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Principal Adviser – European Union Project Management Unit

Suva (Fiji )

  • Organization: SPC - Pacific Community
  • Location: Suva (Fiji )
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Humanitarian Aid and Coordination
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Banking and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2020-06-15

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The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.


The Operations and Management Directorate (OMD) provides corporate services to all SPC divisions and programmes. It consists of three key teams: Finance, Human Resources and Information Services. OMD is focused on improving the effectiveness of systems, policies and management so as to provide high-quality customer-oriented services.


The European Union Project Management Unit (EU PMU) was established within SPC in December 2018. The European Union supports SPC in the financing of technical projects that meet the priorities of the Pacific region. Over the past several years, EU-funded projects were managed by the implementing divisions with varying degrees of compliance to financial management, procurement and standards policies. The purpose of the EU PMU is to ensure that SPC effectively manages all EU-funded projects in a standard, centralised manner, and to drive greater levels of project execution.


The role – Principal Adviser European Union Project Management Unit will provide support to ensure all contractual obligations for all European Union-funded projects executed by SPC are met, and to ensure the projects are implemented and managed effectively and efficiently. The Adviser will maintain high-level liaison with the European Union Delegation in the Pacific (EUD in Suva), the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat in Brussels, and the Office of the Regional Authorising Officer based at Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS). This role is a member of the Operations and Management Directorate (OMD) and reports to the Director of Finance. The Adviser will lead a team of two, with indirect oversight, at times, of up to 10 project managers.


The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Providing strategic leadership and management that ensures effective implementation of EU-funded projects in all locations
  • Overall establishment and management of the EU PMU
  • Provision of high-level project management advisory and operational expertise to the senior leadership team as well as technical teams
  • Strengthening SPC’s capacity to meet contractual obligations with the EU
  • Ensure successful execution, and completion of EU-funded projects with desired outcomes based on EU expectations


For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.


Key selection criteria



  • A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as project management or international development


Knowledge and experience

  • At least 10 years of experience in a similar coordination role with complex European Union-funded projects or multi-beneficiary projects
  • EU project management experience, including project cycles, log frames, monitoring and evaluation, and risk management
  • Thorough understanding of European Union processes, agreements, and commission decisions
  • Knowledge of European Union financial management and reporting procedures
  • Strong knowledge of corporate affairs and budgetary processes
  • Experience working within a regional or international organisation


Essential skills

  • Leadership and management skills, including performance management
  • Ability to influence and drive change across a diverse stakeholder base
  • Strong negotiation and coordination skills, including with EU and project-implementing entities
  • Capacity building and mentoring skills
  • Sound analytical, technical and organisational skills
  • Results-orientated problem solving and effective management of risks
  • Ability to prioritise with sound and practical decision making


Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage


Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to communicate effectively with member country governments and other regional and international organisations
  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment


Salary, terms and conditions


Contract Duration – Three years


Remuneration – The Principal Adviser European Union Project Management Unit is a Band 13 position in SPC’s 2020 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,987‒4,984 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 11,882–14,853 (USD 5,503–6,878; EUR 4,905–6,131). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,353–3,025 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Equal opportunity – SPC is an equal opportunity employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit; in cases where two short-listed candidates are judged to be of equal rank by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.


Child protection – SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Police clearance – Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.


Application procedure


Closing Date – 15 June 2020 – 11:45pm Fiji time

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:


  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions.  If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening Questions:


  1. In your view, what are the critical basic functions and focus areas required for a successful EU project management unit to support and benefit SPC’s core interests in the best possible way?
  2. What are two key elements that would be required to influence colleagues, systems and procedures and affect a sustainable change in a regional, multi-cultural and multi-division organisation such as SPC?
  3. Can you identify what are some of the key documents guiding the European Union’s presence in the Pacific region? 
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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