Technical Specialist, Kabul, Afghanistan

Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

Country: Afghanistan

City: Kabul, Afghanistan

Office: UNDP Kabul, Afghanistan

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Thursday, 25 February 2021

Job ID: 35521

Practice Area - Job Family: Crisis Prevention and Recovery - PROSPERITY

Vacancy End Date: (Midnight New York, USA) 25/02/2021

Duty Station: Kabul, Afghanistan

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

Languages: English

Grade: P4

Vacancy Type: FTA International

Posting Type: External

Bureau: Asia & the Pacific

Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


UNDP Global Mission Statement:

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. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges.

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, judicial, and executive arms of the state, and key ministries, Government agencies, and commissions at the national and subnational levels.

In line with the 2030 Agenda, UNDP supports the Government in aligning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the national development strategies, planning/budgeting processes as well as generating awareness on SDGs among all stakeholders: government, non-government, private and development partners.

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 Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.

Project Context:

The project will contribute significantly to increasing the access to renewable energy, in rural communities in Afghanistan.

The objective of the project is to kick-start rural renewable energy market transformation in Afghanistan and create the conditions for upscaling and long-term sustainability, through a combination of: (1) policy and regulatory design, facilitating public and private sector financing; (2) capacity building and awareness raising of the public and private sectors and end-users; and (3) investment in the set-up of 3 greenfield solar mini-grids and creation of an ‚upscaling platform‘ to facilitate additional solar mini-grid investments. The upscaling platform will consist of: (i) a knowledge platform, including a solar mini-grid practical development manual, online evidence and data sharing tools, and full technical studies for 5 additional mini-grids; (ii) development and mainstreaming of green procurement policies for solar mini-grids; and (iii) development and mainstreaming of environmental and social governance (ESG) policies for solar mini-grids.

Ultimately, the project aims to contribute, in a phased approach, to a large volume of solar mini-grid development in Afghanistan and - with the long-term improvement in macroeconomic and security conditions - the eventual involvement of private investment for mini-grid development beyond operation and maintenance only.

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 Specialist 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.

Based on the principle that ‚we are all UNDP‘, all dedicated, operations, results based management, strategic partnerships and communications positions/capacities in all projects are pooled to provide collective support to project implementation, reporting to the respective focal points in the Country Office. This will ensure coherent support to all projects, increase efficiency with standardised processes and provide value for money to the development partners.

The Technical Specialist 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.

Duties and Responsibilities

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Tags advisory services continuous improvement data sharing demobilization development strategies disarmament elections immigration law internal security knowledge management procurement project implementation project manager public speaking quality control quality management reconstruction renewable energy resource mobilization risk assessment risk management rural communities sdgs solar study tours sustainable development sustainable development goals transparency

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.

4. 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.




Ability to make new and useful ideas work Level


Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Level


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement Level



Ability to try out / test new ways of engagement and communications. Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things

Knowledge Management

Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise


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

Risk Management

Knowledge of risk assessment methodologies and ability to determine degree of risk and apply to strategic and/or practical situation

Energy Access

Knowledge of energy access concepts and/or issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Strategic Planning

Ability to make decisions that align with strategy, vision, and mission

Required Skills and Experience


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.


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.

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