of experience in reporting, monitoring and reviewing of projects in the governance sector especially at subnational and municipality levels.

·        Expertise in decentralisation and public administration reform, with a track record of implementing or monitoring capacity-building programmes in Afghanistan or in a similar context;

·        Expertise in financial management, including undertaking value for money assignments;

·        In-depth knowledge of the Afghan governance policy framework and institutional landscape;

·        Technical expertise in effective development project management (subnational governance - PCM);

·        Good knowledge and experience on building communities participation via small grant projects with an approach to build the foundations for cooperation, participation and ownership and address drivers of conflicts;

·        Good interpersonal skills and time management

·        Written and spoken fluency in English and Dari 

Job Location:

Afghanistan, Kabul

Submission Guideline:

Interested consultants are requested to send:

a)   Up to date CVs of their proposed team members

b)   A detailed budget including all costs related to the assignment

c)   A brief concept note (max. 5 pages) outlining the approach and methodology, as well as a draft work plan/timetable for the assignment

via e-mail to with clearly marked indication “Consultancy for the External Review of AUSSP” written in the subject. Only complete submissions will be taken into consideration and phone calls will not be answered.

The deadline for the submissions is until 9th of July 2020 5 PM (local time).

Submission Email: