CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR - UNDP/ICSPA PROJECT

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CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR - UNDP/ICSPA PROJECT

Date: 
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 18:15 to Friday, April 4, 2014 - 00:00

CHIEF TECHNICAL ADVISOR - UNDP/ICSPA PROJECT

Location :Kabul, AFGHANISTANApplication Deadline :03-Apr-14Type of Contract :FTA InternationalPost Level :P-5Languages Required :
English  Duration of Initial Contract :One year with possibility of extension

Background

UNDP supports stabilization, state building, governance and development priorities in many countries and jurisdictions, including the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

In partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA), the United Nations System, the donor community and other development stakeholders, UNDP has contributed to institutional development efforts that positively impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years, UNDP support has spanned milestone efforts such as the adoption of the Afghan Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive branches of the GoIRA, and key  Government ministries, agencies and commissions at the national and sub-national levels. UNDP Afghanistan, benefitting from the very active support of donors, is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN System as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts.

Years of conflict have damaged Afghanistan’s economic, political, physical, social and institutional structures. Reconstruction demands a secure environment in which there is credible leadership and enforced Rule of Law. Strong, legitimate and effective public administration structures, responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens - especially the poor and the marginalized – are precursors to any sustainable development. To this end, UNDP Afghanistan supports the National Assembly of Afghanistan so that it can effectively discharge its core functions of law making, oversight and representation.

UNDP support to the Afghan Parliament started in 2005 with SEAL 1 (Support to the Establishment of the Afghan Legislature), which was a broad-based project supporting all main aspects of the parliament’s functions. SEAL 1 was succeeded by SEAL 2 (Supporting an Effective Afghan Legislature) in 2008, which ceased in early 2010. Later in 2010, the Afghan Parliament requested support from UNDP for the induction of the Members of Parliament elected during that year; strategy formulation for both Houses; and the creation of a full support project to succeed SEAL 2. In the first quarter of 2014, a third generation parliament project, the Institutional and Capacity Support to the Parliament of Afghanistan (ICSPA), will start.

The objective of the ICSPA is to assist the two Houses of the   Afghan Parliament, the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People) and the Meshrano Jirga (House of Elders), respectively, in becoming more effective parliamentary institutions, both reflecting and contributing to a growing culture of legitimate and inclusive governance. To achieve such an objective, the ICSPA aims to provide capacity support to the Parliament to undertake a comprehensive self-assessment to identify priority areas for support and institutional development, guided by the principles of co-equality and cooperation with other institutions of the GoIRA. The ICSPA will deliver the following Outputs:  [i] Output 1: Self-Assessment Framework and Reform Action Plan developed for, and adopted by, the Afghan Parliament;  [ii] Output 2: Staffing and financial management capacity of the Afghan Parliament enhanced; and, [iii] Output 3: Capacity of the Afghan Parliament’s leadership to undertake reforms enhanced.

It is envisioned that the ICSPA will be for five (5) years, initially under the Direct Implementation Modality (DIM), with its different components working together with their relevant counterparts in the respective Secretariats of both Houses of the Afghan Parliament. However, the nature of activities requires the eventual transitioning into National Implementation Modality (NIM), an important priority feature of the ICSPA. The transition to NIM shall be effected as soon as the National counterparts demonstrate adequate capacity to undertake the responsibility for National implementation.

The ICSPA will exemplify a strategic and targeted approach, complementary to other assistance projects to the Afghan Parliament, like the ALBA (Assistance to Legislative Bodies of Afghanistan) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The ICSPA is based firmly on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and its associated National Priority Programs (NPP), as well as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the UNDP Country Programme Document (UNDP-CPD), and the UNDP Programmatic Strategy for Legitimate and Inclusive Governance (UNDP-PSLIG).

Duties and Responsibilities

The position of Chief Technical Advisor (CTA) is a Fixed Term Appointment (FTA), with the primary aim of assisting the two Houses of the Afghan Parliament in their development as democratic, accountable, inclusive and legitimate institutions.

The CTA will act as the lead advisor of the ICSPA, providing technical and procedural assistance for all strategic decisions and activities of the Project. This would involve sharing of international comparative experiences as well as substantive expertise, study of the national development context and existing policy decisions, and coordination and consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

The CTA will work in the Afghan Parliament, introducing concepts of strategic and work planning, and providing required technical and advisory services to its  key institutional units, such as the Administrative Board, the Committee of Chairs, the  Human Resources Department, and the Budget and Finance Department, in the implementation of the Reform Action Plan that will be formulated by the Afghan Parliament on the basis of the self-assessment that will be undertaken under the ICSPA.

Against this background, the CTA will focus on the following key functions and expected results:

Strategic and Policy Advice
  • Act as the key senior policy advisor to the management bodies of the Afghan Parliament, i.e., Speakers of both Houses, Administrative Boards, Committee of Chairs, Secretaries General, Deputy Secretaries General, and  relevant stakeholders like the   Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Supreme Audit and Control Office, Civil Service Commission, and other government ministries and agencies;
  • Provide intellectual leadership in the area of parliamentary development, by delivering constitutional, political, institutional and policy advice on all aspects of parliamentary capacity building, and by guiding the development and implementation of Project strategies and implementation modalities;
  • Establish links between national development goals, UNDP priorities and existing policy statements of the GoIRA and the international community;
  • Ensure the incorporation of best practices and lessons learned on parliamentary development worldwide;
  • Through ongoing analysis of the political, social, security and economic contexts, ensure that the Project's support to parliamentary development in Afghanistan remains at all times relevant and timely; and,
  • Maintain a sound understanding of government, parliamentary and political processes in Afghanistan;
Support to Project Design and Implementation:
  • Advise the UNDP Country Office on strategies to prepare and implement the long-term capacity building strategy for the Afghan Parliament;
  • Ensure that the Project’s activities are designed and implemented according to best practices in parliamentary development, and are in line with the Annual Work Plans;
  • With the assistance of the National Project Manager (National Operations Specialist), and in coordination with the UNDP Country Office, ensure that systems are in place for monitoring and evaluating the Project's delivery of agreed results, and assist in the formulation and updating of the indicators that measure quantitative and qualitative outputs and outcomes of the Project;
  • Conceptualize, plan, participate and coordinate periodic reviews and assessment of overall Project or specific components;
  • Where applicable, identify specialized additional technical expertise to support parliamentary development in Afghanistan; 
  • Provide advice and recommendations on how UNDP and other agencies under the UN System can further strengthen and cooperate with the Project;
  • Advise the members of the Project Team in  the preparation of the Project activities and budgets;
  • Monitor the achievements of the capacity development initiatives and ensure follow-up support;
  • Assist the National Project Manager (National Operations Specialist), and the chair of the Project Management Board on substantive issues related to the meetings of the Board; and,
  • Assume concurrently as Technical Advisor (Head of Output) of  Output 3 of the ICSPA.
Knowledge Building and Sharing:
  • Lead the process of knowledge creation and dissemination of national and international know-how in the area of parliamentary development;
  • Provide substantial input to the Project's handbooks and information materials;
  • Provide quality assurance on the knowledge products of the Project, in terms of quality of the content, the process and the usage of the knowledge products, and serve as peer reviewer of the main publications;
  • Identify knowledge gaps among target groups and design measures to address such gaps;
  • Actively support the sharing of Project results and products, lessons learned and good practices with other UNDP and UN projects, ministries and agencies of the GoIRA, donors, etcetera; and,
  • Partner with the practitioners and members of the UNDP global networks and the parliamentary teams at UNDP BDP and BCPR, Regional Centre and Regional Bureaux.
Guidance of Technical Staff:
  • Provide management of, and direct guidance to, national and international technical staff working with the Project, including national and international technical advisers and national and international consultants. This will include consultations to ensure the technical staff are addressing technical requirements for the effective and efficient delivery of outcomes and activities;
  • Enable and support professional development opportunities for Project staff employed in  the ICSPA;
  • Contribute to all activities of the Project, as appropriate; and,
  • Oversee and provide quality assurance to regular project and activity reporting.
Partnership development and resource mobilization:
  • Consider the most effective and time-efficient way of liaison and coordination with other donor programs working with the Afghan Parliament;
  • Network and build credible relations with donor partners, embassies and government interlocutors;
  • Prepare proposals for mobilization of human, technical and financial resources from international development organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector; and,
  • Assist the UNDP Country Office in mobilizing resources to support the achievement of Project outputs and outcomes.
Impact of Results:
  • Through the implementation of the Project, effectively contribute to a domestically-rooted system of inclusive governance and a strengthened parliament capacity;
  • Ensure the timely and effective delivery of the Project in accordance with the Project Document;
  • Ensure that the Project resources are utilized in full compliance with UNDP's rules and regulations and in accordance with the instructions of the Project Management Board;
  • Ensure that the UNDP has a wide network of interlocutors within the GoIRA and the international community in support of the Project and its activities; and,
  • Assist in ensuring that UNDP maintains its pioneering leadership in the area of parliamentary development.

Competencies

Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and value;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; 
  • Project management or programme experience at a senior level with UNDP, UN or other development agencies;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism; and,
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.
Functional Competencies:
  • Knowledge and expertise in parliamentary strengthening and democratic governance, including self-assessment of parliaments;
  • Ability to review and evaluate the key organizational components of a parliamentary body, thus: leadership, staffing, policies, strategies, partnerships, resources and processes, towards rationalizing systems and procedures to eliminate delays, overlaps and redundancies, and for that parliamentary body to function effectively and efficiently;
  • Ability to analyze work methods, work flows, etcetera, in order to rationalize them for improved efficiency;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Excellent negotiation and representational skills at senior level;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, ability to foster networks and partnerships, and good working knowledge of information and computer technology;
  • Displays analytical judgment and demonstrated ability to handle confidential and politically sensitive issues in a responsible and mature manner;
  • Demonstrates strong intellectual and operational capacity in providing and coordinating advisory services to stakeholders; and,
  • Ability to assist in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs.
Communications and Networking skills:
  • Excellent oral communication skills and conflict resolution competency to manage inter-group dynamics and mediate conflicting interests of varied actors;
  • Excellent written communication skills, with analytical capacity and ability to synthesize project outputs and relevant findings for the preparation of quality project reports;
  • Maturity and confidence in dealing with senior and high-ranking members of national and international institutions, parliament, government and non-government;
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multinational, multi-stakeholder setting,  and a demonstrable ability to motivate people and work in a team setting; and,
  • Substantial level of self-organization, being methodical, sets priorities and pays attention to details.
Management and leadership:
  • Proven supervisory skill over activities related to parliamentary self-assessment, results-based management and reporting;
  • Excellent leadership skills and sound ‘hands-on’ management of staff;
  • Focuses on impact and result for the Afghan Parliament as beneficiary;
  • Ability to analyze work methods, work flows, etcetera, in order to rationalize them for improved efficiency;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and actual practice of capacity development of institutions; and,
  • Prince2 Training and certification would be an asset.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:
  • Master’s degree or equivalent, in public policy, political science, law, public administration, institutional/organizational development, or related field
Experience:
  • At least ten (10) years  of work experience in the area of democratic governance, with direct experience of working in the parliamentary strengthening field, and preferably within a mature democratic parliament;
  • Experience of providing advisory services to senior interlocutors or institutional clients, preferably in a parliamentary institution;
  • At least five (5) years of  experience working in developing or post-conflict countries;
  • Experience in the review, design and development of a Self-Assessment Framework for a government institution, preferably in a parliament;
  • Experience in the development of a model manual of policies and procedures for a government institutions, preferably in a parliament;
  • Good understanding of national government processes in relation to a parliamentary institution;
  • Exposure to politically tense settings;
  • Excellent computer skills, with MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point); and,
  • In-depth knowledge and experience with project monitoring and evaluation in a development context.

In addition, the following professional experiences are considered as strong advantage/asset:

  • Familiarity with Afghanistan and its political, social and economic context;
  • Ability to interpret and relate the Rules of Procedure, and precedents and practices, of both Houses of the National Assembly of Afghanistan to the Constitution and existing laws, decrees and executive orders in force in Afghanistan;
  • Successful working experience in Afghanistan or other Islamic countries; and,
  • Familiarity with and actual use of, the IPU Self-Assessment Toolkit for Parliaments and the UNDP Benchmarks and Self-Assessment Frameworks for Democratic Legislatures, respectively.
Language Requirements:
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English; and,
  • Some knowledge of Dari/Pashto would be beneficial.
Note:
  • Interested and qualified international candidates should apply on-line through the UNDP Jobs site at UNDP Afghanistan Vacancy Announcement and please ensure that to fill up and upload Personal History Form-P.11 which is available at UNDP Personal History Form (P.11 Form);
  • Incomplete applications or applications received after the closing date will not be given consideration. Please note that only applicants who are short-listed will be contacted;
  • For more detailed information about UNDP Afghanistan please visit our website at www.undp.org.af;
  • Successful candidates must be prepared to start work within 6 weeks of the offer of appointment;
  • Qualified female candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
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