United Nations

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC (1999 – 2008)

Nazir_UNEngineer. Nazir Ahmad Shah Wardak started working with United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC in July 1999 in Islamabad, Pakistan as a Survey Team Leader, and later on promoted to the posts of Technical Survey Officer(01/01/01-31/12/02) and National Project Coordinator (01/01/03-12/03/08). Initially he was managing the census based quantitative ground survey of opium poppy cultivation across the whole Afghanistan from Islamabad, Pakistan till December, 31 2002 since all UN operations of country office for Afghanistan were relocated to Pakistan as a result of internal civil war.

As of January 2003 (when the UN operation moved back to Kabul) till 2008 UNODC working strategy gradually moved from a quantitative ground surveys in to a deep strategic studies such as socio-economic studies and research for the dramatic increase of the poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. Although that was a difficult task in a sometimes hostile Environment but the risk associated to this strategic change in UNODC survey program significantly increased at the time when UNODC included the verification of poppy eradication program, drug trafficking and drug flow studies within its strategic plan as of the beginning of the year 2006. That was the time that Engineer. Nazir Ahmad Shah Wardak was coordinating the project nationally and he was responsible for a broad range of the tasks including: management, technical backstopping to UNODC Headquarters in Vienna, Survey planning & budgeting, surveyor recruitment & training, liaison & coordination responsibilities, development & refinement of survey activities and field activity coordination & monitoring. He was also the UNODC focal point to the Ministry of Counter Narcotic MCN for the poppy eradication verification programs and monitoring of the drug flow in Afghanistan.

Engineer. Nazir Ahmad Shah Wardak migrated to Canada In March 2008 and claimed protection due to some problems associated with his hard work in poppy cultivation survey and researches particularly in the areas of drug flow studies “cultivation, production, trafficking” and poppy eradication verification program in Afghanistan. Currently he is living with his family in Ottawa, Ontario as an Afghan-Canadian Citizen. He does not have a specific job according to his credential in Canada, but he is working with some of the social/cultural and community associations as an adviser, consultant and volunteer on part time basis.

Duties and responsibilities:

A – United Nation Office for Drugs and Crime UNODC, Kabul Afghanistan, 2004–2008

National Project Coordinator (NPC)

  • Administered 2 million project annual budgets with full signature control.
  • Managed 12 core and 300 field project staff and coordinated the Annual Opium Poppy Survey (AOPS) and its field components such as segment survey, yield survey, GPS survey and socio-economic studies.
  • Designed and formulated the Annual Opium Poppy Survey (AOPS) project document and prepared annual activity work plan, resource plans and budget for the implementation of the project and its components.
  • Prepared in-deep strategic studies (socio-economics researches) regarding the dynamics of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan as well as drug flow monitoring studies and poppy eradication verification program.
  • Provided the surveyors methodological trainings programs on cultural adaptation, data collection and land measurement techniques related to the annual opium poppy survey and its components such as (Segment survey, yield survey and GPS survey).
  • Provided instruction support and following-up backstopping to the project staff on the individual work plans and assisting them in performance of their tasks and responsibilities.
  • Participated in the capacity building initiative of the government institutions and international organizations related to the Survey, Monitoring, evaluation and poppy elimination programs
  • Provided methodological (GPS and tracking systems) trainings to the Regional Counter Narcotic Police (RCNP) units in Afghanistan.
  • Liaised with the authorities in line with the project activities and obtained the necessary clearance for the deployment of surveyors to the fieldwork.
  • Assigned periodic tasks to the Regional Survey Coordinators (RSC) to ensure the involvement of the RSC in all stages of field implementation.
  • Undertaken monitoring missions to ensure the quality of the data collection process and followed up closely and ensure the monitoring of the AOPS in person and through the Regional Survey Coordinators and international consultants.
  • Prepared technical methodologies for the verification, monitoring and evaluation of the task related programs
  • Prepared monthly, semi-annual, and final annual project reports to the international community and related stockholders of the project.
  • Participated in the regular meetings with government and other agencies
  • Carried other tasks as assigned by the UNODC Representative for the Country office for Afghanistan.

B – United Nation Drugs Control program UNDCP

Country Office for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islamabad, Pakistan

Survey Team Leader and Technical Survey Officer

  • Supervised 200 field Surveyors and 3 project staff and coordinated the census based ground survey of opium poppy cultivation across the whole of Afghanistan.
  • Prepared the first draft of the survey questioner for the ground based census data collection survey a across Afghanistan.
  • Designed the resource plan, field implementation and monitoring plans for each region across the while Afghanistan.
  • Prepared the methodological trainings to the governmental related institutions, surveyors and coordinators for the monitoring of illicit crops data collection techniques.
  • Undertook monitoring missions to ensure the quality of the data collection process.
  • Followed up closely in order to ensure the monitoring of the ground data collection survey in person and through the Regional Survey coordinators and UNDCP field offices.
  • Drafted the annual opium poppy survey reports.
  • Finance control on the allocated annual survey budget
  • Carried other tasks as assigned by the management of the country office for Afghanistn.

Professional Accomplishments

Information Links

UNODC Illicit Crop Monitoring Program for Afghanistan (UNODC/ICMP) was also managing the Poppy Eradication Programs (both, Governor-led- Eradication Program leaded by provincial governors and Poppy Elimination Program leaded by the ISAF forces) in conjunction with the Counter Narcotic Ministry. That was the time when Engineer. Nazir Ahmad Shah Wardak was the UNODC/ICMP Focal Point for both above-mentioned programs to the Counter Narcotic Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The presented documentary shows one of the sample of the Field Verification and Monitoring Activities of Governor led Eradication Program in Shinwar District of Nangarhar Province.

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