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Project Manager - ACT

Baghdad (Iraq)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Baghdad (Iraq)
  • Grade: SB-5 (SC10/SC11), Service Contract, Local Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-26

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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Iraq scored 0.689 on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI), putting it in the medium human development category ranking 120th among 189 countries; however, given its vast resources, this is considered well below potential. The country, which has been profoundly affected over the last two decades by political fragmentation, civil unrest, insurgencies and violent conflicts, is encumbered by various socio-political and socio-economic factors.
The need to tackle corruption is acknowledged by all political parties and the general public. It has been repeatedly announced as a national priority, but little progress has been achieved. The failure to control corruption has been expressed as a major public grievance, among others, by recurring waves of massive social protests, which in some cases and most recently since October 2019, have turned violent and deadly. At the core of it all is an overwhelming sentiment of distrust and frustration with the performance of successive governments, and the unfulfilled promises to tackle corruption.
Indeed, Iraq is amongst the worst performers globally on almost every single international indicator related to corruption, including the renowned Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International, where it scored 20/100 points, ranking 162th among180 countries. This is despite the many efforts that were deployed since 2004 to set up and operationalize anti-corruption and integrity measures. Those included the establishment of Commissions of Integrity at federal and KRG levels, as well as the Iraqi Anti-Corruption Academy, integrity investigative judges, the Inspector General Offices (the latter was recently abolished) and the Higher Anti-Corruption Council that is supposed to be the overarching policy and coordination body.
Confronting the deeply entrenched corruption problem in Iraq requires structural reforms in the political system and the economic model adopted by the country. It also requires far-reaching changes in prevailing social norms, including but not limited to inter-community relations, which undermine universalism in favour of particularism and perforate the state-citizen interface in favour of other forms of allegiance and quid pro quo transactions.
Those structural reforms will also need to be accompanied by concerted efforts to enhance anti-corruption and integrity measures and address a variety of directly related challenges. The Project Initiation Plan (PIP) for Anti-corruption is designed to enable governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to explore and begin addressing the five challenges outlined above in a systematic manner, while preparing them to work jointly to build synergies between anti-corruption and integrity and the broader structural reforms. Making concrete progress in this field will undoubtedly contribute to the stabilization and development of Iraq, while helping to bridge the various and varying trust gaps in government at all levels, including the federal, regional and governorate levels.
Furthermore, the PIP aims to support governmental and non-governmental actors in Iraq (inclusive of the Iraqi Federal Government, the Kurdistan Regional Government – KRG – and the governorates) to undertake concrete actions in response to increasing public demands against corruption. The planned work will enhance current priority institutional anti-corruption and integrity capacities during the period of 12 months, while preparing the ground for deeper reforms in the years ahead in line with country priorities and international standards.
This effort will be anchored in the UN Convention against Corruption, to which Iraq has become a State Party in 2008; and designed to contribute to realization of the 2030 Agenda, and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16 on “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”. Furthermore, in this PIP, gender inclusion will be ensured through engagement in the consultations and participation in the training courses.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under overall supervision of the Head of Pillar - Governance Programme, the Project Manager will manage the day-to-day implementation of Anti-Corruption for Trust in Iraq (ACT Iraq) activities performing the following tasks.
The Project Manager is responsible for managing the implementation of the Project and for adherence to the UNDP corporate standards for project management by focusing on:
  • Leads the national project team, provides coaching and effective leadership and works closely with a wide array of partners to ensure that the Anti-Corruption for Trust in Iraq (ACT Iraq) project is in line with UNDP’s country programme strategy;
  • Updates Project document to reflect any substantial project design based on results of the need assessments of newly liberated areas and/or of feedback from mid-term evaluation;
  • Develops and monitors work plans and budgets for all activities in the project portfolio;
  • Ensures timely implementation of the project work plan;
  • Ensures timely and adequate reporting against plans, including timely and articulate progress reports;
  • Identifies risks and challenges to the ongoing operations of the projects and provides advice to Head of Governance Pillar on mitigation strategies;
  • Ensures the integrity of financial and administrative operations in the project area through financial oversight in consultation with the operations and Finance teams;
  • Strict and consistent application of UNDP rules and regulations and ensuring the implementation of clear accountability mechanisms;
  • Participates in internal control mechanisms for adherence to UNDP rules and regulations in contracts, assets, procurement, recruitment, etc., as required;
  • Ensures systematic and effective analysis, project monitoring, including but not limited to regular field visits, as appropriate, and participation in Project Board and/or Steering Committee meetings;
  • Manages day to day administrative matters for the project with support from administrative staff and the performance of consultants and specialist advisers;
  • Approves requisitions in Atlas and requests timely budget revisions;
  • Ensures proper application of Results Based Management tools;
  • Oversees monitoring and data management carried out by the monitoring officer and data management associate;
  • Pays special attention to partnership with the Prime Minister Office (PMO) and the Commission of Integrity (CoI) which are both UNDP’s key Government counterparts in Federal and KRI as well as leading Government partner agencies for the Anti- corruption project.
Provide liaison with counterparts, implementing partners and builds partnerships
  • Maintain strong relationships with relevant Government counterparts (special role of the PMO and CoI already mentioned above);
  • Strengthen complementarity of UNDP’s support with government policies and plans;
  • Advocates for UNDP’s work and represents UNDP with national authorities and the donor community, where requested;
  • Contributes to the harnessing of effective partnerships and competitive selection of partners for implementation of UNDP projects;
  • Promotes joint programming and UN reform, and collaborates effectively in established frameworks for UN and other international coordination.
Ensures knowledge management focusing on achieving the following results:
  • Promotes identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the project area for organizational sharing and learning as well as external information;
  • Actively participates in UNDP knowledge networks and takes advantage of best practices and lessons learned that are available in the region and globally, and encourages project staff to do so by creating a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
  • Uses and promotes the use of the Regional Service Center;
  • Supports capacity and knowledge building of national counterparts.
Any other tasks as assigned by the Head of Pillar.



Functional Competencies:
Management and Leadership
  • Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority;
  • Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member;
  • Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills;
  • Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines;
  • Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to apply conceptual models in support of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects;
  • Strong IT skills;
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioural/attitudinal change;
  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view;
  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect;
  • Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions;
  • Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems;
  • Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects;
  • Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to clients.

Results-Based Programme Development and Management

  • Identifies country needs and strategies using a fact-based approach;
  • Makes use of a variety of resources within UNDP to achieve results, such as cross-functional teams, secondments and developmental assignments, and collaborative funding approaches;
  • Ensures the full implementation of country programme and Financial Resources to obtain results.
Building Strategic Partnerships
  • Makes effective use of UNDP’s resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations;
  • Actively develops partnerships with potential donors and government counterparts in all sectors at country level.
Client Orientation
  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Proactively identifies, develops and discusses solutions for internal and external clients, and persuades management to undertake new projects or services;
  • Advises and develops strategic and operational solutions with clients that add value to UNDP programmes and operations.
Core Competencies
  • Task management and work planning skills;
  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents;
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication;
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization;
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards;
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning;
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Law or Political Science or any other relevant social science field. OR bachelor’s degree with additional 2 years of relevant experience will be accepted in lieu of Master’s.
  • At least 5 years of relevant experience in project development and project management in development or crisis context;
  • Excellent partnerships building skills;
  • Proven ability to work in multi-cultural environment;
  • Experience with and knowledge of UN or UNDP policies and procedures an asset.
Technical skills required:
  • Functionally-related professional management skills;
  • Ability to plan and priorities work activities to meet organizational goals and organize and oversee work processes efficiently to achieve quality results;
  • Knowledge of strategic planning processes, programming;
  • Knowledge of fund raising and project proposal drafting.
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and Arabic. Kurdish language is an asset.

Previous UN Experience:

  • Experience from previous UN assignments and/or multilateral organizations and bi-lateral aid organizations would be an asset.
  • Female candidates are encouraged to apply;
  • Knowledge of Results Based Management methodologies would be an asset;
  • Knowledge of ATLAS and PeopleSoft would be an asset.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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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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