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SENIOR PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT

Panamá

  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Panamá
  • Grade: Administrative support - GS-7, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2023-02-10

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

UNEP's Ecosystems Division works with international and national partners, providing technical assistance and advisory services for the implementation of environmental policy, and strengthening the environmental management capacity of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

This position is located primarily in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Ecosystems Division, GEF Biodiversity and Land Degradation Unit at the Panama duty station. The incumbent will report to one GEF Task Manager (but supporting all three task managers based in Panama) as well as to the Head of the GEF Biodiversity and Land Degradation Unit.

Under the overall supervision of the designated Task Manager of the GEF Biodiversity and Land Degradation Unit, the incumbent will perform the following roles:

Responsibilities

• Independently provides full range of programme/project management, data / database management and implementation assistance at all phases of the GEF Project Cycle within the Biodiversity and Land Degradation Unit executed within the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.

• Researches, tracks project implementation, compiles, analyses, summarizes, and presents basic information/data on wide range of programmes/projects and related topics, highlighting noteworthy issues/trends for consideration by appropriate parties.

• Tracks LAC Task Managers’ Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects and other related Unit initiatives that affect programme/project content and oversees the preparation of the relevant database(s) to ensure the incorporation of programmatic and other changes to the GEF Portfolio on Biodiversity and Land Degradation.

• Reviews, appraises and revises, as necessary, all LAC submissions for substantive programmes/projects, ensuring compliance with guidelines and programme/project objectives as well as independently managing project uploads on the GEF Portal in liaison with the GEF coordination office; identifies problems/issues, seek clarification from UNEP Task Managers and Portfolio Manager, assess replies, and prepares a summary for the manager with suggestions for further action.

• Takes lead in implementing partners’ registration and due diligence processes, drafts agreements through UNEP Partners Portal, autonomously liaising with the implementing partners as well as the legal and finance teams; obtains requisite clearances; coordinates process for new projects through the Umoja Grantor Management Module including internalization and creation of grantor program, partner application, agreement, fund commitment and payment request.

• Works with funding agencies through the Portfolio Manager in arranging financing modalities; obtains requisite clearances; ensures establishment of proper monitoring systems through scheduled reporting, review meetings and missions.

• Directly engages with implementing partners providing training in the use of the project management platforms, including detailed guidance on financial reporting, making budgetary forecasts, preparing periodic budget revisions, monitoring/reporting co-financing as well as managing workplan and inventory.

• Provides budget related advice in all stages of the project cycle, drafts budget and forecast in collaboration with the finance team based on submissions; prepares monitoring checklists/project management tools, identifying stages of programme/project development, funding source, inputs by reviewing internal and external bodies, and follow-up actions required.

• Monitors in collaboration with the finance team budgetary commitments, including verification of charges and obligation documents in UMOJA for all financial transactions; supports periodic budget revisions and ensures appropriate resource allocations; reconciles accounts with amended budget; evaluates trends of financial implementation and makes necessary recommendations to the LAC task Managers.

• Prepares database report summaries on programme/project-related activities; drafts inputs for a wide range of documents/reports, briefings/debriefings, correspondence.

• Serves as focal point for coordination, monitoring and expedition of implementation activities across the GEF Biodiversity and Land Degradation LAC Portfolio and participates in programme/project evaluation; monitor implementation at all stages to ensure work is proceeding according to established plans, including analyzing implementation difficulties and initiating remedial action; liaises with diverse organizational units to initiate requests; prepares standard terms of reference against programme/project objectives, obtains necessary clearances, processes and follows-up on administrative actions and resolves issues related to project implementation, e.g. recruitment and appointment of personnel, travel arrangements, organization of and participation in training/study tours, authorization of payments, disbursement of funds, procurement of equipment and services.

• Coordinates with the finance management team in arranging, for formal closures of projects, final budget revision, transfer of equipment, clearance, publication and distribution of final report, in close coordination with Implementing Partners.

• Provides secretariat services to committees, ad hoc tasks forces; drafts and circulates agenda notes to members/participants; assembles background documentation; drafts minutes of the meeting; monitors follow-up actions.

• May undertake mission/field work in support of above activities, e.g. training and capacity building of Implementing Partners on project management, processes, tools and reporting systems use and management of websites, specific administrative, operational/control tasks for programme/project activities.

• Establishes internal databases; sets up, files, stores and manages data and information relevant to the scope of programme/project activities.

• Is actively involved in key unit initiatives on stakeholder management, results orientation, sustainable delivery, and knowledge sharing approaches.

• Takes a lead role, in close collaboration with the Head of the GEF Biodiversity and Land Degradation Unit, in promoting and advancing inclusivity in the work of the unit , including ensuring the cultural sensitivity of the unit and the work it does.

• Supervises office support staff, including distribution and review of work assignments, training, and inputs to performance evaluation.

• Assists with the collection and analysis of data as well as preparation of data presentations and reports for information sharing, responding to queries, knowledge management, planning and decision making.

• Assists with visualizations and updating information material such as web pages or brochures.

• Performs other duties as assigned.

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of internal policies, processes and procedures generally and in particular those related to programme/project administration, database and dashboard management implementation and evaluation, technical cooperation, programming and budgeting. Understanding of the functions and organization of the GEF unit and of the organizational structure and respective roles of related units. Ability to identify, independently assess, formulate recommendations and/or resolve a wide range of issues/problems, undertake research and gather information from standard sources and to work well with figures including ability to analyze and understand financial data. Ability to design information data bases from multiple sources into an integrated programme evaluation system. Ability to direct, supervise and train office support staff and external partners. Demonstrated ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given and discretion, resourcefulness and ability to deal proactively and tactfully with offices throughout the organization. The ability to perform analysis, modeling and interpretation of data in support of decision-making. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Education

High school diploma or equivalent. Additional training and certification in project and programme management, administration or other related area, is required.

Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Successful passing of the Administrative Support Assessment Test (ASAT) in English at the United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) may be accepted in lieu of the GGST.

The GGST is administered to applicants when required before the administration of a written assessment and/or interview.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of experience in programme /database management or project administration, technical cooperation or related area is required.

Experience working with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems e.g., UMOJA is desirable.

One (1) year or more of experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and in Spanish is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.

NOTE: ''Fluency'' equals a rating of ''fluent'' in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ''Knowledge of'' equals a rating of ''confident'' in two of the four areas.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one (1) year and may be subject to extension.

This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. Applicants for General Service and related categories must be authorized to work in the country where the position is located. The candidate is responsible for any travel and relocation expenses incurred to take-up the appointment. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Internal Applicants – when completing the Candidate Profile form, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Contact Us" link.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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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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