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Senior Programme Manager (Infrastructure)

Tbilisi (Georgia)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Tbilisi (Georgia)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-14

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Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS in Georgia 

UNOPS Georgia was established in mid-2018 to support, develop and oversee UNOPS’ growing portfolio of projects in the country. The office currently provides implementation services to several projects where UNOPS works closely with development partners and the Government focusing on education, security and healthcare sectors.

The office is based in Tbilisi, Georgia with all project sites currently in Tbilisi.

UNOPS Georgia is aimed at providing efficient and cost-effective implementation services on behalf of all our partners to support the Government of Georgia achieve its national priorities through citizen-oriented programmes and projects. UNOPS Georgia office operates under the operational support of the Austria Multi-Country Office (AUMCO).

The ‘European School in Georgia’ Programme

The ‘European School in Georgia’ is the most prominent programme in the office portfolio and is part of a wider initiative by the European Union (EU) for the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. It is considered a flagship programme and one of the “Eastern Partnership - 20 Deliverables for 2020”. The programme offers high quality education to students from partner countries to increase employment opportunities, fostering cooperation, multi-cultural understanding, tolerance, and fundamental values, and promoting a better understanding of the EU and its engagement in the region.

The project will support the Government to build a new European standard campus at the designated site at Lisi Lake, including sports facilities, dormitory, etc. It should be constructed, equipped and become operational for the 2023 school year, offering both a national diploma programme as well as an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB). Moreover, support will be provided to the Government for curriculum development, establishment of a learning academy, and related teachers training. The project will provide an IB Diploma programme with a focus on European Studies to up to 90 students over four academic years through a competitive and merit-based Scholarship Programme. The IB Diploma programme will target students in the two upper grades of the secondary level (high school) education and will offer a unique, European-focussed teaching in the areas of history, politics, economics as well as languages, arts and culture.

The Senior Programme Manager reports directly to the Georgia Representative who provides direction and general supervision.  The Senior Programme Manager is responsible for programme development and for managing all stages of programming to achieve results in the area/s of responsibility, with a particular emphasis on infrastructure projects. This is a leadership role which contributes to the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the competencies and position of UNOPS in sustainable project management and services to partners, stakeholders and UN system partners.

Functional Responsibilities

1. Programme governance, implementation and monitoring
  • Responsible for portfolio oversight and project implementation as delegated by the Georgia Representative and through the role of Project Executive on Project Boards.

  • Establish and execute the programme implementation plans in collaboration with the team and partners, including setting objectives, performance measurements, standards and results expected to ensure timely delivery and client-oriented services. 

  • Monitor and supervise the timely and cost-effective implementation of the programme according to UNOPS goals and partner expectations, agreed quality standards, approved budget and full cost recovery, and in line with signed Legal Agreements.

  • Ensure that project management governance, policies, processes and methods are complied with and practiced according to the UNOPS standards, best project management practices are promoted, and overall assurance of projects is provided.

  • Ensure proactive programme and project risk identification and assessment and implementation of adequate mitigation measures.  

  • Authorize Work Packages and manage the design and delivery of construction/infrastructure works, including design reviews of in-house and or outsource designs.

  • Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes, approve requisitions and requests for non-purchase order payments; evaluate submissions received, lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation, and conduct regular monitoring visits to the construction site/s.

  • Mentor and assist Project Managers in planning, execution and delivery of allocated projects, ensuring incorporation of best practice project management processes.

  • Facilitate timely and accurate project tracking, analysis of outputs, and reporting.

2. Programme development and planning
  • Support the Georgia Representative in ensuring the financial sustainability of the programme and delivery of desired results, compliance with organisational strategies, rules, regulations and standards of performance.

  • Submit mandated reports and critical issues to the Georgia Representative and clients, to drive future process improvement and business development planning.

  • Analyse and keep abreast of political and development trends in the geographical area, to identify and propose to the Georgia Representative areas for UNOPS engagement and support based on priorities in the relevant geography, strategic areas of focus and comparative advantage.

  • Manage and oversee the preparation of programme documents (including business cases/strategies, policy briefs, programme plans and risk assessments).

  • Consult and collaborate with internal and external colleagues and partners to ensure linkages, consistency, and harmonisation of approaches and compliance with guidelines, framework and standards of accountability, integrity and performance.

3. Manage programme resources
  • Plan and propose to the Georgia Representative required programme resources (human and financial).

  • Compile from the Project Managers, monitor and submit revenue and expenditure forecasts based on UNOPS and Georgia Office financial goals.

  • Determine pricing strategies based on UNOPS pricing policy and models to ensure an appropriate balance between revenue and development capacity within UN mandate and spirit.

  • Manage programme resources in accordance with UNOPS standards of ethics, integrity and accountability framework and financial sustainability. 

  • Plan, recruit, manage and develop programme personnel/technical experts with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance and encourage the formation of diverse teams.

  • Promote teamwork, collaboration and diversity by providing the programme team with clear direction, objectives and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently. 

  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

  • Plan, conduct and/or respond to UNOPS performance evaluation reviews and surveys.  

4. Partnership, networking and advocacy 
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNOPS competencies in project service delivery and management.

  • Support the business development function by identifying and developing new business and partnership/customer opportunities. 

  • Work closely with the partnership person to ensure and facilitate the capture of lessons learnt from programme and project implementation into new opportunities and engagement development, as well as the adequate identification of risks and mitigation measures.

  • Contribute to current and future growth plans for the Georgia Office, ensuring alignment with the UNOPS Strategic Plan.

  • Support Communication Specialists to develop communication strategies to maximise communication impact and outreach and build awareness of UNOPS goals and competencies to reinforce UNOPS competitive edge as a provider of sustainable projects results.

  • At the request of the Georgia Representative participate and/or represent the Georgia Office in inter-agency discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.  

5. Knowledge management and innovation 
  • Keep abreast of and incorporate best practices, approaches and technology to enhance the programme delivery and results. 

  • Operationalise and share best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.

  • Draft policy papers and/or recommend policy changes to align operations with changing environments.

  • Lead the planning, implementation and organization of strategic capacity building of personnel, clients and stakeholders within the programme.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master’s degree in engineering, public administration, social science or other relevant related field is required.OR

  • A Bachelor's degree in engineering, public administration, social science or other relevant field with additional 2 years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree.

  • A minimum of 10 years of experience with managing engineering projects, along with progressive strategic and managerial leadership responsibilities in international development, business development, executive management and/or project/programme management planning and operations in a large international and/or corporate organization is required. 

  • Some experience in UN system organizations preferably in a developing country is desirable.

  • Experience in conducting, supervising, and managing Health & Safety, Social & Environmental (HSSE) issues and concerns, including their application as per the standards is desired.

  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.

  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.

  • PRINCE2® Foundation/Practitioner is an asset, but requires completion within the first 6 months of onboarding.

  • Programme/Project Management Professional (MSP® or PMI-PgMP/PMI-PMP) is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement, IICA

Contract level: ICS-11/IICA-3

Contract duration: Ongoing

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


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.

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.

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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