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Project Manager Job at UNOPS

Job Overview

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Job categories: Project Management
Vacancy code: VA/2018/B5308/14735
Level ICS-11
Department/office: AFR, ETOH, Ethiopia
Duty station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: IICA-3
Duration: 12 Months
Application period: 15-Jan-2018 to 23-Jan-2018

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

Established in 2009, UNOPS Ethiopia Office has been providing services to various partners, including the government of Ethiopia, UN agencies such as WHO, UNHCR and WFP, and other international organizations. In 2014, the UNOPS Executive Director decided to establish the UNOPS Ethiopia Operational Hub (ETOH), which manages and coordinates the UNOPS activities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti.

UNOPS ETOH activities range from tailor-made administration, operations, human resources and logistics support for implementation of development and humanitarian projects; infrastructure and procurement management services; and advisory services to partners to facilitate effective procurement, supply and financial management.

UNOPS’ Climate Adaptation Project in Sheballe Valley Ethiopia is a three-year project that supports the Government of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan II. The project focuses on improving smallholder productivity and commercialization of crop and livestock value chain in partnership with the private sector. The goal is to promote inclusive growth and job creation in the Somali Region of Ethiopia by strengthening the capabilities of producers and private enterprises to effectively link farmers to domestic and international markets. The project will invest in improving productivity and facilitation of the development of a high value, drought-resistant crop and enhancing the capacity of the community in sustainable livelihoods.Under the leadership of the Head of Programme (HoP), the Project Manager will ensure effective delivery of the project through provision of high quality overall management of project cycle from designing, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, to documentation of project results and learning.  The position requires good leadership and management skills, experience in implementing an agricultural value chain, and the ability to work in a challenging and fragile environment. The incumbent will be based in Addis Ababa with frequent travels to Gode District in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.

Functional Responsibilities

The Project Manager will perform the following duties and responsibilities. The work will include tasks relating to the presence of the Operational Hub in all areas of responsibility.Summary of Key Functions:

  • Report to the Head of Programme on designing and implementing the project in accordance with UNOPS mandate and strategy;
  • Manage the overall implementation of the project, including project planning and budgeting, identifying and maintaining direct contacts with partners, monitoring and supporting partners in project implementation and overseeing financial management of the project;
  • Maintain a robust relationship with all stakeholders (public and private sector); attend high-level meetings/workshops/presentations to provide updates on project progress and challenges;
  • Assure quality control of project activities, including supporting field teams, reviewing work deliverables, and providing value-added feedback; and
  • Produce the Project Initiation Document (PID), and have a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners and stakeholders to ensure the project products are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the client.

The project would rely on the private sector and the local community for its successful delivery under firm deadlines. The PM must be able to apply, independently, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria:
Stakeholder Management:

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

Delivery and Performance:

  • Develop and maintain project plans;
  • Establish accurate project delivery forecasts;
  • 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 the private sector and relevant government authorities;
  • Authorize Work Packages;
  • Advise the Project Board of any deviations from the plan;
  • Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to stakeholders is achieved;
  • Manage and review product quality and ensure products are accepted;
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of staff;
  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to Project Board;
  • Complete and submit exception reports when projects deviate from delivery forecasts;
  • Report foreseeable shortfalls in project delivery to the management team;
  • Actively mitigate foreseeable shortfalls in project delivery; and
  • Travel frequently to project site to monitor progress and update the senior management team.


  • 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:  I. Project Initiation Documentation; II. Stage/Exception Plans and relevant Product Descriptions
  • Prepare the following reports: Highlight Reports, End Stage Reports, Operational Closure Checklist, End Project Report, Handover Report
  • Maintain the following: i. Electronic Blue File; ii. Procurement, HR and Finance files as required by those practices;
  • Ensure that all expenditure comply with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR);
  • 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; and
  • Manage and remain accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports).

Knowledge Management:

  • Actively interact with other PMs to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices;
  • Ensure an efficient project hand-over to the succeeding Project Manager, when the Project Manager moves to the next project;
  • Complete lessons learned as per reporting format; and
  • Incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format.

Personnel Management:

  • Lead and motivate the project team;
  • Ensure that behavioral expectations of team members are established;
  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted;
  • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities (including ICA and Staff);
  • Select, recruit and train team as required by project plans;
  • Ensure safety and security for all personnel and comply with UNDSS standards; and
  • Enable subsequent project managers, and the project management teams, to effectively operate the relevant projects in keeping with UNOPS best practices.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Ensure that the project produces the products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits; and
  • Produce outputs as defined in the Business Case, and contribute to the overall business targets and needs.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced University Degree in Project Management, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, or other relevant discipline.
  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree/first level) with a combination of 10 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.
  • A relevant combination of academic credentials and/or industry certifications and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the university education.

Work Experience:

  • Ten years (or more based on academic credentials) of progressive experience in project development and management, with focus on monitoring, reporting, development and coordination in either public or private sector organizations.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English (writing, reading, speaking) is required. Knowledge of a second UN working language is desirable.


  • PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner is an asset (successful candidate who may not have the certificate will be required to do the certification within 6 month of employment)
  • Complete the UNOPS Project Management Foundation course (within six months after employment)


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

  • Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day-to-day project management;
  • Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at work place;
  • Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity;
    • Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans
    • Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff
    • Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts
  • Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: IICA-3
Contract duration: One year with possibility of extension ( Subject to satisfactory performance and funds availability)For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • 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.
  • 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.

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