By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Partnerships Specialist - Liaison

San José

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: San José
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date: Closed

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 organizations. With more than 6,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, 

Our mission is to help people improve their lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. UNOPS's three priority areas correspond to:

(i) Sustainable Infrastructure: UNOPS designs, builds, repairs, and maintains infrastructure in some of the world's most challenging environments. Its activities focus on transport, education, and health infrastructure development, among other areas.

ii) Public Procurement: UNOPS is a central procurement resource for the United Nations system and governments. It emphasizes efficient, transparent, and sustainable delivery of goods and services.

(iii) Project management: UNOPS manages more than one thousand humanitarian, development and peacebuilding projects per year for different partners, ensuring quality, efficiency, and results that meet the highest standards. 

UNOPS in Costa Rica, Panama, and the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean (Multi-Country Office, PAMCO) develops initiatives in strategic sectors such as road infrastructure, water, and sanitation infrastructure projects, vertical infrastructure, procurement projects, among others, providing its capabilities in the management of complex projects, technical advice, and procurement, with a focus on sustainability and resilience. In all cases, applying the human rights approach and gender perspective, where UNOPS has been expanding its planning, implementation, and monitoring of Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Country Director, and in close coordination with the Regional Office and the Partnerships Group, the Partnerships Specialist is responsible for developing and implementing the partnership and programme development plan for the offices and countries managed by the Country Director.  This will also include new countries where UNOPS is planning to initiate or broaden operations. 

Functions / Key Results Expected

1. Context analysis, programme planning, business development

2. Development of partnerships and strategic alliances, management of opportunities pipeline

3. Representation, inter-agency collaboration, humanitarian and thematic positioning

4. Knowledge management, reporting, and innovation

1. Context analysis, programme planning, business development

  • Conduct context analysis and stakeholders mapping to identify key sectors and partners across countries under PAMCO mandate. Maintain a comprehensive understanding of regional and national development and humanitarian priorities. 

  • Develop a comprehensive partnership and programme development plan in line with UNOPS Strategic Plan and Regional Strategies, based on analysis work. Conduct risk and opportunities analysis for positioning UNOPS strategically and propose appropriate solutions to achieve a sustainable and growing pipeline of opportunities.

2.  Development of partnerships and strategic alliances, management of opportunities pipeline:

  • Screen opportunities for UNOPS interventions and identify trends that will drive partnership opportunities and inform PAMCO strategic portfolio development in the long-term. Ensure the pipeline of opportunities reflects internal capacities and priorities, and inform resource decisions.

  • Aligned with UNOPS best practices and priorities, engage with partners to develop project opportunities by identifying, designing, formulating, and negotiating new projects and programs and drafting concept notes and project document briefs. Ensure aligned and coherent interactions with partners to identify opportunities, risks and goals.

3. Representation, inter-agency collaboration, and thematic positioning 
  • On behalf of the Multi-Country Office Director and/or Head of Programme, participate in and report on the relevant inter-agency, donor, and government coordination meetings. When necessary and in consultation with UNOPS project managers and technical experts, address project development issues. Drive UNOPS positioning and foster stronger collaboration with UN agencies.

  • Assist and actively contribute to UN common planning and programming processes in a timely manner. That includes, but is not limited to : strategic common country analysis, UNSDCF, response plans, UNInfo, etc.

4. Knowledge management, reporting, and innovation: 

  • Keep abreast and report on evolving trends (social, economic, and political) that could impact PAMCO activities.

  • Establish a monitoring and evaluation process for partnership performance.

To access the full list of roles and responsibilities, please download the terms of references attached to the announcement.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

a. Education  

  • A higher university degree (equivalent to a Master's degree) preferably in International Relations, or any other relevant field such as Political Science, International Development, Business Administration, Public Administration, is required.

  • Second university degree (equivalent to a Bachelor's degree) will be preferably in one of the aforementioned areas as long as it accredits a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience.

***Please upload your academic diplomas or academic certifications to your application***

b. Experience 

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience (or more based on academic merits) in international development is required. Including demonstrated experience in one of the following:
    • Developing and executing partnership and programme development plans

    • Project development and proposal writing

    • Establishing partnerships with UN agencies, international development organizations, governments, foundations, international NGOs or private sector organizations

  • Relevant years of experience in the field of climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Resilience and Emergency preparednes is is an asset 

  • Working experience with UN Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) or UN coordination mechanism is an asset

  • Experience working in Latin America and the Caribbean is an asset

  • Experience working with governments in accessing Green Climate Fund (GCF), and other climate finance development funds is an asset

  • Experience developing humanitarian programme is an asset

  • Prior experience working in international organizations, international development, post-disaster and/or emergency contexts would also be an advantage.

c. Languages 

  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required 

UNOPS is an inclusive employer, so we invite women and men to apply regardless of their ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are committed to promoting equitable representation. We appreciate that people who self-determine themselves as Afro-descendants, indigenous as well as people with disabilities, members of the LGTBIQ+ communities and/or other underrepresented groups in national contexts, voluntarily indicate so in the motivation letter when applying for this vacancy.


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: lnternational Individual Contractor Agreement 
Contract level: IICA 2 (ICS 10)

Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance. This contract is established in the Regular Monthly Contract modality; continuous service provision is required during the contract period;  the payments associated with the contract will be processed at the end of each calendar month.

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.

UNOPS is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. We encourage female candidates to apply. 

UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate with special needs upon request

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.

  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.

  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. 

  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.

  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions 

  • 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 (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.

  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.

  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Additional information
How to apply_EN.pdf (2.5 MB) 
HR_160123_TOR_Partnerships Specialist_ICS10.pdf (235 KB) 

This vacancy is now closed.
However, we have found similar vacancies for you: