Partnerships Development Specialist

UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services

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Application deadline in 8 days: Thursday 8 Dec 2022 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a LICA Specialist-10 contract. This kind of contract is known as Local Individual Contractor Agreements. It is normally only for nationals. It's an external contract. It usually requires 5 years of experience, depending on education. More about LICA Specialist-10 contracts.

Background Information - Job-specific

South East Asia Multi-Country Office (SEAMCO)

The South East Asia and Pacific Multi Country Office (SEAMCO) supports, develops and oversees the UNOPS portfolio of projects in South East Asia and the Pacific. SEAMCO was established in January 2023 following the merger of the Thailand Multi-Country Office, which covered 20 countries across North East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific, and the Cambodia Multi-Country Office, which covered 4 countries South East Asia - 3 countries in the Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam) and the Philippines. SEAMCO currently covers 24 countries across North East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific. With its head office in Bangkok, the Multi-Country Office comprises nine business units: SEMCO Thailand, SEAMCO Indonesia, SEAMCO Pacific Operations Cluster, SEAMCO Papua New Guinea, SEAMCO China, SEAMCO Vietnam, SEAMCO Lao PDR, SEAMCO Philippines and SEAMCO Cambodia.

In 2022, the UNOPS SEAMCO implemented projects worth more than USD 95.7 million, in the areas of Energy Transition, Digital Transformations, Sustainable Environmental Management, Climate Change, Waste Management, Rule of Law and Access to Justice, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Post Conflict Reintegration, Emergency Relief, Post COVID19 Economic Transformations, and Health, through HR, procurement, construction, contract management, fund and program management services.

The Multi Country Office head office in Bangkok provides strategic direction, operational support, delivery oversight and assurance of the excellence of business processes and quality standards across all of the entire Multi Country Office locations. It is also responsible for developing, delivering and managing the portfolio of engagements in the country of the MCO location itself.


Established in 2017, but with a portfolio tracing back to 2007, UNOPS Lao PDR provides expert support to the Government of Lao to ensure sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure activities in projects. With funding from various partners, such as Japan, the US, Korea, Luxembourg, Russia, the UK, and the Global Fund, UNOPS has implemented projects in the areas of health, rule of law and sustainable tourism sectors. UNOPS SEAMCO is in the process of expanding its area of engagement in partnerships with different development partners, focussing on programs in the area of infrastructure development, fund management, and expert advice, with a focus on health, environment, governance and digital transformations. For that, UNOPS is looking for qualified and committed experts that can contribute to fulfill UNOPS mandate in the country and support the Government of Lao in meeting its development aspirations.

The Partnerships and Outreach Unit at UNOPS SEAMCO:

The Partnerships and Outreach Unit of the South East Asia and Pacific MCO, is established to support the external relations of the MCO, including fundraising, stakeholder management, donor and client liaising, business document preparation, funding acquisition, public relations and outreach functions of SEAMCO. The unit supports the Director of the MCO and Country Managers in formulating and implementing business development and communications strategies promoting UNOPS services to key external parties across 24 countries in SouthEast Asia, North East Asia and the Pacific.

The SEAMCO Partnerships and Outreach Unit has the following functions

Stakeholder Management, Liaising, and Communications:

This function focuses on supporting and facilitating the identification of donor and client needs and positioning UNOPS as a partner of choice in project implementation practices. Activities include establishing contacts with potential clients and partners and organizing high-level meetings and negotiations; close interaction with country office staff to share information and knowledge, and to provide proactive support and follow-up in building and maintaining effective client relations; identification of requirements and development and distribution of marketing materials, as well as any reports and publications required for existing and potential clients, donors and partners; review and comment on progress reports prepared by projects, and provision of advice as needed to improve content and quality; active marketing and promotion of UNOPS services by building a network of key business partners and clients, keeping abreast of market, social, economic, security and political trends across South East Asia and the Pacific; preparation of reports, briefs, concept notes, presentations, and similar support materials; development of UNOPS capacity statements for the various services provided by UNOPS; and close coordination with UNOPS HQ and the Asia Regional Office to tackle business case troubleshooting, and obtain approvals and clearances.

Project Development and Fundraising:

This function focuses on project design and production of project-related documents. Activities include scanning and assessment of business development opportunities; prioritization of business cases; business development planning; active participation in the identification, design, formulation and negotiation of new projects; drafting concept notes and project briefs and project initiation documents, with support from project and/or technical staff, for further discussion with clients and donors; preparation of business and project proposals for tenders or at donor’s requests; preparation of Expression of Interest letters for potential business when considered consistent with UNOPS’ mandate; drafting agreements and/or contractual documents for the implementation of new projects.

Best Practice: This function focuses on application of UNOPS’ standards in project design, utilization of PRINCE2 approach, encouraging consistent working practices, and ensuring appropriate application of standards and templates.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Partnerships Development Senior Manager of SEAMCO based in Jakarta, and with a secondary reporting line to the Country Manager, the incumbent supports the identification, negotiation, and formulation of new development programmes for Cambodia Government, and provides advice in the management and direction of strategic approaches when engaging senior Government counterparts. The Specialist also assists in the coordination of business development activities with UNOPS, Government stakeholders and project development consultants and recommends strategies for programme design and development. The Partnerships Development Specialist will also be an integral interface between UNOPS and the Government of Lao PDR, on a wide range of initiatives in the areas of ICT development, infrastructure, environmental management, health and other key priorities in line with the Governments’ mid term development plan and long term plans. In addition, the incumbent will support UNOPS in its Partnerships Development Activities across the wider MCO where his/her expertise may be required

Functional Responsibilities

The incumbent will lead and coordinate several partnership development activities in Lao PDR in the areas of program management, fund management, infrastructure development, and procurement, and will support SEAMCO in the identification of potential collaborations with the Government and funding partners.

Specific duties and responsibilities include the following:

SEAMCO Partnerships Development and Outreach

  • Support SEAMCO in the implementation of the MCO’s partnerships development strategy building on current ongoing activities and programs
  • Support SEAMCO in promoting high visibility of UNOPS activities as per the SEAMCO Communications strategy, in collaboration with UNOPS communications team
  • Develop, build and strengthen strategic partnerships, identify and pursue business opportunities as per the agreed work plan with the Head of Partnerships. Establish and maintain relations with Lao PDR based clients, government departments and funding partners
  • Network and solidify relationships between UNOPS and the Government of Lao PDR, and advise the Head of Partnerships, the Country Manager and UNOPS Senior Management on opportunities for engagement
  • Act as a key resource and interface between UNOPS and the Government of Lao PDR
  • Develop approaches and provide advice on establishing new partnerships in Lao PDR and across the MCO
  • Maintain close coordination of business development/external relations activities with relevant organizational stakeholders
  • Creation and harmonization of partnerships with governments, country and donor offices, and IFIs to identify and pursue business opportunities within UNOPS geographic and thematic scope, initiating the necessary associated arrangements
  • Support UNOPS in negotiating the most cost effective and mutually beneficial terms for UNOPS services with prospective clients and partners
  • Develop and manage partner relationships management intelligence
  • Assist partners in adapting/formulating project ideas and project proposals in accordance with UNOPS business patterns and practices
  • Develop capacity statements to better position UNOPS vis a vis partners
  • Active interaction with clients to solicit feedback and gauge client satisfaction and continued interest in UNOPS services
  • Represent UNOPS in negotiations, meetings and follow ups with funding partners, governments, clients and other parties, to ensure transparency of UNOPS services and costs
  • Develop and implement strategic and procedures for improving client relationships and services in view of actively pursuing partnership development opportunities
  • Demonstration of professional and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behavior from colleagues
  • Seamlessly share information across teams to ensure a fully coordinated approach to partnerships development across the MCO
  • Support the achievement of year on year Engagement Addition MCO targets

Project identification:

  • Contribute to the identification, design, formulation and negotiation of new projects and programs and draft concept notes, proposals and project briefs for discussion with partners
  • Provide in depth evaluation of economic, political, social and other relevant reports to assess potential partnership opportunities and if needed submit analytical reports on outcomes and proposals for action
  • Identify potential markets and partners to pursue new/repeat business opportunities and ensure program growth

Knowledge management:

  • Collect, analyze and keep abreast of humanitarian and development trends and needs in Lao to identify areas of collaboration within UNOPS mandate
  • Contribute to the ongoing research, development and implementation of best practice and innovative approaches to maximize performance and sustain achievements in project development
  • Analyze markets for business development intelligence and opportunities (facilitate assessments of partner needs, UNOPS comparative advantages, and partner survey analysis, among others)
  • Support the development and distribution of marketing, communication and partner relationship management materials

SEAMCO Coordination

  • Close interaction with operations staff to share information and knowledge and provide proactive support and follow up in building and maintaining effective partner relations
  • Collaborate with the SEAMCO Partnerships development team as necessary and support teams as required
  • Perform other duties as required in the framework of the incumbent’s responsibilities and as directed by the Head of Partnerships, wit the aim of supporting SEAMCOs expansion in country and across the region

Expected period of Assignment:

The Specialist shall perform services on a full time basis. The incumbent is a core and integral part of the SEAMCO External Relations team and a key anchor for UNOPS operations in the country. The incumbent will be offered an open ended contract, extended indefinitely based on performance and financial availability of the MCO.

Monitoring and Progress Controls:

The performance of the Specialist will be reviewed and assessed by the Head of Partnerships of SEAMCO through a formal yearly appraisal.

Impact of Results

The effective and successful achievement of results by the incumbent directly impacts the viability of UNOPS operations in the country and the efficient and effective performance within it. These promote the credibility of the organization as an effective service provider in project services and management.


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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Minimum advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) preferably in International Relations, Public Relations, Public Policy, Political Sciences, Business Studies, Development Studies, Economics, Program Management, Law or related field.
  • A first university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) preferably in above-mentioned fields with two (2) additional years of relevant experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree or higher degrees.


  • Minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience in business development, external relations, project or program management and program development, or related field/s in the development cooperation sector in combination with an advanced university degree or higher degrees is required
  • Ability to engage with other UN agencies, funding partners, Government and development stakeholder and forge productive working relationships is required
  • Experience coordinating activities between different sectors and stakeholders, including Governments, International Financial Institutions, UN and other development partners a strong asset
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong working relations with senior officials in line ministries is desirable
  • Ability to multitask under tight work deadlines is required

Language Requirements:

  • Full working knowledge of English is required.
  • Fluency in Lao is required

Contract type, level and duration

  1. Contract type: Individual Contractual Agreement (ICA)
  2. Contract level: ICS10/LICA 10
  3. 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:

The position is open for application only from Lao nationals or with valid residence.

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.
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