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Program Director for Local Governance

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
Location: Afghanistan
Last Date: March 22, 2011



SUMMARY: The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks a Program Director to manage its local governance program in Afghanistan. NDI is implementing programs to support provincial councils across the country in conducting public outreach and monitoring the implementation of local development projects.

The Program Director will be responsible for: overseeing the daily operations and implementation of the provincial councils program; meeting program goals; supervising a team of Afghan staff; managing the program budget; collaborating with the NDI Afghanistan senior management team; adhering to security protocols; and maintaining relationships with provincial councils, representatives of the Afghan government and other program stakeholders.

The preferred candidate will have at least 14 years of experience in a legislative environment; experience in democratic governance development, preferably with local governments; the ability to communicate skills and experience to others as a trainer, advisor and workshop facilitator; and the ability to adjust programmatic activities based on changing political and security circumstances and in response to needs articulated by local partners and program stakeholders.

Prior experience working and living in a challenging international environment is required. The representative will report to NDI’s Country Director in Afghanistan and will work in coordination with Washington, D.C.-based staff. The Program Director will be based in Kabul. Travel within Afghanistan is required.

The position is available beginning April 1, 2011 and is contingent on NDI’s receipt of additional funding. A commitment of 18 months is expected for this position.

BACKGROUND: NDI established an office in Afghanistan in March 2002 and has since conducted programs to support political participation and the development of democratic governance institutions. The Institute has helped to prepare candidates, political parties, polling agents, women and domestic monitors to participate effectively in the country’s 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010 elections.

From 2006 to 2008, NDI implemented programs to strengthen political processes in the National Assembly, including: the development of a women’s legislative network; technical advice to parliamentary leaders on legislative rules of procedure; the coordination of a parliamentary internship program; professional development training to parliamentary staff; and assistance to parliamentary commissions in adopting strategic workplans and coordinating oversight hearings.

Since 2006, NDI has been conducting programs to assist the country’s provincial councils (PCs). The Institute’s initial programs focused on the northern and western regions, building the capacity of PCs in monitoring and evaluating provincial development projects and conducting constituent outreach. Through this work, PCs developed proposals for development projects, the vast majority of which were incorporated into provincial development plans. Councils also held more than 150 public consultation events, including town hall meetings, public hearings and dialogues with government stakeholders. In 2008, NDI shifted the focus of these programs to improve the capacity of councils in 20 southern and eastern provinces in monitoring development projects. Through these programs, the Institute provided comprehensive training on monitoring and evaluation, facilitated site visits to development projects, and trained councilors to engage with government executives and international institutions on local development processes.

Following the 2009 provincial council elections, NDI expanded program coverage to all 34 provinces in Afghanistan. Activities under this phase include: orientation training for newly elected councilors, monitoring and evaluation training, outreach and communication training, guided practice, support for PC efforts to monitor local development initiatives, and support for PC delegations to interact with parliament and national-level actors. Additional activities expected to be conducted in 2011 and 2012 include activities to help female councilors participate effectively in the local development process, an internship program to provide technical and administrative assistance to PCs, and tailored assistance to Afghan government bodies in developing a strategy to build the capacity of councils.

• Manage the implementation of the provincial council program, monitor progress, and ensure that interim benchmarks and overall program goals are achieved.
• Provide day-to-day management and oversight of Afghan staff members in multiple offices and build the capacity of NDI staff to play a substantive role in program development and implementation.
• Organize and provide training through workshops and individual consultations with Afghan provincial councilors on: public outreach strategies; setting provincial development priorities; and oversight of local development projects.
• Provide technical assistance to senior members of Afghanistan’s Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) in their development of a long-term strategy to build the capacity of provincial councils.
• Establish and maintain collaborative relationships with councilors, civil society organizations, community leaders, and government officials.
• Develop mechanisms to increase engagement between the provincial councils, the National Assembly and the government ministries.
• Report to NDI Afghanistan’s Country Director and Washington-based staff on program progress and political developments.
• In coordination with Country Director, manage the program’s budget and adhere to operational and reporting requirements.
• Develop, as appropriate, new programmatic strategies and activities based on changing political and security conditions and in response to the needs articulated by provincial councils.
• Actively coordinate with other NDI Afghanistan program managers and the finance and administration departments, to help ensure effective implementation of all in-country NDI program activities.
• Work closely with NDI Afghanistan’s Country Director and Resident Security and Operations Director to assess and coordinate appropriate security measures for the provincial councils program.

• A minimum of fourteen (14) years of experience working with legislative bodies (familiarity with parliamentary, multi-party systems of government essential), either as a member of a legislature at the local or national level or as a senior legislative staff person.
• Bachelors degree required. Graduate degree in law, public policy, international relations, political science or related field preferred.
• Experience living and working in an international setting required; prior experience in conflict or post-conflict settings strongly preferred.
• Proven experience managing staff members located in multiple offices and promoting staff development in a multi-cultural work environment.
• Demonstrated success in working in collaboration with a senior management team.
• Extensive background in organizing and facilitating individual and group consultations and communicating skills and experience to others as a trainer, advisor, or consultant.
• Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, as well as the ability to build and maintain professional political relationships. Extensive experience in team-oriented work environments.
• Proficiency in financial management and reporting with a high degree of organization and attention to detail.
• Broad knowledge of USAID rules and regulations.
• Strong oral and written communication skills in English.
• Computer literacy is required; preference for proficiency in Microsoft applications.

COMMENTS. Salary is commensurate with experience.

NDI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law.

To apply to this job, please visit our website at 


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