Senior Programme Manager (Deputy Team Leader, Programme Management Unit), (P-5), Fixed Term, Kabul, Afghanistan

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, a future

The situation in Afghanistan remains exceptionally complex, with a protracted emergency situation, characterized by recurrent natural disasters, an increased number of people living in poverty, continued internal displacement, unprecedented levels of food insecurity, further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This complexity has greatly impacted the situation of children and women in the country. The withdrawal of United States military forces from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the establishment of a de-facto government by the Taliban has exacerbated the complexity and uncertainty of the situation. UNICEF is required to rapidly adapt our ways of working to address the multiple operational constraints present in the highly volatile and unpredictable context. This includes the need to establish a Programme Management Unit that will provide operational and transactional capacity to the Afghanistan Country Office to ensure urgent lifesaving and resilience building programmes can continue. 

How can you make a difference?

The Afghanistan Programme Management Unit’s (APMU) Deputy Team Leader will report to the Team Leader. He/she will be based in Kabul and will provide support to the Team Leader for daily coordination of technical components of projects and manage staff directly engaged in technical delivery of APMU projects. 

In anticipation of agreements with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other major donors to implement programme interventions in the context of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Country Office (ACO) is looking for a Deputy Team Leader to provide technical oversight to APMU key functions including including data management, cash transfers, implementing partner management, and operations.  Under the direct guidance of the Team Leader, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring quality assurance and compliance of APMU projects with project operations manual and UNICEFs policies and procedures. This includes management of a high volume of grievances, potential fraud and other issues arising from implementation including security incidents and issues. The incumbent will be responsible to ensure that there is a decision making mechanism that caters for these issues on a daily basis.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Team Leader, the Deputy Team Leader, P5 will:

  • Efficiently oversee the operational functions of the APMU including contract management of the relevant technical assistance, payment management, partnership management, risk management and monitoring required for project delivery
  • Ensure that all beneficiary grievances that require decision from UNICEF are reviewed and acted upon in line with the project parameters and principles
  • Ensure that all presumed cases of fraud are followed up and acted upon
  • Oversee that establishment and monitoring of implementing partnership management, quality assurance, risk management and metrics for APMU projects. This also includes review and streamlining of operational procedures, project procedures and maintaining up to date security risks and mitigation measures.
  • Supervise the technical coordination mechanisms and make recommendations to the Team Leader for changes in project management parameters as required
  • Provide strategic guidance to supervisees to ensure the beneficiary data management function, grievances redressal, finance, contracting and partnership management can work in a coordinated manner.
  • Work closely with the PMU Field Coordinator to ensure field level operations are discharged in line with operational and technical requirements
  • Work closely with ACO Programme Sections to ensure APMU services and programme technical requirements are in close synergy and that APMU is providing services in line with programme requirements.
  • Represent the Team Leader in project implementation process and improvement. This will require travel across Afghanistan.
  • Represent the Team Leader in external engagements including with other UN agencies, donors and partners.
  • Review and approve processes that will ensure design and data integrity; these include software and hardware in compliance with all UNICEF and international best practices and standards.
  • Review and approve inputs into external and internal reports and briefing notes
  • Act as the focal point for internal and external audits of project design and risks.
  • Act as the focal point for project coordination matters of operational nature with field offices and the country office.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Social Sciences, International Relations, Public Policy, Public Administration, Social Development, Development Planning, or other relevant disciplines. 
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of relevant professional experience in formulation of policy in international or national administration; experience in external aid administration and senior level international development administration.  Experience in emergency contexts highly desirable. Experience in cash transfer programmes is an asset.
  • Knowledge of emergency cash transfer operational requirements, contracting implications and partnerships, financial accountabilities, risk management and quality assurance
  • Background in Operations, fraud prevention/management, internal control mechanisms and setting up operational systems is a very strong advantage
  • Knowledge of programme management, methodology and practical application.
  • Knowledge, skills and leadership for managing teams, budgets and project execution
  • Knowledge of rights-based and results-based management and programming approach in UNICEF
  • Knowledge of UNICEF emergency programme policies, goals, strategies, approaches and procedures
  • Confidentiality, tact, diplomacy and good interpersonal skills are essential.
  • Programme and Project Management experience
  • Knowledge of global human rights issues, specifically relating to children and women, and the current UNCEF position and approaches.
  • Knowledge of UNICEF policies and strategy to address on national and international issues, particularly relating to conflicts, natural disasters, and recovery.
  • Knowledge of UNICEF emergency programme policies, goals, strategies and approaches.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) as well as core competencies in:

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Nurtures, leads and manages people

Functional Competencies:

  • Leading and Supervising [III]
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts [III]
  • Analyzing [III]
  • Relating and Networking [III]
  • Deciding and Initiating Action [III]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [III]
  • Communicating [III]

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


This is a non-family duty station.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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