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Infrastructure and Project Management Specialist (Institutional Capacity Development), Strategic Initiatives (Retainer), Multiple positions

Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Home Based - May require travel (Home Based)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Infrastructure and Urban-Rural development
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Documentation and Information Management
    • Democratic Governance
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-01

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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 - Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS)

Within UNOPS, Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices. IPS provides thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines (infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources and financial management services). 

IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) and the Procurement Group (PG) which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement. In addition, the Portfolio Support (PS) unit aims at building up and managing aspects of the organisational readiness of UNOPS. Last, the IPS is hosting the corporate Knowledge Management initiative.

Background information - IPMG

UNOPS strategic focus places increased emphasis on national capacity development and sustainable approaches to project management, procurement and infrastructure services. A key objective is to be recognized as an organization that delivers world-class infrastructure and project management, which is both economically and socially sustainable, even in the most challenging environments. To achieve this goal, UNOPS has established the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG). 

Within UNOPS, it is IPMG’s objective to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programs and projects around the world.

To achieve its objectives, IPMG has established three interrelated and interdependent work streams, namely, Strategic Initiatives, Standards, and Engagement Assurance. IPMG is managed overall by the Deputy Director of IPMG.

The Strategic Initiatives (SI) team works to develop methodologies and tools to improve development outcomes as well as assist in the positioning of UNOPS at the highest levels in related fields, including various global agenda focus areas, such as resilience and sustainability.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

Under the overall guidance of the Infrastructure Sustainability and Resilience Specialist, the Infrastructure and Project Management Specialist (Institutional Capacity Development) will support UNOPS project development, project delivery, tool and process development, and positioning in the area of governmental institutional capacity development. 

This is a home-based assignment that may involve travelling to various locations, including remote or post-conflict environments. This job description’s functions/responsibilities/key results are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all assignments or missions under this job title. The specific tasks and deliverables for each consultancy work (retainer assignment) may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit. which IPMG will exercise oversight on.

All retainer assignments will be handled via the UNOPS online retainer management tool managed by Portfolio Support (PS), including the request for the retainer’s services and the provision of feedback for each assignment.

All UNOPS personnel are required to share a common understanding of UNOPS’ and the UN’s mandate, policies and activities. To this end, UNOPS Personnel must complete a set of mandatory courses. As a UNOPS ICA retainer, you are required to complete three (3) online courses upon signature of your contract and before commencing any retainer assignment related to Ethics and Integrity, the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Security awareness while on an official mission. These courses are available for free on the UNOPS learning platform and shall be completed within the first three months following the contract signature, at no cost for UNOPS.

The Infrastructure and Project Management Specialist (Institutional Capacity Development)’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Review of programme and project proposals and provision of direct inputs to specific project engagements as required;

  • Identification and support to access key infrastructure enabling environment funding mechanisms;

  • Technical assistance and advice on the strategic direction of and best practice relating to key project management aspects in the areas of the infrastructure enabling environment and institutional capacity building to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders;

  • Prepare and deliver training and guidance materials on the infrastructure enabling environment, institutional assessment, and capacity development strategy, implementation and documentation;

  • Support the development and piloting of frameworks, tools and methodologies which focus primarily on improving the capacity of governments to plan, deliver, and manage sustainable, inclusive, and resilient infrastructure;

  • Support the development of initiatives for increasing knowledge and developing an applied understanding of the enabling environment for sustainable and resilient infrastructure;

  • Support the drafting of reports and other key UNOPS positioning pieces which highlight the role of the enabling environment for sustainable and resilient infrastructure in global development, including relations to the global agendas;

  • Support the development of awareness materials, including case studies, that promote UNOPS infrastructure activities internally and externally across UN agencies and the private sector;

  • Support the mainstreaming of sustainable and resilient infrastructure within UNOPS policy and standards;

  • Support the creation of knowledge products and tools to improve the capacity of the organisation and our partners in the area of institutional capacity development to improve the enabling environment for  sustainable and resilient infrastructure;

  • Support the planning and delivery of missions to regions to support Strategic Initiatives work;

  • Support the design and implementation of activities and initiatives around sustainable and resilient infrastructure and its application within the development and infrastructure management contexts;

  • Support various tasks, work packages and projects as outlined and requested in the retainer booking tool;

  • Provide research and data collection on topics upon request.


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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Candidates must hold a Master’s Degree or higher: Civil Engineering, Architecture, Construction Management, other infrastructure related subject;
  • However, candidates with degrees in international relations, political science, economics, or sustainability AND have experience in infrastructure or the built environment may apply;
  • A first-level University degree (Bachelor's or equivalent) in combination with additional 2 years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree
  • 5 years of experience working in the built environment is required;

  • Experience assessing the infrastructure enabling environment is required;

  • Experience building institutional capacity is required;

  • Experience working with a variety of institutions; including UN, government/public institutions, private sector, and or research/academia in the field of the built environment is considered an asset;

  • Experience working with the global policy frameworks around sustainable and resilient infrastructure is considered an asset;

  • Experience developing analytical frameworks is considered an asset;

  • Experience developing software based tools is considered an asset


  • Fluency in English required; 

  • Fluency in French and/or Spanish is highly desirable.


  • Please attach a cover letter highlighting the experience, knowledge and qualifications relevant for the position.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International ICA Contract level: IICA-2
Contract duration: 1 year

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.

Additional information

  • A retainer Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor may be required intermittently.

  • A retainer ICA will specify a unit price (e.g. amount per day actually worked). For budgetary purposes, a monetary limit will be specified at the time the ICA is awarded and issued.

  • UNOPS shall have no obligation to obtain any minimum quantity of Services from the Individual Contractor during the duration of the retainer ICA.

  • Payment will be made only after completion of work (if any) or reaching agreed milestones.

  • A retainer ICA does not accord any exclusivity to the Individual Contractor with respect to the Services listed in the job description. UNOPS shall have no limitation on its right to obtain Services of the same kind from any other source at any time.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must comply with the standards of conduct required of a UN civil servant, when carrying out their official UNOPS responsibilities and also all other times. This includes the standards of conduct set forth in the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin of 9 October 2003 entitled “Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” (ST/SGB/2003/13) and the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin of 18 June 2002 entitled "Regulations Governing the Status, Basic Rights and Duties of Officials other than Secretariat Officials, and Experts on Mission" (ST/SGB/2002/9) as they may be amended from time to time.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must comply with all applicable UNOPS policies and instructions. This includes the obligation to declare any outside activity that could result in an actual or perceived conflict with the interests of the UN; as well as to refrain from using information gained through the UNOPS Individual Contractor Agreement contract for the Individual Contractor’s own purposes or to help a third party (unless the information is already in the public domain), in particular but not only in relation to procurement of works, goods and services.

  • UNOPS Individual Contractors must abide by UN safety and security policies, instructions, directives, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

  • The standard terms and conditions of the UNOPS ICA as of the present date can be found at

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.

What does it mean?

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