The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organisations. With over 6,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.
Portfolio Senior Manager/Senior Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. Portfolio Manager /Senior Project Manager acts on behalf of the Project Board to manage the project on an ongoing basis during the Implementation Stage. The main responsibility of a Portfolio Manager /Senior Project Manager is to ensure that the project outputs are delivered within the specified project tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. He/she is expected to meet the organization’s performance and delivery goals.
Portfolio Manager/Senior Project Manager has the authority to assign, as per the Project Plan, work packages to Team Managers and approve deliverables produced by them.
Portfolio Manager/Senior Project Manager is responsible for creating the Implementation Plan, using the Project Initiation Document (PID), Legal Agreement and having a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders, to ensure the project(s) outputs are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the partner(s). Success of the project(s) and hence of the Portfolio Manager/Senior Project Manager will be based on the defined Success Criteria.
The Portfolio Senior Manager will be responsible for managing the relevant portfolio of projects, including their delivery, issues and risks. This will require that s/he prepares and follows up on implementation plans, and oversees the status of various procurement and supply-chain activities.
The project(s) rely on a number of external partners and suppliers for its successful delivery, who are expected to work with firm deadlines. The incumbent is responsible for managing all aspects of the project life cycle, as well as these partners/suppliers. S/he must be able to apply, independently, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria.
1.Project Delivery and Performance
- Develop, complete and update implementation plan(s)
- Implement the approved plan (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 span.
- Manage the production of the required outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
- Ensure that quality of work packages and deliverables complies with the quality requirements defined in the Implementation Plan.
- Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers
- Manage acceptance and delivery of work packages
- Monitor project progress ensuring that work packages are being executed properly
- Control project and work packages changes
- Accept goods, services or works delivered by suppliers.
- Lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation.
- Act as the Employer’s Representative within the FIDIC works contracts.
- Identify, and anticipate in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to senior management/ Project Board so that maximum benefit to partner(s) and other stakeholders is achieved
- Identify and report to the supervisor potential business opportunities for UNOPS
- Comply with all organizational policy and specifically the Project Management Manual
- Prepare/adapt all relevant plans for approval by the Project Board.
- Manage the reporting obligations defined in the Legal Agreement(s) and in the Implementation Plan
- Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes. Approving requisitions and requests for non-purchase order payments; Evaluating submissions received, if appointed to the evaluation team.
- Ensure maintenance of the project files and lessons learned are recorded
- Ensure the development and implementation of project financial management guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations.
- Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time.
- Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project
- Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel
- Manage expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports)
- Where the Project 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.
- For project closure purposes, provide a formal handover of the project to the closure manager
- Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations
2. Monitoring and reporting
- Prepare and issue regular project and/or financial reports in accordance with Partner and UNOPS requirements for reporting.
- Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality).
- Maintain diaries and progress reports as required by the organization’s standard procedures.
- Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system.
- Ensure all project team members track and regularly update milestones and targets for the duration of projects’ life span
- Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies
- Establish solid working relationships with the Project Board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders
- Enable the formulation of project communications plans. Coordinate internal project communications. Monitor the effectiveness of project communications
- Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications. Ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover outputs
4. Quality assurance
- Work with internal stakeholders to ensure projects comply with audit requirements
- Work with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers’ quality systems
- Coordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverables
- Provide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)
5.Knowledge management and innovation
- Encourage routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of staff.
- Actively interact with other Project Managers and the wider PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices
- Contribute to the oversight of lessons learned procedures, ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner. Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice
- Research and logging of lessons learned throughout the project life span.
- Provide feedback to Practice Groups on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies
6. Personnel Management
- Lead and motivate the project management team
- Ensure that behavioral expectations of team members are established
- Ensure that performance reviews are conducted fairly, accurately and timely
- Select, recruit and train team as required and take into account gender parity and diversity objectives.
- Ensure safety and security for all project personnel and comply with UNDSS standards
- Create, foster and role model a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination, abuse of authority, harassments, sexual harassments and sexual exploitation and abuse. Ensure accountability for actions and perform duties in accordance with protection mechanisms and action plans, as expected by UNOPS policies, standards and commitments.
Impact of Results
Project Manager/Senior Project Manager directly impacts on achievement of project results by adhering to project management methods and strategies, reducing risks, cutting costs and improving success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and strengthens its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.
Contract type, Level and duration
- Contract type: Local Individual Contractor
- Contract level: LICA 11
- Contract duration: Ongoing contracts (subject to satisfactory performance and fund availability)
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
- Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
- 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.
- UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
- Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
- For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
- For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
- 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.
Education /Experience/Language requirements
- Advanced University Degree in Project Management, Business Administration, Development Studies, Supply-Chain Management or other relevant discipline.
- University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of 2 additional years of relevant professional experience in Project Management, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, or other relevant discipline, may be accepted in lieu of the advance university degree.
B. Work Experience
- Seven years (or more based on academic credentials) of progressive experience in project development required, with focus on project implementation, partner management, monitoring and reporting.
- Experience in procurement management involving purchasing of high-value goods & services for complex projects considered as an asset.
- Experience in managing teams and units, particularly in the area of project and/or procurement management, highly desirable.
C. Key Competencies
- PRINCE2® Foundation certification and PRINCE2® Practitioner certification would be an asset, but required completion within first 6 months of onboarding
- CIPS 2 and above and/or other procurement certification highly desirable
- Complete the UNOPS Project Management Foundation course, and UNOPS Procurement Operations Training (within one year after signing this TOR)
- Fluency in written and oral English and Amharic is required.
- Knowledge of other UN official language is advantageous.
- Job City Addis Ababa