Program Support Unit Head

Bachelor's Degree   Kabul, Afghanistan Full Time 942
Date Posted:Dec 19, 2019
Closing Date:Jan 13, 2020
Work Type:Full Time
Number of Vacancies:1
Functional Area:Programme
Salary Range:As per NTA salary scale policy
Years of Experience:7 Years
Contract Duration:Not specified
Extension Possibility:Yes
Contract Type:Long-term
Probation Period:3 months
Required Languages:Dari,Pashto,English




Agriculture is the foundational basis of Afghan society. Approximately 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture directly or in secondary or tertiary activities. It is in this sector that the future of Afghanistan’s wealth and potential for capital accumulation resides. While some of Afghanistan’s former agricultural infrastructure have been restored, considerably more, remains to be done. Lack of agriculture technology, infrastructure, and difficulty in accessing markets by farmers still remain as challenges in the sector. This is in spite of the enormous potential of agriculture as the sector that can drive economic growth.

These challenges and dependence of rural households on low-value crops on scarce arable land and their vulnerability to increasingly severe droughts and floods due to climate change adversely contribute to viability of opium poppy cultivation as an easily marketable and drought-resistant option. Having said this, it also presents an opportunity as farmers, producers, and processors and traders are demanding increased support from the government, realizing the potential of agriculture as a viable economic option if provided with the requisite technologies and infrastructure.

The Community Based Agriculture and Rural Development (CBARD) project funded by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) aims at supporting improved household income reducing dependency on illicit cultivation / production in 163 selected communities in Nangarhar, Farah and Badghis provinces. The project objective is to prove the viability of high-value agricultural-based interventions in improving local economies of Nangarhar, Badghis and Farah as a sustainable alternative to illicit crop cultivation. The project has three outputs:

1.   Local production of, and market for, high-value crops improved;

2.   Community-based agro-business infrastructures (irrigation, transportation, agricultural facilities) are built, developed, and/or strengthened;

3.   Potential Markets (including national and international) for CBARD products established;

The project will be implemented by MAIL. The Programme supported by UNDP, provides a framework for increased cohesion of policies, strategies, and results of the ongoing and future joint interventions between MAIL and UNDP.

Job Summary:

Under the direct supervision of the project manager, the Program Support Unit (PSU) head is responsible to lead, coordinate and oversight overall programmatic efforts of the projects

The Program Support Unit Head is a key member of the program unit and will have oversight and mutual accountability of entire projects’ portfolio. The PSU head will lead a team of national and international program related positions to achieve the following objectives of the PSU:

1.   Improve oversight and risk management of projects

2.   Improve the Project Management Cycle

3.   Increase timely access to information for staff in Kabul and regions

4.   Improve the relevance and quality of concept and proposal development

5. Communicating project results to UNDP and donor

To achieve these objectives, the PSU head will work in collaboration with project manager, technical unit, Finance, Operations, and Human Resources) at both the national and provincial level. The position will be based in Kabul with frequent travels to the regions when security permits.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Ø Provide direction and guidance to the PSU team, ensuring that designated roles and responsibilities are effectively contributing to the PSU objectives; build the capacity of the team; and maintain a sense of motivation, accountability, and creativity among the team in times of adversity.

Ø Establish a system for proper budget and expenditure oversight which contributes to a better understanding of project progress and empowers the program teams to respond to challenges.

Ø Ensure that processes are used effectively to produce quality project deliverables and improve those processes in Kabul and provinces.

Ø Provision of reports to donor and partners and perform overall technical coordination with UNDP, donor and other partners.

Ø Conduct quarterly project review meetings involving all relevant program staff and supporting units;

Ø Support to provincial program teams, travel to targeted provinces to organize project activities and capacity building workshops; introduce/propose new processes, systems and tools; and identify community development priorities.

Ø Taking into consideration data protection, lead the development of a central platform for storing program documents; rollout the Project Management Database; explore and recommend long term project management systems.

Ø Lead the development of project, donor and thematic briefs; prepare analysis on current projects, highlighting synergies and gaps; and provide program inputs for policy-related discussions and events.

Ø Facilitate program-related learning events to improve inter-sectoral knowledge and understanding to ultimately contribute to better coordinated project implementation and development.

Ø Coordinate all program level tasks with project managers and other unit heads.

Ø Perform any other work related activities requested by the project manager. 

Job Requirement:

Master’s Degree in International Public Policy, International Cooperation, Project Management, Rural Development, or equivalent with 5 years of experience or Bachelor’s Degree with 7 years of experience in program and project management with a reputable organization.

Excellent written and spoken communications skills in English and local languages.

Strong knowledge of CBARD project and the project management cycles.

Good knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and project tools

Experience coordinating multiple processes, projects, and events

Experience developing, revising and improving project tools

Strong knowledge of monitoring and evaluation, and conflict resolution. 

Team player and ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with colleagues in a co-habitation environment (work and life together)

Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines

Willingness to learn and transfer knowledge

Ability to critically analyses and provide constructive recommendations

Experience managing a team

Knowledge of donor landscape, priorities and conditions

Experience of working in integrated programmes

Strategic thinking,

Initiating action and change,

Managing resources to optimize results,

Empowering and building trust and excellent understanding of local context and culture

Interpersonal Skills, Strong Communication Skills, Cooperation

Job Location:

Afghanistan, Kabul
This job is expired