Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager – Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP)


Issued on: 26 October 2015





Kabul, AFGHANISTAN; Travel to Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, Farah, Kunduz, Bamyan and Nili required


Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager – Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP)


I-ICA (P4 Equivalent)



12 months upon initial appointment (extension possible, post is for three years duration)

On or soon after 1 December 2015


15 November 2015

 Background and Purpose of Post:

 UN-Habitat will support the Government of Afghanistan to implement the three-year Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP) from 1st November 2015. The Programme is underpinned by the fact that improved municipal governance for state building and peace-building requires three fundamental components: (i) effective land management, (ii) strategic urban planning, and improved (iii) municipal finance systems/revenue management.

The three-year programme will be implemented in nine cities: Kabul (the capital); Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Mazar-e-Sharif (Grade A cities); and Kunduz and Farah (Grade B); and Bamyan and Nili (smaller but fast-growing and strategic cities). The Programme will support these nine municipal authorities to survey and register all properties within municipal boundaries (for Kabul: two districts/Nahias). This will improve land management (e.g. increase tenure security and reduce land grabbing) as well as significantly expand the potential tax base for municipalities.

Raising revenues, however, is not enough. Afghan Municipalities need to significantly increase their human and institutional capacities to collect and spend revenues in a more transparent, accountable and inclusive manner. MGSP will improve these capacities through on-the-job training and mentoring to municipal staff in municipal finance and revenue management and support the Municipal Advisory Boards to improve municipal-citizen engagement and outreach.

To facilitate the strategic and sustainable use of local revenues, MGSP will support municipalities to undertake strategic urban planning at municipal level to promote Local Economic Development (LED), stimulate investment and expand inclusive service delivery. As Afghanistan is rapidly urbanizing, such strategic planning is an essential tool for managing urban growth and expanding access to services in already crowded and largely-informal cities.

The Programme will also improve the enabling environment for municipal governance by providing technical support to central government-level authorities, including the General Directorate of Municipal Affairs (GDMA), the Afghan Land Authority (ARAZI), and Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA), to improve national policies, legislation and guidelines.

Overall, through targeting both duty bearers and duty holders, the Programme will increase a sense of civic responsibility and collective Programme, and enhance the social contract between citizens and the state. Citizens will pay safayi tax if they see tangible improvements and feel they have a ‘stake in the city’. In post-conflict countries and fragile states this enhanced social contract is essential to state-building and security goals, especially in urban areas which offer a density advantage in which taxes and endogenous revenue generation has greater potential.

The Programme objectives and approach reflects the stated vision of H.E. the President Ashraf Ghani and his new government, as outlined in the Realizing Self Reliance Framework (RSR)[1]: cities as drivers of economic development; making better use of existing resources; increasing local government revenues for service delivery; stimulating local economic development and investment in cities; and fostering a sense of civic responsibility to strengthen the legitimacy of government and state institutions.

The overall objective (OO) of the Programme is to improve stability and stimulate local economic development in target cities through enhancing municipal governance and strengthening the social contract between citizens and the state.

The Specific Objective (SO) is to increase sustainable municipal revenues and strengthen urban management for inclusive service delivery and local economic development.

 The three expected Results (R) are:

            R1:       Strengthened municipal capacities and systems for urban planning, land                                            management and municipal revenue/finance;

            R2:       Improved municipal service delivery and strengthened ‘social contract’ between                               citizens and municipal authorities;

            R3:       Improved enabling environment for municipal governance, local economic                           development and service delivery.

Therefore, an experienced Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager is required to lead the timely, quality and measurable achievement of all programme outcomes and effective technical assistance and capacity development support to government and programme partners.


Under the overall supervision of the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and direct supervision of the Country Representative/Programme Manager, and in close cooperation with the National Programme Manager, the Urban Advisor will undertake the following tasks and activities:

1) Strategic programme management

  • Support the technical and strategic management of project design, work planning, budgeting, procurement, and impact monitoring of project activities in the field;
  • Advise on the effective and efficient execution of project activities by working in close collaboration with the relevant institutions and project teams, at the national and local levels;
  • Lead in identifying and securing international technical expertise (consultants) as and when required during programme duration to support specific tasks and outputs;
  • Coordinate results-based monitoring, evaluations and outcome-based reporting, including ensuring proper baselines, mid-term monitoring, and final evaluations;
  • Develop and implement on-the-job capacity development and knowledge transfer mechanisms for relevant government partners and national programme staff;
  • Provide advisory services to national and local institutions, including support to policy processes, technical advice and support to seminars, trainings and on-the-job capacity development in urban land, planning, housing and basic services.
  • Undertake in-country missions to field sites to monitor programme implementation and strengthen partnerships with local authorities and partners;
  • Coordinate and monitor project progress by defining performance criteria, ensuring periodic reporting from the field through assessment of results achieved and external reviews; ensure proper documentation of positive and negative programme experiences and provide them as an input to policy dialogues;
  • Ensure the systematic mainstreaming of cross cutting issues of gender, youth, climate change and human rights in programme activities;

2) Ensure coordination and cooperation between programme activities/outputs/outcomes and related local, regional and international development efforts

  • Lead in building and maintaining strong relationships and coordination with partners (UN, government, I/NGO) at city, national, regional and global levels;
  • Support improved coordination of UN activities in Afghanistan,including contributing to the UNDAF and joint integrated workplans with programme-related inputs and monitoring;
  • Support the dissemination of programme outcomes and impacts to improve future programming and policies;
  • Support the promotion of sustainable urbanisation and adequate shelter for all in Afghanistan;
  • Technical assistance to the National Habitat Committee and other urban development taskforces in relation to programme activities/outputs/outcomes;
  • Ensure timely and relevant informal and formal donor reporting, breifings, meetings and field visits.

3) Contribute to UN-Habitat’s support to the GoIRA

  • Promote cross-fertilisation across all UN-Habitat programming, including supporting thematic linkages, enhancing delivery cost-efficenies, and streamlining progamme tehnical assistance and capacity development to government partners to maximise its effectiveness/impact and reduce duplication;
  • Support the implementation of the Habitat Country Programme Document (HCPD) 2015-2019, in particular through (i) strengthening UN-Habitat as a knowledge partner for the GoIRA; (ii) fostering a shift away from direct implementation to technical assistance and capacity development of government;
  • Support the GoIRA with resource mobilization by identifying new programmatic opportunities, developing concept notes and project documents, and building partnerships with donors and partners;
  • Supporting the strategic planning and management of UN-Habitat Afghanistan through the Senior Staff Team to promote alignment and maximize support for the GoIRA;
  • Capacity development of national staff.

4) Perform other duties and responsibilities which are within the expertise and experience as may be required by ROAP or Country Representative in support of the activities of the Agency and programme.


  • Project and programme management, including project formulation and implementation in conflict and post-conflict environments
  • Good knowledge of programme monitoring and evaluation.
  • The capacity to provide quick and practical feedback and guidance to field staff is essential, as is the ability to adapt existing methodologies to the Afghan context.
  • Maintaining appropriate balance between operational needs of the project and contributing to developing a longer-term vision of the programme
  • Good knowledge of UN operational rules and procedures.
  • Good coordination skills, with ability to handle multiple activities concurrently, work under pressure and to tight deadlines.
  • Positive approach to work with consistent energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Ability to participate effectively in teams of various expertise as well as organizations.
  • Good diplomatic qualities and negotiating skills.


At least advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in engineering, architecture, urban planning/design, urban studies, political science, management, land studies, or related discipline.

Work Experience:

At least seven years of experience with:

  • managing complex urban development programming, including in fragile states,
  • providing policy and technical assistance to governments,
  • urban infrastructure programming,
  • community-based development,
  • Familiarity with the UN in Afghanistan.

Language and Communication Skills:

Fluency in English is required; another UN language or Dari/Pashto would be an advantage.

Travel Advice/Requirements:

The Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager must abide by all UN security instructions. Upon arrival he/she must attend a security briefing provided by UNDSS. He/she should undertake Basic and Advanced Security Training as prescribed by UNDSS. Regular missions will be undertaken for which UNDSS authorisation must be sought.

Reporting arrangements:

The Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager – Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP) shall report to the Country Representative /Manager based in Kabul Office, and Senior Human Settlements Officer / SHSO based in ROAP.

The application should comprise:

  • Completed UN Personal History Form (P11). Please download the form (MS- Word) from UN-Habitat/ROAP-vacancy website:
  • A Statement of Interest (cover letter) for the position.

All applications should be submitted to:

UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

                   ACROS Fukuoka, 8th Floor

                   1-1-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, 810-0001 Japan

                    [email protected]

Please indicate the Post Title: “AFG- CTA MGSP” in your e-mail subject.

Please note that applications received after the closing date stated below, will not be given consideration. Only short-listed candidates whose applications respond to the above criteria will be contacted for an interview. The fee will be determined according to the qualifications, skills and relevant experience of the selected candidate. In line with UN-Habitat policy on gender equity, applications from female candidates will be particularly welcome.

For additional questions, please contact Mr. Matthew French at [email protected]

Deadline for applications: 15 November 2015

[1] GoIRA (2014) Realizing Self Reliance: Commitments to reforms and a renewed partnership. London Conference, December 2014.

Source: Chief Technical Advisor / International Programme Manager – Municipal Governance Support Programme (MGSP)