Infrastructure Project Management Advisor (Retainer) – multiple positions, Multiple position at United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

The United Nations Office for Project Services is an operational arm of the United Nations, dedicated to implementing projects for the United Nations System, international financial institutions, governments and other partners in the aid world.

Background Information – Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS)

Within UNOPS, Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices. IPS provides thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines (infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources and financial management services).

IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) and the Procurement Group (PG) which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement. In addition, the Portfolio Support (PS) unit aims at building up and managing aspects of the organisational readiness of UNOPS. Last, the IPS is hosting the corporate Knowledge Management initiative.

Background Information – Job specific

Working within the Infrastructure and Project Management Group, the Infrastructure Project Management (IPM) Advisor (Retainer) can be expected to be responsible for providing expert technical advice and guidance for various programmes and projects globally, in all offices where UNOPS operates.

This retainer position falls under the UNOPS Corporate retainer pool, which is administered by the Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) Portfolio Support (PS) team. IPMG is responsible for the technical supervision.

This is a home-based assignment, which may involve requests to travel to various locations, including to remote or post-conflict environments. The functions/responsibilities/key results of this job description are generic and may not always be applicable, nor be comprehensive, for all missions under this job title. The specific tasks and deliverables for each retainer assignment may vary and will be detailed in the terms of reference developed for each assignment by the requesting office/unit, which IPMG will exercise an oversight on.

All retainer assignments will be handled via the UNOPS online retainer management tool, including the request for the retainer’s services and the provision of feedback for each assignment.

All UNOPS personnel are required to share a common understanding of UNOPS’ and the UN’s mandate, policies and activities. To this end, UNOPS Personnel must complete a set of mandatory courses. As a UNOPS ICA retainer, the incumbent is required to complete three (3) online courses upon signature of your contract and prior to commencing any retainer assignment related to Ethics and Integrity, the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Security awareness while on official mission. These courses are made available on UNOPS learning platform and shall be completed within the first three months following the contract signature, at no cost for 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.

Purpose and scope of the assignment

The core functions of the Infrastructure Project Management Advisor (Retainer) are to:

  • Provide technical assistance and advisory services to the development of new and ongoing infrastructure projects.
  • Provide technical expertise to country offices and HQ units.
  • Deliver training, tools, techniques that directly and concretely improve the ability of project managers and teams to deliver infrastructure projects that have more impact with the same amount of funds.
  • Enable the organization’s project and programme implementation in a transparent, accountable and efficient manner in order to execute the organization’s business strategy.
  • Support country teams to identify and develop opportunities for the provision of infrastructure project management services for partners and clients, and ensure appropriate modalities for service delivery.
  • Support: the strengthening of UNOPS credibility and leadership in international Project Management through development of industry knowledge and strategic partnerships; the definition of infrastructure and project management policies and processes; enabling operationalization and managerial oversight through appropriate systems and reports.

Working in close collaboration with IPMG, s/he will contribute to the Infrastructure and Project Management practices, capturing and sharing best practice, contributing to guidance material development, supporting information technology improvements and advising substantively the Infrastructure and Project Management practitioners.

Functional Responsibilities

The specific tasks for each assignment may vary from duty station to duty station. Under the overall guidance and direct supervision of the Hiring office and designated Supervisor within the requesting office, the Advisor will work on a retainer contract and will be called upon for specific projects to fulfill one or more of the following key tasks:

1. Advisory services and business development

  • Provision of high quality, industry standard advisory services to UNOPS clients, partners, governments etc.
  • Provide technical advice and support during the development of infrastructure projects and programmes including negotiation with potential partners, particularly for engagement opportunities of high value and/or risk to the field programme offices
  • Provide expert advice and support in formulation of new initiatives, projects and programmes related to sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure
  • Enable the delivery of infrastructure and project management services and provide support to UNOPS partners in line with the UNOPS corporate strategy.
  • Advise UNOPS country offices on opportunities for expanding UNOPS project management portfolio as well as maximizing value for clients by providing institutional and industry knowledge of project services with clients
  • Where required, provide support to Developers/ Programme /Project/ Team Managers in the preparation of work plans, project documents, contract management.

2. Training and capacity development

  • Design, develop and / or implement training programmes and capacity building initiatives, potentially for both internal and external partners, and for delivering training tools and techniques to improve the quality of UNOPS infrastructure and project management services.

3. Technical expertise

  • Provide technical and advisory support for effective project formulation, project development, project initiation, project planning and risk management for infrastructure projects
  • Provide technical advice to incorporate elements of inclusive infrastructure into infrastructure projects and programmes
  • Provide advisory services and technical assistance, including analysis, to ongoing projects to support the successful delivery in time, cost and quality of UNOPS infrastructure projects, with full compliance with the UNOPS policies and guidelines in infrastructure and project management.
  • Conduct expert reviews and provide practical advice on tender documentation, works contracts, schedules, risks, budgets and other infrastructure project documentation in line with the UNOPS standards and guidance materials.
  • Conduct quality assurance in construction.
  • Provide expert advice to support the technical reviews and/or development of construction designs as well as to improve them and ensure the infrastructure design is resilient and inclusive.
  • Provide expert knowledge in infrastructure and project management to contribute to the development of policies, standards, processes, guidance materials and other documents such as templates; as well as tool requirements.
  • Provide technical expert advice to infrastructure projects and programmes that may need support in an effort to be brought ‘back on track’.

4. Practice contribution and Knowledge Sharing

  • Ensure best practice guidance is disseminated and communicated throughout the field office programmes.
  • Contribute to UNOPS knowledge management by capturing case studies and best practice examples of infrastructure projects/programmes throughout UNOPS (especially of monitoring forms), making recommendations on policy and tools, as well as contributing to the development of guidance material and tools.
  • Provide substantive contribution to UNOPS project management practice focusing on continuous improvement of infrastructure projects/programmes; support the corporate priorities, development of policy, guidance and tools.

Monitoring and Progress Controls 

  • Review and accept/reject the assignments in the retainer tool;
  • Establish a meaningful course of action for the completion of the task and deliverables;
  • Successfully meet the agreed deadlines;
  • Successfully delivering;
  • Provide feedback in the retainer tool for each assignment.

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