Project Manager

UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services

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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 - Job-specific

Background Information - Ghana Multi Country Office (GHMCO)

UNOPS Ghana Multi Country Office (GHMCO), located in Accra, spans across West Africa, covering Ghana, Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. GHMCO is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional portfolio of engagements, developing and delivering cost effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results.

GHMCO has a diverse portfolio covering infrastructure, urban plan development, project management, procurement and futuristic studies. Opened in 2015, GHMCO is one of the newest Multi-Country offices in UNOPS with a vision and drive to deliver top quality results to its partners with a sharp focus on operational excellence.

The primary role of Project Management Office (PMO) is to provide the Ghana Multi Country Office with the structures, tools and techniques needed to ensure that it has the right programmes and projects in place, that operational and change priorities are balanced, the governance and decision making is facilitated and it has the resources and capability to deliver them consistently well.

The functions and services of the PMO include:

  • Strategic Planning/Portfolio Support: Ensuring UNOPS is focused on doing the right projects by supporting management decision-making.

  • Delivery Support: Ensuring UNOPS is doing projects the right way, through the effective delivery of the programme and projects.

  • Best Practices: Applying UNOPS standards in project management, encouraging consistent working practices and ensuring appropriate application.

The primary role of PMO is to ensure that project management policies, processes and methods are followed and practiced according to the organization standards, while acting as the overall Project Assurance capacity within the business unit on behalf of the Director and Representative (Executive). The PMO strongly contributes to moving the Ghana Multi Country Office toward achieving its mission-focused goals and objectives.

The Project Manager has the authority to assign, as per the Project Plan, work packages to Team Managers and approve deliverables produced by them.

The Project Manager is responsible for creating the Implementation Plan, using the Project Initiation Document (PID), Legal Agreement and having a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders, to ensure the project(s) outputs are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the partner(s). Success of the project(s) and hence of the Project Manager/Senior Project Manager will be based on the defined Success Criteria.

Project Information:

Poor access to electricity is recognised as a binding constraint to long-term economic growth in Sierra Leone. The country is currently experiencing a net deficit of power and is in desperate need of new power sources. The Ministry of Energy has developed an Energy Sector Roadmap and action plan with initiatives to increase energy access through technical and non-technical interventions. Part of the roadmap strategy is to incorporate Sierra Leone’s great Renewable Energy resources to provide security of supply to rural communities and to boost the economy.

To help address the energy infrastructure needs, UNOPS on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, is implementing the project titled “Enhancing the Impact of Rural Renewable Energy in Sierra Leone”. The project funded by the Government of Japan aims to increase electricity accessibility to public services and enhance economic growth in underserved rural communities. The project will facilitate the construction of 6 solar photovoltaic mini-grids systems in Bo District, Southern Province of Sierra Leone. The rural communities are: Naiagolehun, Petewoma, Serabu, Grima Tikonko, Upper Saama and Lower Saama.

The project targets 15,647 beneficiaries and aims to expand energy access to remote villages, leading to improved development outcomes in health, education and economic development to beneficiary communities. This will enable reliable, clean and affordable electricity and in turn improve social, economic and health benefits to rural communities. Community Health Centers (CHCs) will receive up to 6.6 kWh/day of free electricity. Providing electricity access to isolated communities will result in improved economic benefits, reducing the relative cost of energy access by eliminating the expense of alternative sources, such as batteries and kerosine, and will reduce or eliminate the cost of diesel generators for energy reliant businesses. The project is in support of the Ministry’s objective of increasing access to electricity in rural communities, exploring a variety of alternative sources of renewable energy. It is envisioned that the project will contribute to the Government’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing multiple development initiatives. Furthermore, the project will enhance partnerships between public, private and social sector stakeholders to address poverty reduction, and encourage the participation of the private sector in the provision of commercially viable energy services in rural communities.

Local Context: UNOPS has been active in Sierra Leone since 2000 and has delivered a variety of infrastructure projects nationwide, particularly in the fields of Renewable Energy, Health and Security Infrastructure, and has implemented and procured a variety of vehicles, non-medical health related items, medical equipment, and Solar Photovoltaic systems.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:

  1. Project Delivery and Performance
  2. Procedures
  3. Monitoring and reporting
  4. Stakeholder engagement
  5. Quality assurance
  6. Knowledge management and innovation
  7. Personnel management

  8. Project Delivery and Performance

- Develop, complete and update implementation plan(s)

  • Implement the approved plan (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the Project Board.
  • Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into project life span.
  • Manage the production of the required outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
  • Ensure that quality of work packages and deliverables complies with the quality requirements defined in the Implementation Plan.
  • Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers
  • Manage acceptance and delivery of work packages
  • Monitor project progress ensuring that work packages are being executed properly
  • Control project and work packages changes
  • Accept goods, services or works delivered by suppliers.
  • Lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation.
  • Act as the Employer’s Representative within the FIDIC works contracts.
  • Identify, and anticipate in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to senior management/ Project Board so that maximum benefit to partner(s) and other stakeholders is achieved
  • Identify and report to the supervisor potential business opportunities for UNOPS
  1. Procedures

- Comply with all organizational policy and specifically the Project Management Manual - Prepare/adapt all relevant plans for approval by the Project Board. - Manage the reporting obligations defined in the Legal Agreement(s) and in the Implementation Plan - Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes. Approving requisitions and requests for non-purchase order payments; Evaluating submissions received, if appointed to the evaluation team. - Ensure maintenance of the project files and lessons learned are recorded - Ensure the development and implementation of project financial management guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations. - Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time. - Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project - Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel - Manage expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports) - Where the Project Manager has no delegation as a committing officer, s/he retains these responsibilities and will monitor and instruct/request others to carry out the relevant commitments and disbursements. - For project closure purposes, provide a formal handover of the project to the closure manager - Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations

  1. Monitoring and reporting

- Prepare and issue regular project and/or financial reports in accordance with Partner and UNOPS requirements for reporting. - Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality). - Maintain diaries and progress reports as required by the organization’s standard procedures. - Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system. - Ensure all project team members track and regularly update milestones and targets for the duration of projects' life span

  1. Stakeholder engagement

- Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies - Establish solid working relationships with the Project Board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders - Enable the formulation of project communications plans. Coordinate internal project communications. Monitor the effectiveness of project communications - Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications. Ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover outputs

  1. Quality assurance

- Work with internal stakeholders to ensure projects comply with audit requirements - Work with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers' quality systems - Coordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverables - Provide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)

  1. Knowledge management and innovation

- Encourage routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of staff. - Actively interact with other Project Managers and the wider PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices - Contribute to the oversight of lessons learned procedures, ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner. Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice - Research and logging of lessons learned throughout the project life span. - Provide feedback to Practice Groups on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies

  1. Personnel Management

- Lead and motivate the project management team - Ensure that behavioural expectations of team members are established - Ensure that performance reviews are conducted fairly, accurately and timely - Select, recruit and train a team as required and take into account gender parity and diversity objectives. - Ensure safety and security for all project personnel and comply with UNDSS standards - Create, foster and role model a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination, abuse of authority, harrasement, sexual harrasement and sexual exploitation and abuse. Ensure accountability for actions and perform duties in accordance with protection mechanisms and action plans, as expected by UNOPS policies, standards and commitments.

Impact of Results The Project Manager directly impacts on achievement of project results by adhering to project management methods and strategies, reducing risks, cutting costs and improving success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and strengthens its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A. Education - Advanced University Degree (master or equivalent) in a relevant discipline related to the nature of the project: Project Management in Infrastructure or any engineering discipline. - A Bachelor Degree in a relevant technical discipline is required, in Civil/Electrical Engineering, and/or Construction Management.

B. Work Experience - A minimum of 5 years' relevant and progressive professional experience, specifically in the field of Project Management and/or support with focus on planning, stakeholder management, monitoring, reporting is required. - Proven track record of successfully implemented plans and projects. - Vast experience in creating and executing project plans to meet needs and requirements. - Thorough experience in writing reports, performing data analyses, and drafting documents is desired - Procurement experience with exposure to public procurement processes is a distinct advantage. - Knowledge in solar renewable energy will be an added advantage. - Sound knowledge in risk management. - Sound knowledge of quality assurance methodologies - Strong problem-solving skills. - Experience working in multicultural teams. - Experience in managing teams.

C. Language Requirements - Full working knowledge of English and Japanese language is required. - Fluency in one or more additional official UNOPS languages is an advantage.

Certification: PRINCE2® Foundation or similar project management certification is an asset.


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: International Individual Contract Agreement (I-ICA)
  • Contract level: I- ICA 2/ ICS 10
  • 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:

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.
  • 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
  • Freetown is a family duty station
  • 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 (around 4 hours) in your own time, 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.

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 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.

Background information - AFR

Africa Region

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Africa Region supports UNOPS country offices in the region, providing financial oversight of projects, procuring goods and services and managing human resources. AFR helps ensure that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between projects across the entire region.

Additional information

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