Title:  Chief Technical Advisor

​​Requisition ID: 3966 
Grade: ISA-Senior Specialist 
Country: Afghanistan 
Duty Station: Kabul 
Category: International Consultant 
Type of Job Posting: Internal and External
Employment Type: Non-staff Regular

Contract Duration: 12 months (with the possibility of extension)
Application Deadline: 27-Jun-2024, 11:59 PM (CEST)  


Vacancy Announcement
Female candidates are encouraged to apply.



The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability. The mission of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013 as well as the Abu Dhabi Declaration adopted at the eighteenth session of UNIDO General Conference in 2019, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States. The relevance of ISID as an integrated approach to all three pillars of sustainable development is recognized by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame United Nations and country efforts towards sustainable development. UNIDO’s mandate is fully recognized in SDG-9, which calls to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The relevance of ISID, however, applies in greater or lesser extent to all SDGs. Accordingly, the Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in four strategic priorities: Creating shared prosperity; Advancing economic competitiveness; Safeguarding the environment; and Strengthening knowledge and institutions.

Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation. Such core functions are carried out in Divisions/Offices in its Headquarters, Regional Offices and Hubs and Country Offices.


The Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Industrial Development (TCS), headed by a Managing Director, oversees the Organization's development of capacities for industrial development as well as industrial policy advice, statistics and research activities and the Organization's normative contribution to Member States and global development community in achieving the SDGs. The Directorate also ensures the application of strategies and interventions for sustainable industrial development related to Environment, Energy, SMEs, Competitiveness and Job creation, as well as Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. Through coordination in-house and with Member States and industry stakeholders, it ensures that the services provided in these areas contribute toward effective and appropriate technical, business and policy solutions and are focused on results and on realizing any potential for scaling up and positioning UNIDO as a leading platform for industrial development in developing countries and global fora.


The Directorate houses the technical Divisions of Capacity Development and Industrial Policy Advice (TCS/CAP); Circular Economy and Environmental Protection (TCS/CEP); Decarbonization and Sustainable Energy (TCS/DSE); SMEs, Competitiveness and Job Creation (TCS/SME); and Digital Transformation and AI Strategies (TCS/DAS). The Directorate also ensures close coordination and collaboration among the Divisions as well as with relevant entities in the Directorate of Global Partnerships and External Relations (GLO) and the Directorate of SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation (IET).


This position is located under the Competitiveness, Quality and Compliance Unit (TCS/SME/CQC) which builds national and regional production and quality infrastructure systems, with an emphasis on providing internationally recognized services, facilitating SME participation in regional and global value chains; strengthening institutional quality infrastructure capacities (i.e. standardization, metrology, and accreditation); building conformity assessment capacities (testing, inspection, certification, calibration, etc.); and supporting trade facilitation and quality awareness with the public sector, economic operators and consumers, placing a special emphasis on capacitating SMEs.



PROGRAMME CONTEXT (STFA-South-eastern Region)


The Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (hereinafter referred to as the Fund or STFA) was established on 20 October 2021 to enable joint, well-coordinated, UN interventions to help address basic human needs across vulnerable communities in Afghanistan, complementing the ongoing humanitarian response. STFA is aligned with the UN Strategic Framework for Afghanistan (UNSFA) and brings together, as of November 2023, 17 Participating UN Organizations (PUNOs).


The Fund serves as an inter-agency mechanism to enable donors to channel their resources and coordinate their support to UNSFA and to the UN joint programmes developed under it. The Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan has a two-tier decision-making and coordination structure, through the Steering Committee and the Technical Coordination Working Group. The Fund is administered by the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office), acting as the Administrative Agent. The Trust Fund Management Unit (TFMU) is the Fund Secretariat for STFA and is the entity responsible for the operational functioning of the Fund: it provides technical and management support to the Steering Committee and supports coordination activities at central (Kabul) level.


STFA’s portfolio at present is comprised of eight Regional Joint Programmes, four of which are currently (partially) funded. While STFA/TFMU Secretariat plays an important role in coordinating the engagement of Participating UN Organizations (PUNOs) at central (Kabul) level, the role of regional (sub-national) coordination is critical to ensure that complementarities and synergies at field level are adequately capitalized on, and to minimize the risk of fragmentation and ‘siloed’ approaches to programming under STFA, at field level. Lack of coordination and fragmentation in the field ultimately translates into higher costs for the UN system, it compromises the overall quality of interventions, reduces the impact to end-users and beneficiaries, and leads to missed opportunities to convey strategic, high-level, messages on the impact of the collective work of AFPs in the field. Improved regional coordination also allows agencies to better capitalize on the available specialized expertise in the system, and to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ because of donor-driven requirements or commitments. While humanitarian agencies already have a robust platform for coordination at sub-national level (through OCHA and its regional officers ), such coordination architecture is lacking under the Basic Human Needs programme umbrella.


UNIDO function as the STFA Regional Coordinator

Against this backdrop, UNIDO has been selected as the regional coordinator to undertake a well-defined set of activities throughout the year.


The STFA Regional Coordinator will support the effective planning, delivery and reporting of ‘Delivering as One’ interventions at regional level - and will act as the main ‘liaison point’ for the STFA Secretariat/TFMU based in Kabul. UNIDO will be expected to regularly liaise with the rest of the STFA PUNOs working in the region and with TFMU; to take the lead in consolidating the six-monthly and annual reporting (for submission to TFMU for review and quality assurance); and to engage, on behalf of other PUNOs working in the region, in STFA platforms (such as donor meetings and TCWG meetings), when required. Ultimately, the STFA Regional Coordinator will support the strengthening of the ‘Delivering as One’ approach at regional level, being proactive in advocating and reaching out to PUNOs and other stakeholders (such as HRP agencies, OCHA, UNAMA’s Regional Office, etc.) to promote greater collaboration in the field, while, at the same time, acknowledging the programmatic autonomy and programmatic accountability of PUNOs in delivering the funds assigned to them. The intent is not to institute a new, vertical/hierarchical structure of supervision and reporting, but to enable and facilitate horizontal (peer-to-peer) collaboration: the Regional Coordinator will function as a key convener and facilitator for inter-agency dialogues at regional level, as well as an ‘advocate’ and ‘champion’ to promote greater inter-agency collaboration under the chapeau of STFA Regional Joint Programmes.


PROJECT CONTEXT (UNIDO) Overview/UNIDO Project Summary/Project Purpose>


SAP ID 230127 (STFA Joint Programme for the South-Eastern Region of Afghanistan: Addressing Basic Human Needs (‘JP-South-Eastern’).


The current situation in Afghanistan continues to call for life-saving assistance and for the provision of essential services to help meet basic human needs among vulnerable communities in the country: against this backdrop, the United Nations remains committed to ‘stay and deliver’ for the people of Afghanistan. The new UN Transitional Engagement Framework (TEF), launched in January 2024, represents the common basis for the United Nations and partners to deliver a coordinated and effective crisis response after the power shift in August 2021.


The programme contributes directly to two main outcomes of the TEF: to sustain essential services (Outcome 2); and to preserve social investments and community-level systems essential to meeting basic human needs (Outcome 3). It is part of the unprecedented efforts of the United Nations and partners to ‘deliver as one’ in the new socio-economic and political landscape in Afghanistan. As of April 2022, seventeen Agencies, Funds and Programmes (AFPs) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as Participating UN Organisations (PUNOs) of the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (STFA); seven of these PUNOs are implementing partners under this initiative. For the first time, these PUNOs are engaging in such a comprehensive joint programme to deliver assistance with speed and scale on the ground in Afghanistan.


UNIDO’s contribution to the STFA Joint Programme in Southeastern region focuses on economic recovery through enterprise development, which is captured in outcome 2 of the programme, namely:


Outcome 2: By the end of 2025, more people in Afghanistan, notably women and vulnerable groups, will benefit from an increasingly inclusive economy, with greater equality of economic opportunities, jobs, more resilient livelihoods, strengthened food value chains, and improved natural resources management.


To this end, UNIDO will focus on three outputs.


  1. Market potential assessment and investment promotion: UNIDO will carry out mapping and identification of potential beneficiaries, conduct market assessment to identify business development and investment opportunities in potential sectors and value chains and finally raise awareness of the potential beneficiaries, through workshops on investment opportunities and project support mechanisms (i.e., technical assistance and grants). All the market assessments, mapping and value chain studies will have a gender focus to identified specific opportunities for supporting women and women-led economic activities.


  1. Technical Assistance: The technical assistance will include provision of training and capacity building in soft and hard skills based on the needs of the target value chains, provision or equipment to individual enterprise or for establishment of common facility centers, and support to formation of clusters for joint business activities and better market access. UNIDO’s technical assistance will draw on various specialized services of UNIDO such as quality, enterprise development, value chain and cluster development, entrepreneurship, human security and poverty reduction.


  1. Co-financing: UNIDO will within the project co-finance investment proposals submitted by entrepreneurs and businesses, which have direct link to project objectives. The grant support will be closely linked with the Technical Assistance and will specifically target investments that involve women as beneficiaries of the business. UNIDO will seek collaboration with other relevant PUNOs in each of the three areas of activities.





The Chief Technical Advisor will work under the overall supervision of the UNIDO Project Manager (PM) and will have the duties and responsibilities listed below. The UNIDO Country Office in Afghanistan will provide guidance and supervision as necessary.


Main Duties

Project Implementation

- Manages the implementation of the project, assuming full responsibility for the provision of project implementation services ensuring that assigned inputs are delivered on time at the right level of quality and within the allocated budget;

Brief counterparts on the objectives, the planned approach, institutional arrangements and respective responsibilities;

- Consult with all contributing parties on objectives, work plans and delegation of responsibilities;

- In consultation with the UNIDO PMs, identify in detail the nature of international and national expertise required; in consultation with relevant national counterparts prepare draft job descriptions;

- Coordinate the local work of short‐term sector‐specific national and international consultants and sub‐contractors, to ensure smooth project delivery;

- Formulation of job descriptions for consultants to be filled for various activities in cooperation with the project manager.  Assisting in the identification of suitable candidates;

- Guide and supervise the work of national and international consultants to ensure smooth project delivery;

- Be responsible for the day‐to‐day operations of the Project and the disbursement of local expenditures based on standard UNIDO disbursement procedures;

- Participate in the technical committee, which UNIDO will be part of together with the Donors and national counterparts.


Programme Coordination Support

Programme/project coordination;

- Prepare, in coordination with the PMs and relevant sector‐specific stakeholders, detailed work plans;

- Prepare and monitor detailed work plans and budgets of the different interventions including a time plan for fielding experts, training, fellowships, sub‐contracts, equipment purchases, etc.;

- Define institutional development objectives, work targets that can be reasonably achieved within the project funding and period. Identify any pre‐conditions that need to be fulfilled by the Government to achieve these objectives;

- Provide technical advice and direction to the project implementing partners and relevant stakeholders on the overall project objective.


Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

Ensure the administrative and financial monitoring of the programme/project and its activities;

- Prepare monthly / quarterly / bi-annual / annual financial and substantive reports for the programme/project according to donor specifications and UNIDO requirements;

- Prepare documentation of the tripartite Project Steering Committee meetings and act as Secretary, responsible for follow-up actions;

- Prepare regular progress reports, ad hoc reports and assist in the development of visibility and information dissemination material upon request of the Donor and the counterparts;

- Assume responsibility for the annual technical reports of the project in line with the standardized template and in accordance with the requirements of the donors;

- Support the PM in coordinating mid-term and final evaluation.


External relations

Establish and maintain relations and exchange of information with the local authorities, private sector institutions, enterprises, support institutions and other development partners;

- Presents the project, project progress and results to the Donors and partners to keep them updated at regular intervals; presents the project at annual steering committee meetings, liaise project activities with the Donor and partners and manages regular reporting including budget related aspects of the financing agreement;

- Ensures compliance of implementation of the Donor Visibility Requirements and proper implementation of the project's Communications and Visibility Plan;

- Participates in key sector coordination meetings convened by the Government or development partners relevant to the action.


Resource mobilization

Actively identify opportunities for development of new projects ideas and partnership opportunities in other STFA regional programme;

- Provide technical input in the formulation of new projects in collaboration with UNIDO HQ colleagues and ensure timely approval within UNIDO prior to submission to the target Donor/Partners;

- Liaise closely with STFA and UN-RC offices and keep abreast of the needs of the country and opportunities for new project development and resource mobilization;

- Identifying opportunities for partnership with other siter agencies for new projects in other regions of Afghanistan.


Final phase

Prepare a consolidated final report of the programme/project in close consultation with all the stakeholders and submit to UNIDO by the end of the programme/project.



Education: Advanced university degree in a field related to Science and Engineering, Economics, Business Administration, Sustainable Industrial Development or other relevant discipline is required.   


Technical and Functional Experience:


  • At least ten (10) years of international professional experience in sustainable development, with a focus on economic development within private or public sector organizations is required.
  • Expertise in grants management, securing funding aligned with project goals, enterprise development, market strategies, and optimizing value chains is desirable.
  • Proficiency in designing and executing skills development and training programs, with an understanding of training needs in developing countries is required.
  • Expertise in gender-inclusive project design, focusing on low-income countries is strongly desirable.
  • Expertise in livelihood development, with a focus on MSMEs and the empowerment of women, is desirable.
  • Experience in working in developing countries, including in complex contexts and/or remote areas, and as part of multicultural teams is desirable.
  • Robust skills in monitoring and evaluation for data-driven decision-making, is required.
  • Proficiency in providing advisory services, offering technical guidance and consultative support is desirable.
  • Experience in working with the UN system, international organizations or non-governmental organizations and/or with the donors’ community is desirable.
  • Willingness to travel to the provinces and within Afghanistan is required.


Languages: Fluency in written and spoken English is required.





Core Values

WE LIVE AND ACT WITH INTEGRITY: work honestly, openly and impartially.

WE SHOW PROFESSIONALISM: work hard and competently in a committed and responsible manner.

WE RESPECT DIVERSITY: work together effectively, respectfully and inclusively, regardless of our differences in culture and perspective.


Key Competencies

WE FOCUS ON PEOPLE: cooperate to fully reach our potential –and this is true for our colleagues as well as our clients. Emotional intelligence and receptiveness are vital parts of our UNIDO identity.

WE FOCUS ON RESULTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: focus on planning, organizing and managing our work effectively and efficiently. We are responsible and accountable for achieving our results and meeting our performance standards. This accountability does not end with our colleagues and supervisors, but we also owe it to those we serve and who have trusted us to contribute to a better, safer and healthier world.

WE COMMUNICATE AND EARN TRUST: communicate effectively with one another and build an environment of trust where we can all excel in our work.

WE THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND INNOVATE: To stay relevant, we continuously improve, support innovation, share our knowledge and skills, and learn from one another.


Managerial and Leadership Competencies

WE ARE STRATEGIC, DECISIVE, PRINCIPLED AND INSPIRATIONAL: As managers, we are strategic and fair in driving our team's performance. As leaders, we are a source of inspiration, stand for norms and standards established in the UN Charter and duty bound to defend these ideals with a principled approach.

WE ARE INCLUSIVE AND ACCOUNTABLE: As managers, we are inclusive in our approach and maintain constructive engagement with all our stakeholders. As leaders, we embrace all personnel and stakeholders and are accountable mutually within UNIDO, within the system, to beneficiaries and the public and beyond.

WE ARE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL AND TRANSFORMATIONAL: As managers, we go beyond conventional methods to help our organizational units strengthen their own agility and adaptability to change. As leaders in the UN system, we have a vision which is integrated and engaged across the pillars of Peace and Security, Human Rights and Development.

WE ARE COLLABORATIVE AND CO-CREATIVE: As managers, we foster a team spirit and create meaningful opportunities to hear the voices of those around us, while realizing that only by working together can we accomplish our mission. As leaders we see the inter-dependency of imperatives of the UN Charter and personally champion a collaborative inter-agency, multi-stakeholders and cross-thinking approach.


Entitlements such as 'Danger pay', 'Post adjustment', 'Hardship' or 'Rest & recuperation' may apply to accompany the monthly salary!

This appointment is limited to the specified project(s) only and does not carry any expectation of renewal.
Employees of UNIDO are expected at all times to uphold the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for jobs at UNIDO.

All applications must be submitted online through the Online Recruitment System. Correspondence will be undertaken only with candidates who are being considered at an advanced phase of the selection process. Selected candidate(s) may be required to disclose to the Director General the nature and scope of financial and other personal interests and assets in respect of themselves, their spouses and dependents, under the procedures established by the Director General.

Visit the UNIDO website for details on how to apply: www.unido.org

NOTE: The Director General retains the discretion to make an appointment to this post at a lower level. 

Notice to applicants:
UNIDO does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. If you have received a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Vacant positions within UNIDO are advertised on the official UNIDO website. Should you have any questions concerning persons or companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of UNIDO and requesting payment of a fee, please contact: recruitment@unido.org