Project Finance Specialist - Surge Capacity Team

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UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services

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Application deadline 5 months ago: Tuesday 5 Apr 2022 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a IICA-2 contract. This kind of contract is known as International Individual Contractor Agreements. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's an external contract. It usually requires 5 years of experience, depending on education. More about IICA-2 contracts.

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 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, and Finance. 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.

Background Information - Job-specific

As a Project Finance Specialist - Surge Capacity Team, you will be providing financial expert guidance to UNOPS field offices globally. You will be assigned to surge assignment with the objective to support projects and offices that require rapid Project Finance support.

Assignments will be both remotely and in the field, therefore travel to field offices including to hardship locations will be expected. The decision for remote or in country support will depend on the nature of the assignment and clients’ preferences, as well as potential limitations to travel due to external factors and/or 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 strategic and technical advisory services to ongoing projects, operational support and capacity building in field offices, 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 and expert services across the organisation. This also involves the financial analysis of ongoing projects to support the successful delivery in time, cost and quality of UNOPS projects, with full compliance with the UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations and Operational Instructions.

When not on an assignment, the Project Finance Specialist will work with the IPAS Finance team based in Copenhagen.

You will report to the IPAS Surge Coordinator, and have a secondary reporting line to the Financial Management Advisor within IPAS Finance 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 occupy during that time.

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.

Summary of Key Functions:

  1. Primary: Financial Management hands-on support and implementation to projects and field offices - with travel and sometimes remotely.
  2. Secondary: Support to IPAS Finance in line with IPAS three main roles - Operational Support to the field offices, business efficiency, and knowledge management.

    Primary responsibilities:

While on assignment in a country office, you will report to the relevant Head of Unit or another senior position in the country office. You will provide temporary financial management support to ongoing or start-up projects, following UNOPS policies and guidelines. Your role will be to guide and support the country office with a hands-on approach on project financial management. You’ll identify and highlight operational and compliance challenges to projects and field offices and you’ll work closely with the team in the country to tailor appropriate mitigation approaches. You’ll consult with other stakeholders (e.g. Policy units, IPAS, regional office) if and when required. After each assignment, you’lll prepare an assignment report with findings and recommendations.

In more detail, you’ll be assigned specific tasks within the areas of responsibilities of a UNOPS Project Finance Scope, these are:

1- Start-up Finance support

  • Contribute to the development of the financial management arrangements:

    • Funds flow arrangement
    • Cash forecast and funds disbursement
    • Internal Control and Financial risk management
    • Financial reporting schedule
    • Audit arrangement
  • Support the Project Managers during the start-up stage on the following:

    • Prepare and submit the request of the 1st disbursement
    • Explore the possibility to fund the minimum operational costs in case there is a delay in receiving the 1st disbursement
    • Ensure that inputs for different system requirements (e.g. budget, project classification, reporting and payment schedule, expenditures forecast, etc) are submitted and approved in order to guarantee the smooth startup of the project or programme.
  • Support UNOPS Country Offices during the negotiation of the financial management arrangements with the partner/client;
  • Advise UNOPS County Offices in the formulation and monitoring of project and/or programme budgets;
  • Contribute to the elaboration of the Project Operational Manual if required by the donor;

    2- Implementation finance support

  • Provide implementation support for the provision of financial management service as follows;

    • The implementation grant support projects ;
    • The disbursement and management of grant support activities in a variety of contexts;
    • supporting the identification and selection of implementing partners to implement projects on behalf of UNOPS partners;
    • Ensuring funds are spent in a transparent and efficient manner, in line with partner objectives;
  • Support and advise the Project Manager and other relevant stakeholders in the office (HOSS, Finance colleagues) to ensure full compliance of financial activities, financial recording, monitoring and reporting with UNOPS rules, regulations, and policies;
  • Provide quality assurance and quality control on all financial information to be submitted to donors;
  • Continuous analysis and monitoring of the financial situation, presentation of forecasts for the project;
  • Support for the development and implementation of Financial Standard Operating Procedures, guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations;
  • Recommend the implementation of effective internal controls and cost-saving measures.
  • Support in improvement/development of cost recovery mechanisms for direct and indirect costs

    3- Operational and financial closure support

  • Provide support to the PM on oversight of client project financial reporting and closure performance

  • Provide finance support during the operational closure stage as per UNOPS rules and regulations
  • Provide finance support for the preparation of the Final Financial Statement, Refund, and/or claim of the last disbursement as per the legal requirement and UNOPS rules and regulations .
  • Support the PM in project final audit, if any
  • Support the PM in the preparation of the project final report.

    Secondary responsibilities:

When not on assignment, you’ll support IPAS Finance, focusing on advising the field on:

  • Support IPAS Finance in the delivery of dedicated advisory to field colleagues on operational matters.
  • 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 support on the application, interpretation and adoption of corporate policies, methodologies, guidance and processes in order to ensure full compliance of financial activities, financial recording and reporting with UNOPS rules, regulations, and policies;
  • Provide quality control of Field Offices submissions by performing the review and analysis of financial data and processes and provide recommendations and advice on the performance of adequate internal controls and cost-saving measures ;
  • Actively support IPAS Finance in the development of and sharing of knowledge by leveraging from the field exposure, capturing case studies and lessons learned
  • Contribute to the identification of appropriate improvements by making recommendations on policy, guidance and tools;
  • Undertake other related tasks as deemed necessary by the IPAS Finance Team Leader.


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


  • Advanced university degree required preferably in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration or similar field.
  • Bachelor’s degree with an additional two years of relevant work experience will be accepted in lieu of a Masters/advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 5 years of experience (or more depending on academic credentials) in functions related to Finance & Accounting, Project Management Support and Operations support;

  • Proven technical leadership and expertise in project and programme financial management is required;
  • Within these 5 years , a minimum 2 years supporting the implementation of projects in the international development context is required;
  • Prior experience in a UN Agency, preferably with UNOPS, will be a strong asset;
  • 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 travel to different locations around the world, including hardship locations. Assignments abroad may last for several weeks/up to a maximum of 3 months. Availability to travel is therefore a prerequisite for this position.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: IICA Contract level: IICA 2 Contract duration: Ongoing/Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

Although the primary position this VA seeks to recruit is an ongoing full-time position based in Copenhagen, the hiring unit will additionally consider applicants who wish to carry out the primary responsibilities conducting surge assignments in the field while on retainer contracts (ad hoc/part-time assignments).

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

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.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

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.

For retainers:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

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

Added 6 months ago - Updated 6 months ago - Source: