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Project Manager

Posted in NGOs, Social Science


Job Type

Full Time



Description :

Closing date: Sunday, 22 August 2021

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organisations. With over 6,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.

Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. Project Manager acts on behalf of the Project Board to manage the project on an ongoing basis during the Implementation Stage. The main responsibility of a Project Manager is to ensure that the project outputs are delivered within the specified project tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. He/she is expected to meet the organization's performance and delivery goals.

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

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 will be based on the defined Success Criteria.

Background Information – Zimbabwe

UNOPS Office in Zimbabwe falls under the purview of the UNOPS KEMC (Kenya Multi-Country Office). Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the KEMC manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMC sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and Southern Africa. This includes a large portfolio of infrastructure, procurement, and project management service projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and several Island states.

UNOPS manages a range of infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe in different sectors including education, health, agriculture, transport applying different implementation approaches such as labor-based and outsourced designers/contractors but always with direct supervision from UNOPS.

Following the devastation caused to life, livelihoods, and property by tropical storm Idai in March 2019, the WB has allocated up to US$ 75 million to finance a recovery project for Zimbabwe and the African Development Bank has allocated US$ 25 million. The projects address both early and mid-term recovery needs in multiple sectors (livelihoods, health, education, agriculture, transport). UNOPS manages the WB funds and has established a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) to engage multiple UN partner organizations to deliver specific components of ZIRP. UNOPS is the Implementation Agency for the AfDB project.

UNOPS is in the advanced stages of negotiations with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, Zimbabwe and IFAD to support the implementation of rehabilitation work for two irrigation schemes in Manicaland province, namely Romsley and Cashel Valley. Under this project funded by IFAD, UNOPS will be responsible for the delivery of designs and quality delivery of reconstruction of these irrigation schemes and the management, monitoring, and oversight of the project implementation.

Background Information - Job Specific: UNOPS is looking for a Project Manager, with specific experience in managing large Irrigation schemes, with experience across the various civil engineering spectrum. As such, engineering experience in roads, bridges, water supply, electrification will be an asset. The incumbent for this position will be based in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe.

Summary of functions:

Project Delivery and Performance


Monitoring and reporting

Stakeholder engagement

Quality assurance

Knowledge management and innovation

Personnel management

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.

Lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation.

Act as the Employer's Representative within the FIDIC works contracts; as applicable.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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Coordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverables.

Provide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)

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.

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 the 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, harassment, sexual harassment 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

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.

Advanced university degree in Project Management, Architecture, Engineering or a related discipline is required.

Bachelors' degree in Project Management, Architecture, Engineering or a related discipline with additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master's degree.

A minimum of 5 years' experience in implementing projects/programmes is required.

2 years' working experience in implementing and delivering projects for international organizations is an added advantage.

5 years' experience working in developing countries is an asset.

Previous experience working with UNOPS in managing similar projects is an asset.

Procurement experience with exposure to public procurement processes is a distinct advantage.

Experience in writing reports, performing data analyses, and drafting documents is desired.

Strong problem-solving skills are desired.

Experience working in multicultural teams is an asset.

Experience in managing teams is an asset.

Strong written and verbal communication, presentation, and client service skills are desired.

Professional certification ( PEng., CEng., etc) is an asset.

Certification in Project Management ( PRINCE2, PMI, etc.) is an asset.

Fluency in English language is required.

Knowledge of any other UN language is desirable.

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.

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

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.

This is a local post. As such, it is only open to Zimbabwean Nationals or persons with valid residence permits

The position is based in a family duty station.

Contract type: ICA

Contract level: Local ICA Specialist 10Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

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.

To apply

To apply click here

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