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Project Manager (IPSA9)


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Dili
  • Grade: IPSA-9, International Personnel Services Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Timor-Leste is an LDC with lower-middle income status that relies on its natural oil and gas revenue-based sovereign wealth Petroleum Fund for its annual state budget. Besides this fund, there are no other substantive sources of income. Economic diversification with a focus on job creation and poverty reduction is a great need. Timor-Leste already has 30% of the population living below the national poverty line and 46% are multidimensionally poor. 70% of Timor-Leste’s population live in rural areas, most of whom (64.2%) are dependent on subsistence agriculture. This young nation has 74% of its population under 35 (Census 2015), and according to the 2018 Labour Market Outlook, 20.3% of the youth population (aged 15-24) were not in employment, education or training (NEET). 78% of the people between the age of 15 to 64 were not employed, of which around 36% were youth aged 15 to 24 years.

There is more demand for labourers with vocational skills as well as ‘soft’ skills. Long-term investment in human capital is needed to produce skilled human resources to meet the labor market demand—something that requires increased investment in quality education. However, in the short- and medium-term, many initiatives can be taken to prepare youth with the required soft skills, have greater access to the right information, enhance their readiness for the work world through internships/mentorships and meet the labor market demand. At the same time, more efforts are needed to develop SMEs to increase employment and income opportunities, particularly for women, people with disability, unemployed youth, and poor and vulnerable communities.)

Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Skills (YEES) Project aims to tackle two most pressing issues in Timor Leste’s youth employment: 1) limited opportunity of being employed and 2) limited opportunity of being entrepreneurs for youth and migrant workers. The project is mainly funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for six years starting in 2022. The project has two outcomes: 1) youth become employed and 2) youth become entrepreneurs with three interrelated outputs:

Output 1: Youth obtain skills, competencies and knowledge to be employed.

Output 2: Service providers are available to deliver holistic support to enhance employability

Output 3: Youth, including migrants/returnees, obtain skills, knowledge and services to start or expand their business.

Duties and Responsibilities
The Project Manager will work under the direct supervision of the Head of the Economic Development and Prosperity Unit and Senior Management of UNDP Timor-Leste. The Project Manager will ensure that project activities meet their goals and objectives. More specifically, the Project Manager with being responsible for the following:
Timely implementation of the project focusing on achievement of the following results:
  • Plan the timeline of the project activities, conduct daily implementation and monitoring of project activities, ensuring that the project produces the results to the required standards of quality within the specified constraints of time and cost described in the project document and work plan;
  • Design and draft a Concept Note/Terms of Reference of project activities and related events per project document and work plan;
  • Provide technical inputs to the project team and partners;
  • Contribute to the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation framework for the project that reflects progress on the sector in general and conducting monitoring field visits as required;
  • Establish systems for project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, in collaboration with partners;
  • Gather and provide inputs and coordinate the preparation of work plans, periodic narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports to UNDP and development partners.

Effective project management from planning to reporting focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Prepare annual and quarterly work plans and budget of the project per the project document in consultation with the Economic Development and Prosperity Unit and national counterpart;
  • Day-to-day operational management of the project, including work planning, resource allocation, financial and staff supervision, general oversight and risk management;
  • Ensure effective and accurate financial resource management, monitor expenditures, including the allocation and disbursement of funds to participating partners, in accordance with UNDP financial rules, donor agreements, and cost-recovery policies and implement adequate internal control;
  • Supervision of the project’s overall administration and procurement management;
  •   Track the project delivery and regularly report to the UNDP management and development partners on progress and achievement of results in consultation with the Economic Development and Prosperity Unit;
  • Responsible for building an effective and efficient project team, drafting Terms of References for staff, consultants, and advisors, and involving in the recruitment process;
  • Supervise and give constructive feedback of the work of all project support staff, provide overall direction of the project, motivate the project team, manage the workload of each staff, reflect and incorporate the feedback from staff into the project management, and provide performance assessment.

Development of strategic partnership and coordination with government institutions (MTCI, IADE, SEFOPE, etc.) and youth groups and universities, private sector, Civil Society Organizations, and development partners, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Strategic coordination with all stakeholders in the area youth employment and entrepreneurship;
  • Representation of the project before the national authorities and other external institutions;
  • In cooperation with the government institutions and donors, support preparation and hosting of Project Management Board meetings, circulation of meeting minutes and work plans, and ensure follow-up on the implementation of decisions taken;
  • Development of partnerships with UN Agencies, government institutions, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society in the relevant thematic areas based on strategic goals of UNDP, country needs and donors’ priorities;
  • Analysis and research of information on donors, preparation of substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, active contribution to the overall office effort in resource mobilization.

Active knowledge management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Document the project implementation process and products;
  • Identification of sources of information related to policy-driven issues in the areas of concern and provision of analysis for more effective and strategic project implementation;
  • Responsibility for bringing best practices and lessons learnt to help achieve the outputs of the project and facilitating the use of global knowledge networks in the field;
  • Sharing of project results including through reviewing project publications and by taking responsibility for knowledge networking with national agencies and UNDP’s global community;
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice and provide inputs to the development of knowledge products internally and externally of the programme;
  • Serve as an advocate for UN core values and UNDP’s policies on the rule of law, human rights, and gender justice in the dialogue with the relevant national institutions and facilitate the practical implementation of this dialogue through the project interventions.

Core competencies: 

  • Achieve Results: LEVEL 2: Scale up solutions and simplifies processes, balances speed and accuracy in doing work
  • Think Innovatively: LEVEL 2: Offer new ideas/open to new approaches, demonstrate systemic/integrated thinking
  • Learn Continuously: LEVEL 2: Go outside comfort zone, learn from others and support their learning
  • Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 2: Adapt processes/approaches to new situations, involve others in change process
  • Act with Determination: LEVEL 2: Able to persevere and deal with multiple sources of pressure simultaneously
  • Engage and Partner: LEVEL 2: Is facilitator/integrator, bring people together, build/maintain coalitions/partnerships
  • Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 2: Facilitate conversations to bridge differences, considers in decision making 

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Business Direction & Strategy    

  • Strategic Thinking: Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions; Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP. 
  • Effective Decision Making: Ability to take decisions in a timely and efficient manner in line with one’s authority, area of expertise and resources.

Business Management    

  • Project Management: Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.
  • Communication: Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience; Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.
  • Working with Evidence and Data: Ability to inspect, cleanse, transform and model data with the goal of discovering useful information, informing conclusions and supporting decision-making

Digital & Innovation    

  • Digital & Innovation: Knowledge to draft or execute a data strategy or a data management framework

Partnership management    

  • Strategic engagement: Ability to capture and sustain attention, interest and agreement of high-level, influential policy and decision makers and secure their buy-in of high-level vision and objectives.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Master’s/bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Development Studies, Social Sciences or related field
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience (4 years with Bachelor’s degree) in the fields of business administration, private sector development, MSME policy
  • Experience managing development project with a total budget of at least USD 5 million, especially in the area of youth empowerment, employment and entrepreneurship development;
  • Experience with KOICA projects, Korean NGOs, and/or the Korean public sector is a strong advantage;
  • At least 1 year of experience in delivering business trainings, in the areas of: entrepreneurship, business skills development, business mentorship, start-up businesses, development of business idea/plan and evaluation;
  • Ability to demonstrate understanding of the needs of youth and business community;
  • Good knowledge of data collection and analysis;
  • Experience in preparation of business plans, and/or practical business experience in private sectors
  • Experience in project development and resource mobilization
  • Past experience working with similar projects
  • Past experience in private sector support, youth entrepreneurship and startup development

Required languages:

  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English are essential. Knowledge of Korean language is highly desirable. Knowledge of Tetum and Portuguese language is advantage.
Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 
UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.
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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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