Senior Project Manager
Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Background Information - Job-specific
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organisations. With over 6,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.
The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. The Project Manager acts on behalf of the Project Board to manage the project on an ongoing basis during the Implementation Stage. The main responsibility of a Project Manager is to ensure that the project outputs are delivered within the specified project tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. He/she is expected to meet the organization’s performance and delivery goals.
The Project Manager is responsible for creating the Implementation Plan, using the Project Initiation Document (PID), Legal Agreement and having a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders, to ensure the project(s) outputs are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the partner(s). Success of the project(s) and hence of the Project Manager will be based on the defined Success Criteria.
Poor access to electricity is recognised as a binding constraint to long-term economic growth in Sierra Leone. The country is currently experiencing a net deficit of power and is in desperate need of new power sources. The Ministry of Energy has developed an Energy Sector Roadmap and action plan with initiatives to increase energy access through technical and non-technical interventions. Part of the roadmap strategy is to incorporate Sierra Leone’s great Renewable Energy resources to provide security of supply to rural communities and to boost the economy.
To help address the energy infrastructure needs, UNOPS on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, is implementing activities to increase electricity accessibility to public services and enhance economic growth in underserved rural communities.
The project aims to expand energy access to remote villages, leading to improved development outcomes in health, education and economic development to beneficiary communities. This will enable reliable, clean and affordable electricity and in turn improve social, economic and health benefits to rural communities. Providing electricity access to isolated communities will result in improved economic benefits, reducing the relative cost of energy access by eliminating the expense of alternative sources, such as batteries and kerosine, and will reduce or eliminate the cost of diesel generators for energy reliant businesses. The project is in support of the Ministry’s objective of increasing access to electricity in rural communities, exploring a variety of alternative sources of renewable energy. It is envisioned that the project will contribute to the Government’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing multiple development initiatives.
Furthermore, the project will enhance partnerships between public, private and social sector stakeholders to address poverty reduction, and encourage the participation of the private sector in the provision of commercially viable energy services in rural communities.
UNOPS has been active in Sierra Leone since 2000 and has delivered a variety of infrastructure projects nationwide, particularly in the fields of Renewable Energy, Health and Security Infrastructure, and has implemented and procured a variety of vehicles, non-medical health related items, medical equipment, and Solar Photovoltaic systems.
Summary of functions:
Project Delivery and Performance
Monitoring and reporting
Knowledge management and innovation
Project Delivery and Performance
Develop, complete and update implementation plan(s)
Implement the approved plan (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the Project Board.
Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into project life span.
Manage the production of the required outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
Ensure that quality of work packages and deliverables complies with the quality requirements defined in the Implementation Plan.
Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers
Manage acceptance and delivery of work packages
Monitor project progress ensuring that work packages are being executed properly
Control project and work packages changes
Accept goods, services or works delivered by suppliers.
Lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation.
Act as the Employer’s Representative within the FIDIC works contracts. (If applicable)
Identify, and anticipate in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to senior management/ Project Board so that maximum benefit to partner(s) and other stakeholders is achieved
Identify and report to the supervisor potential business opportunities for UNOPS
Comply with all organizational policy and specifically the Project Management Manual
Prepare/adapt all relevant plans for approval by the Project Board.
Manage the reporting obligations defined in the Legal Agreement(s) and in the Implementation Plan
Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes. Approving requisitions and requests for non-purchase order payments; Evaluating submissions received, if appointed to the evaluation team. (if applicable)
Ensure maintenance of the project files and lessons learned are recorded
Ensure the development and implementation of project financial management guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations.
Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time.
Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project
Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel
Manage expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports)
Where the Project Manager has no delegation as a committing officer, s/he retains these responsibilities and will monitor and instruct/request others to carry out the relevant commitments and disbursements.
For project closure purposes, provide a formal handover of the project to the closure manager
Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations
3. Monitoring and reporting
Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies
Establish solid working relationships with the Project Board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders
Enable the formulation of project communications plans. Coordinate internal project communications. Monitor the effectiveness of project communications
Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications. Ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover outputs
Work with internal stakeholders to ensure projects comply with audit requirements
Work with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers' quality systems
Coordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverables
Provide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)
|6. Knowledge management and innovation |
|7. Personnel Management |
The Senior Project Manager directly impacts on achievement of project results by adhering to project management methods and strategies, reducing risks, cutting costs and improving success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of 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.
- Master's Degree in Project Management, Law, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, Engineering, Energy Management or other relevant discipline.
- Bachelor’s Degree / First Level Degree in Project Management, Law, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, Engineering, Energy Management or other relevant discipline with a combination of additional two (2) years of relevant professional experience can be considered in lieu of a Master’s Degree.
- A Professional Diploma in relevant discipline in combination of four (4) additional years of experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively relevant experience in Project Management is required;
Previous experience in renewable energy is desirable;
Previous experience in the development sector is desirable;
Demonstrated experience managing multidisciplinary teams is an advantage;
Past experience in delivering technical assistance and/or institutional capacity building is an asset;
Knowledge of the UN system and familiarity with UNOPS procedures is an advantage
C. Language Requirements
- Full working knowledge of English and Japanese language is required.
- Fluency in one or more additional official UNOPS languages is an advantage.
D. Certification: PRINCE2® Foundation/ Practitioner or similar project management certification is an asset.
|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.|
Contract type, level and duration
- Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement (I-ICA)
- Contract level: I- ICA 3/ ICS 11
- Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance'.
For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
- 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
- Freetown is a family duty station
- 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.
Background information - AFR
Africa RegionBased 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.