By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy
  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Kabul
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2019-03-28

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Team Leader

Kabul (Afghanistan)

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 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.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information - Afghanistan


UNOPS strategy for Afghanistan is aimed at providing maximum support to the Government and people of Afghanistan though the delivery of projects and services in line with the government’s own priorities. The UNOPS Afghanistan Operation Center (AFOC) has been established as an organizational mechanism to deliver a range of projects for which UNOPS has been designated as the implementation agency. At present, UNOPS AFOC is implementing a number of projects in a range of sectors including infrastructure (roads and schools) development, capacity building to various ministries, and environmental protection, among others, on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan and the donor community.

The functional objective of UNOPS AFOC is to deliver projects in an efficient and effective manner, to achieve the development outcomes sought by the Government of Afghanistan and the donor community, where capacity building is always considered and encouraged. The aim of UNOPS AFOC is to provide implementation services to the Government of Afghanistan, the donor community and partner agencies in the reconstruction and development of the country. In doing so, UNOPS aims to exceed client expectations in the delivery of quality services throughout the country.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

Summary of key functions: Under the direction of the Operations Centre Director and Representative and direct supervision of the Head of Programme, the Team Leader (TL) for THRCP will be ultimately responsible for the overall success of the program.  The TL will provide overall program management and leadership to ensure that the road rehabilitation is implemented effectively to achieve the Government’s goal of promoting stability and security in Afghanistan.  The TL will liaise with the National Coordination Unit (NCU) to review and plan program activities and to report on technical and financial progress.  The TL will manage program staff, lead the mobilization of additional resources on behalf of UNOPS and support the PIUs and NCU in their resource mobilization activities, and provide quality assurance for road rehabilitation, capacity building, and community outreach activities to ensure that the desired program results are achieved on time and on budget, and contribute to the Government of Afghanistan’s social, economic and environmental aims as expressed in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).  The TL will ensure that World Bank financial and other resources are used appropriately and effectively.

Specific Responsibilities

The Team Leader will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following functions and responsibilities:

Programme Management and Coordination:

  • Determines programme resource requirements in conjunction with the AFOC Head of Programme, other Managers and the Programme Management Office;
  • Defines the programme’s governance framework (resource management, monitoring and control, quality and risk management, stakeholder engagement and benefits management);
  • Maintains overall integrity and coherence of the programme, and develops and maintains the programme environment to support each individual project within it.
  • Handles the day-to-day management of the programme and oversees the delivery of all projects in the programme, monitoring delivery in terms of quality, costs and time;
  • Ensures that the delivery of new outputs or services from the projects meets the programme’s requirements;
  • Ensures that security considerations are assessed and implicated in programme conception.
  • Mentors and assists the project managers in planning, execution and delivery of projects, ensuring that best practice project management processes are incorporated;
  • Ensures maximum efficiency in the allocation of resources and skills within the programme;
  • Works closely with the project managers to identify potential project-cost overruns, time delays or quality deficiencies, and implements actions for rectification;
  • Analyses project results, and interprets these results into recommendations for the Head of Programme to assist him/her in the development of UNOPS as the service Provider of Choice in Afghanistan;
  • Ensures that clear communication and good relationships are developed and maintained within the programme, with internal support units (Human Resources, Procurement, Logistics, etc.) and with external parties such as donors, the Government, etc.;
  • Plans, develops, coordinates, communicates and directs the internal policies and procedures of the Programme Section;
  • Effectively and efficiently delegates responsibility and authority to subordinate staff for the delivery of agreed outputs while ensuring accountability;
  • Provides timely and accurate project tracking, analysis of outputs, and reporting;
  • Develops and drives a culture of excellence, continuous improvement and performance optimization across all projects in the programme;
  • Establishes performance objectives with appropriate measures for project managers and other programme staff;
  • Initiates activities and other management interventions wherever gaps in the programme are identified or issues arise.

Fiscal Responsibilities:

  • Has responsibility for programme budgeting and resource planning;
  • Implements UNOPS pricing strategies, with a disciplined approach to business case development and pricing models which balances revenues and capacity development, within the mandate and spirit of the United Nations;
  • Prepares and submits for approval, revenue and expenditure forecasts based on established financial goals;
  • Supports the Head of Programme in the development of the business model for AFOC in Afghanistan assessing costs and revenue streams as well as margins.

Business & Corporate Development:

  • Develops current and future growth plans for the programme (1 – 3 years), ensuring that those plans conform to UNOPS overall strategic plans;
  • Supports and provides inputs to the Head of Programme in developing business opportunities in preparing and delivering complex proposals and partnerships;
  • Ensures subordinate programme staff with the relevant authority are properly trained in proposal development and presentation;
  • Identifies and develops potential new business and customer opportunities;
  • Develops and maintains close working relationships with Donors, the Government and other clients.

Technical Functions:

  • Plans, develops, implements and maintains appropriate standards, best practices and procedures in the programme;
  • Researches, identifies and introduces appropriate new technologies for the execution of projects across the programme.

Human Resource Responsibilities:

  • Assumes responsibility for all staffing issues as required by the demands of the various projects in the AFOC programme including adherence to UNOPS security regulations and guidelines;
  • Conducts Staff Performance Reviews of project staff and other staff on the programme in accordance with UNOPS HR Policies, and initiates appropriate responses;
  • In conjunction with the Project Managers and the HR Unit, identifies, recruits and maintains appropriate project staffing capacities for the programme;
  • Encourages and develops the technical and project management skills and attitudes of the programme’s personnel.

Communication Functions:

  • Reports to the Head of Programme with regard to all matters concerning the delivery of projects in the AFOC programme including security matters;
  • Works closely with other departments to continuously improve interface processes;
  • Directs the preparation and updating of information materials used for external dissemination of UNOPS Afghanistan activities and capacities.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The incumbent is also responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS;
  • Carries out any other duties as specified by the Head of Programme.

Monitoring and Project Controls

  • Puts in place and continuously implements solid reporting mechanisms in the programme on a regular basis against set targets and indicators.
  • Provides reports to the Head of Programme, Donors and other stakeholders on the AFOC project portfolio as required.
  • Maintains a systematic filing system of all programme and support documents with off-site backup for continuity security and in line with audit requirements specific to project agreements.
  • Ensures that the UNOPS Project Management Manual (PMM) Requirements are fully integrated into the program at all levels and that OneUNOPS Projects and ERP are fully updated and complete at all times.

Final Product

The programme and its projects are delivered to the satisfaction of AFOC senior management, clients, donors and stakeholders, in compliance with UNOPS procedures and requirements.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education

  • Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Transport Engineering, Project Management or other relevant field.  A first level University Degree in a relevant field with combination of additional 2 years’ relevant work experience may be considered in lieu of the master’s degree.

b. Work Experience

  •  Minimum 10 years’ experience implementing transport  infrastructure projects.
  •  Experience with World Bank processes and procedures highly valued.
  • Experience in road construction in Afghanistan highly desirable.
  •  At least seven years’ experience successfully advising senior government authorities, up to director and minister level, regarding the implementation of national level transport infrastructure projects.
  • Knowledge of UN rules and regulations, administrative and programme practices a must.

Previous experience working with UNOPS is highly desirable.

PRINCE2 Foundation required; PRINCE2 Practitioner highly desirable


  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required.


Technical Competencies:

  • Strong skills in programme and project management with proven competencies in related tools and methodologies;
  • Proven experience in the total financial management of large and diverse multi-discipline project portfolios;
  • Excellent financial and situational analytical skills and knowledge of analysis techniques;
  • Strong contract formation and negotiation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to grow an existing business, maintain existing client relationships and develop new ones;
  • Excellent presentation skills with the ability to address senior management, business and technical audiences;

Core Competencies:

Communicationdemonstrates openness in sharing information; keeps people informed; demonstrates active listening skills; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audiences; two-way communication skills; excellent command of oral and written English; knowledge of a second UN working language desirable;

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise - is willing to learn from others; places the team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with the final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect his/her own position; shares the credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for the team shortcomings;

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; allocates appropriate time and resources; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently;

Client Orientation: establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; meets deadlines for delivery of services to clients; identifies client needs and matches them to appropriate solutions;

Accountability: takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; operates in compliance with UNOPS procedures, rules and regulations; supports and provides oversight to subordinates; delivers outputs within the prescribed time, cost and quality standards. 

Managerial Competencies:

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate visions into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; drives for change and improvement;

Empowering others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members'inputs and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them;

Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; ensures that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly;

Judgement / Decision Making: Identifies the key issues in complex situations, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; takes decisions with an eye towards their impact on others and on the Organization; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


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.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International ICA
Contract level:IICA-3
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: 

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.  
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.