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Regional Infrastructure and Project Management Advisor

Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-20

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Background information - AFR

Africa Region

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Africa Region supports UNOPS country offices in the region, providing financial oversight of projects, procuring goods and services and managing human resources.

AFR helps ensure that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between projects across the entire region.

Background Information - Job-specific

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 organizations.  

UNOPS Africa Region has close to 300 operational projects in approx. 40 countries and counts over  800 personnel, with annual delivery value of circa $250M. The regional portfolio of programmes and projects focuses mainly on supporting fragile and conflict-affected states and the region’s operations are divided into six sub-regional Multi Country Offices and two standalone key Country Offices. The Office of the Regional Director is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Office of the Regional Director is responsible for the management of opportunities as well as strategic and operational risks for the regional portfolio. The office also provides strategic leadership, technical guidance, and advisory support and oversight to the operations across offices within the Africa region.

Within UNOPS, the Infrastructure and Project Management Group’s (IPMG) objectives are to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best-practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programmes and projects around the world. The incumbent will play a meaningful role working within the Africa Region (AFR) while working closely with IPMG in a Regional Advisory position. 

The incumbent will be responsible for providing technical advice and support in infrastructure and project management to the Regional Director and the UNOPS offices across the Africa Region. The incumbent will also play an active role in respect of strategic positioning and thought leadership as this relates to Africa. S/he will support Africa Regional Director and the country directors in relevant events such as conferences and in high level meetings e.g. with government officials and funding organisations.. 

This role will support the Africa region with quality assurance, support and advice regarding the implementation of projects (with particular attention to infrastructure projects, and partnerships development. The incumbent will support the partnerships development agenda in Africa through their expertise, regional contacts and ability to demonstrate a depth of experience in their field. 

The Regional Infrastructure Advisor will be a critical link between AFR and its operations in the field, and IPMG. This position will report to the Regional Director. The incumbent will be required to work in a collaborative manner, with colleagues at all levels across the organization. 

This role will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark but should business needs change, the duty station may be re-located within the Africa Region. 

Functional Responsibilities

The Regional Infrastructure Advisor will be responsible for representing all aspects of the practice within the Africa region. Specifically responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

1. Strategic Positioning and Partnerships Development Support 

  • Support UNOPS Partnership Development & Strategic positioning agenda through her/his expertise, regional contacts and demonstrated ability 
  • Represent UNOPS at appropriate regional or country level forum within Africa 
  • Review proposals for infrastructure projects as appropriate, via the corporate Engagement system and providing advice to the country Directors and Regional Director accordingly. 
  • S/he will provide advice and support on new initiatives, with focus on quality assurance and quality control of project documents, costing and cost implications, implementation plans, achievements and benchmark indicators. 
  • S/he will advise and assist with technical input to proposals, including project planning, governance, and approach considerations. 

2. Technical Advice & Quality Assurance 

  • Provide technical advice and a quality assurance framework in relation to infrastructure projects 
  • Provide advice to the preparation of technical specifications, Bills of Quantities, bidding documentation, engineering drawings, construction methodologies, construction planning and programming, and assessments of contractors' technical capacity to deliver.
  • Assessment of the quality of design and construction. 
  • Advising the UNOPS Country management teams regarding compliance with UNOPS Health and Safety and Environmental Management System 

3. Implementation Support 

  • Substantive support to the Programme/Project & Team managers in the implementation of infrastructure projects 
  • Advise infrastructure practitioners on the application, interpretation and adoption of corporate policy, guidance and best practices 
  • Advising the Country management Teams regarding design considerations and design review requirements, and being aware of the capacity and capabilities of the various in-house units across the regions. 
  • Support with the identification, engagement and management of local and regional consultancy firms providing these services. 

4. Knowledge Sharing and Technical leadership 

  • Dissemination of training for corporate guidance and instructions that impact infrastructure practitioners, as required. 
  • Ensure best practice guidance is disseminated and communicated throughout the region and within the organisation more generally. 
  • S/he will participate to organisational knowledge by gathering case studies and best practice examples from the region, making recommendations on policy and tools, as well as participating to the development of guidance material and tools. 
  • Conduct missions to and undertake assessments of Country Offices and projects to review and advise on quality and progress related issues, and highlight operational risks, within the region. 
  • S/he will provide expertise and support in implementation of standards and frameworks, procurement and contract modality selection and management, Quality Control, Quality Assurance, OH&S, EMS etc. 

5. Project Management Technical Advice and Implementation Support 

  • The incumbent will provide substantive support to country offices in the planning and implementation of projects and programmes throughout their whole life cycle within the region he/she is assigned 
  • S/he will be responsible for providing advice to projects or programmes that may need to be brought back to stability 
  • Provide advice to country offices on how to embed best practices of project and programme governance, risk management, project and programme management in their Country Offices. 
  • Advise and provide expertise/support in the implementation of UNOPS Project and Programme Management methodologies, which are based on best practices as recommended by PMI and PRINCE2® 
  • Play a crucial role in advising UNOPS Programme and Project Managers on measures to strengthen national capacity building with regards to sustainable project management best practices, as well as other cross cutting issues, and support a stronger focus on benefit management of projects 
  • Assist with the development of work plans and provide tangible support in helping country offices, 
  • In coordination with IPMG, the incumbent may assess risk-based performance of project/programme and follow-up missions, and provide advisory support to field staff on UNOPS best practices, engagement risks, management models, and use of PM tools and systems.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education

  • An advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent such as MEng, MASc) in Civil Engineering (CEng, PE, P. Eng.) or relevant field is required; 
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor's or equivalent such as BEng, BASc) or professional certification in combination with 2 additional years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
b. Work Experience
  • A minimum of 7 years’ progressive work experience in an Engineering and/or Construction Management role is required; 
  • A minimum of 5 years’ progressive work experience in Project Management is required; 
  • Experience dealing with government officials is required; 
  • 2 years in a strategic leadership or strategic advisory role is highly desired; 
  • Experience working in developing countries (especially Africa) in an international environment is highly desired; 
  • Experience working in and providing creative technical solutions for post-conflict and/or post- disaster environments is an asset; 
  • Experience working on energy programmes (especially solar power), health infrastructure, water & sanitation and waste to energy is an asset. 
c. Certifications
  • Certification in a recognized project management methodology, e.g. PRINCE2® or PMP is desired; 
  • Knowledge of programme management methodology (e.g. MSP®) is desired; 
d. Languages 

  • Fluency in English is required; 
  • Fluency in French is required.


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: Individual Contractor Agreement (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.
  • 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.

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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