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Programme Officer

Kabul (Afghanistan)

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peace-building, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information - Afghanistan


With more than 20 years of experience in the country, the UNOPS Afghanistan office supports national reconstruction and development efforts by providing projects with goods and services - from stand-alone, one-off solutions to long-term management and capacity development support.  Based in Kabul, UNOPS in Afghanistan has sub-offices in every region of the country. The team implements projects in support of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, in a wide range of sectors including infrastructure, education, environment and agriculture, and governance and rule of law.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

Reporting to the AFOC Head of Programme (HoP), the Programme Officer (PO) will have strong project management skills and experience in project management, especially in the area of infrastructure.  The PO is expected to have a dual role as programme advisor and liaison/focal point for some key donors.  S/he/ will be responsible for identifying issues and project risks that have to be escalated.  S/he is expected to meet and exceed the organizations performance and delivery goals and provide services to the different donors, partners and clients.

The PO will be the strategic focal point for the Japan and Korea funded projects in Afghanistan.  S/he will work in partnership with Japanese and Korean donors, partners and clients to drive effective and efficient functioning of the UNOPS AFOC Programme.

The PM will undertake the following functions:

1: Effective Programme Management

Under supervision and overall guidance of the HoP and in close consultation with the relevant project managers, the PO will support the implementation and management of the Programme:

  • Guide the PMs with respect to work plans, performance, delivery targets and budgets to ensure alignment of resources to Programme goals;
  • Provide management support for all aspects of Programme implementation according to the project work plans and annual work plan of the Programme, ensuring targeted achievement of expenditures, delivery of activities and outputs;
    • Support HoP for overall coordination of projects implemented;
    • Provide appropriate levels of programmatic management and administrative support in consultation with the Head of PMO and the Head of Quality Assurance and Quality Control regarding ongoing project activities, while maintaining and implementing appropriate standards and best practices in line with UNOPS policies and procedures;
  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case and monitor expenditures against the budget based on accurate financial reports;
  • Actively interact with relevant PMs and their teams to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on Keep-site. Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality; 
  • Establish strong relationships with relevant national and international partners working in the same thematic field in the region.  Assist HoP in both internal and external meetings for relevant activities and liaise with implementing partners, clients, counterparts and any other parties involved;

2: Coordination and Partnership Building with Japanese and Korean Donors

In coordination with Partnerships Development Office including Liaison Officer and in consultation with Director and Representative and HoP, the PO will support PDU to enhance partnerships with Japanese and Korean donors:

  • Prepare a resource mobilization and partnership building strategy to attract Japanese and Korean contributions for Programme activities.  In support of this, s/he will map and monitor all activities that relate to the projects and will identify key synergies and resource;
  • Maintain close contact with donors and partners to solicit feedback, gauge client satisfaction, and identify and pursue business opportunities in Afghanistan;
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of donors / funding trends in Afghanistan, and keep AFOC UNOPS senior management informed of potential funding opportunities. Identify and report potential business opportunities funded by Japan or/and Korea for UNOPS AFOC;
  • Undertake and regularly update a detailed stakeholder analysis to ensure that all key Programme actors receive the appropriate flow of information regarding project progress and that the project is responsive to stakeholder feedback and identified needs;
  • Ensure a clear line of communication between the Programme and the Steering Committee which will receive quarterly highlight reports as per the activities and outputs of the various stages of the Programme;
  • Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to client and stakeholders is achieved;
  • Research and draft concept notes, proposals, project documents and related documentation in support of Programme development.  Contribute to preparing high quality project initiation documents;
    • Manage the information flows between the Project Board and Director/HoP and the projects;
  • Provide guidance and advice to the Director, HoP and PMs for implementing Japan or Korea funded projects and for enhancing partnerships with these donors;
Liaise with UNOPS Tokyo Office for enhancing communication with the Japanese donors and contributing to its strategic planning.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Education, Experience and Language Requirements

  • Master’s Degree in Project Management, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, or other relevant discipline is required
  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of 2 additional years of relevant professional experience  in Project Management, Business Administration, Social Science, Design, Engineering, Business Administration, Public Administration or other relevant discipline, may be accepted in lieu of the advance university degree.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation Certification is required.
  • Minimum 5 years relevant experience in project management with experience in construction and rehabilitation projects well regarded;  
  • Minimum 2 years work with agencies, donors, NGOs, and/or governments in developing country contexts is required
  • Previous work experience in Afghanistan or similar conflict/post-conflict environment an asset.
  • Experience in interacting with Japanese stakeholders in the area of programme development and management is desirable.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Japan’s contribution to international aid and development is an asset.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Knowledge of Japanese language is desirable.


Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement (I-ICA) Contract level: IICA-2
Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Kabul (Afghanistan)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-01

What does it mean?

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