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Finance Associate

Panama City (Panama)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Panama City (Panama)
  • Grade: LICA-6, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Banking and Finance
    • Administrative support
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-15

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Background Information - IPAS

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UNOPS Integrated Practice Advice and Support (IPAS) serves all the regions and headquarters, primarily with advice and solutions to everyday implementation challenges. IPAS consists of a diverse team of subject matter experts in the six practice areas of HR, Administration, Legal, Finance, Procurement, Project Management and Infrastructure. IPAS has three main roles:

Support to operations in the field offices: IPAS provides timely advice and supports actively finding of solutions to everyday implementation challenges, based on policy and best practices. It also provides operational support in specific areas.

Business efficiency: IPAS recommends changes to policies, processes and operating standards based on the feedback and experience of the field offices. IPAS also ensures transparent and efficient project implementation, in line with policy and business needs. 

Body of knowledge: IPAS contributes to research and coordination within the policy groups and project practitioners. It provides structured knowledge and subject matter expertise which is used across practice areas to provide coherent and tailored advice to the requesting offices.

IPAS Finance supports UNOPS Country Offices in all aspects of UNOPS finances. Our four major areas of support are:

  • ​Engagement & budgeting advisory support

  • Project reporting & closure advisory support

  • Corporate Financial reporting support

  • ​Banking & treasury support

Under the supervision of the Finance Officer, the incumbent will work closely with Country Offices based in Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR), primarily providing daily operational support and solutions for the delivery of the PharmaMX project. The incumbent will keep a balance between operational implementation efficiencies and policy/rules requirements, and also contribute towards long-term solutions by channeling practical recommendations through the Finance Senior Manager for improvements in policies and processes for efficient project implementation.

In line with the framework agreement signed with the Government of Mexico, UNOPS supports the different collaboration initiatives by the government that are aimed at the fight against corruption and transparency in the public management; as well as in the exercises aimed at the strengthening government actions in the areas of acquisitions, infrastructure and management of high impact projects in Mexico. This position will support those efforts with specific focus on the PharmaMX project. 

The objective of the PharmaMX project is to support the Government of Mexico in its effort to guarantee the right to health to the largest number of inhabitants through the planning and management of the consolidated purchase of medicines from 2021 to 2024. (period 2021-2024), as well as assistance in the profiling of the system and model of consolidated purchase of medicines for the health sector of the Government of Mexico.

This position will be for the duration of  the PharmaMX project.

Please note that only Panamanians or applicants with a valid residence and work permit in Panama are eligible to apply.

Background Information - Job-specific

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Operational Support to project/programmes implementation

  • Project  Finance support

  • Facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing

1. Ensures implementation of operational strategies, adapts processes and procedures focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Work closely with Mexico Office to assist finding solutions on operational, financial matters;

  • Support Mexico Office to ensure full compliance of financial activities, financial recording and reporting with UNOPS rules, regulations, and policies;

  • Assist in providing quality control of Field Offices submissions by performing the review and analysis of financial data and processes; 

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Financial Standard Operating Procedures, guidelines, and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations;

  • Act as a back-up for the other Finance Associate at the same position level from the  finance team in Mexico.

2. Provides project finance support , focusing on achievement of the following results: 
  • Review the appropriateness of project financial transactions as per applicable UNOPS policies, regulations, and rules;

  • Review and prepare GLJEs, OA request, prepaid cards.

  • Review of payments request ensuring that documentation needed is completed and that all the required procedures are fulfilled to enable processing them in the system. 

  • Assist the preparation of periodic financial statements to the funding source. 

  • Review and approve adjustments to project expenditures as required (e.g. GLJEs).

  •  Assist in the preparation  of project audits and self-audits and quality assurance activities as required.

  • Support projects in the preparation of ad-hoc reports as requested by internal/external auditors;

  • Support the implementation of audit recommendations as required;

  • Support the preparation of new projects and programmes and review and recommend new engagements and amendments from a finance perspective.

3. Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and knowledge sharing, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Assist in the preparation of training to personnel on processes, rules/policies, and systems;

  • Contribute to product designs and implementation;

  • Recommend solutions and process efficiency initiatives;

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Completion of secondary / high school is required;

  • CPA, first University Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, Accounting or equivalent disciplines is desirable but not required;. 

  • Relevant certification in financial management or accounting is a distinct advantage;

  • A Bachelor or Masters would be an asset and may substitute for some of the required years of experience.

  • Minimum of 6 years of relevant working experience within the areas of finance, accounting, business administration or related field is required (with a secondary / high school diploma); less experience required depending on academic credentials;

  • Fully proficient computer skills in either  Microsoft (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) or Google Workspace (Docs, Sheets, Slides) are required;

  • Knowledge of UNOPS financial rules and regulations is an asset;

  • Working knowledge of ERP is desired;

  • Banking or project cash management experience is desirable;

  • Experience using single and multi bank platforms is a benefit;

  • Some experience in dealing with UN organizations is desirable.

Language Requirements: 
  • Full working knowledge of English and Spanish is required
  • Knowledge of another official UN language (e.g., French) is an asset.


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. 
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: L-ICA  Contract level: LICA 6
Contract duration: open-ended, subject to satisfactory performance and the duration of the PharmaMX project.

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.

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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