Project Management Office (PMO) Specialist , Accra, At United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Organisational Context: 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.

Diversity

With over 5,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Ghana Multi-Country Office (GHMCO)

UNOPS Ghana Multi Country Office (GHMCO), located in Accra, spans across West Africa, covering Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The Ghana Operational Hub 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 GHMCO 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.

GHMCO has a diverse portfolio covering infrastructure, urban plan development, project management, procurement and futuristic studies. Opened in 2015, GHMCO has a vision and drive to deliver top quality results to its partners with a sharp focus on operational excellence.

The primary role of Project Management Office (PMO) is to provide the GHMCO with the structures, tools and techniques needed to ensure that it has the right programmes and projects in place, that operational and change priorities are balanced, the governance and decision making is facilitated and it has the resources and capability to deliver them consistently well.

The functions and services of the PMO include:

  •  Strategic Planning/Portfolio Support: Ensuring that the GHMCO is focused on doing the right projects by supporting management decision-making.
  •  Delivery Support: Ensuring that the GHMCO is doing projects the right way, through the effective delivery of programmes and projects.
  •  Best Practices: Applying UNOPS standards in project management, encouraging consistent working practices and ensuring their appropriate application.

The primary role of PMO is to ensure that project management policies, processes and methods are followed and practiced according to the organization standards, while acting as the overall Project Assurance capacity within the business unit on behalf of the Director and Representative (Executive). The PMO strongly contributes to moving the GHMCO toward achieving its mission-focused goals and objectives.

Position Information

Under the direct supervision of the GHMCO Head of Programme, and in collaboration with the GHMCO management team and relevant units, the Project Management Office Specialist will help ensure the effective management and delivery of GHMCO’s portfolio in line with the relevant project agreements and documents, as well as UNOPS’ project management standards. This will include:

  •  Deputizing the Head of Programme as appropriate to facilitate the development, oversight and control of GHMCO’s portfolio of projects in an effective manner, and alignment with UNOPS strategies.
  •  Serving as a Project Manager where delegated, including for projects with limited size and scope, as well as projects being operationalized or are under closure.
  •  Providing hands-on support, facilitation and capacity development to new Project Managers and teams and/or in cases where additional capacity is required to facilitate effective delivery and implementation, as relevant in support of the respective Project Executives.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:

His/her duties include:

1. Programme/project development, planning and coordination

  •  Ensure that the proposed projects, as well as their documents, results frameworks, initiation plans, work plans, etc. are developed and planned effectively, in line with UNOPS’ mandate and GHMCO strategy.
  •  Coordinate and collaborate with relevant stakeholders within the MCO and HQ, to ensure aligned and coherent programme and project planning and implementation processes.
  •  Directly contribute to strategic oversight, advice and direction on programme and project management activities in line with service agreements and project documents.
  •  Draft and/or review donor agreements and other project documents required for the signature and implementation of new projects.
  •  Ensure proper development, implementation and, as and when appropriate, amendments, of project budgets and staffing resources, ensuring synergies across the [OC/Hub/PC].
  •  Develops and establishes resource tracking systems for use within the PMO, complementary to UNOPS’ online tools, to ensure effective planning, forecasting and tracking of delivery across the GHMCO
  •  Contribute to and support the development and articulation of the MCO programme management, delivery and monitoring strategies and approaches, as well as the appropriate project documents and agreements.

2. Projects set-up and closure

  •  Oversee and support the start up of new infrastructure projects; in the absence of a PM, lead the startup of infrastructure projects including the recruitment of the project team and preliminary activities.
  •  Facilitate the development of high-level programme/project plans, including the collation of lower-level plans into programme/project-level milestones.
  •  Develop, track and maintain dependencies in GHMCO’s project portfolio.
  •  Oversee and coordinate all project closure activities for infrastructure projects, ensuring appropriate disposal of project assets, timely and effective final (operational) reporting, initiation of financial disbursements as appropriate during Defects Notification Periods (DNPs), updating of information on oU Projects, and effective handover of closed projects to UNOPS HQ for financial closure processes
  •  Facilitate and ensure that all GHMCO Infrastructure Projects have a valid (and agreed) DNP Monitoring plan. In the absence of a PM, coordinate the implementation of DNP monitoring plans as per the schedule and review relevant documents as part of the project closure requirements.
  •  For project closure purposes, acts as (or nominates and supervises) a focal point between the GHMCO and donors throughout the process.

3. Delivery Support

  •  Analyze project agreements and documents, and develop and implement inception, work and monitoring plans to ensure effective delivery and implementation in consultation with the GHMCO HoP, PE and other relevant stakeholders, including through the provision of hands-on guidance, capacity development and support to the relevant Project Managers and teams.
  •  Ensure that projects, as well as their outputs and activities, are delivered in line with their agreed scope, time and cost through effective planning, management and monitoring support.
  •  Track programme/projects’ progress and results against plans and targets (including scope, time and cost), and alert GHMCO HoP and management on issues, risks and lessons learned, alongside the appropriate action plans to proactively take remedial actions and/or manage the relevant risks.
  •  Ensure that programme/project information and documentation, including deliverables, budgets, expenditures and financial forecasts, are maintained and managed in a quality manner, and as per UNOPS standards and requirements.
  •  Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations.
  •  As an OIC in the absence of the MCO Head of Programme, and carry out other relevant duties as assigned.

4. Monitoring and reporting

  •  Prepare and submit regular project reports in accordance with donor guidelines for reporting.
  •  Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality).
  •  Identify and anticipates in a timely manner, potential risks and issues specific to delivery forecasts, and advises mitigating measures to the Head of Programme.
  •  Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system, using UNOPS ERP system as required. Identify gaps, areas to improve and make recommendations to the Head of Programme on appropriate corrective actions.
  •  Coordinate and oversee the implementation of requests or initiatives relevant to project management from the Regional Office, IPAS, and HQ Teams, as required.
  •  Perform routine maintenance and implementation of effective monitoring and evaluation systems of programme and project activities, in line with logical frameworks.
  •  Within the context of monitoring and evaluation, ensure all projects submit and regularly update specific milestones and targets for the duration of projects’ life-cycles, and tracks progress, or otherwise, against such information.
  •  Provide editorial support to programmes and projects, ensuring effective and timely dissemination of reports, in line with project documentation and clients’ expectations.

5. Stakeholder engagement

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  •  Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies.
  •  Enable the formulation of programme and project communications plans.
  •  Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications across programmes and projects.
  •  Coordinate internal programme/project communications.
  •  Monitor the effectiveness of programme/project communications.

6. Knowledge management and innovation

  •  Act as a focal point for the GHMCO maturity enhancement initiatives, using the P3M3 as a baseline.
  •  Provide guidance and support to PMs in the development of Quality Management Plans (QMPs) in line with UNOPS Operational Instruction on Quality Management and Good Practises;
  •  In collaboration with the GHMCO PMO where relevant, help the GHMCO HoP roll out the relevant standards, SOPs, tools and templates to effectively manage programme development and implementation.
  •  Identify, record, share and facilitate the management of programme/project-level issues, risks and lessons, including using the appropriate UNOPS systems.
  •  Facilitate sharing of best practices, innovative approaches and lessons learned, including through case studies and the appropriate corporate programme/project management related networks.
  •  Provide onboarding support and sustained capacity development to new Project Managers and teams, as well as other relevant personnel, on a variety of topics including UNOPS Project Management Manual, oneUNOPS and oneUNOPS-Projects, MS Projects, etc.
  •  Ensure routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of national staff.

Impact of Results

The Project Management Office (PMO) – Specialist directly impacts on achievement of project results by assisting the Head of Programme to implement effective project management methods and strategies, reduced risks, cut costs and improve success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of the 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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A. Education

  •  A Master’s Degree (or higher) preferably in Project Management, Business Administration Development Studies, International Relations or related field is required.
  •  A Bachelor’s Degree preferably in Project Management, Business Administration, Development Studies, International Relations or related field in combination with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.

B. Work Experience

  •  A minimum of 5 years of relevant and progressive professional experience, specifically in the field of Project/Programme Management with experience of successful implementation and/or oversight of programmes and projects is required.
  •  Within the 5 years, at least 2 years must be in the field of Infrastructure Project Management.
  •  Experience managing/overseeing a programme of multiple projects simultaneously is an advantage.
  •  Previous experience of working within a Program Management office environment is an advantage.
  •  Detailed knowledge of UNOPS’ project management tools, UNOPS financial and procurement rules and regulations, and financial management tools, is an asset.
  •  Strong experience with data analysis, management reporting and project management tools and information management systems is essential.
  •  Experience working with Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Donor funded projects is an asset.
  •  Knowledge of the UN system and familiarity with UNOPS procedures is a distinct advantage.
  •  Experience in the use of google software packages (Google Doc, Sheets and Slides) and experience in handling web-based management systems is an added advantage.

C. Certification

  •  PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification is highly desirable.
  •  MSP certification (Foundation and/or Practitioner) is an advantage.

D. Language Requirement

  •  Fluency in written, reading and spoken English is required.

Competencies

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.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above 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.

Contract type, level and duration

  •  Contract type: Local Individual Contract Agreement (L-ICA)
  •  Contract level: LICA 10/ ICS 10
  •  Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance’.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Information

  •  Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  •  Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  •  Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  •  UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  •  Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  •  We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process. If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.
  •  Accra, Ghana is a family duty station.

Terms and Conditions

  •  All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  •  It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

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April 2024
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