Technical Advisor (ASERD)

Kabul | Kabul

UNDP Afghanistan Mission statement:

UNDP supports stabilization, state building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, has contributed to institutional development efforts leading to positive impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years UNDP support has spanned such milestone efforts as the adoption of the Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive arms of the state, and key ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and subnational levels. UNDP has played a key role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund, which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and in efforts to stabilize the internal security environment. Major demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation and area-based livelihoods and reconstruction programmes have taken place nationwide. UNDP Programmes in Afghanistan have benefited from the very active support of donors. UNDP Afghanistan is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.

The Afghanistan Sustainable Energy for Rural Development (ASERD) programme developed by MRRD and UNDP will contribute significantly to increasing the access to thermal energy and electricity through a technology neutral approach, in rural communities in Afghanistan. This will result in increasing the access to electricity, clean cooking and heating options and will contribute to a tangible reduction in the pre-mature deaths of women and children due to indoor air pollution. The project will pilot seven innovative financing models which once successful will be mainstreamed. The project will also establish conducive policy and regulatory frameworks and capacity development of key stakeholders. It is envisaged that, the project will establish a sustainable rural energy supply approach which can be scaled up beyond the project period.

The programme will focus on the following areas:

Output 1: Rural Energy Services increased in targeted areas: This output will seek to provide rural energy services – both electrical and thermal energy to 200 rural village communities/CDC. The output will involve providing electricity using mini and micro-grids with a clear preference for larger mini-grids and will provide thermal energy services through renewable energy and energy efficient systems and devices through a finance-service arrangement.

Output 2: Rural energy policy and regulations developed: This output will create a favourable policy environment for rural energy efforts. The output will support the development of technical and environmental protection standards and a quality assurance framework for rural energy equipment, specific legal and policy instruments to implement and enforce the RREP; regulations for governing interface between mini-grids and the national grid and creating a fiscal and financial incentive framework.

Output 3: Innovative approaches to delivering rural energy piloted in target areas: This output will involve the piloting of seven pilot rural energy service delivery models such as a 5P model, a rural economic zone, a private investment de-risking mechanism, migrant remittances linked rural energy service model, women’s thermal energy service linked to carbon finance. Kuchi women’s portable energy pilot and a mobile telephony linked rural energy service model.

Output 4: Capacity of rural communities and relevant institutions developed: This output will support the institutional capacity development of REED, MRRD, training and capacity building of banks/FIs; build capabilities of research, education and training institutions; carry out generic promotion and outreach; establishment and maintenance of a website; establish an MIS for the programme; carry out analytical and policy research and publication of key reports.

The project will work with the relevant government ministries, private sectors as well as civil societies.

Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager and the overall guidance of the Head of Programme Unit, the Technical Advisor acts as the main substantive advisor of the Project. S/he is responsible for provision and coordination of all policy support activities in the Project and provides technical advice on quality management. S/he provides strategic advice to the UNDP in the Project´s scope of work and building and links Project and UNDP to knowledge networks.

The Technical Advisor works closely with a wide range of actors within the Project Teams, IPs and other Afghan institutions, UNDP Country Office and international community in the country and experts networks outside the country. S/he leads, as applicable, a team of technical international and national staff and consultants.

Note: UNDP Afghanistan 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 Afghanistan at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and education requirements.

Summary of key functions:

  • Ensure provision of relevant and timely policy support and policy advisory services by the Project;
  • Provide strategy advice to the Project, project partners and UNDP;
  • Provide technical advice on project quality management to the Project;
  • Facilitate building and management of knowledge in Project´s area of work.

Ensure provision of relevant and timely policy support and policy advisory services by the Project, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Systematically monitor the national policy-agenda and reform processes within the field of the Project ensuring that Project´s policy support remains relevant and timely;
  • Identify key issues for policy support and advisory within the scope of the Project. Develop a plan for policy support to be delivered within the Project;
  • Conceptualise and formulate policy-related discussion and position papers, policy proposals and concepts for internal and external discussions within UNDP and with partners and other Project stakeholders;
  • Plan and coordinate provision of Project advisory services. Define scope of work and develop ToRs, identify and select technical experts. Lead implementation of advisory activities ensuring the highest technical standards, including the team of experts as applicable, in close collaboration with Project Manager, UNDP CO and IP(s). Ensure that activities in support of policy support such workshops; training events; study tours or reports and assessments are delivered timely and up to the required technical standards. Review and quality control technical outputs such as reports and assessments;
  • Identify key policy-related issues and stimulate thinking processes within the Project and IP in the area of work;
  • Initiate policy-oriented discussions and contribute to country debates on issues related to focus of the Project.

Provide strategy advice to the Project, project partners and UNDP, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Act as a senior advisor to UNDP, Project and IP in the area of work;
  • Actively analyse developments in the area of work and establish links between country priorities, positions of the international community and Project (and UNDP) strategies in the area of work. Identify key policy/programmatic gaps and opportunities;
  • Contribute to development and drafting of substantive and thematic papers, reports and publications for the Project. Serve as peer reviewer;
  • Conceptualise and draft articles, papers and other contributions related to the Project and upon request, to other activities within area of expertise. Provide support to PI activities such as interviews or public speaking as requested;
  • Identify and develop proposals for new strategic initiatives in the Project’s scope of work, develop inputs to proposals for resource mobilization as requested;
  • Actively communicate Project´s results and impact to partners, donors and stakeholders. Support UNDP´s resource mobilization in the area of work as requested;
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration within the UN system within the area of work.

Provide technical advice on project quality management, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Contribute to enhancing Project´s performance by proposing alternative and/or new approaches towards achievement of Project´s results;
  • Provide advice on the implementation of the results-monitoring system of the Project such as formulation of annual targets, analysis and interpretation of data (qualitative and quantitative). Formulate inputs to results-reports and other periodic reports;
  • Participate in, and provide conceptual and written inputs, to project planning processes such as AWP, implementation, HR, procurement and communications planning. Provide inputs to budget formulation as requested;
  • Contribute to project level technical working groups and coordination meetings;
  • Draft substantive and technical inputs, prepare presentations and contribute to discussions;
  • Communicate with Project partners and donors to explain and clarify technical/substantive issues;
  • Participate in planning of Project´s periodic reviews, assessments and evaluations. Provide substantive inputs and drafting support;
  • Provide inputs and drafting support to Project-related strategy papers, new project concepts and funding proposals;
  • Represent the Project at meetings, workshops and conferences;
  • Quality-assure Project´s knowledge outputs.

Facilitate building knowledge and capacities within the Project´s area of work, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Ensure that the 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 project advisory activities;
  • Identify and interpret best policy support practices and experiences in the area of work for application in the country context. Promote and communicate best practices and lessons learnt from other country contexts;
  • Facilitate the Project’s representation and/or participation in international knowledge networks to draw on and share best practice and lessons learned for application in Afghanistan. Actively identify and connect institutions and individuals, build networks and linkages between stakeholders;
  • Effectively liaise and share information with other actors in Afghanistan in the area of Project. Proactively identify opportunities for networking and information sharing;
  • Actively share experiences and information with other UNDP projects in the country and participate in identification of synergies within UNDP´s programme;
  • Connect to knowledge networks within the UNDP such as BPPS and Regional Hubs.

Impact of Results:

The key results have a profound impact on the effectiveness of the Project, the soundness and relevance of the development solutions and advice provided by UNDP in the field of the Project and through the Project on the results and effectiveness of the UNDP programme in Afghanistan. The quality of the capacity building by Project and by incumbent impacts UNDP´s credibility and success as a development partner of the Government and other national partners.

Core competencies:

  • Promotes ethics and integrity and creates organisational precedents;
  • Builds support and political acumen;
  • Builds staff competence and creates an environment of creativity and innovation
  • Builds and promotes effective teams;
  • Creates and promotes environment for open communications;
  • Leverages conflict in the interest of UNDP and sets standards;
  • Shares knowledge across the organisation and builds a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.

Functional competencies:

Job knowledge/technical expertise:

Expert knowledge of own discipline

  • Possesses expert knowledge of advance concepts in primary discipline, a broad knowledge of related disciplines and in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures;
  • Applies knowledge to support the Project´s objectives and to further the mandate of UNDP;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in the area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Demonstrates expert knowledge of the current programme guidelines and project management tools and manages the use of these regularly in work assignments.

Conceptual innovation in the provision of technical expertise

Conceptual innovation

  • Conducts programme assessment to improve development of models and methodologies;
  • Designs policy models to support comprehensive interventions linking UNDP´s policy objectives to programme delivery and capacity development objectives
  • Ensures that the design of policies are appropriate to country social and development context;
  • Demonstrates the ability to engage development partners at all levels in conceptual and methodological innovation that is pertinent to the context.

Advancing a policy-oriented agenda

Level 3: Influencing the public agenda

  • Advocates for inclusion of UNDP´s focus areas in the public policy agenda
  • Brings visibility and sensitizes decision makers to relevant emerging issues
  • Builds consensus concerning UNDP´s strategic agenda with partners on joint initiatives;
  • Leverage UNDP´s multidisciplinary expertise to influence policies and programmes;
  • Demonstrates political/cultural acumen in proposing technical sound, fact-based solutions/approaches;
  • Dialogues with national counterparts and other stakeholders to strengthen advocacy efforts, incorporating country, regional and global perspectives;
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity, political savvy and intellectual capacity in handling disagreements in order to promote and position UNDP in complex environments.


  • Master´s degree or higher in Energy and rural renewable energy issues.


  • At least 7 years of progressively advancing work experience in the energy and rural energy, and advisory roles to the senior Government officials and international organizations in the field of project.
  • Experience in advisory provision in post-conflict environments.
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building and implementation of reforms and organisational change.
  • Strong political acumen and good verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in working in multi-cultural teams.
  • Good computer skills - MS office applications.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluent verbal and written English.
  • Knowledge of Dari/Pashto is a strong asset.

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.
  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kabul | Kabul
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-25

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