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Social Development Advisors- home based (multiple retainer contracts)

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Legal - Broad
    • Procurement
    • Documentation and Information Management
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Social Affairs
  • Closing Date: 2019-09-17

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Background Information - Job-specific

The Health, Safety, Social and Environmental (HSSE) management unit falls under the UNOPS Shared Services Centre (SSC) Group. It is responsible for supporting the development and implementation of HSSE good practices in UNOPS projects and operations in line with UNOPS policies, UN common system standards and international best practices. 

A key component of the work of the HSSE unit is to provide tools and advice to make UNOPS projects more socially sustainable throughout their project life cycle. This means that the organisation seeks to maximise the benefits to various segments of society that result from its programmes and operations while preventing or minimising any harmful impacts. Therefore it is necessary to carry out social development due diligence and to establish appropriate social development frameworks for managing the projects. The social development aspects of UNOPS projects also involves monitoring performance and addressing deviations from expectations.

Further to the small to medium-sized development projects that the organisation has been carrying out, UNOPS is embarking on multi-billion dollar social impact investments in the areas of renewable energy and affordable housing. 

Therefore, the organisation requires the services of senior social development experts that shall be on retainer contracts to carry out short term work packages when required. 

Please note that the selected candidates who will successfully undergo the assessments will be offered a contract for 1 year (renewable) but proposed a work package only when a specific opportunity arises.

Functional Responsibilities

  • Assist the Director of SSC and the Head of the HSSE unit, in shaping the strategic direction and policies of UNOPS in social development matters. 
  • Provide innovative social development advice that helps UNOPS to assume a leadership position in implementing social development interventions and contributing to sustainability in project implementation. 
  • Carry out or coordinate the carrying out of project due diligence including environmental and social screening and impact assessments. 
  • Carry out social development due diligence of partners, contractors and suppliers prior to commencement of project work to ensure that the ones with unsatisfactory performance are not engaged.  
  • Develop and implement social development frameworks including social safeguards tools and processes for projects managed on behalf of a broad range of partners. 
  • Develop and implement training programmes to develop the capacity of partners and UNOPS personnel in implementing UNOPS social development requirements. 
  • Carry out or coordinate the monitoring of social development performance during project execution.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in a relevant subject such as social development, sociology, development studies or anthropology is required. 
  • An additional 2 years of relevant work experience in combination with a relevant first university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) may substitute for the requirement for a Master’s degree. 


  • A minimum of 7 years of experience in a social development role is required (with an advanced university degree).
  • Experience in a project worth above USD $100m is an asset. 
  • Demonstrable experience in the management of some of the following areas is an asset: social impact assessment, stakeholder consultation, managing resettlement and livelihood restoration, social inclusion, formulating of social development standards.

Language Requirements:

  • Full working knowledge of English.
  • Knowledge of either French or Spanish is an asset.


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.

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.
  • 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
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • 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.

Contract type, level and duration

  • Contract type: ICA
  • Contract level: I-ICA 3 (retainer)
  • Contract duration: 1 year (renewable, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance)

Please note that as this is a retainer contract, successful candidates will be offered a contract for 1 year but proposed a work package only when a specific opportunity arises.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

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.

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.

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