Monday, 20 February 2012

AREU Director (Re-Advertized) Job Vacancy in Kabul

BACKGROUND
The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) is Afghanistan's leading independent policy-research organisation. AREU was formed in 2002 with a mission to conduct high quality research to inform and influence policy and practice. It seeks, therefore, not just to produce reports, but to be part of a process of change that will significantly improve the quality, impact and accountability of reconstruction and development
efforts. AREU's research is largely qualitative, and involves extensive field work in urban and rural areas of Afghanistan. From 2010 AREU's research program focuses on assessing issues of governance and legitimacy in order to understand how institutions function; what they deliver, to whom and how well; where legitimacy already exists and where it needs to be built. The concepts of governance and legitimacy therefore form the analytic lens through which research problems are defined and analysed across a range of research topics including electoral processes, local governance structures, natural resource management, provision of basic services, and access to justice . In order to ensure that research findings influence policy, AREU invests heavily in communications and advocacy work, including publishing a wide range of research publications and briefing papers, participating in policy meetings, briefing key policy-makers, and disseminating information through national and international media. Since its formation in 2002, AREU has grown significantly. The organisation currently employs around 50 national and 8 international staff, as well as shorter-term consultants. AREU has a Kabul-based Board of Directors with equal representation from multilateral organisations, bilateral donors and NGOs working in Afghanistan. AREU is funded from a number of sources, but most significantly from the governments of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as from the European Commission, International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Foundation of the Open Society Institute – Afghanistan (FOSI-A). AREU's 2011 budget is approximately USD 4 million. Qualified Afghan candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.
More information on AREU is available on the website: www.areu.org.af .

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES
The role of the AREU Director is to guide the overall strategic direction of AREU, and to oversee the work of three departments within the organisation: (1) Research, (2) Communications, Advocacy and Information, and (3) Administration and Finance, in order to achieve the organisation's goals. Key to the Director's responsibilities is representation, both in advocacy and media work for policy change, and for fundraising. In addition to an understanding of the complex political and development challenges facing Afghanistan, the Director will be expected to demonstrate a clear vision how AREU might respond to these, within its mandate. The AREU Director is based in Kabul, Afghanistan, and reports to AREU's Board Chairperson or Co-Chairs.

SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Strategic Planning and Program Development Oversee the annual review and updating of the three-year strategic plan and related annual operating plans, in close collaboration with key managers and research staff; lead programming and development for AREU activities in line with these plans, while exploring opportunities for growth within the constraints inherent in the operating context of Afghanistan; work with AREU research teams to identify priorities, develop ideas and support the formulation of projects; where relevant, develop partnerships with Afghan and international organisations.
• Policy/Advocacy and Organisational Representation Ensure that AREU maintains a constructive dialogue with government ministries and departments, donors, UN agencies, NGOs and the media, and other relevant actors in order to influence policy-making; represent AREU at relevant national and international meetings and conferences, and facilitate the presentation of research by other AREU staff, as appropriate; ensure that AREU's activities have an appropriate level of media coverage (in print, on radio and TV) both nationally and internationally; work with the Communications and Advocacy team on dissemination strategies for research findings and publications, and ensure that these remain relevant to policy-makers and development practitioners in Afghanistan.
• Management and Fundraising Ensure that AREU's operational practices meet the requirements of the programme, and that effective procedures are in place to address constraints; ensure that all organizational activities conform to AREU policies and procedures; monitor the security situation and continually assess procedures to ensure staff security ; liaise on a regular basis with donors, and oversee and help in the formulation of timely and relevant funding proposals that are in line with the strategic plan (fundraising skills are vital for this role); work with the Administration and Finance team to ensure compliance with AREU and donor financial and grant requirements, including reporting; work with the finance team to strengthen budgeting and budget monitoring.
• Human Resource Management and Staff Development Ensure that the development of Afghan research capacity is realized within the context of AREU's strategic plan and associated projects, through a systematic process of identification, recruitment and training of Afghans with a proven aptitude or interest in research; oversee systems of staff evaluation and undertake appraisals of direct supervisees; ensure that appropriate systems of staff development are in place and effectively implemented in an equitable and transparent manner.

SALARY AND BENEFITS
The salary for this position will be determined according to experience, taking into consideration AREU's overall salary scales. AREU pays local income taxes. The benefits package also includes health and evacuation insurance, furnished housing, shared use of a vehicle, a home leave ticket after each year of service, 34 paid annual vacation days, an allowance for R&R travel, and a shipping allowance. Afghanistan is a non-family duty station for most organizations.

PERSON SPECIFICATION
• At least seven years of proven experience in project, people and budget management at a senior level, with at least four years of experience in the field of international development.
• A record of successful fundraising is highly desirable.
• Relevant academic qualifications (at least a Master's degree and preferably a PhD).
• Relevant research and research management experience (a record of authorship of research publications is highly desirable).
• Strong team building and change management skills, as well as strong communications and representation skills, including excellent spoken and written English.
• Proven interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, including team building.
• Direct practical experience in Afghanistan would be a distinct advantage
• Ability to work in fast-changing and politically sensitive environment.
• Knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto desirable.
• Willingness to make a minimum commitment of at least one year (although two is preferable).

START DATE
The selected candidate ideally will be able to start work as soon as practical. HOW TO APPLY Please apply by sending a CV and a succinct cover letter that outlines how your experience relates to the skills and experience outlined in the Terms of Reference above to directorsearch@areu.org.af In the e-mail subject line please write "AREU Director" and your name. Applications will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified, interviews of suitable candidates may begin as applications are received. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Closing Date: Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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