Project Management Support Specialist (Finance and Operations) 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. 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.

Multi-Country Office Context:

The UNOPS Ghana Multi Country Office (GHMCO), located in Accra, Ghana is responsible for projects in Anglophone West Africa, covering Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. GHMCO is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks engagements portfolio, developing and delivering cost effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievement of UNOPS management results.

Local Context

UNOPS has been active in Sierra Leone since 2000 and has delivered a variety of infrastructure projects nationwide, particularly in the fields of Renewable Energy, Health and Security Infrastructure, and has implemented and procured a variety of vehicles, non-medical health related items, medical equipment, and Solar Photovoltaic systems

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Project Manager(s), the incumbent’s primary role is to provide Project Management Support to the Sierra Leone Country Office 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.

Position Information

The primary role of Project Management Support Specialist (PSMM) is to provide Sierra Leone Country Office 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 Project Management Support Specialist include:

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

    The Project Management Support Specialist reports to the Project Manager(s) who provides broad supervision and guidance. The role is responsible for supporting the Project Manager(s) with the day-to-day operations of the mission and coordinating mission progress and implementation. He/she maintains a close eye on the operational and financial performance, identifies probable issues that may need attention, supports in problem analysis and solution identification as necessary, coordinate resolution as per action-items assigned, drafting required correspondences to stakeholders concerned and preparation of mission reports. The Project Management Support Specialist is most likely required to work in complex and challenging environments with limited resources

    Summary of functions:

    1. Project implementation
    2. Financial management
    3. Project monitoring and reporting
    4. Stakeholder management, coordination and liaison
    5. Knowledge management, coordination and liaison
    1. Project implementation

    • Prepare and maintain project files, including internal and external project reports.
    • Coordinate information flows and oversee change controls, risk registers and issue management, by establishing document control procedures.
    • Coordinate assigned delivery of work packages and take responsibility for progress.
    • Coordinate and liaise with the Project Manager(s) on the implementation progress.
    • Identify and escalate to the Project Manager(s) of any deviations from the plan and update plans.
    • Work with the Project Manager(s) to identify and manage risks. .
    2. Financial management

    • Implementation of financial management strategy and system to ensure effective and accurate financial resources management focusing on achievement of the following results:
    • Financial resources management through planning, guiding, controlling of the resources in accordance with UNOPS rules and regulations.
    • Preparation and monitoring of project budgets and expenditures
    • Establishment of the development projects’ budgets preparation/modification monitoring system, control of budgetary status and budgets delivery levels.
    • Elaboration of proper mechanisms to eliminate deficiencies in budget management.
    • Advice to Project Manager(s) on strategic financial resources management
    • Continuous analysis and monitoring of the financial situation, presentation of forecasts of the projects in coordination with the Project Management Office.
    • Full compliance of financial activities, financial recording/reporting system and audit follow up based on UNOPS rules, regulations, policies and strategies.
    • Proper planning, expenditure tracking and audit of financial resources in line with UNOPS rules and regulations
    • Elaboration and implementation of cost saving and reduction strategies.
    • Monitoring of financial reports for unusual activities, transactions, and investigating anomalies or unusual transactions.
    • Ensure accurate data entry into UNOPS ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
    3. Monitoring and reporting

    • Provide substantive inputs to assist the Project Manager(s) in the preparation of project reports and documents, ensure compliance with contractual obligations and UNOPS policies, processes and procedures
    • Maintain records of project files and other supporting documents.
    • Maintain the following records: Quality Register, Configuration Item Records and all other registers/logs delegated by the Project Manager(s)
    • Support the Project Manager(s) in maintaining the following:
      • Electronic Blue File,
      • Procurement, HR and Finance files as required by UNOPS policies
    • Manage the compilation, consolidation and analysis of relevant data of the projects
    • Assist the Project Manager(s) in the preparation of project completion reports and ensure compliance with contractual obligations
    4. Stakeholder engagement

    • stablish effective and fruitful working relationships with project’s stakeholders including but not limited to the project Beneficiaries and Clients, as appropriate, providing advice and guidance on specific and general issues and where the appropriate system and fling matters;
    • Support the coordination and management of communications;
    • Contribute to building strong partnerships and effective coordination among relevant project stakeholders (e.g. United Nations, government and non-governmental organizations or other relevant partners) for the purposes of facilitating activities and improving the quality of the project products;
    • Pursue engagement of national stakeholders in project implementation and their ownership of project products;
    • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for planning and knowledge building.
    • Champion and communicate the project’s sustainability aspects with key stakeholders.
    5. Knowledge management and innovation

    • In conjunction with the Project team, provides appropriate levels of programmatic management and administrative support to the Project Manager(s) regarding all ongoing project activities, while maintaining and implementing appropriate standards and best practices in line with UNOPS policies and procedures.
    • Directly contribute to strategic oversight, advice and direction on Programme and project management activities in line with service agreements and project documents.
    • Ensure proper development, implementation and, as and when appropriate, amendments, of project budgets and staffing resources, ensuring synergies across the different implementing partners.
    • Develops and establishes resource tracking systems for use within the Project, complementary to UNOPS’ online tools, to ensure effective planning, forecasting and tracking of delivery across the Programme.
    • Identifies, and anticipates in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to the Project Manager(s).
    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.

    A. Education

    • A Master’s Degree (Advanced University Degree or Higher) in Project Management, Business Administration, Finance, Financial Management, International Relations or related field is required.
    • Bachelor’s Degree (First Level University Degree) in a relevant field such as in Project Management, Business Administration, Finance, Financial Management, International Relations or related field with a combination of 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 at least 5 years of relevant and progressive professional experience, specifically in the field of Project Management, Financial Management with experience of successful implementation and/or oversight of projects is required.
    • Previous experience of working within a Project Management environment is an advantage.
    • Strong experience with data analysis, management reporting and project management tools and information management systems is highly desirable.
    • 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. Language Requirement

    • Full working knowledge of English is required.
    • Fluency in one or more additional official UN languages is an advantage.

    D. Certification

    • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification is highly desirable.
    • MSP certification (Foundation and/or Practitioner) is an advantage.
    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: Local Individual Contract Agreement (LICA)
    • 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: 

    • 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.

    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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June 2024