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Head of Support Services Talent Bench & Global Roster

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location:
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Human Resources
    • Procurement
    • Administrative support
    • Managerial positions
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-16

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Background Information - UNOPS

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.
UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. 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.

With over 8,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.

French & Spanish Versions of the vacancy are available as well, please apply to one vacancy only.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS Country Offices /Multi Country Offices are responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional portfolio of engagements, developing and delivering cost effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results. 
The Head of Support Services is a critical leadership role in the Country Offices / Multi Country Offices / Global Clusters, reporting to the Director, who provides general guidance and supervision. The role is responsible for providing an efficient and integrated support service for the Country Office / Multi Country Office / Global Cluster dealing on a daily basis with a diverse team of national and international professionals.

Talent Benches and Global Rosters are designed to further strengthen UNOPS capacity to identify talent and to enable succession planning for business critical roles. Where a Talent Benches or a Global Roster has been established for a particular role, any future vacancy will be filled from the Talent Benches and the Global Roster, unless there is a need for a specific skill or expertise that members of the Talent Benches 
 and Global Roster do not have.
Persons who apply to be included in the Talent Benches and the Global Roster will undergo a rigorous assessment. This assessment will serve as a pre-qualification exercise, and those who successfully complete the assessment will be members of the Talent Benches or the Global Roster for the coming 3 years, during which they will have the priority of being selected for Head of Support services roles in UNOPS. Also, part of the evaluation for this role is a Virtual assessment and development center, where the candidates will benefit from in-person feedback sessions to discuss their performance throughout the process.

UNOPS is now seeking to replenish the Talent Benches and the Global Roster for the Head of Support Services role.

Information about the role of the Head of Support Services at UNOPS is set out below.

As these positions are in a number of locations, candidates are expected to be internationally mobile. Candidates with demonstrated field experience are encouraged to apply, and relevant work experience from field based assignments, including hardship duty stations will be an asset. Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

If you would like to know more about this initiative and the assessment process, please register to the upcoming information session. Please send us an email on mentioning your interest to attend the information session and we will make sure to send you further details in due course.
Also, Please follow this link to understand how Talent Benches and Global Rosters work in UNOPS.

Internal Candidates:
External Candidates:

Functional Responsibilities

  1. Operational leadership, advisory and technical support
  2. Project planning and coordination support
  3. Procurement
  4. Financial and compliance management
  5. Human resource management
  6. Administration and information technology
  7. Knowledge management and innovation
1. Operational Leadership, advisory and technical support:
  • As a key leadership role for the Country/Multi-Country Office, the Head of Support Services monitors and supervises teams as well as all aspects of operations (Finance, HR, Procurement, health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE), information technology (ICT) and administration) to ensure achievement of results whilst driving compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics, and integrity.
  • Monitor support services to ensure continuously improving client service and satisfaction, including liaising with appropriate Headquarters Practice Groups and IPAS for required support.
  • Contribute to the formulation of Country Office/Multi-Country Office strategies and policies through advisory services to the Country Office/Multi-Country Office Director.
  • Provide technical advice and operational guidance on innovative approaches to project financing, risk assessment/mitigation, and use of financing structures, mechanisms instruments, and guarantees.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify the need, determine the cost, and plan all Country Office/Multi-Country Office support services, including procurement, finance, human resources, and administrative services. 
  • Assist the Country Office/Multi-Country Office Director in setting goals, targets and performance standards for projects, and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation, and auditing
  • At the request of the Country Office/Multi-Country Office Director participate in any UN forum discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests, and priorities are fully considered.Lead on health, safety, security, and environmental (HSSE) matters to ensure they are integrated into all aspects of the operations and that related risks are managed effectively.
  • Actively participate in the strategic management committees of the Multi/Country Office, and/or projects.

2. Project planning and coordination support

  • Provide assistance and support to programme and project budget preparation, revisions, and work planning.
  • Provide input into project engagement and acceptance documents including assisting with contract negotiations.
  • Provide advice on goal setting, targets and performance standards for projects and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation and auditing.
  • Monitor project financial projections, take decisions, and/or refer critical issues to the Country Office/Multi-Country Office Director and/or other stakeholders for action.
  • Provide advice on programme and project cost-sharing, deployment of funds, and closure.
  • Constantly monitor and analyze the operating environment to identify potential risks and take action/refer critical issues for intervention to ensure delivery of results.
  • Closely liaise with the Field Offices (within the Country Office/Multi-Country Office) in order to troubleshoot any issues that might cause an interruption in the support services management.

3. Procurement

  • Oversee and supervise Country Office/Multi-Country Office procurement processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier selection, to ensure viable procurement solutions that meet operational needs and compliance with UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations, and standard of accountability, ethics, integrity, and performance.
  • Evaluate contractual arrangements and legal commitments/risks for appropriate action.
  • In consultation with relevant colleagues, review, administer and issue contracts, agreements/amendments with institutions and UN agencies.
  • Oversee the logistics of goods and equipment on project sites to confirm delivery and safe warehousing.
  • Evaluate, list, update and monitor the performance of the roster of service providers of suitable firms or institutions.
  • Monitor and support the creation of the Annual Procurement Plan, including its updates.

4. Financial and compliance management

  • Prepare the Country Office/Multi-Country Office financial plan and manage the budget process/cycle to ensure timely revisions and reallocation of funds.
  • Oversee the Support Services Finance Unit and ensure compliance with the UNOPS/Financial Rules & Regulations and Finance procedures
  • Monitor, track, and control expenditure to ensure the optimum and appropriate use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of required financial reports and exception reports including investigating anomalies to resolve problems, reporting or recommending any action required to relevant stakeholders.
  • Supervise the timely review, posting, and closure of accounts. Certify/verify accuracy and compliance with standards of the accountability framework. Submit/prepare mandated report on financial status.
  • Supervise all financial services (accounting, cash management, payments etc.) ensuring timeliness and compliance with standards of accountability and performance.
  • Monitor the Management Budget expenditures for the Country Office/Multi-Country Office and ensure that LMDC (Locally Managed Direct Cost) is properly recovered, billed and spent in accordance with the applicable procedures;
  • Act as focal point for any internal/external audit exercise.

5. Human resource management

  • Plan personnel required for Country Office/Multi-Country Office programmes/projects.
  • Oversee all human resource services/processes including recruitment, salary administration and compensation, performance review, training, and development, ensuring compliance with human resource rules, regulations, procedures, and standards of performance and ensuring that hiring managers actively seek to create diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • Promote and support a learning culture by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.

  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Exercise control of all staffing issues within the Country Office/Multi-Country Office as required by the projects’ demands including recruitment, training, staff performance review

6. Administration and Information Technology

  • In close collaboration with Headquarters, support maintenance of a secure and reliable ICT environment, including adequate plans for disaster recovery.
  • Manage the acquisition, maintenance, inventory, recording, verification, and protection of project and administrative facilities/assets, including IT infrastructure, equipment, and servers.
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging the use of IT to enhance business operations and efficiency and to facilitate knowledge management, and information sharing.
  • Manage the timely and efficient delivery of all administrative services, (e.g. premises, asset management, organizational and personnel security, travel, and IT).

7. Knowledge management and innovation

  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practice approaches in Country Office/Multi-Country Office Support Services.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
  • At the request of the Country Office/Multi-Country Office Director and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement, and organize the strategic capacity building of project personnel, clients, and stakeholders.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant related field is required.
  • A combination of Bachelor’s degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience covering at least two of the following operations functions: Procurement, Finance, Logistics/ Asset Management, and Human Resources. Knowledge of the other functions is desirable.
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience managing large teams and operational systems, including management of senior professional staff, is required.
  • Some experience of acting in a leadership role for a business unit is desirable.
  • Some experience in UN system organizations preferably in a developing country is desirable.
  • Experience dealing with UN regulations, rules, and policies in the areas of contracting, procurement, and human resources is desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Full working knowledge of English or French or Spanish is essential.
  • Knowledge of Arabic or another official UNOPS language is an asset.

Additional Considerations

  • Only those candidates that are short-listed 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.
  • 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.


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.
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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