Position Title: Program Associate
Activation Date: 25 January, 2023 Announced Date: 25 January, 2023 Expire Date: 07 February, 2023
Having entered the fifth decade of their displacement, Afghan refugees constitute one of the largest protracted displacement crises of our time. Over the years, the region has remained in flux and return movements have been interspersed with waves of emigration, sporadic flows of refugees, and exponential internal displacement. COVID-19 has pushed millions of vulnerable people further into poverty, with potential implications for population movements within the region and further afield. Hundreds of thousands remain further afield, notably in Germany, other European Union Member States and Turkey.
Between 2002 and 2020 an estimated 7 million Afghans have returned to Afghanistan, with more than 5.2 million being refugees who have voluntarily repatriated with UNHCR’s assistance. Refugee returns during the last three years have been far lower than in previous years, with 2,147 Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan (1,092), Iran (939), and other countries (116) in 2020, the lowest return figure that could be attributed to the deteriorating political, security and economic situation in Afghanistan and the impact of COVID-19. These returns have taken place against a backdrop of increased internal displacement due to conflict and natural disaster. OCHA, estimates that overall, nearly five million persons have been displaced since 2012 and have not returned to their place of origin.
Despite strong political will to achieve peace in Afghanistan, uncertainties result from the current political context, including the significant delays in the intra-Afghan peace negotiations and the withdrawal of US troops as part of the US/Taliban negotiations. There are currently two elements constituting the international military forces in Afghanistan: the US Operation Freedom with 2,500 troops, which were recently reduced from 4,500 troops on 15 January 2021 with a possible complete withdrawal by May 2021; and the NATO Resolute Support with fewer than 12,000 troops from dozens of nations involved in a non-combat mission of training and advising the Afghan security forces.
There are 72,445 refugees living in Afghanistan. Most of this group were displaced from Pakistan to Afghanistan in 2014 and settled in areas of Khost and Paktika provinces. A small number (approximately 380 people) reside in urban areas of Kabul and other cities. Refugees constitute one of the most vulnerable populations in the country. They face significant legal challenges due to the fact that that the National Law on Asylum still has not been enacted.
UNHCR provides international protection and finds solutions to the refugee situation in Afghanistan building upon the ongoing consultations within the context of the Support Platform for the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) and the Global Compact on Refugees. These include the Inaugural Meeting of the Core Group of the SSAR Support Platform (7 October 2020), the 7th Meeting of the SSAR Quadripartite Steering Committee (1 October 2020), and the High-Level Meeting on the SSAR Support Platform (6 July 2020).
While ongoing security challenges remain significant, there is also an opportunity at present for Afghanistan’s gradual progression on the path towards peace and stability, which could pave the way for the long-awaited solution of voluntary repatriation. UNHCR will expand the Priority Area of Return and Reintegration (PARR) from 20 to 40 areas in 2021. Full, explicit and impactful inclusion of returning refugees into national development planning and programming is essential to enable their sustainable reintegration which will in turn solidify and fortify the broader peacebuilding, reconciliation and stabilization efforts, the integral linkages between timely, inclusive and forward-looking planning for return and reintegration and the three overarching pillars of Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF II) for 2021-2025, as well as relevant implementation mechanisms, including the National Priority Programs (NPPs):
Peacebuilding: ensuring that the imperative of voluntary return and reintegration is firmly embedded in relevant peace processes and any subsequent agreement with a view to enabling returning refugees to become part of cohesive and harmonious communities and to
participate in peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts.
Market-building: capitalizing on the human capital, skills and assets acquired by refugees in host countries to support market-building efforts and address human resource gaps, including through return of qualified individuals, private sector investments or opportunities for regional connectivity; and
State-building: advancing inclusion of the displaced in development processes, planning and programmes; with particular focus on enhancing absorption capacity and delivery of quality services and ensuring rights through targeted humanitarian, development, and peace (triple nexus) investments in priority areas of return and reintegration, building resilience of communities as a whole; in full alignment with the strategic long-term approach to peacebuilding outlined by the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The Programme Associate would normally receive guidance from more senior programme staff in the operation/bureau/division. S/he may receive indirect guidance from other sections and units relevant to the country/region programme(s). UNHCR Manual, Operations Plans, UN and UNHCR financial/budgetary rules and regulations will guide the work of the Programme Associate. S/he is expected to stay abreast of the challenges posed by the operational context, the UN and humanitarian reform and institutional developments.
The incumbent is expected to have contacts within the organization and outside the duty station, as well as with partners and other stakeholders to collect information, monitor programme activities and implement administrative requirements. The incumbent will have to establish good working relationships with their peers at country level to facilitate the collection of information and other programme management related activities.
The incumbent is expected to work in line with the multi-functional team (MFT) approach as defined within the Program Manual, ensuring the participation of relevant stakeholders in all phases of the Program Management Cycle.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
- Support the assessment and analysis of the needs of persons of concern in the country/region in a participatory manner and using an Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) perspective as basis for planning.
- Assist in managing the development of a broad network of partners, good coordination practices and the development of partner capacities related to programme management if applicable.
- Assist in organizing and documenting the selection of partners in accordance with the policy on selection and retention of partners, ensuring due diligence to meet the requirements of projects.
- Provide support to the field with technical advice to ensure partnership agreements are established in a timely manner, regularly monitored and reported on in compliance with established guidelines and procedures included in the framework for implementing with partners.
- Support the implementation and performance of partnership agreements through field visits and appropriate physical monitoring if applicable, reviewing performance and financial reports.
- Support the development and implementation of MFT monitoring plans for activities implemented through partnerships and those under direct implementation in line with Programme Manual and programming instructions.
- Contribute to the review and analysis of operations plans, mid-year and year-end reports of the different UNHCR offices, ensuring quality assurance and compliance with established policies, guidelines, procedures and standards. Generate and maintain records of implementation rate (performance progress and expenditures) on a regular basis.
- Follow up on any change in regards to alignment of results chain, verifying indicators, budget, prioritization, apportioning needed to measure programme performance, trends and target interventions, contributing to soundness of Operations Plan and enhancement of data quality.
- Follow up with UNHCR offices the compliance with issuance of audit certificates for partners in line with the Policy on Risk-Based Project Audits.
- Provide support to the field through technical advice and training on resource allocation processes and other programmatic issues.
- Use UNHCR¿s corporate tools (e.g. Focus Client, Global Focus Insight and FOCUS Reader, MSRP) for core activities related to planning, budgeting, implementation and reporting, generating data for evidence-based programmatic decisions and analysis.
- Support UNHCRs programming of community of practice and continuously contributing to improvements of programming tools and processes.
- Perform other duties as required
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For G6 - 3 years relevant experience with High School Diploma; or 2 years relevant work experience with Bachelor or equivalent or higher
Field(s) of Education
Certificates and/or Licenses
Relevant Job Experience
Demonstrated experience in programme management, Operation Management Cycle and related processes. Knowledge of Results Based-Management. Computer skills (in MS office) including advanced Excel skills (pivot tables, data management, etc.)
Completion of UNHCR Learning Programmes or specific training relevant to function of the position including Programme Management ¿ Level 1. E-tutoring of PM1, Framework for Implementing with Partners Learning Programme. Experience in programme management training and capacity building activities.
PG-Programme Management (programme cycles and reporting standards)
PG-Development and monitoring of programme assessments and surveys
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
The management of the advertised openings in this announcement is in line with UNHCR Recruitment and Assignment Policy (RAP).
The vacancies are open to eligible internal and external applicants.
- Internal applicants are requested to submit their applications through Workday – Menu – Career. It is important that applicants update their Profiles (languages, education and prior working experience) before submitting their applications.
- External applicants are requested to submit their applications through the UNHCR Careers - Careers (myworkdayjobs.com). You will need to create an account as “New User” and then click on “My Account Information”. Complete the application and submit it.