Project Director - Strengthening transition and resilience of orphaned girls (STRONG)

Date of Publication: 
April 26, 2018
Application Deadline: 
May 20, 2018
World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
Brief Description: 



Position title:  Project Director  
Position location:   Kabul, Afghanistan
Reports to:  Deputy Director of Programs, Program Strategy & Implementation
Contract term:  2 years with possibility of renewal            
Deadline:  May 20, 2018
Anticipated start date:  August 1, 2018

The STRONG Project:  

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) has been preliminarily approved for the implementation of a project as part of the global Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC). The availability of the position of Project Director is contingent on the signing of a contract with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the Government of the United Kingdom, which is anticipated in early August 2018.

The project that has been preliminarily approved is entitled the  Strengthening transition and resilience of orphaned girls   (STRONG) Project. The STRONG Project is designed to support vulnerable orphaned girls in Afghanistan, including girls with disabilities, to improve their learning outcomes and transition to informal or formal schooling, as well as to strengthen the governance and coordination of key actors at the government and community level.

Nature and Scope:

The Project Director oversees the strategic and operational implementation of the STRONG project in Afghanistan. The Project Director manages relationships with key stakeholders, including with national and local  governments, project partners,  and the Girls’ Education Challenge Fund Manager.

Reporting to the WUSC Deputy Director of Programs, Program Strategy & Implementation, the WUSC Country Director has overall responsibility for the STRONG Project.   The five-year, approximately GBP 13 million project is being delivered in partnership with two local non-governmental organizations and four key   sub-contractors.   The project is anticipated to begin in August 2018.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The STRONG Project Director will be responsible for the following:

Project Management & Technical Direction

  • Provide managerial and technical direction and guidance to the initiative, in line with the project’s expected outcomes;
  • Manage relationships with key project stakeholders, including project partners, government officials, and others. This includes establishing a strong working relationship with the donor;
  • Undertake a coordination role for all project governance, which includes convene Project Steering and Advisory Committees at regular intervals and representing the Project in an official capacity;    
  • Ensuring that all STRONG staff are informed of significant issues, developments, donor obligations and changes necessary to meet requirements in a timely manner
  • Develop key project planning deliverables (i.e. Workplan, Budget Revisions, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Assessments, etc.) using GEC Guidance;   
  • Ensure coordination between STRONG Project technical experts in order to develop strategies for gender equality and social inclusion, child protection, and teaching & learning approaches;
  • Maintain open and effective communication amongst strategic partners and project team members in Canada and Afghanistan; and
  • Oversee day-to-day coordination and delivery of project activities in conjunction with staff, technical advisors, and partners.

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Establish and oversee (alongside M&E team) a results monitoring system for the project which enables regular monitoring of progress toward results and iterative management;
  • Ensure high quality reporting is completed and submitted in a timely manner;
  • Maintain regular communication with WUSC colleagues in Canada to ensure appropriate support;
  • Collaborate with project External Evaluators to ensure adherence to contract obligations for monitoring, evaluation and external commissioning of baseline, mid-line and end-line surveys which will verify achievement of results; and
  • Ensure that project feedback, results and lessons learnt are effectively fed back to inform adjustments and improvements in project approaches, scale-up and delivery.

Human Resources Management

  • Manage the WUSC STRONG Project team in Afghanistan, including supervision and evaluation of the work of all project staff and consultants;
  • Oversee human resources management issues such as employment policies and practices, in line with local law and WUSC policy;   
  • Work with colleagues and partners to ensure the effective mobilization, orientation and coaching of team members; and
  • Harmonize policies between STRONG Project, WUSC Ottawa and WUSC Afghanistan, with a particular emphasize on Child Protection Policies and Safeguarding Policies.

Financial & Office Management

  • Establish and oversee a financial management system for the project, in collaboration with a STRONG Project Finance Manager;
  • Ensure that the project complies with relevant local taxation, banking controls, and labour laws;
  • In conjunction with the finance team, develop and monitor the project budget and ensure regular reporting to the donor;
  • Recruit, maintain and direct the required administrative and project infrastructure of staff, field offices and equipment as well as making decisions on administrative policy, planning and procedural matters;
  • Ensure all WUSC program finances are being spent and accounted for in line with donor or program contracts and agreed budgets as well as in accordance with international accounting practices and audit expectations.
  • Ensure all STRONG activities are implemented in accordance with the DFID contract requirements (Accountable Grant Arrangement, Grant Recipient Handbook and Special Conditions); and
  • Work closely with WUSC finance staff to ensure adherence to DFID financial requirements and value for money concepts.

Risk Management & Security Preparedness

  • Actively assess the risk profile of the initiative; identify specific risks and appropriate mitigation strategies;
  • Work closely with the WUSC Ottawa and WUSC Kabul Security Advisors to ensure the application and relevance of WUSC security policies, procedures and preparedness to the operational context of the project; and
  • Ensure WUSC Ottawa is kept aware of any important or evolving situations that could affect security of WUSC personnel, project beneficiaries, assets or programming in Afghanistan.

Program Development  

  • Lead WUSC’s efforts to leverage additional funds for WUSC activities in Afghanistan;
  • Develop and submit expressions of interest, concept notes, and other proposal documents in order to secure funding; and
  • Interact on a continuous basis with a range of actors, including bilateral and multilateral donors, international and local NGOs, and national government, in order to advance coordination, synergies with similar activities, and collaboration.


  • A post-graduate university degree in international development, project management or a relevant field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A minimum of ten years of progressively more responsible assignments related to management of development initiatives;
  • A minimum of five years working experience in developing countries, preferably in Afghanistan or similar conflict-affected contexts;
  • Experience in the management of education project for vulnerable populations;
  • Experience working with international development donor agencies, with a strong preference for experience with DFID;
  • Proven managerial, administrative and organizational leadership skills, including the knowledge of financial and narrative reporting procedures and a solid track record in strategic program and project planning and implementation;
  • Proven experience managing a large, multi-disciplinary and multi-ethnic team of staff;
  • Diplomatic skills and the knowledge of inter-ethnic issues are necessary, as are proven intercultural and interpersonal skills;
  • Proven experience of adaptability to a challenging and constantly changing environment requiring iterative planning on a regular basis;
  • Experience in capacity building with local partner organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to development;
  • A solid knowledge of computer software programs and in particular internet, word processing and spreadsheet software; and
  • Proven knowledge of and commitment to the concept of gender equality.


  • Superior oral and written skills in English are a requirement.
  • Working knowledge of Dari or Pashto is a strong asset.


WUSC   is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in 22 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million dollars, WUSC’s mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. Our internationally recognized programs support youth, women and other marginalized populations, focusing on three thematic areas of education, employment and empowerment. Globally, WUSC works with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work.


WUSC offers a  dynamic international work environment with a  diverse intercultural workforce.   We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations.   Employees at WUSC  work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.  

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer.  We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.  No telephone calls please.

If you wish to apply for this position, please follow this link to register on WUSC’s candidate database.

Keli Villoz
Human Resources Officer
Agente des ressources humaines
t: 1.613.761.3685 | e:


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