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Programme Management Office - Specialist

Nairobi (Kenya)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-24

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Background Information - Job-specific

The primary role of Programme Management Office (PMO) Specialist is to provide the Somalia Country Office (SOCO) with the structures, tools and techniques needed to ensure that it has the right programme and projects in place, that are operational and change priorities are balanced, the governance and decision making is facilitated and it has the resources and capability to deliver them consistently well. S/he to ensure that programme and project management policies, processes and methods are followed and practiced according to the organization standards, while acting as the overall Project Assurance capacity within the business unit on behalf of the Director and Representative (Executive). S/he will strongly contribute to moving the Somalia office toward achieving its mission-focused goals and objectives.

The functions and services of the Programme Management Office (PMO) include:

Strategic Planning/Portfolio Support: Ensuring UNOPS is focused on doing the right projects by supporting management decision-making.

Delivery Support: Ensuring UNOPS is doing projects the right way, through the effective delivery of the programme and projects.

Best Practices: Applying UNOPS standards in project management, encouraging consistent working practices and ensuring appropriate application.

There will be a reassignment of this role to Mogadishu, Somalia in the second year or as per need. The role will require frequent travel to Mogadishu, Somalia.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Head of Programmme, the Programme Management Office Specialist will be responsible for the following specific duties and responsibilities in his/her scope of assignment. 

Summary of Key Functions:

  1. Development and planning
  2. Set-up and closure
  3. Monitoring and reporting
  4. Stakeholder engagement
  5. Quality assurance
  6. Knowledge management and innovation
  7. Personnel management

Development and planning

  • In conjunction with the PMO team, provides appropriate levels of programmatic management and administrative support to the Head of Programme regarding all ongoing project activities, while maintaining and implementing appropriate standards and best practices in line with UNOPS policies and procedures.
  • Directly contribute to strategic oversight, advice and direction on programme and project management activities in line with service agreements and project documents.
  • Ensure proper development, implementation and, as and when appropriate, amendments, of the projects, ensuring synergies across Somalia Country Office.
  • Develops and establishes resource tracking systems for use within the PMO, complementary to UNOPS' online tools, to ensure effective planning, forecasting and tracking of delivery across the Somalia office.
  • Identifies, and anticipates in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to the Head of Programme. 
  • Deliver programme and project management related guidance to programme personnel as required.
  • Ensure that Projects are being implemented in accordance with the implementation of the Project Management Manual and related Project management guidelines and policies that are rolled out by the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) and the UNOPS PMI (Project Management and Infrastructure) Advisory group. 
  • Identify, track and disseminate information with regard to Project and Programme Management Dashboards in order to ensure that Project teams have access to the most relevant tools to enable better PM oversight. 
  • Ensure that Projects are fully compliant with the requirements for mainstreaming gender into their projects and have corresponding Action plans (GAP) completed and monitored on a regular basis (As determined by the Project board)
  • In collaboration with the HSSE Specialist, ensure that projects are fully compliant with the requirements for Health and Safety requirements, and have corresponding plans completed, monitored and reported on a regular basis (As determined by the Project Board)

Set-up and closure.

  • In collaboration with the PDO, facilitate the development of high-level programme/project implementation plans during programme/project development (engagement acceptance process), including the collation of lower-level plans into programme/project-level milestones.
  • Develop, track and maintain dependencies.
  • Liaise closely and support the Head of Support Services in all project assets and finance related issues.
  • For project closure purposes, acts as (or nominates and supervises) a focal point between the Somalia office and donors throughout the process.
  • Oversee and coordinate all project closure activities, ensuring appropriate disposal of project assets, timely and effective final (operational) reporting, initiation of financial disbursements as appropriate during Defects Liability Periods, updating of information on the UNOPS systems, and effective handover of closed projects to UNOPS HQ for financial closure processes.
  • Provide expertise for start-up, planning and closing of projects and programmes. Provide temporary hands-on delivery support to a programme or project for; surge purposes in selected projects (including dealing with troubled projects, advising, mentoring and covering personnel gaps)
  • Put in place a system of tracking project closure and report to the SMT on progress of project closure

Monitoring and reporting

  • Ensure SOCO programmes and projects have periodic plans (e.g. quarterly plans) in place with clear milestones which are cascaded from the overall implementation plan
  • Ensure that all Somalia country Office programmes and projects adhere to internal and external reporting requirements
  • Reviews periodic project (monthly, quarterly etc.) reports and ensures their submission internally and or externally to partners in accordance with the legal agreement and the donor guidelines for reporting.
  • Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality).
  • Maintain diaries and progress reports as required by UNOPS standard procedures.
  • Identify and anticipates in a timely manner, potential risks and issues specific to delivery forecasts, and advises mitigating measures to the Head of Programme.
  • Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system, using UNOPS ERP and oneUNOPS Projects systems as required.
  • Perform routine maintenance and implementation of effective monitoring and evaluation systems of programme and project activities, in line with logical frameworks.
  • Provide meaningful inputs in to the health status of the portfolio with quarterly analysis of the Self Assessment exercise and quarterly assurance
  • Within the context of monitoring and evaluation, ensure all projects submit and regularly update specific milestones and targets for the duration of projects' life-cycles, and track progress, or otherwise, against such information.
  • Provide the Head of Programmes with the necessary periodic portfolio analysis and reports on compliance with the PMM, HSSE and Gender Action Plans 
  • Provide the Head of Support Services with necessary project analysis reports and information to support areas relevant to the project management team (i.e. Locally Managed Direct Costs projections etc.).
  • Coordinate and oversee the implementation of requests or initiatives relevant to project management from the Regional Office, IPAS, and HQ Teams, as required.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Ensure office-level stakeholder engagement strategy is developed and monitor the effective implementation of the same by SOCO programme and projects 
  • Ensure the formulation & implementation of programme and project communications plans and monitor the effectiveness of programme/project communications..
  • Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications across programmes and projects.
  • Coordinate internal programme/project communications such as weekly project managers meetings.

Quality assurance

  • Work with internal audit and finance to ensure the programme complies with audit requirements.
  • Work with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers' quality systems.
  • Ensure compliance with UNOPS defined standards for programme/project management such as PMM, FRR, and other requirements.
  • Coordinate quality reviews of programme/project documents and deliverables.
  • Provide quality control for management products (project documents, reports, etc.).
  • Represent the Head of Programme in supporting key stakeholders to continuously identify and improve operational processes relevant to project implementation.

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Act as a focal point for the Somalia Country Office  programme/project maturity enhancement initiatives 
  • Ensure programme and project documentation management in accordance with UNOPS policies and procedures
  • Ensure routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of national staff.
  • Participate in, and advocate PMs' participation in, relevant Communities of Practice.
  • Actively interact with PMs and the wider PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices in the Knowledge System.
  • Provides feedback to Regional Office/HQ Units on policy and supporting guidance working to achieve continuous improvement of UNOPS policies.
  • Contributes to the oversight of lessons learned procedures, ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner.

Personnel Management (if managing a team)

  • Exercise control of all staffing issues within the PMO team including recruitment, on-boarding and staff performance reviews.
  • Directly contributes to the development and maintenance of budget and resource availability tables in conjunction with project managers and relevant project staff.
  • Promote and support a learning culture by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

Impact of Results

The  Programme Management Office Specialist directly impacts on achievement of project results by assisting the Head of Programme to implement effective project management methods and strategies, reduce risks, cut costs and improve success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of the UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and strengthens its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A.  Education
  • Master’s Degree (or higher) in Project/Programme Management, Business Administration, or other relevant discipline is required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Project/Programme Management, Business Administration, or related field in combination with additional two (2) years may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. 

B. Certification:

  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification is highly desirable. 
  • MSP certification (Foundation and/or Practitioner) is an advantage.

C. Work Experience:

  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience, specifically in the field of Project/Programme Management/ support, business analytics and reporting skills in terms of successful implementation and/or oversight of programmes and projects is required.
  • Previous experience of working within a Programme Management Office (PMO) environment is an advantage.
  • Previous experience in UNOPS is desired;
  • Previous experience in a UN environment is an added advantage;
  • Experience/knowledge of Google Suite products, especially google forms, sheets, docs and slides is an asset.

D. Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English Language (i.e. writing, reading  and speaking) is required.

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.
  • 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.
  • Nairobi is a Family Duty StationHowever, the duty station will be changed to Mogadishu, Somalia (Non-Family duty station) in the second year or as per need. The role will require frequent travel to Mogadishu, Somalia.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon   request.
  • UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post.
  • 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.

Contract type, level and duration

  1. Contract type:International Individual Contract Agreement (IICA)
  2. Contract level: IICA 2 /ICS 10
  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: 


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.

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 - AFR

Africa Region

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Africa Region supports UNOPS country offices in the region, providing financial oversight of projects, procuring goods and services and managing human resources.

AFR helps ensure that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between projects across the entire region.

Somalia Country Office:

UNOPS Somalia Country Office (SOCO) has had a solid and continuous in-country expert presence successfully implementing programs since the mid-1990s, where it is currently undertaking various projects and initiatives in close collaboration with the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Federal Member States (FMS) and partners from the global donor community. UNOPS’ projects in Somalia focus on several key sectors that include infrastructure development, institutional capacity building, project management, advisory services, and procurement services. These projects cut across multiple sectors, including education, healthcare, national security, law enforcement, immigration services, justice, transport, and public works among others. UNOPS work in Somalia is geared towards driving growth and development in the country, a process that requires developing a close relationship with the FGS and the other development partners.   
Through its involvement in Somalia’s development process, UNOPS is providing transparent and accountable solutions in the country’s state and nation-building process. In addition, UNOPS is also committed to implementing the United Nations Strategic Framework Somalia 2017 – 2020, with the aim of helping Somalia achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. UNOPS work within the context of these commitments means that the projects it implements in Somalia are specifically designed to provide long-term solutions in the country, leading to sustainable and inclusive growth.

What drives us is a passion to fight inequalities and to provide opportunities to those most vulnerable. This means we often work in the most challenging environments, building foundations for communities to function and people to live with dignity and respect.

To succeed here, he/she need to be able to combine creativity with the organizational skills to manage numerous different projects to tight deadlines simultaneously, as well as working with the different units to meet their expectations.

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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