Deputy Chief Electoral Advisor (UNESP Project)

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 10 April 2019
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 17 April 2019

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UNDP Afghanistan Mission Statement:

UNDP supports stabilization, state-building, governance and development priorities in Afghanistan. UNDP support, in partnership with the Government, the United Nations system, the donor community and other development stakeholders, has contributed to institutional development efforts leading to positive impact on the lives of Afghan citizens. Over the years, UNDP support has spanned such milestone efforts as the adoption of the Constitution; Presidential, Parliamentary and Provincial Council elections; institutional development through capacity-building to the legislative, the judicial and executive arms of the state, and key ministries, Government agencies and commissions at the national and subnational levels. UNDP has played a key role in the management of the Law and Order Trust Fund, which supports the Government in developing and maintaining the national police force and in efforts to stabilize the internal security environment. Major demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation and area-based livelihoods and reconstruction programmes have taken place nationwide. UNDP Programmes in Afghanistan have benefited from the very active support of donors. UNDP Afghanistan is committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and works in close coordination with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the UN system as a whole to maximize the impact of its development efforts on the ground.


Organizational context:

The UN Electoral Support Project (UNESP) is the international community’s programming vehicle to support the next elections in Afghanistan, including the parliamentary and district council elections conducted in 2018. The project has two overall objectives – 1) to build the capacity of the Afghan electoral institutions (the Independent Elections Commission and the Electoral Complaints Commission) to implement elections in line with the national electoral legal framework and Afghanistan’s international commitments to allow a programming mechanism for the international community to partially finance the elections as per the request of the Government of Afghanistan. The project follows previous UN projects in support of the Afghan electoral process, most notably the Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacity for Tomorrow (ELECT) projects, from 2006-2011 (ELECT I) and 2012-2015 (ELECT II), and the UNDP Project Initiation Plan that is in place since July 2015 – October 2017. The UNESP places the UN’s electoral support to Afghanistan directly under the political and supervisory oversight of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and reflects the growing sustainability of the Afghan electoral process, as evidenced by the Government of Afghanistan’s financial commitment to both electoral institutions, and the provision of significant in-kind support to the implementation of elections. The Project Board, under the overall political guidance of the UNAMA Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Political, will be co-chaired by UNAMA DSRSG for Political and the Chairpersons of the IEC and ECC or their delegates. It will be comprised of all key stakeholders to oversee and approve UNESP’s budget, annual work plans and policy in support of the Afghan electoral institutions. Project implementation support will be provided by Such as those articulated in agreements and statements issued ate the recent donor’s conferences in Brussel, Tokyo and London

the UNDP Country Office, reporting, on fiduciary and operational matters, to the UNAMA Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Development through the UNDP Resident Representative.

Along with support to both electoral institutions, UNESP will also support Afghan civil society’s civic and voter education and observation efforts to enhance the quality and quantity of participation in the electoral process. Overall, the project will have three outputs: (i) administration of credible elections is facilitated by the meeting of key IEC structural and planning milestones; (ii) credible electoral dispute resolution is provided by the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) (iii) public outreach (along with support to civil society) to encourage citizen engagement in the electoral process. Mainstreaming of gender throughout the project is evident in key output indicators related to women’s participation in all three project outputs, reflecting the importance that UNESP places on increasing the position of women in Afghan electoral and political life. The project also aims at supporting the EMBs in strengthening integrity of the electoral process by enhancing accountability of responsible actors and supporting the implementation of electoral fraud mitigation mechanisms. Assisting the EMBs to implement measures to increase public confidence in election and democracy will be mainstreamed through the electoral assistance provided.


Organizational Context of the Post

Under the overall guidance of UNDP Afghanistan Resident Representative (or their delegated authority) and UNEST Chief Electoral Advisor (CEA), the incumbent will advise and coordinate with other members of the UNESP Executive Team and the RR on substantive electoral matters of a political nature. The incumbent will also be part of the UN integrated electoral arrangements with UNAMA and is expected to work in close collaboration with the Deputy Chief Electoral Advisor (DCEA, Technical) and Project Manager, UNESP.


Summary of Key Functions

1- Political Electoral Advisory Support

  • When delegated by the Chief Electoral Adviser (CEA) and as operationally required, assume the responsibilities of the CEA, and on all other instances act as Deputy Chief Electoral Advisor (Political) in the provision of Political advice to the Afghan authorities and electoral stakeholders in tandem with the DCEA (Technical/PM)
  • Advise the CEA, UNDP RR and the DCEA (Technical/PM) on principles and election-related issues in the context of the Afghan Political Process
  • Provide strategic advice, on politically sensitive electoral issues pertaining to the planning and development of forthcoming electoral activities
  • Participate in strategic development and drafting of relevant papers, points of negotiations/discussion and engagement, as appropriate, on political electoral issues;
  • Strategic support to the leadership in planning activities and act as key senior political advisor to the Afghan electoral management bodies;
  • Provision of guidance to Afghan counterparts in the Independent Elections Commission (IEC) and Elections Complaints Commission (ECC) with politically sound advice on electoral matters;
  • Provide strategic collaborative support from a political perspective to the DCEA (Technical)/UNESP Project Management, in their effective implementation of electoral support programs and processes, helping to ensure minimal risk to the organisation while keeping the country’s interests in context
  • Identify programme development challenges and gaps and highlight key election issues, situational and strategic opportunities;
  • Provide policy advice based on best global experiences and practices;
  • Engage in the leadership and monitoring of the implementation of electoral policy advisory services as well as delivery of national policy products;

2- Coordination and Partnership Building

  • Work closely with UNEST Executive Team to support the UN efforts to coordinate the international community’s electoral assistance to Afghanistan;
  • Engage and liaise with the civil society and support dialogue processes as needed;
  • Engage and foster professional and productive partnerships with national counterpart institutions and other key stakeholders in the electoral process;
  • In collaboration with the project team, contribute to the continued development of effective communication mechanisms, regularly brief senior UN officials, partners, donors, counterparts as well as other key stakeholders on the electoral process.
  • Engage in the mobilisation and networking with experts in the international development community, government partners, UN organizations and appropriate think-tanks. Develop and maintain productive relations with partners;

3- Capacity Development and Institutional Development

  • Analyse and report on impact of domestic and international norms and processes on female participation and provide advice to the Electoral Management Bodies on appropriate corrective measures, as appropriate.
  • Document best practices, including concepts, strategies and implementation approaches and support the streamlining of programme policies and practices;
  • Collaborate with Leadership teams on the development of a long-term capacity development strategy for the Independent Election Commission, Elections Complaints Commission other stakeholders
  • Advocate and promote synthesis of best practices including active participation in UNDP global and regional networks;
  • Devise and encourage the implementation of a comprehensive strategy to improve the overall knowledge, skills and abilities of the Electoral staff both in the project, IEC and ECC;
  • Support the development of a culture of capacity development with the ultimate goal of national ownership


Electoral Cycle

Knowledge of electoral cycles, legal systems and institutions and process support, including risk and violence reduction strategies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situation

Inclusive Political Processes

Knowledge of inclusive political processes standards and principles and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Political Mediation

Ability to facilitate political mediation and influence and recommend solutions

Mentoring and capacity building

Ability to coach/mentor technical staff to enhance sustain capacity development

Design Thinking

Knowledge of method (s) for practical, creative resolution of problems and creation of solutions, with the intent of an improved future result.


Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships


  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in Law, International Relations, Politics, Social Science, or any other related field.


  • 10 years of work experience, management and policy advisory services, of which 7 years in electoral assistance.
  • Experience in large-scale post conflict electoral programs desirable;
  • Experience in advising national electoral authorities and donors on electoral frameworks and systems and elections planning and operations;
  • Proven management experience;
  • Sound knowledge and experience in all aspects of project cycle
  • Working experience in Afghanistan is an asset
  • Previous working experience for UNDP is an asset.

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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Contract Duration: 6 months with possibility of extension

This vacancy is archived.

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