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Project Manager

Kabul (Afghanistan)


UNDP has operated the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) since 2002. LOTFA up to 2017 has supported the payment of salaries of the police officers, institutional development of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) and police professionalization of the Afghan National Police (ANP). Based on consultations conducted in 2017, a growing view emerged that the scope of LOTFA should be expanded to include the entire justice chain (police, courts and corrections) and cover all institutions across the entire Rule of Law sector, with an increased focus on anti-corruption.  Accordingly, the following three Thematic Windows have been identified for the Trust Fund: 1) Security; 2) Justice; 3) Anti-Corruption; and 4) MOIA Payroll. 
Subsequently, the LOTFA structure has been revised to bring it more in line with international standards and best practices on Trust Fund management and administration. The new Trust Fund Terms of Reference (TOR) is set to be approved by the LOTFA Steering Committee in the second half of 2018.
Under the new Trust Fund, new project will be designed and developed in alignment with the national strategies, plans and policies and with the Fund’s Strategic Framework. One of these projects, the Transitional Support to MOIA (TSM) project, will commence through a Project Initiation Plan (PIP), which will be developed as a project at a later stage and subsequently placed under the new Trust Fund. The current PIP will conclude existing project deliverables associated with Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) requested areas of support, while also engaging in new initiatives providing ‘‘quick wins’’ for the MOIA by demonstrating to the Afghan people direct impact and high visibility of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in its community policing role. Initiatives such as these will help bring the police closer to the communities they are serving.
Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Rule of Law and Human Security (ROLHS) Unit and in cooperation with ROLHS Programme Officers, the Project Manager for the TSM PIP is responsible for ensuring the direction of project activities and the achievement of project targets and results. S/he plans project activities and inputs, manages the day-to-day implementation of the project and supervises project experts and personnel. 
The Project Manager supervises a team of international and local project professional and support staff. S/he works in close collaboration with the UNDP CO Programme, Strategy, Results and Communications, Operations and Security Teams and maintains effective working relationships with project IPs, donors and other partners such as UN agencies. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Ensure direction of project activities and achievement of project targets and results; 
  • Ensure day-to-day management of the project;
  • Ensure provision of high-quality technical advice and build partnerships; 
  • Facilitate knowledge building and management.
Ensures the direction of PIP/project activities and the achievement of PIP/project targets and results, by focusing on the following results: 
  • In accordance with the PIP document and in close coordination with IPs and the project specialists, plan and develop the PIP/project Annual Work Plans (AWPs) and establish Annual Targets according to UNDP CO timelines. Design project budget. Ensure that AWP activities suggested are in line with the overall direction set by the PIP Document and lead to achievements of project targets and results; 
  • Oversee and coordinate development and formulation of detailed implementation plans, procurement and human resources, communication and risk management plans for the PIP. Coordinate and ensure timely updates of all planning instruments in close collaboration with relevant CO units; 
  • Ensure implementation of activities as per AWP and agreed deadlines as well as according to detailed implementation, procurement and HR plans. Identify bottlenecks and develop solutions. Regularly meet with IPs and other project counterparts; 
  • Assess project impact and oversee the appropriateness and accuracy of methods used to verify progress and results; 
  • Establish adequate monitoring procedures and systems throughout PIP/project activities in close collaboration with the CO Results Team. Ensure that adequate systems are in place to gather data and information for project monitoring and that systematic monitoring of PIP/project progress against targets is undertaken, including regular field trips for monitoring purposes. Develop innovative improvements to enhance performance of the PIP/project;
  • Ensure that UNDP´s results-management systems are kept updated for project results-information including ATLAS project management module;
  • Manage the accurate and timely high-quality results reporting on the progress of the PIP/project and achievement of annual targets to the PIP’s Technical Committee and donors. Ensure that donor and UNDP reports are prepared according to UNDP’s SOPs, quality standards and in line with the contractual obligations to PIP/project donors. Ensure that all internal and external reports are submitted by deadlines; 
  • Coordinate and prepare ad hoc thematic and substantive reports/analysis/briefs; 
  • Implement project communications activities in close collaboration with the CO Communications Team;
  • Organize and participate in project level coordination meetings and/or technical working groups as per project document and AWP. Share information on technical project-related issues with donors, other partners and stakeholders;
  • Implement PIP/project governance arrangements. Ensure organization of Technical Committee meetings and ensure timely preparation of agenda, background materials to agenda items and minutes as per CO SOPs; 
  • Lead quarterly review meetings and annual project reviews by monitoring the progress of PIP/project implementation, assessing results and identifying areas of weaknesses to ensure the PIP/project achieves the planned results in accordance with relevant plans;
  • Immediately escalate issues with potential to impact UNDP´s effectiveness, financial soundness or reputation to the Programme Team and CO senior management. Ensure that UNDP´s corporate interest and rules are guarded at all times and that appropriate action is taken to immediately address problems and challenges.
Ensures day-to-day management of the project, by focusing on the following results: 
  • Ensure compliance of all actions and activities with organizational rules, regulations, policies, strategies and internal control mechanisms;
  • Mobilize personnel, goods and services, training and grants schemes to initiate activities, including drafting and reviewing terms of references and work specifications and overseeing all contractors’ work. Oversee effective provision of services to IPs as required;
  • Oversee the appropriate use of PIP/project funds as well as the consistent application of UNDP rules and regulations. Manage requests for the provision of financial resources by UNDP, through advance of funds, direct payments, or reimbursement using the FACE (Fund Authorization and Certificate of Expenditures); 
  • Develop project budgets. Monitor budget implementation and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of PIP/project expenditure. Coordinate preparation of financial reports to UNDP, as required;
  • Supervise and manage PIP/project personnel and consultants. Ensure HR and Procurement Plans are prepared and approved. Develop ToRs/JDs for PIP/project staff positions. Oversee recruitment processes. Establish performance objectives and standards and ensure timely and appropriate feedback, guidance and support to ensure optimum performance. Undertake performance evaluation according to UNDP´s policies and deadlines. Ensure timely planning of mission in alignment with deliverables and within budget; 
  • Manage and monitor project risks. In collaboration with the technical PIP/project staff, IP’s and donors identify new risks and update risk frameworks for consideration of the Technical Committee for consideration and decision on possible actions if required. Update the status of these risks by maintaining the PIP/project risks log;
  • Ensure appropriate management of project assets, attendance records, filing system; 
  • Implement audit recommendations for the PIP/project. Provide inputs to audit management responses;
  • Initiate operational closure of the PIP/project.
Ensures and coordinates provision of high quality technical advice and building of partnerships, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Coordinate the advisory activities of the PIP/project technical staff. Ensure that technical outputs are provided according to plans and up to highest technical standards. Review and clear technical outputs for quality; 
  • Establish, maintain and facilitate strategic dialogue between PIP/project staff and Government officials at central and local levels, NGOs, partners, donors and other stakeholders in project´s area of work;
  • Provide technical advice, draft papers/briefs/proposals in PIP/project´s technical focus;
  • Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with other UN agencies for implementation of joint activities within the area of the PIP/project. Implement joint activities with UN implementing partners as per AWP;
  • Advocate UNDP with the partners and stakeholders. Consistently promote a positive image of the UNDP; 
  • Identify resources mobilization opportunities in close collaboration with the Programme Team. Develop funding proposals and concepts as requested; 
  • Provide inputs to formulation of UNDP strategies such as of UNDAF and CPD; 
  • Coordinate project strategies and activities with other UNDP projects to ensure the effective implementation of the Country Programme Document;
  • Provide inputs to UN coordination platforms and participate in meetings, as requested.
Facilitates systematic knowledge and capacity building by the Project, focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Ensure that the PIP/project systematically builds capacities of Implementing Partners and other national partners through introduction of innovation and best practices, access to knowledge and expertise and promotion of their application to PIP/project implementation;
  • Promote teamwork, information sharing and collaboration within the PIP/project team and between the PIP/project Team and the PIP/project partners; 
  • Ensure capturing and disseminations of lessons learnt during project implementation;
  • Promote skills development of PIP/project staff through coaching and mentoring;
  • Facilitate the PIP/project’s representation and/or participation in international knowledge networks to draw on and share best practice and lessons learned for application in Afghanistan;
  • Perform other duties within the functional profile as assigned and deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the office.


Core Competencies
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work:
  • Integrates diverse contributions to formulate coherent approaches;
  • Aligns innovation to service delivery components;
  • Manages prototype/pilot efforts and seeks feedback.
  • Ability to persuade others to follow:
  • Creates awareness of substantive opportunities and risks among others;
  • Navigates complex circumstances thoughtfully and is solution-oriented.
People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction:
  • Coaches team members to appropriately share knowledge across teams;
  • Addresses conflicts in a timely, sensitive manner and escalates to leadership when appropriate;
  • Recognizes members of the team for their efforts and successes;
  • Optimizes individual and team abilities.
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform:
  • Persuades others to embrace new ideas, even when controversial;
  • Empathizes with client perspectives and needs and communicates messages with clients’ experiences in mind;
  • Creates opportunities for developing new client relationships.
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement:
  • Anticipates constraints and identifies solutions;
  • Expands capacity of team to deliver on time, on target, and within organizational standards;
  • Ensures high quality of work in terms of both substantive depth and adaptive relevance to client needs;
  • Accepts responsibility for implementation/ team deliverables/client satisfaction consistent with organizational standards;
  • Exhibits thorough organizational awareness of UNDP’s approach to client service delivery and integrity and accountability;
  • Exhibits sound judgement and the ability to make reasonable decisions in complex situations. 
Technical/Functional Competencies
Project Management
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals;
  • Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision and mission.
Partnership and Stakeholder Management
  • Ability to manage multiple stakeholders and balance often contradictory expectations, building and maintaining relationships;
  • Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships;
  • Ability to build political acumen in situations involving multiple - especially political - actors and stakeholders.
Strategic and Technical Advisory
  • Capacity to guide design and implementation of conflict governance and rule of law interventions;
  • Capacity to assess scope of request for advisory services, prepare detailed TORs, brief and manage a variety of technical consultants; assess quality of services provided by technical consultants and take remedial measures as appropriate;
  • Capacity to guide on security and police sector development, including security governance and oversight.
Accountability and Results-Based Management
  • Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results;
  • Ability to provide inputs to the development of organizational standards for accountability and results-based management. 
Quality Assurance
  • Ability to identify and prioritize risks, and organize action around mitigating them; 
  • Knowledge of project management related procedures to ensure that quality requirements and goals are fulfilled.
Knowledge Management 
  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in Project Management, Business or Public Sector Administration, International Relations, Political Science, Development Studies, or other relevant discipline.
  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in project development and management, with focus on planning, monitoring, reporting, and stakeholder and team coordination in international development organizations;
  • Experience of sustaining high level professional relations with leading government officials in sensitive political environments;
  • Solid technical knowledge in the field of the project;
  • Experience of resource mobilization, donor coordination, accountability and multi-donor trust funds;
  • Working experience of transitional and emerging democracies, including and post-conflict environments;
  • Extensive managerial experience including experience in leading multi-cultural teams;
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal, excellent report writing and organizational skills;
  • A sound track record of experience in an international setting with the UN or with international organisations;
  • Knowledge of UNDP governance assistance procedures and best practice;
  • Experience in Afghanistan or surrounding region an asset. 
Language Requirements
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Computer proficiency, including working knowledge of MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Front Page, Adobe In-Design; web-based management systems;
  • Excellent knowledge of project management principles and best practices. Project Management Certification, either Prince2 or PMP/PMI would be an advantage.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kabul (Afghanistan)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-22

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