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Project Officer


Grade: P3 

Vacancy no.: DC/KABUL/P/2023/01
Publication date: 26-May-2023
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 04-June-2023


Job ID: 10836 
Department: RO-Asia and the Pacific 
Organization Unit: ILO-Kabul 
Location: Kabul   
Contract type: Fixed Term 

Contract duration: 1 Year - Renewable 


Under article 4.2, paragraph (e) of the Staff Regulations, the filling of vacancies in technical cooperation projects does not fall under Annex I of the Staff Regulations and is made by direct selection by the Director-General.


In order to support the best informed process in the filling of the present vacancy by direct selection, the ILO invites interested candidates to submit their candidature online by the above date.


Technical cooperation appointments are not expected to lead to a career in the ILO and they do not carry any expectation of renewal or conversion to any other type of appointment in the Organization. A one-year fixed-term contract will be given. Extensions of technical cooperation contracts are subject to various elements including the following: availability of funds, continuing need of the functions and satisfactory conduct and performance.


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


Afghanistan continues to face multiple crises, in particular a growing humanitarian emergency, a massive economic contraction, growing unemployment, a weakening banking sector, falling trade, accelerating inflation and a depreciating exchange rate and banning decrees restricting women from economic and social participation imposed by the de facto administration. Immediate support for recovery and stabilization is paramount to address the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including women, ex/current drugs users, displaced, refugees, and youth, to help people and communities pursue their livelihoods, have basic services and be more resilient.

This project is implemented in Nangarhar and Laghman provinces of the Eastern Region of Afghanistan. The region is vulnerable to natural hazards and man-made disasters dominated by seasonal floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts as well as conflicts which have caused significant displacement, destruction of life and property, loss of livelihood and derailment of development initiatives. This has also created a fragile humanitarian situation as access to the population remains a challenge due to insecurity and remoteness of some rural areas. Opium, cultivated in the Region, generates funding for insurgency groups who not only profit from the trade and the cultivation of opium but also leaves a trail of social ills, damaged family structures, destroyed communities and a legacy of corruption in its wake. Limited alternative livelihood options constitute a special challenge for the region. There is significant need to strengthen licit rural livelihoods in the targeted provinces through a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach aimed at improving agricultural diversification and productivity, while fore-fronting women’s empowerment keeping in mind that most women work in the opium poppy field as laborers with very low incentives.

The UN has established the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (STFA), serving as an inter-agency mechanism to enable donors to channel resources and coordinate support for an Area-Based Programming strategy (ABADEI).  The ILO’s project “Improving Livelihoods and Employment Opportunities of vulnerable Communities in Nangarhar and Laghman provinces implemented under STFA and using market systems development approach is targeting communities affected by the cultivation, processing, and use of poppy as a source of livelihoods, the project aims to support sustainable interventions that lead to behavioral change of the people to embrace alternative sources of licit economic and livelihoods activities in agriculture and enterprise development.


International Labour Organization has been in Afghanistan for nearly two decades and introduced the decent work country programme for Afghanistan in 2010. ILO has vast experience working with the tripartite constituents, supporting MSMEs, particularly women-owned businesses and other disadvantaged groups in creating and sustaining decent livelihoods interventions using the celebrated market system development approach. This project will build on the approach of the Road to Decent Jobs for All Afghans (R2J4All) project and leverage its existing networks, trust, knowledge, and successes to bring positive impact to the livelihoods and employment situation of Afghans, including women and disadvantaged groups. The project will select and target value chains and services that hold the greatest potential for growing businesses and creating jobs that match the skills and experience of local communities, especially in the agriculture and enterprise development sector, but also looking at new sectors where their economic participation of vulnerable populations may increase.  
The goal of this project, implemented in partnership with UNODC, is to attain reduced community reliance on cultivation, trading, and consumption of illicit poppy as a source of livelihoods through adoption of licit livelihoods and income generating opportunities in agriculture and enterprise development.
The theory of change envisaged in this project is informed by the above project impact statement which will be achieved complementarily through the following outcomes.

optional section (if needed)

•    Effective food security and livelihood initiatives mitigate the effects of poppy ban and its enforcement on vulnerable groups.
•    Agricultural enterprises and entrepreneurs’ income and livelihood opportunities improved through leveraging on licit market opportunities in priority sectors.
•    Community awareness on the negative impact of poppy cultivation, trading and consumption and prevention mechanisms enhanced.
Using the MSD approach and complemented by local community-based approach, the project will work in key priority sectors and market actors with high potential to enhance change process for community members to shift from engagements in illicit livelihoods activities to licit livelihood activities. The project will work to build the incentives and capacities of existing community-based governance structures and leadership to raise the awareness of the people on the negative effects of engaging in illicit drug activities. The project will also identify and work with local market actors and entrepreneurs including farmers, women, and youth to build their agribusiness and enterprise development capacities to increase their productivity and earn more income from licit agri-businesses to meet their livelihood needs. 
The project will be delivered by a team based in Kabul and Nangarhar Provinces of Afghanistan, with support from the ILO Office in Kabul, and ILO specialist teams in Delhi and Geneva.

Description of Duties

The Project Officer will be part of the ILO technical team based in Kabul tasked to deliver the ILO Enterprises Development Component. 
Within this framework, the Project Officer will take charge of all project related activities. As such, the Project Officer will manage all planning and implementation activities of the project in line with work plans, projects documents, ILO policies and strategies, and in accordance with country programmes and administrative and financial procedures.  
The Project Officer will manage and supervise the work of a multi-disciplinary team, consisting of national professionals, administrative staff, as well as consultants. Furthermore, she/he will lead and also participate in the work on capacity building, including formulation, development and conduct of training.  The Project Officer will ensure effective cooperation and synergies between the activities of the ILO TA team and other project components, as well as with other enterprise initiatives in the project area. 
The Project Officer reports to the Senior Coordinator of the ILO Afghanistan Office and technically to the Enterprise Specialist in Delhi.  The Project Officer will receive technical guidance and advice from a team of specialists in Delhi, including (but not limited to) enterprise development, ILS, FPRWs, CL, OSH, gender, workers’ and employers’ activities.  
Main duties and responsibilities
In collaboration with project partners, local authorities, technical agencies, business associations and others, the Project Officer will engage in a number of activities, including but not limited to the following:
•    Ensure timely provision of inputs of personnel, technical support services, consultants, training, equipment, supplies and other needs related to the project components in line with ILO policies and project strategies, and in accordance with ILO programming guidelines and country/action programs, and administrative and financial procedures, in consultation with the responsible units/field offices
•    Participate in the overall planning, programming and implementation of Enterprises Component of ILO Afghanistan Crisis Response programme, secure effective coordination, consultation and involvement of/with public and private sector stakeholders (including local contractors) and ensure complementarity with other project components.
•    Explore partnerships and co-funding arrangements with existing development schemes and budgets thereby increasing the effectiveness of project activities.


•    Assess capacities of technical agencies, Chambers of Commerce, local contractors, training institutions and communities, and on this basis organise, manage and provide inputs in the design and implementation of capacity development activities to ensure that necessary competencies and skills are available for the planning and implementation of MSD approach, also beyond the end date of the project. 
•    Provide expert advice and implement capacity building of the project team and to the stakeholders of the project including ILO constituents, relevant authorities, agencies, and other key institutions.
•    Provide expertise on business development services (BDS) and enterprise development to constituents, value chain actors and implementing partners
•    Provide technical support in setting up results chains and an adequate monitoring and results measurement system and a gender strategy
•    Foster contacts and relations with de facto administration, the employers' and workers' organizations, other value chain and sectoral stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, target groups and donors, and promote opportunities for collaboration towards planning and implementation of project activities
•    Assist ILO Senior Coordinator in Afghanistan in building and maintaining strong relationships with the potential donors and prepare proposals for the mobilization of additional human, technical and financial resources for up seating the projects' work in coordination with the Partnership and Field Support Department (PARDEV) and other responsible units.
•    Monitor the payments of work, forecast project expenditure and update budgets and initiate payment requests.
•    Represent the ILO technical assistance team and its work in various fora under the guidance of the ILO Country Office and Enterprise specialists in Bangkok and Geneva. 
•    Develop and maintain strong links with ILO Decent Work Team specialists in Delhi and other colleagues in the field and HQ on specific technical areas requiring comprehensive and collaborative interventions.
•    Periodically report, monitor and facilitate the evaluation of works according to project documents and work plans. Prepar required progress reports and ad hoc reports on the status of project planning and implementation. Ensure the preparation of financial records and oversee the maintenance of an up-to-date financial status of the project works.
•    Ensure high-level communications to increase the project’s visibility at the national and international levels. This includes the responsibility to liaise with the UN country team, and other key stakeholders, to ensure effective coordination with relevant national strategies and related programmes. Under the guidance of the project management and the ILO Office maintain relations with mass media in order to increase the impact of the project in society as a whole.
•    Promote the inclusion of gender equality and non-discrimination in all aspects of the project.

Required qualifications

Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in economics, management, social science or a related field. 
A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in the afore-mentioned fields with an additional two years of relevant experience, in addition to the required five years of experience stated below, will be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


At least five (5) years of hands-on experience in managing and implementing technical cooperation activities, of which at least three years relate to Enterprises Development and Market Systems Development. 
Proven experience in working and engaging with government agencies, private sector contractors, donors and UN agencies, and heterogeneous teams composed of consultants, specialists, and local collaborators of different educational and cultural background - in remote and difficult settings.
Solid understanding of value chain and market systems development, local area competitive assessment, BDS, small business/cooperative development. Good knowledge of community and project stakeholder consultations and mobilisation in the context of rural infrastructure works.
Familiarity with ILO policies and procedures particularly of technical cooperation projects would be an advantage.


Excellent command of English (oral and written).


•    Ability to independently initiate and lead the preparation and management of project activities, including budgeting, with a clear focus on reaching defined outputs in a timely manner as agreed in project documents and work plans; 
•    Proven effective managerial skills; ability to interpret project information and to identify and analyse challenges as a basis for finding appropriate solutions; ability to provide technical guidance and support to staff and beneficiaries;
•    Proven interpersonal and organisation skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
•    Proven ability to establish priorities and to plan, organise, coordinate and monitor project activities; 
•    Ability to build and maintain interrelationships and networks with government and international agencies working in related fields;
•    Good understanding of gender and minority issues, gender mainstreaming and equal opportunity principles and approaches;
•    Ability to work in a multicultural environment and gender-sensitive behaviour and attitudes are also required
•    Well-developed and effective communication skills (verbal and written), including ability to present plans, results, reports, technical manuals and guidelines, conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely conveying maximum necessary information, making and defending recommendations, ability to convey difficult issues and positions to project partners and governing officials.
•    Computer literacy.


Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • Any extension of technical cooperation contracts are subject to various elements including the following: availability of funds, continuing need of the functions and satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit the ILO Jobs International Recruitment page.


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit ILO Jobs. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Applicants will be contacted directly if selected for a written test and/or an interview.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including technical tests or interviews.


The ILO has zero tolerance for acts of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and is determined to ensure that all staff members and all beneficiaries of ILO assistance do not suffer, directly or indirectly, from sexual exploitation and abuse. 
To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organisation, the ILO may conduct a background verification of candidates under consideration.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.