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Capacity Building Specialist

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-06

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Background information- ECR

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

 ECR strategy is to:

  • Strengthen UNOPS role in operationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals with particular emphasis on health, environment and economic development.
  • Position UNOPS in the Balkan sub-region, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  • Strengthen the implementation of ECR global and regional programmes, with revitalized partnerships in infrastructure, procurement and project management.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries.

Background Information - Job-specific

Led by the UN Geneva, the SDG Lab is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to create more systemic collaboration within the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem and in the international community to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Lab creates space for interdisciplinary, multisectoral collaboration and innovation while consistently testing assumptions and asking questions about what is needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda.  

The SDG Lab receives requests from organizations that are interested in replicating the SDG Lab model or aspects of the methods and techniques it deploys. For example, an organization expressed interest in starting a Lab to contribute to SDG achievement by leveraging international sports partnerships. However, the SDG Lab has no process for transferring its internal knowledge to others and needs assistance in developing tools and training material that allows external parties to learn from the Lab model and replicate dimensions of it in their own contexts. 

Sharing the necessary information to start a Lab-inspired entity is time intensive. The aim of this project is to create and host online learning material and/or a training course where organizations can acquire the knowledge and “building blocks” to successfully deploy a similar model for the purpose of SDG implementation. 

The creation of these learning materials will enable the SDG Lab to focus on providing the organizations with more personalized and relevant assistance like facilitating key introductions and providing guidance on specific challenges. 

Functional Responsibilities

The SDG Lab is seeking to employ a consultant to develop interactive online courses with supportive learning and knowledge materials on how to create an initiative inspired by the SDG Lab model and/or its methods and learnings. The role of the consultant is to work with the Lab staff to extract internal knowledge and transform it into engaging, useful content. 

Within the supervision of the SDG Lab, the first section of the project will focus on the development of an overall concept for the training material.  Approval of this concept by the SDG Lab team will kick off the second section of the project.  This section involves development of the content as well as prototyping with a test user group, and finalization.

The consultant may be expected to travel to Geneva during the contract period (depending on COVID situation). UNOPS will cover the costs, based on the most direct and economical route.  UNOPS will pay the daily subsistence allowance as per UN-approved rate. The consultant must be fit to travel, be in a possession of the valid BSAFE Security certificate, have a valid own travel/medical insurance. The dates for the travel will be determined in consultation with the supervisor.


The objectives of the consultant’s work are detailed by concrete outputs:

Output 1: 8-10-page assessment report:

  • What educational content exists that would overlap with or complement this project; 

  • An assessment of potential organizations or “users” 

    • Target audience: country innovation labs, UN country teams, universities, e.g. organizations that are already moving in the direction of starting a lab and would benefit from the SDG Lab's knowledge and support;

  • Liaise with SDG Lab team to gather necessary information to commence project; and

  • A brief assessment of the alignment between the needs of potential users and this product; 

Output 2: 4-5-page concept note

  • A concept overview of the main content materials, modules and formats; and

  • Recommendations of immediate next steps

Output 3: 5-page strategic design plan

  • Course design and curriculum mapping

Output 4: 5-8 modules of content creation

  • Writing original content, informed by the SDG Lab’s existing materials such as the Toolkit; and

  • Creating associated learning materials

Output 5: 10 days of user testing, revisions and refinement 

  • Testing with a user group, course revisions, final editing and content improvement; and

  • Working closely with other contractors as needed (e.g. visual communications specialist, graphic designer, animator, etc.). 


  • Conduct user research to identify specific knowledge gaps and prioritize focus areas;

  • Consult SDG Lab team to extract internal knowledge and information necessary to build content; 

  • Consult regularly with the SDG Lab team for input and provide expert advice around the design of effective and engaging online learning content;

  • Produce an actionable concept note that summarizes research and provides a recommended concept for SDG Lab approval;

  • Write and organize content;

  • Liaise with any technical service providers (designers, animators, videographers, etc.) to develop material; abd

  • Successfully handover deliverables to the SDG Lab in an organized and timely manner.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

The above outputs will be integrated into the above set of deliverables under the oversight of the UN SDG Lab.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


Advanced university degree (Masters) preferable in Management, Communications, International Relations or other relevant fields. A Bachelor’s degree may be accepted with an addition of two years of experience.

Work Experience 
  • Minimum 5 years of content creation and implementation of digital and self-directed learning experiences is required. 

  • Experience in user-centric design is desirable.

  • Experience extracting specific organizational knowledge and facilitating multi-stakeholder interviews is desirable. 

  • A strong record for delivering high quality briefs that have actionable outcomes and recommendations is desirable


Fluency in English required, and good knowledge of any other UN official languages would be considered an asset.


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.
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:  I-ICA 2
Contract duration: 6 months

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

This position is based in Switzerland and the contract fee is not exempt from Swiss laws, including but not limited to laws regarding taxation, social security, accident and health insurance.

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.

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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