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Portfolio Associate

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: LICA-6, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-10-14

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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 - Small Grants Cluster

Small Grants Cluster

UNOPS executes the UNDP-implemented Small Grants Programme though the Small Grants Cluster. Funded by the Global Environment Facility, the Small Grants Programme efficiently channels direct grants to non-governmental and community-based organizations to help them cope with climate change; conserve biodiversity; protect international waters; reduce the impact of Persistent Organic Pollutants; and prevent land degradation. Helping communities with their initiatives for sustainable livelihoods while generating global environmental benefits is the core inspiration of the Small Grants Programme.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions 

  • Implementation of operational strategies with regards to financial, Human Resources, and Procurement and the cluster practice area
  • Portfolio planning, administration and management
  • Knowledge building and knowledge management
  • Client services and organizational work ethics and culture. 
1. Portfolio design, planning, and cluster practice
  • Under the supervision of the Portfolio Manager serve as focal point for the overall project implementation, including but not limited to preparation of Financial Agreements and related amendments, information and knowledge management, and provision of logistical/administrative implementation to human resources, procurement, and financial activities.
  • Design and formulation of new process initiatives including risk management, quality assurance and quality control.
  • Establish and execute business plans, priorities, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) benchmarks, delivery targets and performance standards for the assigned portfolio.
  • Help formulate measurable long/short-term targets and monitor progress in assigned countries; ensure cost-recovery of UNOPS service provision within pricing policy.
  • Acting as UNOPS focal point, with collaboration from the PM, for one or more sub-regions within the SGP; providing policy advice on UNOPS and SGP policies and procedures and oversight, and assists country programmes meet their delivery targets; maintains fiduciary standards and oversight and compliance with the internal control standards.
  • Collaborate in the initiation of a project, and processing of pre-engagement requirements under the supervision of the PM.
  • Compliance of procurement activities with UNOPS rules, regulations, policies and strategies; implementation of the effective internal control, analysis of parameters in support of proper design and functioning of a client-oriented procurement management system.
  • Work with clients on successful project implementation, including execution of plans, cost analysis and modifications, identification of milestones and other performance indicators to ensure success
  • Collaborate with PM on monitoring missions to evaluate progress where required, identify problems and take appropriate and timely decisions to meet client needs under the guidance of the PM.
  • Follow up on audit recommendations to ensure timely reporting.
  • Prepare and/or aggregate donor reports on activities, outputs and outcomes for review by PM and/or client. 

2.     Cluster practice area, focus on the following results:

  • In coordination with IPAS and Practice Group provide advisory services on assigned practice area together with PM.
  • Collaborate in the process innovations and improvements for SGC service lines to provide tailored-solutions for its partners and stakeholders.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed. 
3.   Programme Support and Business Development, focusing on the following results:
  • Actively explore new business opportunities to extend the SGC client-base.
  • Contribute to business development activities and advise the PM.
  • Analysis and research of information on donors and funding agencies, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for new projects.
  • Support PM in liaison and negotiation functions with current and potential donors and funding agencies. 
4. Knowledge management and technical support, focusing on the following results:
  • Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learnt on project management.
  • Contribution to organization and client capacity-building of high quality delivery through coaching and mentoring of internal clients and partners.
  • Participation in the periodic review and strengthening of Standard Operating Procedures based on lessons learnt and adaptation of programme/donor requirements.
  • Collaboration in development of tools and platform for data and content management, ensuring information and knowledge-sharing with clients and partners.
  • Contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
5. Efficient client services and organizational work ethics and culture, focusing on the following results:
  • Keep clients informed of the status of project activities together with the PM; prepare oral and written reports.
  • Interact with clients to solicit feedback and gauge client satisfaction.
  • Interact with internal clients and SGP National Coordinators and Programme Assistants to integrate and harmonize approaches.
  • Demonstration of professional and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behaviour from colleagues
Impact of Results
The key results have an impact on the overall efficiency of the Regional Office or Operations/Project Centre in project execution and success in introduction and implementation of programme strategies. Strategic approach to project execution, effective and efficient administrative support, and timely and appropriate delivery of services ensure client satisfaction and overall effective delivery of UNOPS programmes and projects


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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A. Education
  • Secondary school or high school diploma, with minimum 6 years of work experience in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field, including direct experience in project management, finance, HR and working directly with clients.  Alternatively, a bachelor degree with two years of relevant experience or a master degree with one year of experience can substitute for a high school diploma and 6 years work experience.
B. Experience
  • Experience in project management, budget management, accounting and procurement is desirable.
  • Good knowledge of UN/UNOPS policies and procedures is desirable.
  • Good computer skills, including MS Office is desirable.
  • Experience with an ERP system an asset.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation is required.
  • Knowledge of grants management is an asset.
C. Language
  • Excellent command of oral and written English is required.
  • Knowledge of additional UN working language is desirable.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: LICA Contract level: LICA-6
Contract duration: On going contract

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.
  • 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.

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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