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  • Executive Career at UNOPS

  • Posted on: 17 December, 2015 Deadline: 22 December, 2015
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    United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

    Background Information - UNOPS

    UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

    Working in some of the world's most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners' expectations.

    With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

    A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

    Background Information - Job-specific

    UNOPS Ghana Operational Hub (GHOH), located in Accra, spans across West Africa, covering Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

    GHOH is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional portfolio of engagements, developing and delivering cost effective services contributing to partners' sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results.

    The core functions of the Operational Hub are to:

    • Liaise and develop engagements, and deliver services responding to partner needs.
    • Leverage advice and integrate delivery modalities of the three Delivery Practices and the Global Partner Service Office.
    • Maintain appropriate arrangements and capacity for direct transactional support for delivery of the sub-regional portfolio.

    The mission of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peace-building, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need. In line with its mandate UNOPS acts as a central resource for the United Nations system in procurement and contracts management as well as in civil works and physical infrastructure development, including the related capacity development activities. UNOPS has significant experience in post-conflict, post-disaster and the field of reconstruction of conflict stricken Infrastructure systems.

    Country Manager



    The Country Manager is responsible for the development of the programme in infrastructure, procurement and project management and represents UNOPS in its provision of services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. S/he is expected to support partner programmes by developing relevant projects and securing resources to implement them.

    Functional Responsibilities

    The Country Manager has a primary reporting line to the Operational Hub Director.

    The Country Manager positions UNOPS as service provider of choice in its mandated areas of sustainable infrastructure development, procurement and project management. S/he will strengthen the current client base consisting of the [country] Government, International Donors and UN Agencies, and develop additional partnerships on the basis of evidence and demand.

    Bringing a deep understanding of the challenges of project management in complex conditions, the Country Manager will build UNOPS position within the UN community as a trusted, reliable partner providing a valued service in reaching affected populations.

    The Country Manager leads a team that shares a commitment to excellence, demanding and rewarding the highest standards of achievement, and acting decisively when standards are not met. S/he promotes flexibility and decisive responsiveness to needs and opportunities, coupled with high standards for measuring success.

    Through excellent and targeted project management, the Country Manager demonstrates UNOPS capabilities in operating in the most complex and difficult situations and proves the unique and indispensable services UNOPS can provide to the international community.

    S/he is responsible to produce/read projects initiation documents (PID), Legal Agreement and have a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders to ensure the project(s) products are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the client. Success of the project(s) and hence Country Manager will be based on the Success Criteria of UNOPS engagements which are linked to the below responsibilities.

    The Country Manager is responsible for all aspects of the projects life cycle. S/he must be able to apply, at a mastery level, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria

    Stakeholder Management

    • Establish solid working relationship with the project board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders.
    • Manage communications and ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover products.
    • Advise the client on issues that may impact the achievement of their outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance).
    • Manage the information flows between the Project Board/OH Director and the project(s).

    Delivery and Performance

    • Implement approved project plans (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the project board.
    • Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into project life cycle.
    • Manage the production of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
    • Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers.
    • Authorize Work Packages.
    • Advise the Project Board of any deviations from the plan.
    • Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to client and stakeholders is achieved.
    • Manage and review product quality and ensure products are accepted.
    • Monitor and evaluate performance of service providers.
    • Identify and report potential business opportunities for UNOPS to supervisor.
    • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to supervisor.


    • Follow the Project Management Cycle Instructions and ensure that all organizational policy is complied with (Organizational Directives and Administrative Instructions).

    Prepare/adapt the following plans for approval by the Project Board

    1. Project Initiation Documentation;
    2. Stage/Exception Plans and relevant Product Descriptions.

    Prepare the following reports

    1. Highlight Reports;
    2. End Stage Reports;
    3. Operational Closure Checklist;
    4. End Project Report;
    5. Handover Report.

    Maintain the following

    1. Electronic Blue File;
    2. Procurement,
    3. HR and Finance files as required by those practices as per OD12.
    4. Ensure that all expenditure comply with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR).
    5. Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time.
    6. Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project.
    7. Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel.
    8. Manage and remain accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports).
    9. Where the Country Manager has no delegation as a committing officer, s/he retains these responsibilities and will monitor and instruct/request others to carry out the relevant commitments and disbursements.

    Country representation

    • Act as the internal coordination point to ensure adequate coordination of UNOPS activities in the designated country.
    • At the request of the Hub Director, participate in relevant inter-agency and external meetings.
    • Maintain regular contact with stakeholders, including Government to ensure full information sharing and participation.
    • Collaborate with internal and external partners, colleagues and stakeholders to keep abreast of evolving trends, advocate UNOPS services and build partnerships/alliances to maintain/enhance UNOPS visibility in project services in development cooperation.
    • At the request of the Hub Director, participate in the UN Security Management Team and in line with the UN Security Management System Framework of Accountability, support the UN Designated Official in discharging his/her mandate related to the safety and security of all UNOPS personnel, premises and assets.
    • At the request of the Hub Director, participate in UN Country Team initiatives to strengthen UN coherence, inclusiveness, and aid effectiveness.
    • At the request of the Hub Director, keep the UN Resident Coordinator informed of UNOPS activities within the country through regular communication and formal reporting on business acquisition and implementation of activities led by UNOPS as part of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

    Knowledge Management

    • Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice.
    • Actively interact with other PMs and the PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System.
    • Provide feedback to Practice Leads on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies.
    • Complete lessons learned as per reporting format.
    • Incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format.

    Personnel Management

    • Lead and motivate the project management team.
    • Ensure that behavioural expectations of team members are established.
    • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted.
    • Identify outstanding staff and bring them to the attention of the OH Director.
    • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities (including ICA and Staff).
    • Select, recruit and train team as required by project plans.
    • Perform the Team Manager role, unless appointed to another person(s).
    • Perform Project Support role, unless appointed to another person or corporate/programme function.
    • Ensure safety and security for all personnel and comply with UNDSS standards.

    Core Values and Principles

    Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles

    1. Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day to day project management;
    2. Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at work place;
    3. Champion and communicate project's sustainability aspects with key stakeholders.

    Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity

    1. Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans;
    2. Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff;
    3. Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts;
    4. Partnerships and Coordination Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project's place in the UN system;
    5. Know the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and seek to contribute within the deliverables of the project;
    6. Strive to build strong partnerships and effective coordination among relevant project actors (e.g. United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations or other relevant partners).

    Accountability for results and the use of resources

    1. The project management processes are designed to deliver maximum accountability, transparency and results. If a project or processes is not in line with this, it is the responsibility of the PM to raise the issue to a supervisor.


    1. Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality.

    Additional Requirements

    • Previous work experience in a hardship duty station, conflict zone or post-conflict environment is an asset;
    • Experience in networking with local government and international entities an asset.

    1. Monitoring and Progress Controls

    Ensure delivery of project outputs as per signed agreement for

    • Project; and


    • Ensure that the project(s) produces the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits.
    • The Country Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case;
    • Contribute to the overall business targets and needs.


    • Skilled in programme and project design
    • Skilled in risk assessment,
    • Proven experience in project management in difficult conditions with special attention to the exposure of UNOPS personnel in the frontline delivery of services.

    Education/Experience/Language requirements

    • Master's Degree or equivalent in Economics, Engineering, Project Management, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies. A Bachelor's Degree with additional two (2) years of experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master's Degree.
    • A relevant combination of academic credentials and/or industry certifications and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the university education.
    • Complete the UNOPS Project Management Foundation course (within one year after signing this TOR).
    • At least 10 years (in possession of a Master's Degree) or 12 years (in possession of Bachelor's degree) of progressively responsible experience in social development, business development, management, and programme management; with focus on monitoring, reporting, development and coordination in either public or private sector organizations.
    • PRINCE2® Foundation is an asset.
    • PRINCE2® Practitioner an asset, but required completion within first 6 months of onboarding.
    • Fluency in spoken and written English required.

    Contract type, level and duration

    Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement

    Contract level: IICA-3

    Contract duration: 1 Year

    Duty Station: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria

    For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

    Additional Considerations

    • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
    • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
    • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
    • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
    • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
    • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

    It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.

    Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

    Method of Application

    Interested in this position, visit UNOPS' career website

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