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Procurement Specialist - Surge Capacity (re-advertisement) , Multiple positions


  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-2, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Procurement
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Emergency Aid and Response
  • Closing Date: Closed

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner. 

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations. With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it. 

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

Background Information - IPAS

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UNOPS Integrated Practice Advice and Support (IPAS) serves all the regions and headquarters, primarily with advice and solutions to everyday implementation challenges. IPAS consists of a diverse team of subject matter experts in the six practice areas of HR, Administration, Legal, Finance, Procurement, Project Management and Infrastructure. IPAS has three main roles:

Support to operations in the field offices: IPAS provides timely advice and supports actively finding of solutions to everyday implementation challenges, based on policy and best practices. It also provides operational support in specific areas.

Business efficiency: IPAS recommends changes to policies, processes and operating standards based on the feedback and experience of the field offices. IPAS also ensures transparent and efficient project implementation, in line with policy and business needs. 

Body of knowledge: IPAS contributes to research and coordination within the policy groups and project practitioners. It provides structured knowledge and subject matter expertise which is used across practice areas to provide coherent and tailored advice to the requesting offices.

Faced with recurring demands for such services, IPAS has been given the responsibility to create a Surge Capacity team to meet the needs of UNOPS field offices. These needs include but are not limited to

providing personnel for quick inception of new projects, supporting emergency responses, as well as covering gaps after unexpected departure of colleagues whose roles are critical to the operations of the office. 

IPAS is now hiring committed colleagues to be part of this Surge Capacity team in the areas of HR, Procurement and Project Management / Infrastructure. We are looking for candidates from all around the world who are passionate about our mission and values, and looking forward to making a difference for people in need. 

Sneak peak of our working environment:

Background Information - Job-specific

As a Procurement Specialist - Surge Capacity, you will be providing procurement support to UNOPS field offices globally. You will be assigned to surge missions with the objective to support offices that require rapid procurement support, e.g. at the inception of a project, or cover a gap between recruitments following the unexpected departure of a procurement colleague. 

Frequent travel to field offices, including to hardship locations is expected. Remote support may also happen, depending on the nature of the assignment and clients’ preferences, as well as potential limitations to travel due to external factors/global context. 

As the face of IPAS in the field, you will be required to be a role model by leveraging a business partnering approach in every assignment. You will be responsible for providing implementation management and transactional support and capacity building , always with the aim of increasing quality, professionalism and creating efficiencies. Your work will focus on identifying challenges and providing innovative solutions to ensure high quality of procurement services across the organisation. This also involves the use of data analytics to enable business decisions, for example by assisting field offices in the development of monitoring/planning tools for procurement activities. In the performance of your functions, you will benefit from expert technical advice from IPAS Procurement colleagues if/when needed. 

When not supporting a field office, the Procurement Specialist will work with the IPAS Procurement team based in Copenhagen. IPAS Procurement is a team of 10 colleagues providing advice and support to UNOPS field offices and Headquarters. 

You will report to the IPAS Manager, and have a secondary reporting line to the IPAS Procurement Advisor when not deployed to a field assignment. When deployed to a field assignment, your primary reporting line will be to the manager of the position you will fill. 
*** Please note this vacancy aims to fill a full-time open-ended position based either in Copenhagen/Denmark or home-based. In addition, UNOPS aims to establish a pool of qualified procurement professionals interested in short-term assignments (see section "Contract type, level and duration").*** 

Functional Responsibilities

The functions/responsibilities/key results of this job description are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all missions. The specific tasks and deliverables for each assignment may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit.

1. Primary: Hands on procurement management and transactional implementation to projects and field offices - with travel and sometimes remotely. 

2. Secondary: Support to IPAS Procurement - IPAS Procurement advisory to field offices 

Primary responsibilities: 

While on assignment in a country office, the Procurement Specialist will report to the Head of Support Services or another senior position in the country office, usually to the person who is supervising procurement. The Specialist is expected to provide temporary procurement management and transactional support to ongoing or start-up projects, following UNOPS policies and guidelines. In this role, s/he will also advise on procurement matters, and highlight operational and compliance challenges to selected projects, whilst tailoring appropriate mitigation approaches. The findings of each mission will be addressed in a mission report. 

The functions/responsibilities/key results of this job description are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all missions. The specific tasks and deliverables for each assignment may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit. This will include 

1. Development and implementation of operational strategies 

2. Management of procurement processes 

3. Implementation of sourcing strategy and e-procurement tools 

4. Team Management, when applicable 

1. Development and Implementation of operational strategies 

The incumbent insures elaboration and implementation of procurement and contracting strategies focusing on achievement of the following results: 

▪ Undertakes procurement business processes mapping and elaboration/establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in procurement, control of the workflows in the Procurement Unit for the Regional Office or Operations/Project Centre 

▪ Development and Implementation of strategy and work plans in the field offices , including tendering processes and evaluation, contractor appraisal, managing the contract and contractor, legal considerations and payment conditions, risk assessment. 

▪ Implementation of strategic procurement in the field offices, including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, supplier-vendor relationship management, e-procurement introduction and promotion, performance measurement. Leads and undertakes services in supply market intelligence and anal 

▪ Full compliance of procurement activities with UNOPS rules, regulations, policies and strategies; implementation of the effective internal control, proper design and functioning of a client-oriented procurement management system. 

2. Management of procurement processes

The incumbent manages and guides procurement processes for field offices, focusing on achievement of the following results: 

● Timely and duly prepared procurement plans for the office and projects and monitoring of their implementation. 

● Implementation of proper monitoring and control of procurement processes including organization of RFQ, ITB or RFP, receipt of quotations, bids or proposals, their evaluation, negotiation of certain conditions of contracts in full compliance with UNOPS rules and regulation. 

● Acting as Procurement Reviewer, including review and pre-clearance of solicitation documents, requests for awards and submissions to CPCs 

● Management of procurement contracts, analysis of contract performance against agreed benchmarks and through agreed reporting mechanisms 

● Implementation of the internal control system which ensures that Purchase orders are duly prepared, dispatched, the goods are received and the invoices are paid. Timely corrective actions on POs with budget check errors and other problems. 

● Advice, remedial actions, or solutions to Programme Managers on issues. 

● Establishment of Long Term Agreements (LTAs) and/or service contracts and other instruments, when necessary. 

3. Implementation of sourcing strategy and e-procurement tools 

The incumbent ensures introduction and implementation of sourcing strategy and e-procurement tools focusing on achievement of the following results: 

▪ Development and management of the rosters of suppliers, elaboration of supplier selection and evaluation, quality and performance measurement mechanisms. 

▪ Ensures that the e-sourcing module is used in accordance with UNOPS’ goals and standards in this area. 

4. Team Management 

When applicable, the incumbent leads, manages and facilitates the performance and service provision of employees supervised, including through work planning, coaching, performance management and development. 

Secondary Responsibilities: 

When not on assignment, ensures efficient support to IPAS Procurement within the core areas of IPAS Procurement’s activities, i.e. advisory and operational support to the clients of IPAS Procurement alongside the team members of IPAS Procurement and under supervision of IPAS Procurement Team leader. More specifically, this can include following tasks:

● Management of procurement processes for IPAS’ Clients and acting as procurement official on tenders for contracts and LTAs 

● Support capacity building efforts working with other IPAS colleagues in the development and delivery of tailored learning sessions; 

● Contribute to proactive risk management by identifying and capturing critical risks and support field offices and projects in mitigating such risks and support to field offices and projects ● Provide consistent advice on the application, interpretation and adoption of corporate policies, methodologies, guidance and processes related to UNOPS infrastructure; and how to embed best practices in procurement with an emphasis on risk management; 

● Actively support IPAS in the development of and sharing of knowledge by leveraging from the field exposure, capturing case studies and lessons learned and contribute to the identification of appropriate improvements by making recommendations on policy, guidance and tools; 

● Actively interact with Procurement practitioners to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices.


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.
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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent), preferably in Procurement and/or Supply Chain Management, Law, Commerce, Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, Accounting, Economics or related field. 

  • A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) combined with 2 additional years of relevant work experience can be accepted in lieu of the Master’s degree; 

  • For those who do not have a degree in Procurement or Supply Chain Management, relevant certification in procurement and supply chain is a distinct advantage; 

  • Knowledge of UN/ /UNOPS Procurement Rules and Regulations a distinct advantage.


  • With a Master’s degree, a minimum of 5 years’ professional experience in public procurement, implementing policies and procedures to deliver a range of complex procurement programmes and services;

  • Within these 5 years, a minimum 2 years managing procurement in the international development context is required; 

  • Prior experience in a UN Agency will be a strong asset; 

  • Current or prior experience in UNOPS is strongly preferred given the nature of the surge capacity role; 

  • Prior experience working in a developing country, conflict and/or post-conflict project management environment would be a strong asset. 


  • Perfect command of both written and spoken English is a strict requirement.

  • Knowledge of another UN language such as French or Spanish would be a strong asset. 


The person in this position will be required to frequently travel to different locations around the world, including hardship locations. Missions abroad may last for several weeks/up to a maximum of 3 months. Availability to travel is therefore a prerequisite for this position, even though some of the missions may be conducted remotely.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA
Contract level: IICA2/LICA10/ICS10
Contract duration: 1) Full-time open-ended position, or 2) Several possible short-term / part-time opportunities (see below). Both are subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

There are two contract options to consider in this vacancy announcement:

  1. Full-time open-ended (no end date) contract. The successful candidate is expected to be based in Copenhagen (or home-based, depending on location) and be willing to travel when required. 
  2. Short-term / part-time opportunities. The successful candidates may be considered for retainer contracts or similar. Those interested can be home-based and must be willing to travel when required.

When submitting your application, please specify in your cover letter which of the above two options you prefer. 

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

More information on retainer contracts:

  • A retainer ICA does not accord any exclusivity to the Individual Contractor with respect to the Services listed in the job description. UNOPS shall have no limitation on its right to obtain Services of the same kind from any other source at any time.

  • A retainer Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor may be required intermittently.

  • A retainer ICA will specify a unit price (e.g. amount per day actually worked). For budgetary purposes, a monetary limit will be specified at the time the ICA is awarded and issued.

  • UNOPS shall have no obligation to obtain any minimum quantity of Services from the Individual Contractor during the duration of the retainer ICA.

  • Payment will be made only after completion of work (if any) or reaching agreed milestones.

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.

  • UNOPS embraces diversity and it is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all its employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of race, colour, national origin, ethnic or social background, genetic information, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or disability.

  • 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

  • Retainer contracts may be offered to endorsed candidates.

  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) at no cost to UNOPS, 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.  

  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, 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 recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS – an operational arm of the United Nations – supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by successfully implementing its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.
UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management, and human resources.

Working with us
We are proud of our people. With a wealth of knowledge and skills in various disciplines – engineering, finance, human resources, ICT, leadership, project management, procurement, and more – they help tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time. Their work around the world supports progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At UNOPS, we offer a range of short- and long-term opportunities in various environments and duty stations – from Denmark and Kenya to Mexico, Switzerland, Myanmar, Senegal, Uganda, and many more.

With over 5,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,400 personnel recruited on behalf of our partners, spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced and diverse labor force — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs. We continually strive to maintain our gender-balanced workplace. We encourage qualified underrepresented groups as per UNOPS Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy to apply for our vacancies.

Work life harmonization
UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

This vacancy is now closed.
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