Project Manager – Afghanistan Access to Justice – UNDP


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.

Organizational Context

Under the overall supervision of the Head of the Rule of Law and Human Security Unit and in close coordination with the Programme Officer for AA2J, the Project Manager 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 responsible parties (RPs), donors and other partners such as UN agencies.

The Afghanistan Access to Justice (AA2J) has been designed as a successor project to the Justice and Human Rights in Afghanistan project, which had operated since 2009. AA2J builds on the achievements and lessons learned from JHRA, and was designed in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders from the Afghan Justice and Rule of Law sector.

The project will have 3 outcome areas:

  • Legal aid and awareness;
  • Justice sector coordination with a particular focus on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW);
  • Capacity development for the Ministry of Justice, particularly as regards human rights and legislative drafting.

By strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Justice; supporting enhanced coordination and cooperation between rule of law institutions, particularly focusing on the elimination of violence against women and through the provision of legal aid by the Legal Aid Grant Facility, the project will contribute to increased access to justice for target groups, including women, children and detainees in selected provinces and at district level in Afghanistan.

The project contributes directly to the targets of the broader Rule of Law and Human Security portfolio, and works in close coordination with other projects in this cluster.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Manage the project initiation process and coordinate the rolling out of the new project structure and business processes;
  • 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.

Manage the project initiation process and coordinate the rolling out of the new project structures and business processes, by focusing on the following results:

  • Through consultations with key stakeholders, both from the government, justice institutions and donors, contribute to the planning of concrete project activities under the 3 outcome areas of the project;
  • Highlight government initiatives that have potential to develop into activities with a high degree of national ownership reinforced by support from UNDP;
  • Ensure adherence to UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) and the Country Office’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the planning and implementation of activities, as well as in the operational functioning of the project;
  • Help to establish linkages between human rights, justice sector reform and security sector reform, and integrate activities in support of such linkages into the project structure.

Ensures the direction of project activities and the achievement of project targets and results, by focusing on the following results:

  • In accordance with the Project Document and in close coordination with RPs and the project specialists, plan and develop 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 Project 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 Project. 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 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 project progress against targets is undertaken, including regular field trips for monitoring purposes. Develop innovative improvements to enhance performance of the 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 project and achievement of annual targets to the Project Board 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 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;
  • Organise 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 project governance arrangements. Ensure organisation of Project Board meetings and ensure timely preparation of agenda, background materials to agenda items and minutes as per CO SOPs;
  • 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 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 project expenditure. Coordinate preparation of financial reports to UNDP, as required;
  • Supervise and manage project personnel and consultants. Develop ToRs/JDs for 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;
  • Manage and monitor project risks. In collaboration with the technical project staff, IP’s and donors identify new risks and update risk frameworks for consideration of the Project Board for consideration and decision on possible actions if required;
  • Update the status of these risks by maintaining the project risks log;
  • Ensure appropriate management of project assets, attendance records, filing system.
  • Implement audit recommendations for the project;
  • Provide inputs to audit management responses;
  • Initiate operational closure of the 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 project technical staffworking with the team leaders to 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 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 project´s technical focus, particularly on identifying strategic laws for future engagement from a human rights perspective, as well as on legal aid, access to justice and public legal awareness;
  • Promote the capacity development approach adopted by UNDP, focusing on change management, improving functional performance through capacity development, strategic monitoring and evaluation, performance management and aid coordination;
  • Monitor the achievements of capacity development initiatives and ensure follow-up support;
  • Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with other UN agencies for implementation of joint activities within the area of the project, including on violence against women. 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.
  • Ensure adequate gender technical support to the state entities for gender mainstreaming.

Facilitates knowledge building and management, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Ensure representation of UNDP at the highest levels as a thought leader and technical assistance provider in the area of justice and security;
  • 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 promote their application to project implementation in the area of justice and security;
  • Promote teamwork, information sharing and collaboration within the Project Team and between the Project Team and the CO Programme Team;
  • Promote skills development of project staff through coaching and mentoring;
  • Ensure capturing and disseminations of lessons learnt during project implementation and promote key findings of knowledge products produced by project and consultancies;
  • 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.

Impact of Results

The key results have a direct impact on the functioning of the justice sector in Afghanistan, as well as on the human rights compliance of the Afghan legal framework. Additionally, the key results contribute to the overall effectiveness of UNDP´s development results in Afghanistan. The efficient and timely achievement of project´s results will strengthen UNDP’s position as a strong and reliable development partner and satisfaction on the part of the development partners in the country. The quality of the capacity building by the 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;
  • Shows strong leadership in its management style;
  • Operate with a strategic vision.

Functional Competencies:

Job knowledge/technical expertise:

  • Understands more advanced aspects of primary area of specialisation as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines;
  • Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff;
  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit;
  • Keeps abreast of the new developments in the area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to development him/herself professionally;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments.

Accountability and results-based management:

  • Provides inputs to the development of organisational standards for accountability and results-based management;
  • Develops and applies tools and techniques in assessing the application of programmes/projects and administration of policies and procedures;
  • Undertakes ad hoc analysis of issues emanating from policy application/reviews.

Client orientation:

  • Anticipate client needs;
  • Works toward creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider;
  • Demonstrates understanding of the client´s perspective;
  • Keeps the client informed of problems or delays in the provision of services;
  • Uses discretion and flexibility in interpreting rules in order to meet client needs and achieve organizational goals more effectively;
  • Solicits feedback on service provision and quality.

Building strategic partnerships:

  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliance relevant to UNDP´s mandate and agenda;
  • Develops positive ties with civil society to build/strengthen UNDP´s mandate;
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity-building of counterparts, clients and potential partners;
  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments;
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set timelines and strives until successful outputs are achieved;
  • Sensitizes UN partners, donors and other international organizations to UNDP´s agenda identifying areas for joint efforts.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced University Degree in Law required;
  • University Degree in Project Management, Human Rights, Business or Public Sector Administration, International Relations, Political Science, Development Studies, or other relevant discipline would be an advantage;
  • Project Management Certification, either Prince2 or PMP/PMI would be an advantage.


  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in project development and management in the justice sector, with focus on planning, monitoring, reporting, and stakeholder and team coordination in international development organisations;
  • Demonstrated experience of management of a project of similar complexity;
  • Solid technical knowledge in the field of justice and human rights;
  • Excellent knowledge of project management principles and best practices;
  • Managerial experience including experience in leading multi-cultural teams;
  • Experience in working at the country level including in post-conflict environments;
  • Good computer literacy – MS office applications, web-based management information systems.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

Duty Station: Kabul, Afghanistan

Application deadline: 03/05/2016 (Midnight Geneva, Switzerland)

Read more and apply here.

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