Niaz Mohammad Awan

Niaz Mohammad Awan

2009 - Niaz Mohammad Awan, humanitarian response, monitoring & evaluation officer with UNFPA in Somalia funded by the Netherlands since December 2007, shares with us his experience and insights.


Development as freedom


Where are you from?

Born and raised in the north Pakistani city of Peshawar (much in the news due to current security issues and Afghan crisis in the past).


What is your background?

Masters in International Relations in 2001. Working for UN since 2006 in health, emergency/humanitarian response and project management.


JPO Assignment


What has been your assignment as a JPO?

Working as humanitarian response, monitoring & evaluation officer, I've to coordinate with all programs for humanitarian assistance in Somalia, assist and coordinate planning process, to track the progress, record lesson learnt, recommend new interventions, and to represent UNFPA in UN and other forums.


Which random words come to your mind when thinking about your JPO years?

Humanitarian assistance, coordination, ASRH, MISP, population and development, a spare wheel, how come a JPO from Pakistan, as the country doesn't support the JPO Programme.


In what way do you think your JPO assignment has shaped your career?

Being a part of all coordination, planning and reporting, have idea of different themes like reproductive health, population and development, youth, gender, gender based violence-GBV, HIV/AIDS and different approaches in different situations, humanitarian and development. Also involvement in country level coordination with the UN and all other partners at program planning and implementationphases provided a wealth of experience for the current assignment and days to follow.


What are your major lessons learned during your JPO assignment in terms of professional growth, career planning and opportunities?

Coordination and involvement with all development/humanitarian partners at national and program level during all phases of planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting.


What is your motivation to work in the field of development?

Coming from a developing country and one of the most troubled areas since last three decades, poverty, men-made crisis, natural calamities, security concerns and other challenges. A complete generation has been brought up in the hostile situation of different social ills that many people, of the same generation, just heard, read or watched in movies, newspapers. Despite so many efforts, including the UN, still lot more to be done. Core values of the UN also helped to shape my determination to be the part of the development/humanitarian field.


Most enriching professional achievement so far?

Coordinating the Country Program preparations in consultations with all stakeholders. Developing a contingency plan, monitoring and evaluation framework UNFPA Somalia.


What kind of advice would you give to JPOs?

- Be yourself

- Still we could make a big difference in current scenarios with the courage of our will and determination.


By the way...


Your crowning glory:

Hard work and attention to details.


The last favourite book you read:

Development as Freedom (Amartya Sen)


Behind the suit:

As on front.


Favourite quote:

If you live in what you believe, you will always get respect.



My parents, they are the best of the best.