Project Management Support Specialist (Grants & PSO)

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: UNOPS
Closing date: 3 Aug 2020

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 - Job-specific

Established in 2009, UNOPS Ethiopia Office has been providing services to various partners, including the government of Ethiopia, UN agencies such as WHO, UNHCR and WFP, and other international organizations. Since 2014, the UNOPS Ethiopia Multi-country Office (EMCO) manages and coordinates the UNOPS activities in Ethiopia, as well as Sudan and Djibouti. The UNOPS EMCO team is composed of approximately 150 national and international women and men, and offers a broad range of services such as infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial and human resources management.
The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader in UNOPS Ethiopia Office. The Ethiopia office has currently more than 26 projects which are in different closure stages and 23 ongoing Projects.

Functional Responsibilities

The Project Management Support Specialist reports to the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader who provides broad supervision and guidance. The role is responsible for coordinating and supporting the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader with the day-to-day operations and liaise with the donor, government stakeholders and working group focal points on all project related matters.

The Project Management Support Specialist will also maintain a close eye on the operational and financial performance, identifies probable issues that may need attention, supports in problem analysis and solution identification as necessary, coordinate resolution as per action-items assigned, drafting required correspondences to stakeholders concerned and preparation of reports. He/She is most likely required to work in complex and challenging environments with limited resources.

The specific responsibilities of the Project Management Support Specialist include:

1. Project implementation

  • Preparation and maintenance of project files, including internal and external project reports.
  • Manage information flows and oversee change controls, risk registers and issue management by establishing document control procedures
  • Manage assigned delivery of work packages and take responsibility for progress.
  • Coordinate and liaise with the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader on the implementation progress.
  • Advise the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader of any deviations from the plan and update plans.
  • Work with the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader to identify and manage risks.

2. Financial and procurement management

  • Maintain all supporting project financial documents for audit and review processes.
  • Ensure accurate data entry into UNOPS ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
  • Monitor project budget and financial expenditure and all administrative procedures in line with the work-plan.
  • Process direct payments and advance requests and prepare project budget revisions.
  • Produce financial reports; including developing financial monitoring and reporting formats as per UNOPS requirements.
  • Support the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader by monitoring budgets, cash flow and reporting on expense obligations to ensure that deliverables are met.
  • Alert the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader or any financial shortfalls and over-expenditures.
  • Propose budget revision and initiate corrective action when necessary.
  • Coordinate vendor communications, meetings, and reports as necessary
  • Supervise the Project Office procurement/call for proposal processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier/implementing partners (IPs) selection, to ensure viable procurement solutions that meet operational needs and compliance with UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations and standard of accountability, ethics, integrity and performance.
  • Establishment of shortlist of suitable contractors/suppliers/IPs, and the preparation and issue of local tenders/calls for proposal. Evaluation of bids or proposals received and of recommendations for contract awards.
  • In consultation with relevant colleagues, review, administer and issue contracts, grants agreements, agreements/amendments.

3. Grant Management

  • Responsible for preparing grant agreements.
  • Supervise finance related action for timely disbursements of funds to Grantees.
  • Maintain a financial management system, controlling budget line expenditures and encumbrances, including record keeping to reflect all transactions related to the projects activities in proper categories in accordance with the finance SOPs of the Partnership and the UNOPS financial rules and regulations.
  • Help with the preparation of Terms of References for external consultants as needed and manage their activities based on agreed Terms of Reference.
  • Prepare and maintain Donor Agreements, including any reports requested by Donors.
  • Manage the procurement of PPE, coordinating efforts between vendors and Grantees.
  • Using the Grant Management System, perform ongoing review, analysis and reconciliation of accounts, investigating discrepancies and initiating timely corrective actions; implement effective risk management actions as per partnerships risk management system.
  • Support the maintenance of technical and financial reporting, to ensure that all Grantees execute their contractual responsibilities.
  • Review and provide comments on administrative and financial aspects for finalization of contract documentation for undertaking engagement for implementation of the activities by stakeholders.
  • Liaise with the Admin Associate dealing with HR matters of the Partnership to keep the HR work plan updated with respect to costs and using correct HR cost allocations for preparing financial reports for management, donors and the Coordinating Board.
  • Assist and act as a back-up role when other team members are out of the office.
  • Perform other related duties as may be assigned by the supervisor.

4. Project monitoring and reporting

  • Provide substantive inputs to assist the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader in the preparation of project reports and documents.
  • Maintain records of project files and other supporting documents.
  • Maintain the following records: Quality Register, Configuration Item Records and all other registers/logs delegated by the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader
  • Support the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader in maintaining the following:

i. Complete and update project documentation in oneUNOPS Projects

ii. Procurement, HR and Finance files as required by Organizational Directive (OD) 12.

  • Manage the compilation, consolidation and analysis of relevant data.
  • Assist the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader in the preparation of project completion reports and ensure compliance with contractual obligations.

5. Stakeholder management, coordination and liaison

  • Support the coordination and management of communications.
  • Liaise and build relationships with other United Nations (UN) agencies and international non-governmental organizations (I/NGOs) for the purposes of facilitating activities and improving the quality and relevance of information analysis.
  • Participate in meetings with UN agencies, NGO’s and other Stakeholders as required.

6. Knowledge management and innovation

  • Support the compilation of lessons learned as per defined reporting format.
  • Ensure that Local capacities are built at every level and opportunity for Project Support.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for planning and knowledge building.
  • Contribute to expertise in tools and techniques

7. Development and Planning

  • In conjunction with the project team, provides appropriate levels of programmatic management and administrative support to the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader regarding all ongoing project activities, while maintaining and implementing appropriate standards and best practices in line with UNOPS policies and procedures.
  • Directly contribute to strategic oversight, advice and direction on programme and project management activities in line with service agreements and project documents.
  • Ensure proper development, implementation and, as and when appropriate, amendments, of project budgets and staffing resources, ensuring synergies across the different implementing partners.
  • Develops and establishes resource tracking systems for use within the project team, complementary to UNOPS' online tools, to ensure effective planning, forecasting and tracking of delivery across the Programme.
  • Identifies, and anticipates in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader.

The Project Management Support Specialist directly impacts on achievement of project results by assisting the Infrastructure Projects Team Leader to adhere to project management methods and strategies, reduced risks, cut costs and improved 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 Master’s Degree in Project Management, Finance, Business Administration or related field is required.
  • A combination of Bachelor’s degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.**Experience:**

  • A minimum of at least 5 years of relevant and progressive professional experience is required, specifically in the field of Project Management with experience of successful implementation and/or oversight of programmes and projects.

  • Knowledge of UN rules and regulations with regards to grant management, procurement and financial procedures is an asset.

  • Experience in dealing with large financial systems with budgets is an asset.

  • Strong experience with data analysis, management reporting and project management tools and information management systems is an asset.


  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.
  • Fluency in one or more additional official UNOPS languages is an advantage.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should use the link below.

"Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply."


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