Senior Rural Development Programme Specialist

Rural Development Programme Unit (PDPU)


Rural Development Programme (RDP) has four components, namely, 1) Construction, which contribute in construction of health and education facilities, 2) Water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), 3) Citizens’ Charter National Priority Programme(CCNPP), where SCA is facilitating partner of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development in three provinces. The objective of CCNPP is to build, strengthen, and maintain Community Development Councils (CDCs) as effective institutions for local governance and social-economic development, and 4) Community Governance and Livelihood Project (CGLP), where, RDP work with both CDCs and local authorities on promoting community governance in light of Rights based approach. SCA facilitates self-help groups for improving the quality of life in rural communities through savings, revolving loans, vocational trainings, enhancing production, linkages (both forward and backward), networking, market linkages, and other necessary activities to ensure sustainable and complete package and long-term commitment for livelihood intervention.

The Rural Development Programme Unit (RDPU) based in Kabul Management Office (KMO) leads programme development process and provides technical support to the rural development programme teams in Regional Management Offices (RMOs) under the guidance of the Director of Programmes. RDPU’s mandate includes:

  • Strategic oversight of the Rural Development Programme components, including programmatic support, process monitoring and technical backstopping implemented through Project Management Teams (PMT) in RMOs.
  • Strategic programme development including research, evaluation, studies, assessments and reviews.
  • Steering, information sharing and crosscutting integrations through facilitation and participation in various meetings and trainings.
  • Capacity and institutional development of the rural development programme staff and major stakeholders of the programme.
  • Networking and coordination with Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development and other actors in rural development sector at national and international levels.


Scope of Work

The Senior Rural Development Programme Specialist role mainly focuses on two areas that include a) strategic and technical input to the programme development, and b) planning and reporting.

Under supervision of the Head of RD Programme, to whom s/he reports, the Senior Rural Development Specialist has a central advisory function in designing, strengthening and developing the programme for ensuring long-term outcomes. The Specialist helps in guiding processes related to policy, strategy and methodology, and provides technical support for improved planning, monitoring, reporting and implementation. The role encompasses strategic work on institutional and system levels as well as capacity development of key programme staff, partner organisations, and counterpart ministries.


Key responsibilities and priorities during the employment period

Strategic and Technical input to programme development:

  • Under the guidance of Head of Rural Development Programme, lead processes related to policy/strategy, and technical guidelines/manuals development by feeding in new programme development perspectives/ experience from other countries with similar contexts.
  • Take the lead in developing and designing of programme related concepts, proposals, studies, and evaluations, with inputs from Regional Management Offices (RMOs) based on pro-poor and marginalized groups perspectives reflecting the needs identified at the community level.
  • Ensure that the concerned units at the field level are pro-actively involved in the development of concept notes and proposals, as well as the concept notes and proposals are aligned with strategic objectives, mission, and vision of SCA.
  • To actively follow-up, the progress made towards the recommendations proposed by evaluations, studies, and third party monitoring in accordance to the management responses/action plans.
  • Assist Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Unit, and Human Rights and Gender Unit in capacity development of Kabul Management Office (KMO) and Regional Management Offices (RMO) programme staff on Rights Based Approach (RBA), results based planning and reporting. This can include mentoring, coaching, and hands-on support.
  • The Senior Rural Development Specialist functions as generalist in the programme, however, more specifically supports the programme promoting the rural livelihoods and community governance.
  • Assess the technical capacity of rural development staff concerning their functional areas and work on their capacity building through trainings and mentoring initiatives.
  • Facilitate feasibility studies for new interventions and assessments of implemented projects under the Rural Development Programme.

 Planning and Reporting:

  • Leading the annual planning, reporting and proposal development processes within rural development programme unit is the primary responsibility of the Head of Programme, however, Senior Programme Specialist takes active part in turning the Regional Management Offices input into quality narrative drafts and submit to Head of Programme for final review before submission to the next level within the organization.
  • The Senior Programme Specialist takes the lead in strengthening bottom up planning and reporting by capacity development of concerned Regional Management Office staff. She/he supports the staff in strengthening participatory planning and reporting to ensure that the target groups’ (women, children and people with disabilities) actively take part in planning, implementation and reporting processes.


Entry Requirements


  • University degree at master’s level, in relevant professional field (Economics, Development Studies, etc.).
  • Demonstrable understanding, experience and knowledge of Rural Development, rural livelihoods; community-based development; agriculture and food security; rural service delivery issues; natural resource management in a developing country context;
  • At least seven years of relevant work experience in senior positions in large organisations within international development including processes related to programme and project design, policy, strategy and advocacy preferably in developing countries.

Essential skills and experience

  • Experience in community development with speciality in rural livelihoods and governance
  • Experience of mainstreaming human rights and gender equality in programmes and projects
  • Experience of working with rights-based approach and knowledge of participatory methods and tools
  • Expert in results-based planning, reporting and proposals development
  • Experience of working abroad in developing countries, countries in conflict and/or post conflict and Muslim countries
  • Experienced in teambuilding and being a good team player in a cross-cultural context
  • Experience of capacity development of staff  
  • Analytical, facilitation and presentation skills
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English

Desired skills and experience

  • Work experience of Afghanistan
  • Have participated in HEAT-training
  • Proficiency in Dari or Pashtu  

 Application information   

  • Contract period: 2 years with an initial 6 months probationary period  
  • Conditions: Non- family posting. SCA offers a competitive salary,  free housing,  insurances  and other benefits.  
  • Duties tobegin: August 2020
  • Last date for application: 13April
  • Apply from
  • Download1-page letter explaining  why  you  are  interested in and suited for this position and your CV (no more than 2 pages) in English.  


Please not that due to the current Covid 19 pandemic the starting date may be postponed.

Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

SCA has been working in Afghanistan since 1982 and is presently managing development programmes linked to Strategic Objectives concerning Health, Education, and Community-Driven Development. The total number of staff is around 6,000. The SCA presence in Afghanistan consists of the Kabul Management Office (KMO), five Regional Management Offices and one Liaison Office. In Sweden SCA has 23 staff working at the Stockholm Management Office (SMO) and around 3,500 members organized in local chapters all over the country. SCA receives funds from various international and private donors, mainly from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). SCA in its programming puts increasing emphasis on capacity development, advocacy, rights-based programming and outcome orientation. The mission of SCA is to empower individuals, communities and local organizations, primarily in rural areas and with particular focus on women, girls, boys and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, so that they may participate fully in society and influence their own development.


SCA is a member-based aid and solidarity organization that works rights-based. We do opinion and advocacy work and fundraising. We work for and with the most vulnerable people in the Afghan countryside - women, girls, boys, people with disabilities as well as internally displaced people. SCA has over 6 000 Afghan employees. The programs are to the vast majority implemented in rural areas. SCA is operating in 14 of Afghanistan’s provinces. For more than 35 years we have been present among those in Afghanistan who need us most; despite war and conflict. We have decided to stay as long as we are needed.


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