Head of Programs (International)

Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development


The Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development, ACBAR, is an independent forum founded in 1988 in response to the demand from NGOs working with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan to more efficiently coordinate assistance and delivery of services. With its main office in Kabul since 2002, ACBAR brings together 182 National and International NGOs working in in all sectors of humanitarian assistance and development in Afghanistan. Its activities focus heavily on information to its members and the aid community in general, coordination of activities at the national and regional levels, and advocacy on issues affecting the work of its members in Afghanistan. ACBAR has a mission to provide an efficient platform for members to carry out effective humanitarian, development, and peace building activities in Afghanistan. The members are the drive behind ACBAR, and their active participation is essential to ACBAR’s continued dynamism. For more information, please visit: www.acbar.org


The Head of Programs position, reporting to the Director, is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of ACBAR’s programming across Afghanistan. The Head of Programs will oversee and coordinate programmatic issues, in both quality and delivery, as well as be responsible for budget planning and implementation. The Head of Programs leads the development of program strategies and new programming. The below responsibilities are not exhaustive; other tasks may be required according to changing operational and contextual needs.


Overall Management:

  • Line manage the program staffs.
  • Ensure high quality project implementation in accordance with donor and ACBAR requirements as well as agreed indicators, budget, risk registers, and work plans. Review and update project planning documents as required.
  • With the Head of Finance and budget holders, ensure that project activities and expenses are regularly monitored and as needed, contract revision requests are submitted and followed-up on in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that risks to staffs, partners, and assets are mitigated through a risk mitigation, acceptance, and activity-enabling lens.
  • Coordinate all program activities so that they are implemented in a timely manner and meet expected quality standards; activities include, but are not limited to, identification of training needs; coordination of INGO/NNGO twinning partners’ mentoring and activities; field visits; and assessments.
  • Ensure team cohesion and organize regular team building activities; ensure regular monitoring and support visits.
  • Work with the Advocacy and Communications Manager so that ACBAR programs are well documented and promoted, and that the institutional memory of ACBAR is preserved.
  • Guarantee that ACBAR’S mandate, values, and policies are reflected throughout all activity implementations.
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Management Team, and work as Officer-in-Charge as necessary.

Representation and Coordination

  • Liaise with OCHA on national NGO Due Diligence assessments, identifying training and assessment needs for Twinning Program partners.
  • Ensure ACBAR’s program mandates are known and correctly understood by all stakeholders; pro-actively liaise and build good rapport with authorities, UN agencies, cluster coordinators, and any other relevant stakeholders.
  • Participate as relevant in coordination mechanisms in Kabul and the regions; ensure program staff are participating in designated cluster coordination.

Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy:

  • Support the Director in drafting, promoting, and rolling out of all strategic planning documents. Ensure proper understanding of these documents by relevant actors (e.g., members, staff members, partners, authorities, and donors).
  • With the Director, ensure regular and critical review of the strategic and action plans. Follow-up on the action plan and report against its indicators.

Donor Relations and Funding

  • Represent ACBAR with partners, authorities, and donor entities. With the Director, develop a strong relationship with donors to ensure predictable funding for all ACBAR programs. Monitor developments and determine strategic opportunities.
  • In coordination with the Director, work with relevant staff to design and implement fundraising strategies so that ACBAR’s programs are adequately financed. Ensure that high quality, integrated, and needs-based proposals are developed and according to ACBAR priorities as identified in its strategic planning.


  • Signatory of official documents (contracts, payments, purchase orders) within approved parameters and in compliance with ACBAR’s and donor’s rules and regulations, and Afghan law.
  • Provide appropriate and timely feedback to program staff regarding their performance, including annual staff performance appraisals. Identify with program staff their needs and opportunities for professional development.
  • Assist in developing job descriptions and in the recruitment of senior program staff (national and international).
  • Collaborate with the Director and Head of Administration to develop policies, such as for staff development.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Reporting

  • Ensure that project kick-off, close-out, and quarterly review meetings are conducted according to requirements, documented, and action points followed up in a timely manner.
  • Work with the MEAL staff regarding project monitoring and evaluation data base; ensuring integrity of data.
  • Ensure key lessons learned from projects are incorporated in new project proposals.
  • Ensure reporting deadlines to donors are met, including allotment of sufficient time for the Director to review and comment on reports. ensure all technical narrative reporting is of expected quality and information accuracy.


  • Minimum Master’s degree in political science, social sciences, development studies, other relevant field of study.
  • Minimum of seven years professional track record of overseas work experience in the humanitarian field and with an NGO – including at least three years of management of humanitarian assistance projects in insecure environments.
  • Demonstrated ability with grants management, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, and supervision and performance.
  • Experience of managing budgets and multiple donor grants/contracts, particularly with OCHA pooled funds, UN agencies, and FCDO. Must have a successful track record in fundraising success through proposals to a range of institutional and private donors.
  • Ability to think strategically, prioritize, and meet deadlines in a complex and challenging environment; must be culturally sensitive.
  • Extensive M&E knowledge and experience, including conducting surveys/assessments and analyzing data.
  • Exhibit a strong work ethic with a high degree of flexibility with respect to working hours; ability to effectively plan and manage own time.
  • Excellent writing and verbal skills in English for reports and communications documents; Dari/Pashto skills is an added advantage.
  • Able to work under pressure and in unpredictable security conditions; required past experience working in a complex, fragile environment. Ability to travel to the provinces in unpredictable security conditions.
  • Outstanding networking and interpersonal skills with different cultures.
  • Previous experience as a cluster coordinator – either at national or sub-national level – is preferred

ACBAR strongly encourages applications from qualified women.

How to apply


Start Date: 1 Oct, 2022, or before

Location: Kabul, Afghanistan. All ACBAR staffs must abide by all safety and security protocols.

How to apply


Interested candidates who meet the required qualifications and experience may submit their current CV and cover letter detailing their motivation to apply and why they are best suited for the position.

Please submit your application (i.e., cover letter and CV) as one document either in Word or pdf format to [email protected], with Head of Programs in the subject line no later than 11 Sep, 2022. Please do not submit any written recommendations or training certificates as part of your application. Any applications emailed directly to individual ACBAR staffs will not be considered.

Because applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and this position may be filled prior to the closing date, please send submissions as soon as possible.

If you have questions or are facing problems with the online application process, please contact [email protected]

Closing date: 9/11/2022