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Operational Senior Manager

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-18

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Background Information - Job-specific

The Sanitation and Hygiene Fund is a UNOPS Trust Fund committed to saving lives and improving the wellbeing of people by improving access to sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health hygiene. The Fund will invest in country-led, costed plans  to accelerate progress and sustainable impact toward the achievement of SDG 6.2. 

The Fund will maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of international development assistance and national investment. Staff at the Fund manage grants, coordinate with partners, support countries, monitor and evaluate results, report on progress, manage donor relations and raise funds.

At the core of the new architecture is a country funding model designed to be an efficient and effective mechanism that can operate at scale and deliver impact and supported by a suite of policies that define how funding is to be invested.  The SHF uses innovative finance mechanisms, including co-financing by recipient countries, to secure sustainable funding and the long term sustainability of its programs.

The SHF is looking for mission-oriented, collaborative, open minded and flexible candidates who are passionate about global development.

Functional Responsibilities

The Operations Manager reports to the Deputy Executive Director of the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund (SHF), who provides direction and general supervision.  The Operations Manager is a critical managerial and advisory role, helping to drive a cost-effective business model for the SHF and shape a value for money culture. 

The incumbent is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day functioning of the SHF, driving organization-wide operational compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics, and integrity.  

The Operations Manager is responsible for supporting the Deputy Executive Director to define, produce, implement and revise the SHF operational model and associated policies, working to achieve the optimal relationship between expenditure and results, by reducing costs and increasing output.

The role works closely with  the UNOPS Support Service Team to guarantee SHF operational needs are met, ensuring effective operations/support services processes are defined, executed and maintained, across finance, procurement, travel and IT.  This includes taking a lead role in the preparation of the SHF financial plan, and the execution, tracking and review of all budgets and work plans.  

The role works collaboratively with colleagues across the SHF, particularly the Head of Country Portfolio, and Head of Monitoring and Evaluation. 
1. Operations and advisory

  • Support the Deputy Executive Director with the development and implementation of the SHF’s work plan, assessing and managing risk

  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify the need, determine cost and plan all support services, including human resources, procurement, finance, travel, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and administrative services. 

  • Ensure effective operations/support services processes are defined and maintained between the SHF Operations Team and the rest the UNOPS Geneva Office and  Headquarters

  • Monitor SHF operations to ensure compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics and integrity and achievement of results. 

  • Provide advisory support to SHF personnel and ensure an up-to-date and coherent  suite of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), templates and guidelines, and support documents from project/grant formulation, project/grant approval and project/grant closure with a focus on budget/finance related matters, costing, etc.

  • Ensure client service and satisfaction with operations/support services processes, liaising with the rest of the UNOPS Geneva Office and Headquarters for required support as required.

  • Lead on health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE) matters to ensure they are integrated into all aspects of the operations and that related risks are managed effectively.

  • Oversee, prepare and issue Terms of Reference,  Statements of Works, MOUs and other agreements and  identify suitable firms or institutions; evaluating proposals received; making recommendations for contract awards, and negotiating with successful bidder(s).

  • Provide oversight for the coordination of all travel related authorization and procedures, value for money, compliance, back to office reports, working as necessary with the travel desk in UNOPS Geneva Office.

2. Programme management

  • In cooperation with the Deputy Executive Director, contribute to the design of work plans, budgets and forecasting/revisions, and  against SHF key performance indicators establish and consolidate measurable long/short term targets and monitor progress to measure progress and provide quality oversight

  • Working with SHF colleagues, ensure timely and accurate tracking of all country and non-country funds, analysis of outputs and aligned reporting between results and expenditure

  • Ensure the financial sustainability of the operational model and delivery of desired results, ensuring compliance with organizational strategies, policies, rules, regulations and standards of performance.

  • Submit mandated reports and critical issues to the relevant stakeholders, including senior management and the SHF Board and Finance Committee, to drive future process improvement.

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

  • Manage the structured transition of new UNOPS systems into the SHF.

  • Monitor use of Delegations of Authority (DOA) within SHF.

  • Working in coordination with the Deputy Executive Director, ensure SHF policies and operational documents are periodically reviewed, updated and compliant with UNOPS procedures to ensure effective delivery of SHF objectives. 

  • Drive efficiency in programme delivery, and enhances donor retention through timely relationship management.

  • Monitor, track and control agreements, budget and expenditures and prepare any periodic process and budget/financial reports required.

  • Monitor project financial projections, take necessary action(s) and/or refer critical issues to the Deputy Executive Director and/or other stakeholders for action.

  • Prepare disbursement recommendations for the allocation of  financial resources to eligible countries prior to approval.

  • Oversee organizational and country grant audits, and support the implementation of management responses.

3. Procurement of services and award of grants

In consultation and working with the UNOPS Support Services Team: 

  • Oversee and supervise the SHF procurement processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier selection, to ensure viable procurement solutions that are cost-effective and meet operational needs. 

  • Ensure that UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations and standards of accountability, ethics, integrity and performance are met.

  • Review, administer and issue contracts, agreements/amendments with the different vendors / subcontractors / service providers.

  • Prepare grant awards requests, draft grant agreements and subsequent amendments, using the approved templates ensuring that all agreements and amendments are constructed and issued in line with UNOPS legal and financial rules and regulations.

  •  Ensure appropriate procurement support capacity is in place for major events.  

4. Innovation and knowledge management

  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure the SHF is continually incorporating best practice approaches in operations and support services.

  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.

  • At the request of the Deputy Executive Director and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement and organize strategic capacity building of personnel and other stakeholders.


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.  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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in a relevant field such as finance, business, public administration or other relevant related field is required. 

A Bachelor's degree with a combination of two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the master's degree.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience covering at least two of the following operations functions: Procurement, Finance, Logistics/ Asset Management and Human Resources. Knowledge of the other functions is desirable.

  • A minimum of 3 years of leadership experience, including a proven track record managing staff and operational systems is required.

  • Some Trust Fund experience is desirable.

  • Experience dealing with UN regulations, rules and policies in the areas of contracting, procurement and human resources is desirable.


Full working knowledge of English is required.

Knowledge of another official UNOPS language, particularly French, is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement Contract level: International Individual Contractor Agreement Level 3
Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance

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.
  • 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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