• Added Date: Wednesday, 15 January 2020
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

UNAMA is a political mission that provides political good offices in Afghanistan; works with and supports the government; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation. Learn more about the mandate of the mission at https://unama.unmissions.org/.

This position is located in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Head of Office, Political Affairs will be based in Kandahar and will report to the Chief of Staff. Herat is classified as an “E” hardship duty station and a non-family duty station.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

• Lead, direct and coordinate the personnel and activities of all civilian Mission components in the Area of Responsibility, in line with the mandate and strategic guidance provided by Mission Headquarters, as well as applicable principles, rules and regulations.• Ensure the operational functioning of the Field Office, in collaboration with the Mission Support and Security components.• In consultation with substantive components at Mission Headquarters, direct the activities of the local substantive teams, which may work in the following thematic areas: political affairs, electoral affairs, peacebuilding and public information.• Formulate a comprehensive programme of work for the Field Office, determining priorities and activities that are in accordance with the mandate, UNAMA's strategic plan, Mission leadership's strategic guidance, and the Mission’s budget, and which promote coherence and integration across the substantive units; monitor and report on performance against targets/indicators, including for mandated reporting to the General Assembly, such as the budget performance report.• Work closely with the Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the Area of Responsibility to ensure that the ‘UN, working as One’ is properly implemented.• Through delegated authority, act as Area Security Coordinator, responsible for implementing the UN security management framework, designed to ensure the protection of all UN staff and assets.
• Supervise, mentor, and evaluate staff, participate in the selection of new staff.

Analysis, Advice and Reporting
• Identify, analyze and monitor local developments and emerging issues with respect to Mission priorities.• Assess implications and make recommendations to Mission leadership and partners on possible strategies, policies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives and UN principles and values; monitor, evaluate and report on outcomes.• Ensure regular, timely and high-quality reporting to Mission leadership on pertinent developments and issues. Manage the preparation of summary and analytical reports, including situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file and draft code cables.• Oversee the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes and profiles.
• Ensure an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information for Field Office personnel and UNAMA Headquarters.

Planning, Coordination and Facilitation
• Develop and maintain productive relationships with local authorities, political and community leaders, civil society actors, the UN family and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters.• Perform other duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate to various issues and perspectives on political, social, economic, and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. Strong communication and analytical skills, political acumen and a demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective networks; shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; and remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; and uses time efficiently.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; and shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

JUDGEMENT AND DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; and makes tough decisions when necessary.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; and demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in political, civil or humanitarian affairs, conflict resolution, human rights, programme management, or a related field is required.
Extensive experience in outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required.
Experience supporting good offices efforts to advance mandate implementation and/or enable humanitarian access is required.
Experience engaging non-state armed groups is desirable. Management experience in an international environment, including management and coordination of multidisciplinary teams, is required.
Experience working in an international organization or non-governmental organization in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required.
Experience working on or in Afghanistan and/or the region is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this post advertised, fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of a language spoken in Afghanistan and/or the region is desirable.


Previously rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and, as such, will not be invited for such an assessment. Qualified candidates may be contacted for an informal discussion.

Special Notice

This "Recruit from Roster" job opening is only open to roster applicants who are already placed on pre-approved rosters, following a review by a United Nations Central Review Body. Only roster applicants who were placed on rosters with similar functions at the same level are considered to be eligible candidates. Eligible applicants receive an email inviting them to apply. Rostered applicants are encouraged to apply only if they are interested and available to take up the position at the duty station/s specified in the Job Opening. Applying to this job opening carries an expectation to accept the offer, if selected.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


This vacancy is archived.

Recommended for you