Job Description

  UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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. UNDP is on the ground in about 170 countries and territories, working with national counterparts on solutions to global and national development challenges.

UNDP Afghanistan Mission Statement:

UNDP supports stabilization, state-building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP, in partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, helps countries to achieve sustainable development by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shock. In Afghanistan, a country in conflict, UNDP works for development and recovery choices that reduce vulnerability and contribute a development perspective to strengthen humanitarian and peace-building responses.

Organizational Context

UNDP is committed to supporting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) with the achievement of its core objectives of self-reliance and peace and helping it to meet the challenge of the transition from a war to a peace economy. To meet these goals, the Government has identified a comprehensive set of national priorities in the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF). To achieve the Agenda 2030, the Government has also developed a set of 16 Afghan Sustainable Development Goals (A-SDGs) and ten national priority programs (NPPs) to place the country on a path towards sustainable development. Progress towards self-reliance and peace across the country will be guided and measured by the targets and indicators described in each of these frameworks.

To support the Government’s efforts to implement the ANPDF, NPPs and the A-SDGs, UNDP offers a unique and highly integrated model for sustainable development based mainly on its traditional strengths in three main areas:
  1. Promoting Human Development to improve human wellbeing, resilience and support environmental sustainability
  2. Providing technical expertise in the use of a Multi-Dimensional Poverty approach to reduce vulnerabilities, inequalities and exclusions
  3. Promoting Human Rights to ensure a fair distribution of development opportunities and benefits in social, political, economic and environmental dimensions
In addition, UNDP now has the Mandate to support SDG Integration to ensure faster progress on sustainable development and can offer support in four areas, (1) Integrated policy and  programming solutions, (2) SDG metrics, data and Analysis using state-of-the-art tools for modelling and forecasting, (3) Knowledge and innovation and (4) SDG Financing services to help countries identify innovative ways to expand public and private contributions to reach the 2030 agenda. Lastly, the Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted an urgent need to adopt a Systems Approach that is orientated towards building Resilience to future shocks through continuously reviewed scenario analyses.

However, to make significant progress on the many highly complex development issues that face the country will require new ways of thinking, new skills and a much more collaborative and inclusive approach. UNDP will need to:
  1. Attract the right staff: New staff need to be engaged who have the sort of development policy expertise required to tackle the many highly complex development issues facing the country. As the COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown, these staff will need to be able to understand the interconnections and interrelationships between different issues and be able to incorporate multiple-perspectives in the approaches developed. For example, to move people out of multi-dimensional poverty, a systemic understanding of the interplay between socio-economic factors, regional differences, and shifts in the political economy will be needed.
  1. Provide high-quality policy analysis: To ensure that interventions selected are those most likely to have the greatest national-level impact, UNDP’s economic modelling team will carry out economic analyses of the options available to help build greater trust in Government, reduce the economic impact of COVID-19 and help to forge a sustainable peace.
  1. Develop new modes of collaboration: UNDP’s new way of doing business will also involve leveraging a wider range of expertise and resources by working across organizations through a Government-led platform approach. Country Support Platforms harness collective intelligence and action to benefit communities and people at a greater scale, more quickly, making the best use of resources.
This job description is a direct response to these needs and UNDP’s improved Business Model. It reflects a new office structure that has recently been put in place to support the vision expressed in an emerging portfolio of ten new Country Office (CO) programmes and to facilitate a more collaborative approach to work across the office and with external partners. This structure is also designed to provide the foundation for a new emphasis on sub-national level work, support higher delivery rates, and to transform UNDP into a learning organization and ‘fit-for-purpose’ to deliver on Agenda 2030 which in turn will support national staff and institutional capacity development.

The design of UNDP’s new programme portfolio is intended to support progress towards sustainable development and sustainable peace. It focuses on economic transformation, sustainable energy, social protection, environment and climate change, and governance issues such as anti-corruption, local government, justice and security sector reform, peace and reconciliation. The design of each of these programmes is based on the UN’s three core principles of human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability and is guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan (2018-2021). Taken together and implemented in an integrated way through a platform approach, the proposed programmes will contribute towards achieving Peace, Prosperity and Sustainability in Afghanistan. Each of these themes is reflected in the new organizational structure for the CO.

In this context, the Partnerships and External Relations Team is entrusted with the following: 1.     Partnership strategy development and coordination 2.     Donor relationship management, including forecasting of donor priorities and strategies, and overseeing donor reporting; 3.     Anticipating donor relationship issues; 4.     Collaborating with donors on substantive design 5.     Support to programme teams & senior management with donor intelligence, and marketing materials 6.     Marketing UNDP capabilities and value proposition 7.     Supporting the work to position UNDP as a thought leader in international and national discourse on the key substantive areas of our programme.

The Partnerships Specialist is an integral part of this new structural approach intended to fulfill the evolving role of  partnerships and External Relations Team. The incumbent endeavors to provide a technical emphasis on the CO’s financial sustainability and strategic emphasis on leading UNDP and in taking a more externally-focused posture in support of Afghanistan’s development challenges.

Under the direct supervision of Partnership and Externa Relations Specialist, , the incumbent fulfills the evolving role partnerships development and strategic communications in the  CO. The incumbent focuses on its  financial sustainability through the development and strengthening of partnerships with a view to contributing to resource The incumbent promotes client-oriented approach while having strong networking savvy and political acumen performing her/his functions in collaboration with Programme team leaders and the CO and Regional senior management to continuously reflect on how UNDP engages with its partners and stakeholders in order to truly fulfill UNDP’s strategic position and value proposition.  In doing so the incumbent develops the relationships, systems and tools to integrate business development income streams with strategic Resource Management leading to a greater financial sustainability for the CO.  The incumbent will be accountable for deliverable measurable outcomes for partnership development, donor management, client relations.

The Partnerships Specialist has a strong regular working relationship with the Communications Analysts and other Regional Communication Advisors. The incumbent also works in close collaboration with the Business Development, Programme and Operations teams, staff of other UN Agencies, UNDP HQs staff (Communications Office) and Government officials, international and local media, subject matter experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UNDP communication strategy implementation.

A partnership strategy tightly linked to program priorities helps position the CO in key development markets as a thought leader in ways that boost demand for various service lines and increase overall business opportunities. The incumbent will be responsible for implementing the Partnership Strategy with the team and support the External Relations Specialist in developing annual workplans and engage with network of partners as required.

Incumbent will approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and display a strong client orientation. As such s/he will display flexibility in performing other emerging tasks and additional duties as required.

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Ensures partnership engagement focusing on the following results:
  • Leadership of the engagement and partnerships effort of the CO, with a focus on strategic business development.
  • Articulating UNDP’s value proposition and varied service offer in operational and partnership engagement terms
  • Leveraging in-house as well as external resource people in the area of communications and development results analytics to ensure UNDP’s offers are well packaged, tailored, and visible by the right audiences
  • Identify new and catalytic ways of working with partners that speak with the Country Programme
  • Lead the communication of partnership modalities that create an amplification effect for UNDP and development partners
  • Develop business development campaigns and tailored client outreach efforts including direct support with government cost sharing and innovative financial solutions
  • Leverage UNDPs network of communications and partnership development expertise as well as innovative external approaches to develop the analytics and messaging appropriate to, and visible by, the desired client.
  • Monitor progress and communicate to partners and stakeholders on results and, as part of this, oversee the reporting and communications functions to enhance advocacy, partnership opportunities, and fund raising
2. Contributes tothe planning and design of internal and external strategies for communications and outreach focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Planning and elaboration of communications needs assessments for CO (projects, country programme and corporate change initiatives, etc)
  • Elaboration of the CO communications and outreach strategy based on the corporate communications strategy.
  • Constructive and timely advice on inclusion of communications components in programme formulations to integrate advocacy and communication strategies into all aspects of UNDP’s development programme.
3. Provides substantive support to business development focusing on effective internal and external partnership relations with the following results:
  • Effective Internal and External Partnership Relations:
  • Based on in-depth knowledge of UNDP’s work in environment, climate change, crisis and fragility, identify targeted interventions to mobilize support for UNDP’s portfolio and positively influence donor countries’ funding decisions;
  • Builds, nurtures and maintains effective internal and external working relations within UNDP, including relevant Representation Offices responsible for specific donor countries;
  • Develop, nurture and manage relations with multi-lateral and bi-lateral partners, IFIs, the private sector, UN entities, Member States Permanent Missions, private sector, Civil Society Organizations;
  • Engage in and support the organization of relevant events, such as environment, climate change, recovery and reconstruction international conferences, thematic events, etc.
4. Substantive support to the mobilization of resources:
  • Identify and develop new opportunities for non-core resource mobilization and advise senior management, the Programme and Operations Team Leaders on appropriate strategies and approaches to seize these opportunities;
  • Support opportunities for strategic and coherent resource mobilization for UNDP’s programmatic thematic areas.
  • Support the conceptualization and formulation of concept notes, proposals and other requested documents, and ensure appropriate follow-up;
  • Support engagement and negotiations with partners in relation to resource mobilization;
  • Work closely with relevant teams, to provide inputs in compliance with donor reporting requirements and quality reporting.
5. Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country goals and activities.
  • Monitor practices, and project-specific news and developments in order to ensure guidance to the office that reflects the best and most current available information.
  • Provides advice and support to UNDP inputs to CCA, UNDAF, CPD and other documents
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice including corporate communications repositories.
  • Organization and provision of training, consultancy and advice to UNDP staff on communications.




Ability to make new and useful ideas work Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement themLevel 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in othersLevel 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement Level 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutionsLevel 5: Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions Technical/Functional

Detailed list of competencies can be accessed through and hiring managers are encouraged to familiarize themselves for more information Substantive positioning of UNDP

Knowledge of global institutions (such as the UN, IFIs), processes, good grasp of UNDP’s positioning, and ability to engage and foster strong networks with those institutions Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Multilateral Affairs​​ Knowledge of multilateral agencies (OECD, IFIs, EU, Regional Development Banks, etc.), including respective mandates and ways of working Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Negotiation

Ability to reach understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise ​​Partnerships

Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Resource Mobilization

Understanding of donor priorities, strategies and funding architecture, ability to prepare funding proposals Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Brand & Quality Management

Ability to strengthen UNDP's identity and distinction through its brand and uphold it to a high level of quality Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Substantive Networking

Ability to substantively engage and foster networks with member states, IFIs, UN partners, academia, research institutions, and think tanks Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Trends and Emerging Areas Analytics

Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise Representation

Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues) Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s or Bachelor’s degree in public policy, communications, politics, economics, development studies, business Administration, public administration or a related area.
  • Masters with 5 years or Bachelor’s with 7 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing strategic communications and business development services and well versed on financial management services, resource mobilization, development cooperation and partnerships
  • Experience in donor and UN partnerships/public relations.
  • Experience with non-traditional development actors is a distinct advantage.
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel etc.) and advance knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages,
  • Experience in handling of web-based Management Systems and ERP financials, preferably PeopleSoft (Atlas).
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English. Dari/Pashtu language will be an advantage.


Important applicant information All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.

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