UNOPS hiring a Project Manager in Banjul, Gambia

UNOPS hiring a Project Manager in Banjul, Gambia

Background Information – Job-specific

Background Information – Ghana Multi Country Office (GMCO) GMCO 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.

The core functions of the Operational Hub are to:

  • Liaise and develop engagements, and deliver services responding to partner needs.
  • Leverage advice and integrate delivery modalities of the three Delivery Practices and the Global Partner Service Office.
  • Maintain appropriate arrangements and capacity for direct transactional support for delivery of the sub-regional portfolio.

Background Information – Job Specific
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Formed in 1961, from its Headquarter (HQ) in Rome, Regional Bureaux and its offices in more than 80 countries, the World Food Programme (WFP) operates in over eighty countries, including The Gambia. The Gambia ranks 174 out of 189 countries in the UN 2017 Human Development Index, making it one of the poorest countries in the world. Levels of poverty have risen in recent years and food insecurity and malnutrition have either remained unchanged or worsened.

In The Gambia, WFP works with the government to provide food or cash support to at least 10,000 households affected by crises as well as providing training to those affected by crises to improve their nutrition.  The institution also helps to strengthen the capacity of partners to provide safe and adequate access to food.

In response to the changing aid environment, WFP has made a major strategic shift away from traditional food aid to a more comprehensive food assistance approach. This shift recognizes the need to build local capacity, support national systems and policies to reduce hunger, and the need for a diverse range of programmatic tools. It also recognizes the critical importance of public-private partnerships to develop scalable and sustainable solutions to poverty and hunger.

In this context, WFP intends to extend its operations in The Gambia and has secured funds for the refurbishment of its existing office and also an office space/building that has been allocated for WFP Field Office in Basse. To this end, WFP (herein referred to as The Client) has engaged the services of UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services), to carry out assessments and a subsequent refurbishment works project on its behalf.  Scope of work may include partitioning available space to accommodate all the FO staff, renovation of toilet facilities, interior design and electrical services, project management and supervision of the construction works. Both Client and UNOPS have agreed that a detailed scope of work will be developed after an assessment has been conducted by UNOPS at the inception of the project.

The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries.  He/she is expected to meet and exceed the organization’s performance and delivery goals.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The project manager is responsible to produce/read the project initiation documents (PID), Legal Agreement and have a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders to ensure the project(s) products are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the client. Success of the project(s) and hence Project Manager will be based on the Success Criteria of UNOPS engagements which are linked to the below responsibilities.

The Project Manager will be expected to follow the project lifecycle from inception to completion using standard project lifecycle practices and artifacts. S/he will be provided with guidance and support from the PMO, Infrastructure Unit and the Country Manager to ensure key project components and artifacts are in place, and will be reporting to the Country Manager and Resource Pool Manager (Infrastructure).

The project manager is responsible for all aspects of the project life cycle. S/he must be able to apply, with directions, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria:

Stakeholder Management:

  • Establish a solid working relationship with the project board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders
  • Manage communications and ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover products.
  • Advise the client on issues that may impact the achievement of their outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance)
  • Manage the information flows between the Project Board and the project/CO.

Delivery and Performance:

  • Develop and maintain project plans
  • Implement approved project plans (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 cycle.
  • Manage the production of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary
  • Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers.
  • Authorize Work Packages
  • Advise the Project Board of any deviations from the plan
  • Identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to client and stakeholders is achieved
  • Manage and review product quality and ensure products are accepted
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of service providers
  • Identify and report potential business opportunities for UNOPS to supervisor
  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to supervisor.



  • Follow the Project Management Cycle Instructions and ensure that all organizational policy is complied with (Organizational Directives and Administrative Instructions)
  • Prepare/adapt the following plans for approval by the Project Board:  I. Project Initiation Documentation; II. Stage/Exception Plans and relevant Product Descriptions
  • Prepare the following reports:
  • Highlight Reports
  • End Stage Reports
  • Operational Closure Checklist
  • End Project Report
  • Handover Report
  • Maintain the following: i. Electronic Blue File; ii. Procurement, HR and Finance files
  • Ensure that all expenditure complies with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR)
  • 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 and remain accountable for 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.

Knowledge Management:

  • Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice
  • Actively interact with other PMs and the PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System
  • Provide feedback to Practice Leads on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies
  • Complete lessons learned as per reporting format
  • Incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format.

Personnel Management:

  • Lead and motivate the project management team
  • Ensure that behavioural expectations of team members are established
  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted
  • Identify outstanding staff and bring them to the attention of the OC Director
  • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities (including ICA and Staff)
  • Select, recruit and train team as required by project plans
  • Perform the Team Manager role, unless appointed to another person(s)
  • Perform Project Support role, unless appointed to another person or corporate/programme function
  • Ensure safety and security for all personnel and comply with UNDSS standards.

Core Values and Principles:

  • Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles
  • Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day to day project management
  • Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at workplace

Champion and communicate project’s sustainability aspects with key stakeholders

  • Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity
  • Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans
  • Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff
  • Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts
  • Partnerships and Coordination
  • Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system
  • Strive to build strong partnerships and effective coordination among relevant project actors (e.g. United Nations, governments, and non-governmental organizations or other relevant partners)
  • Accountability for results and the use of resources
  • The project management processes are designed to deliver maximum accountability, transparency and results. If a project or processes is not in line with this, it is the responsibility of the PM to raise the issue to a supervisor
  • Excellence
  • Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality.

Additional Requirements:

Infrastructure development and Management

  • The Project Manager will be responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of relevant infrastructure specialist products (for Condition assessments, design development and construction and defect notification monitoring stages as needed), in full compliance with UNOPS infrastructure guidelines, tools and practices
  • The Project Manager will be responsible for ensuring all activities are carried out in full compliance with UNOPS Quality Health, Safety, Social and Environmental policies, procedures and tools; and specifically the Projects QHSSE Plans
  • The Project Manager will be responsible for fully administering all design and works related contracts, including managing all related changes and associated variations


  • Work with procurement team to prepare UNOPS Invitation to Tender Documents and launch the tender process
  • Evaluate tenders and follow UNOPS procedures for tender award

Gender Considerations:

  • Develop and implement a Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan tailored to the needs of the project.


3. Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Stakeholders satisfaction
  • Delivery performance against the agreed scope and plan
  • Effective project governance
  • Timeliness of delivery according to the agreed plan, scope and quality expectations
  • Compliance with applicable policies for quality, health, safety, social and environmental management
  • Financial stewardship and delivery within budget
  • Accuracy of reporting
  • Effective and thorough knowledge management
  • Accuracy of project planning (delivery according to plans)
  • Process excellence as demonstrated by an unqualified audit.



Ensure that the project(s) produce(s) the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The Project Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case(s).  Contribute to the overall business targets and needs.


Education/Experience/Language requirements

A.  Education

  • Advanced  Degree in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture or other relevant discipline with five(5) years experience is required.
  • A University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Architecture or other relevant discipline with additional two (2) years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
  • A relevant combination of academic credentials and/or industry certifications and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the university education.

B. Work Experience

  • At least five (5) years of progressive experience as a Project Manager either public or private sector organizations required;
  • Demonstrated Experience in Infrastructure Rehabilitation/Refurbishment and/or development projects required;
  • Experience in conducting building condition assessment of existing infrastructure required;
  • Experience applying UN Agencies or Public Procurement in the selection of subcontractors is highly desirable;
  • Knowledge of The Gambia’s Environmental Protection and Health and Safety Laws is an advantage;
  • Past experience with a UN Agency is highly desirable.



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

Certifications PRINCE2® Foundation or equivalent is desirable.

Contextual Skills

  • International organisations experience
  • Infrastructure rehabilitation/refurbishment
  • Building Condition Assessments
  • Works Procurement
  • Contract Management and Administration
  • Quality Management 
  • Health, Safety, Social and Environmental Management

Project Management Skills

  • Budget Management
  • Multidisciplinary Planning
  • Financial Rules and Regulations
  • Knowledge Management
  • Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Project Management
  • Reporting
  • Risk Analysis
  • Stakeholder Management


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: Local Individual Contract Agreement
  • Contract level: LICA 10/ 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
  • 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
  • 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

TOR – Project Manager – Gambia.pdf (211 KB)

Application deadline: 2020-02-26


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