Technical Assistance Manager

United Nations Development Programme, Islamabad, Pakistan

Skill Required:, Finance and AccountsPolicy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th January, 2020

Job Description


If you are looking for an opportunity to work in a historically significant programme that presents unpredictable challenges which will test your abilities while working with some of the best human resources across the world, please consider applying for this post. We are looking for an exceptional Technical Assistance Manager to ensure we recruit, deploy, and effectively manage the best available technical assistance. The successful technical assistance candidate has a deep passion for doing technical assistance well, and a commitment to delivering historic results in complex circumstances.

The merger of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is one of the South Asia region’s most significant recent developments. This merger process will have unprecedented benefits for the stability of Pakistan and that of the broader region if it can be successfully carried out. But, the challenge in achieving this is great.

For more than 70 years prior, the five million residents of the former FATA have lived under harsh colonial-era laws based on the principles of collective punishment and were without adequate representation into the social, cultural and political fabric of Pakistan. Traditional institutions of the modern state, like the judiciary and police, are only now being introduced as Pakistan begins to mainstream former FATA into KP. As a result of this historical separation, some key development indicators in the region of former FATA are twice as bad as some of the least developed parts in the rest of Pakistan.

The challenge to redress historical underdevelopment has also been compounded by the recent decade long insurgency that was based out of the former FATA which has caused loss of life; mass forced internal migration and the destruction of ifrastructure. The Pakistani state is now committed to an unprecedented programme of accelerated development for the next decade to make sure the newly merged districts create opportunities for the people and provide services at par with the rest of the country while preventing any resurgence of militant groups in the area. The UNDP works hand in hand with the government of KP across many functional areas to make this merger a success.

Duties and Responsibilities

Lead problem analysis and needs assessment of TA

  • FGP believes that well framed problems are key to driving change in governance and development. The TAM will work with local experts to do problem analysis to identify root problems that matter to key change agents and therefore cannot be ignored, motivate and drive change, can be broken down into smaller causal elements, allows real, sequenced, strategic responses, is locally driven, where provincial actors define, debate and refine the problem statement through shared consensus. The TAM will work with our governmental and civil society partners to construct or frame problems and draw attention to the need for change in the social, political, and administrative agenda.

Improve effectiveness of our commissioning & recruitment of technical assistance;

  • Driving innovation in technical assistance requires having the very best people in place. The TAM will work with the operations and programme management teams to commission talent through UN and third-party mechanisms. This will include outlining responsibilities, drafting effective terms of reference, tapping into professional networks, identifying talent, and working to streamline and speed up recruitment, onboarding, and deployment processes.

Setting and evaluating objectives and key results (OKRs) of teams and individuals;

  • The use of Objectives and Key Results on a team and individual level are our manifestation of careful choices, and how we coordinate the actions of our growing team to achieve our objective of peacefully integrating the NMDs into the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. OKRs are a commitment in FGP to delivering higher performance that the norms of our industry. They are separate-yet complementary to the Annual Work Planning Process and complement these other planning processes.
  • The TAM will use OKRs to plan what people are going to do, track their progress, and coordinate priorities and milestones between different parts of our team. OKRs are designed to help people stay focused on the most important goals and help them avoid being distracted by urgent but less important goals. What makes the OKRs different from the traditional planning processes, is that they are designed to allow teams not to focus on delivering a pre-set list of activities – but rather to work towards ambitious objectives, and to use a range of methods to reach those objectives.

Daily performance management of experts and deployed teams;

  • Performance management continues to be a challenge for deployed teams. FGP uses the Asana work management software to coordinate and document work processes, but the reality of about 75 team members spread across 10 locations means that day to day personal contact is required. The TAM will be in contact with all technical assistance providers on daily or weekly basis to ensure they remain oriented towards team objectives and remain integrated in the knowledge and workflows.

Conduct upstream guidance and downstream quality assurance of technical outputs (in coordination with a dedicated QAC consultant based in Peshawar);

  • Quality assurance encompasses the processes and procedures that systematically monitor different aspects of technical assistance. Quality assurance of technical assistance outputs is a regular challenge for deployed teams working in the field, especially those working in Government offices where the tempo of delivery is determined externally. To support improved output quality, the TAM will quality assure programming documents, and work with field-based teams to bring quality and coherence to technical assistance outputs and programming tools such as terms of references and scopes of work. They will contribute to quality management by confirming that UNDP’s quality requirements are met in planning and implementation of technical assistance. The TAM will contribute to a positive reputation for reliability and consistency of UNDP and the project by ensuring a level of consistent quality project technical assistance offerings.
  • The TAM will also Builds implementation and innovation capacity of project teams through mentoring and upstream guidance. This will include building capacity of (selected) field teams to use SOPs, programming instruments, and templates effectively, promoting coherence of programming activities by ensuring results-orientation, and providing upstream critical input into planning processes;
  • The TAM will be assisted in this role by a Peshawar-based Quality Assurance Consultant. An optimal division of labor will be established between the two.

Support evaluation, lesson learning, and iteration of technical assistance approach in line with problem-driven iterative iteration methods;

  • We do not believe in a separation between the design and the implementation phase of solving complex problems such as the historic process of the merger. The workflow we aim to follow is simple: actions are rapidly tried, lessons are quickly gathered to inform what happened and why, and a next action step is designed and undertaken based on what was learned in prior steps. The TAM will work with other colleagues responsible for learning and Knowledge Management to facilitate this process with our technical assistance teams.

Provide strategic theoretical and practical policy advice to the government as required:

  • At the scale of the FATA governance project, most of the technical assistance is delivered through national team members working within government to support merger objectives. However, at time the TAM will be required to step in and provide TA directly when circumstances require.
  • Note: The TAM is not expected to be substantially involved PMU responsibilities in donor servicing, reporting, or M&E functions. These areas are already sufficiently covered in the PMU.

The incumbent of the position will uphold the non-discriminatory behavior and ensure that:

  • Human rights and gender equality is prioritized as an ethical principle within all actions;
  • Activities are designed and implemented in accordance with “Social and Environmental Standards of UNDP”;
  • Any kind of diversities based on ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, class, gender are respected within all implementations including data production;
  • Differentiated needs of women and men are considered;
  • Inclusive approach is reflected within all actions and implementations, in that sense an enabling and accessible setup in various senses such as disability gender language barrier is created;
  • Necessary arrangements to provide gender parity within all committees, meetings, trainings, etc



  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them


  • Ability to persuade others to follow
  • Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers

People Management

  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement
  • Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions


  • Displays gender sensitivity and promotes gender equality in all aspects of work
  • Knowledge of systems for gender mainstreaming and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situation
  • Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions

Functional Competencies:

  • Problem AnalysisAbility to construct and deconstruct governance problems and assess needs
  • Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Specification of Needs

  • Ability to clearly define and articulate terms of reference and direction for governance technical specialists
  • Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Performance Management

  • Ability to us best practices to produce the best performance out of units, teams, and individuals.
  • Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Quality Assurance

  • Ability to quickly and effectively ensure standards in governance technical documents.
  • Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Required Skills and Experience

Education:Master's degree in social policy, public policy, politics, economics, development studies or a related area.


  • Minimum 5 years of relevant work experience;
  • Proven management expertise, preferably with a practice leader such as a management consultancy company or similar;
  • Experience in providing advisory services in the public sector;
  • Advanced computer skills and ability to learn new platforms autonomously;
  • Regional knowledge would be an asset;

Language Requirements:Excellent spoken and written English.


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