Executive Director

  Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society - AICS
Master's Degree   Afghanistan, Kabul Full Time 1579
Date Posted:Jul 23, 2017
Reference:Number: AICS-HR07-2017-04
Closing Date:Aug 6, 2017
Work Type:Full Time
Number of Vacancies:1
Functional Area:Management
Salary Range:As per NTA salary scale policy
Years of Experience:10 Years
Contract Duration:Not specified
Extension Possibility:No
Contract Type:Long-term
Probation Period:3 months
Required Languages:90

About Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society - AICS:


The Afghanistan Institute for Civil Society (AICS) registered with the Ministry of Economy (MoEc) as an NGO in 2014 and was officially launched in February 2015 with a long-term goal of supporting CSOs to realize its potential in supporting development efforts in Afghanistan. The new Executive Director will be the organization’s second. The role will be critical to ensuring the programmatic and organizational success of a high-profile organization unique in and important to Afghanistan’s civil society. The idea for AICS dates back to a 2007 conference on the enabling environment for effective private sector contribution to development in Afghanistan. The conference convened representatives of the Government of Afghanistan, the Aga Khan Development Network, the World Bank, the United Nations, the Asian Development Bank, private sector institutions, and civil society organizations and networks. To develop a credible civil society sector in Afghanistan, the convening recommended the establishment of an independent certification entity for civil society organizations. AICS started as a result, supported by the Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with Counterpart International under a wider USAID-funded Afghanistan Civic Engagement Program (ACEP). AICS’s objectives are 1. To raise the credibility of the civil society sector by certifying local NGOs using locally defined and internationally recognized standards. 2. To systemize capacity building efforts by coordinating initiatives using measurable performance indicators. 3. To strengthen the role of civil society in Afghanistan’s development through policy dialogue and active engagement with the government, donors and the broader development sector. 4. To provide a channel for resources for civil society by strengthening philanthropic and corporate social responsibility efforts. Vision: An Afghanistan where every citizen enjoys life in a democratic country with full participation and contribution to the sustainable development of a peaceful, fair and just society Mission: To support the growth of a vibrant, credible and competent civil society sector in Afghanistan Core values Integrity: AICS is committed to maintaining integrity and professional behavior while conducting its operations. It employs the highest ethical standards and demonstrates honesty and fairness in pursuit of its mission. Excellence: AICS promotes a culture of unequivocal excellence and is dedicated to delivering high quality services, while responding resourcefully to the fast-changing needs of CSOs in the country. Collaboration: Recognizing that effective, responsive and accountable CSOs require 
inputs of all stakeholders, AICS will share the learning generated from the participation of civil society with them. AICS is committed to inspiring dialogue from the bottom up, promoting consultations, building consensus and facilitating convergence, forging partnerships and engaging diverse stakeholders in participatory governance. Diversity: Recognizing that plurality is an integral part of Afghan society, AICS will respect the diversity of the people in fulfilling its mission. AICS is committed to ensuring equal opportunity for all and to respect differences in all forms. Responsiveness: Recognizing the scale and scope of the challenges facing civil society organizations, AICS acknowledges the requirement to be innovative in its responses. It is committed to acting as a catalyst that brings stakeholders together to generate creative and innovative solutions and to promote thoughtful analysis and learning.

Job Summary:

Role of the Executive Director:

The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for all aspects of AICS’s functioning so that AICS is a lead player in designing and implementing programs and projects aimed at strengthening the civil society sector in Afghanistan. S/he will lead a team of about 30 people, including 4-6 direct reports. The ED plays a strategic role in building and maintaining strong relationships with civil society actors and international organizations whose values align with AICS’ agendas. S/he ensures that AICS remains financially robust and that critical operational infrastructure is in place and operating effectively, efficiently and transparently. A key role will be to secure sustainable funding for AICS beyond the ACEP grant that is currently supporting start-up. S/he will work with, and be accountable to, AICS’s Board of Directors (BoD) in this endeavour as well as liaise routinely with AKF during the remaining year of ACEP funding.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Organizational Planning and Management: Ensure that AICS’s objectives are clear internally and externally and are being met efficiently, effectively, transparently, and sustainably by

Coordinating with and actively engaging with the Board of Directors, effectively enabling them to play their roles in oversight, direction-setting, representation, and asset mobilization

Leading the development and implementation of organizational policies and management activities, including through direct supervision of senior and other relevant personnel

Leading development, implementation, review and reporting of strategic and annual plans, including associated budgets

Oversight of planning/budgeting. implementation and quality assurance for programs and projects including AICS’s flagship certification program and its research and policy initiative

Ensuring that all reporting requirements of AICS’s stakeholders are met, including those of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and key donors and partners (e.g. AKF, Counterpart, USAID, EU)

Operations: Ensure effective internal administration and operations, and thus smooth functioning of AICS’s activities, through oversight of all organizational operations including in the areas of finance, human resources, and administration. This includes

Oversight and enhancement of AICS’s financial management systems and processes to ensure proactive budget planning, donor compliance, transparency and cost-effectiveness

Ensure timely and quality financial reporting to donors, government and AICS Board of Directors

Recruiting and overseeing the performance of key AICS staff

Play key role in committee governing AICS investment fund

Ensuring financial audits are completed in a timely manner

Developing and implementing other administrative policies and systems as required

Technical leadership: Ensure technical excellence in AICS’s programming and impacts including by

Providing guidance and support at a high level in AICS’s programmatic areas to ensure they are effective and linked to AICS’ overall strategy

Staying informed of global best practices around strengthening civil society and contextualize these for implementation in Afghanistan

Leading AICS’ policy dialogue efforts in collaboration with civil society, international NGOs/donors and the government

Representation and asset mobilization: Represent AICS externally in order to advance the programmatic goals, enhance AICS’s profile, attract supporters and users of its services, and improve the sustainability of the organization, including by

Leading the development and implementation of creative asset mobilization/fundraising/business development strategies, including enabling the Board of Directors to participate actively in same

Proactively building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders including local and national CSOs and CSO networks, international NGOs, key donor organizations and funding partners, the Government of Afghanistan, and the private sector

Actively developing and pursuing funding, partnership and leverage opportunities, including by facilitating the development of concept notes and proposals

Representing AICS in national and international forums, or ensuring that appropriate technical staff or other representatives and advocates (e.g. members of Board of Directors; AKF personnel) are able and prepared to do so

Overseeing strategic communications for AICS including dissemination and promotion of AICS research reports, policy briefs, and promotion of programs

Reporting Line:

The AICS Executive Director reports to AICS’s Board of Directors.

Job Requirement:

A Master’s degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Development Studies, Public Administration or a related field from a recognized university, or a Bachelor’s degree with 10 years’ experience.

A minimum of 5 years of senior management experience with a track record in delivering results in the development sector or within a civil society/non-profit institution in a developing country context, which includes experience of working with a Board of Directors

Experience in resource mobilization/business development, particularly within Afghanistan

Experience of working in networks and alliances; convening experience desirable

Fluency in one or more national language of Afghanistan and in English (written and spoken)

Nuanced understanding and proven track record of working with or in civil society in Afghanistan; cross-sector

experience including in working with Government of Afghanistan highly preferred
Proven ability to build diverse strategic relationships and communicate effectively to build the reputation and profile of an organization or major initiative

Strong diplomatic skills and a high level of cultural sensitivity

Familiarity with international bodies of knowledge and good practice related to civil society certification, capacity building and/or enabling environment highly preferred, as well as good practices related to the governance, management, and sustainability of civil society/non-profit institutions

Familiarity with policy processes and procedures, particularly within Afghanistan

Job Location:

Afghanistan, Kabul
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