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Transactional Portfolio Specialist

Dakar (Senegal)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Dakar (Senegal)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-01

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Background Information - Job-specific

The Portfolio Specialist  will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of procurement, HR and fund management projects within the portfolio of UNOPS Senegal Multi Country Office (SNMC). These projects focus on providing key goods and services to various UNOPS SNMC partners across West and North  Africa . 

The Portfolio Specialist is responsible for the day-to-day operations of transactional project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. He/she is expected to help develop the portfolio, as well as meet or exceed the organization's performance and delivery goals. S/he will be responsible to offer adequate support to the Project Managers, and provide overall guidance to ensure the success of relevant projects.

The Portfolio Specialist will report to the Head of Programme.

Functional Responsibilities

The purpose of the Senegal Multi Country Office is to provide efficient and effective support to partners within its jurisdiction in line with UNOPS corporate strategy. Operations in the multi country office are guided by UNOPS mission to expand the capacity of the United Nations system and its partners to implement peace building, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.

Key partners of the Senegal Multi Country Office are the World Bank, the EU, the Islamic Development Bank, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Global Fund, and other UN agencies, such as UNHCR, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). Other potential partnerships in the areas of sustainable energy, youth employment, health and education are: the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Korea International Cooperation Agency and UNICEF.

The Portfolio Specialist will be responsible for supporting the management of the relevant portfolio of projects, including their delivery, issues and risks. This will require that s/he prepares and follows up on implementation plans, and oversees the status of various procurement and supply-chain activities.

The project(s) rely on a number of external partners and suppliers for its successful delivery, who are expected to work with firm deadlines. The incumbent is responsible for managing all aspects of the project life cycle, as well as these partners/suppliers. S/he must be able to apply, independently, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria.

The Portfolio Specialist will be expected to follow the project lifecycle from inception to completion using standard project lifecycle practices. They will be provided with guidance and support by the PMO and Head of Programme . 

Stakeholder Management

  • Establish solid working relationship with the project board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders 

  • Manage communications and ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover products 

  • Advise the client on issues that may impact the achievement of the outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance) 

  • Manage the information flows between the Project Board/ Director and the project(s) 

  • Ensure success of the project(s) based on the success criteria of UNOPS engagements, which are linked to the below responsibilities

Delivery and Performance 

  • Develop and maintain project plans 

  • Implement approved project plans (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the project board 

  • Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into the project life cycle 

  • Manage the production of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary 

  • Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers 

  • Authorize Work Packages 

  • Advise the Project Board and Country Manager/Hub Director of any deviations from the implementation plan 

  • Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to both the clients and to the stakeholders is achieved 

  • Manage and review product for quality and acceptance

  • Monitor and evaluate performance of service providers 

  • Identify and report potential business opportunities for UNOPS to supervisor 

  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to supervisor 


  • Follow the Project Management Cycle Instructions and ensure that all organizational policy is complied with (Organizational Directives and Administrative Instructions) 

  • Prepare/adapt the Project Initiation Plans for approval by the Project Board

  • Prepare the following reports: 

i. Highlight Reports 

ii. End Stage Reports 

iii. Operational Closure Checklist 

iv. End Project Report 

v. Handover Report 

  • Maintain the i. Electronic Blue File; and  ii. Procurement, HR and Finance as required by those practices as per OD12 

  • Ensure that all expenditures comply with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR) 

  • Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time

  • Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project 

  • Understand the unique structures of the UNOPS and budget appropriately for personnel 

  • Manage and remain accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports) 

  • Where The  Portfolio Specialist has no delegation as a committing officer, s/he retains these responsibilities and will monitor and instruct/request others to carry out the relevant commitments and disbursements

Knowledge Management 

  • Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice 

  • Actively interact with other PMs and the PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System. 

  • Provide feedback to Practice Leads on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies 

  • Complete lessons learned as per reporting format 

  • Incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format 

Personnel Management:

  • Lead and motivate the project management team 

  • Ensure that behavioral expectations of team members are established 

  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted 

  • Identify outstandings and bring them to the attention of the Director 

  • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities (including ICA and Staff ) 

  • Select, recruit and train team as required by project plans 

  • Perform the Team Manager role, unless appointed to another person(s) 

  • Perform Project Support role, unless appointed to another person or corporate/programme function 

  • Ensure safety and security for personnel and comply with UNDSS standards 

Core Values and Principles

  • Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles 

I. Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day to day project management 

II. Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at workplace 

III. Champion and communicate project’s sustainability aspects with key stakeholders 

  • Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity 

i. Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans 

ii. Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff 

iii. Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts 

Partnerships and Coordination 

i. Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system 

ii. Strive to build strong partnerships and effective coordination among relevant project actors (e.g. United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations or other relevant partners) 

Accountability for results and the use of resources

  • The project management processes are designed to deliver maximum accountability, transparency and results. If a project or processes is not in line with this, it is the responsibility of the manager to raise the issue to a supervisor 

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Ensure that the project(s) produces the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The Portfolio-Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case. Contribute to the overall business targets and needs.


  • Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality. 

Additional Requirements

  • Contract management and reporting


  • Advanced University Degree (Master's or equivalent) in Project Management and/or Business Administration and/or International Relations and/or Political/Security/Development Studies and/or other relevant discipline is required. 
  • First level University Degree (bachelor’s or equivalent) in Project Management and/or Business Administration and/or International Relations and/or Political/Security/Development Studies and/or other relevant discipline in combination with 2 additional years of relevant professional experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  •  At least 5 years of progressive experience in project development and management, with focus on monitoring, reporting, development and coordination in either public or private sector organizations is required

  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant work experience in purchasing management is required

  • A minimum of 2 years experience in managing teams and units, preferably in the area of project and/or procurement management is required. 

  • Work experience in the logistics field would be a considerable advantage

  • Relevant experience within the United Nations system would be an asset


Fluency in French and English  is required


PRINCE2 Foundation is an advantage


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 Contract Agreement (ICA) Contract level: International ICA 2
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.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

Background Information - Senegal



Located in Dakar, the UNOPS office in Senegal has developed a strong working relation with the Governments of West Africa and international partners over the years. It provides technical support in strategic development areas including elections; procurement and related capacity building; environmental protection, as well as infrastructure rehabilitation and development.

A Partnerships Unit (PU) has been established to support the development of new engagement opportunities in the sub-region and increase CIOH’s project and programme portfolio. The Partnership Unit coordinates, supports and monitors the development of the portfolio. The Unit report directly to the Hub Director serving, as an interface between the project centers and the operational hub. The Partnership Advisor will work within the Partnership Unit.



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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