Accountability & Risk Management Specialist, Kabul, Afghanistan

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: Afghanistan

City: Kabul, Afghanistan

Office: UNDP Kabul, Afghanistan

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Job ID: 32063

Practice Area - Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 19/08/2020

Duty Station: Kabul, Afghanistan

Education & Work Experience: G-Bachelor’s Level Degree - 9 year(s) experience, I-Master’s Level Degree - 7 year(s) experience

Languages: English

Grade: P4

Vacancy Type: TA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: 5 months with the possibility of extension


Job Purpose and Organizational Context

UNDP Global Mission Statement:

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

Organizational context:

UNDP is committed to augmenting the capacity of the GIROA to administer Rule of Law and improve security and justice service-delivery for all Afghan citizens. As the lead Rule of Law institution in the country, improving the ability of the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MOIA) to fulfill its mandate remains critical to the overall stability of Afghanistan and its people. As the UN’s primary development agency, and a longstanding development partner to GIROA’s Rule of Law and Security sector, UNDP Afghanistan plays a leading role in facilitating institutional reform and development of MOIA.

UNDP has operated the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) since 2002. LOTFA was created to support the establishment, payment, equipment and training of the police force in Afghanistan. The central goal is to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIROA) in achieving a paid, professional Afghan National Police (ANP) and staff of the General Directorate for Prison and Detention Centres (GDPDC) that deliver essential services to the Afghan people for improved public trust, safety and security and to support improved rule of law enforcement.

Based on consultations conducted between UNDP, the GIROA and donors during 2017, a growing view emerged that the scope of LOTFA should be expanded to include the entire justice chain (police, courts and prisons) and cover all institutions across the entire Rule of Law sector, with an increased focus on anti-corruption. Simultaneously, 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) and Strategic Framework have been approved by the LOTFA Steering Committee in November 2018. The Fund’s Strategic Framework defines the strategic objectives that are organized according to the four established ‚Thematic Windows‘, i.e. 1) Security, 2) Justice, 3) Anti-Corruption and 4) MOIA Payroll.

Support to Payroll Management Project (SPM)

The LOTFA SPM was established with fiduciary responsibility assigned to the UNDP to mitigate systematic risks of payroll management, and to provide a reasonable assurance that LOTFA funding advanced through the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is being used for its intended purposes and that the correct amounts are being disbursed to and are being received by the right beneficiaries.

A major component of the payroll processing and management is the Web-Enabled Payroll System (WEPS). The system is used by approximately 138 payroll stations across the country to process payroll documents and can be accessed from any computer on the MOIA’s intranet, with the required profiles. The SPM project supports the MOIA to fulfil its responsibility for deployment, maintenance and functioning of WEPS. The system generates payroll documents to be fed into the MOF’s Afghan Financial Management Information System (AFMIS) for purposes of generating salary disbursements by the MOF.

One of the key challenges in managing the payroll has been the fact that preparation of payrolls is not initiated from the primary database for the personnel of the ANP. To address the challenge, CSTC-A is supporting MOIA to develop the Afghan Personnel and Pay System (APPS) to become the primary database for all ANP personnel, and from which personnel lists will be generated monthly, for all levels, as a basis of preparing both the personnel attendance data and payroll.

APPS is believed to be a more robust and comprehensive system that integrates payroll management with recruitment, training, force management, personnel management (i.e. human resource management), and attendance functions. The transfer of WEPS to APPS will be a significant milestone in the evolution of payroll management in the MOIA and the transition of LOTFA non-fiduciary responsibilities to GIROA. However, the transfer from WEPS to APPS will not be simple and needs to be proactively managed and supported.

The transfer will have two significant impacts. First, accountability for current payroll and related activities will change, and second the transfer will result in additional risks. This will include risks arising from i) the change in accountability among the concerned parties, i.e. UNDP, MOIA, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A), and the APPS system service provider, ii) WEPS-APPS transfer process itself, and iii) perpetual risks after the transfer has been completed.

The most prominent change to the current accountability framework is the transfer of many oversight activities which are currently provided by the UNDP SPM Project to CSTC-A, MOIA and its third-party contractors hired to manage APPS. This transfer of the oversight activities may change the fiduciary responsibility for the fund assumed by the UNDP, unless an alternative arrangement can be agreed among the relevant stakeholders and put in place that would allow UNDP to continue the full fiduciary responsibility.

The Accountability and Risk Management specialist will be responsible for providing technical leadership and expertise to facilitate a smooth transfer between WEPS and APPS systems.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Project Manager of the Support to Payroll Management project, the Accountability and Risk Management Specialist will work closely with the UNDP Country Office Programme Management Specialist, colleagues in the Finance, Fund and Fiduciary Management Unit (FFFMU) of UNDP, MOIA, CSTC-A, LOTFA Donors, and other relevant actors on the following tasks:

WEPS-APPS transfer:

Study relevant documents to gain better understanding of policies, procedures, processes, systems, as well as risk and accountability issues related to APPS and WEPS systems, MOIA payroll management, GIROA public financial management, etc. The documents include, but not limited to, SPM Project Document, Draft Risk and Accountability Framework Report, Payroll Management Procedures Manual, UN Harmonised Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) Guideline, MOIA Payroll Unit Plan, WEPS/APPS User’s Manuals, technical and functional specifications, etc.;
Obtain evidence and assess risks and accountability implications associated with i) the change in accountability among the concerned parties, ii) WEPS-APPS transfer process itself, and iii) perpetual risks after the transfer has been completed (i.e. when APPS is fully operational);
Coordinate with CSTC-A and SPM to facilitate smooth implementation of APPS HR informing WEPS payroll. Closely work with CSTC-A and MOIA in resolving any technical issues;
Provide advice and options on the extent of LOTFA fiduciary responsibility and accountability that UNDP should assume under the APPS payroll regime.

Finalize draft Report on Risk and Accountability Framework for the WEPS-APPS transfer. Contribute to the development of the Memorandum of Understanding between CSTC-A and UNDP or any other relevant documents formalizing roles and responsibilities under the WEPS-APPS transfer;
Conduct robust analysis and provide substantive technical inputs to the re-design of SPM project and other relevant documentation on WEPS-APPS transfer as required.

Support the transition of non-fiduciary payroll management function to GIROA:

Provide technical assistance in non-fiduciary payroll management function transition as required;
Provide technical assistance in analysis of SPM project activities from the point of view of fiduciary and non-fiduciary including risk mitigation measures;
Support the SPM project manager to coordinate and provide technical assistance to government stakeholders with the development and preparation of any joint documents (plan, roadmap) for the transition of non-fiduciary payroll management functions;
Contribute to the work of joint technical meetings and other relevant forums with government counterparts and LOTFA donors on payroll transition.

Government stakeholders and donor coordination:

Support the SPM project manager in the effective functioning of Payroll Window Technical Working Group (TWG)by way of technical assistance and advice to the Chair and Co-chair of the TWG required for preparation and conduction of TWG meetings;
Support the SPM project manager by participating and providing quality advice to various technical and governance forums viz. donor meetings, APPS Governance Board Meetings, Internal Meetings of CSTC-A, Technical Working Groups, regarding governance and financial management issues as well as on the transfer of responsibility and accountability of fiduciary and/or non-fiduciary financial management activities that will result from the transfer from WEPS to APPS and payroll transition;
Perform any other duties as assigned by the SPM Project Manager.




Ability to make new and useful ideas work


Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement


Partnerships: Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships

Knowledge Management: Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

Effective Development Cooperation: Knowledge of development cooperation which can then be carried forward into inclusive, country-led mechanisms for development cooperation at national and regional levels

Required Skills and Experience


Masters‘ degree in social policy, public policy, politics, economics, development studies or a related area or Bachelors‘ degree with two additional years of relevant work experience;
Internationally recognized professional accounting qualifications such as ACCA, CPA, CA or equivalent is required.


7 years of professional experience in public administration reform, public financial management, governance and project management;
Direct experience in designing personnel and payroll systems, budgeting and budgetary control system, management information system, integrated financial management systems including in computerized environment, review of internal controls, management audits, and financial reviews is an asset;
Experience working with Government departments/ministries, public sector institutions is required;
Prior experience working in in-conflict developing country, on similar assignments will be considered an asset;
Prior experience with UNDP or another UN agency is highly desirable, but not essential.

Language Requirements: Fluent written and spoken English is required


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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