Head of Support Services

Dakar, Senegal
Apply by 26 April 2018
Posted on 6 April 2018

Job Description

Job categories Administration, Finance, Procurement, Leadership

Vacancy code VA/2018/B5302/15315

Level ICS-11

Department/office AFR, SNOH, Senegal Hub

Duty station Dakar, Senegal

Contract type International ICA

Contract level IICA-3

Duration 1 year with possibility of extension

Application period 05-Apr-2018 to 26-Apr-2018

Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Background Information – Senegal
Located in Dakar, the UNOPS office in Senegal has developed a strong working relation with the Governments of West Africa and international partners over the years. It provides technical support in strategic development areas including elections; procurement and related capacity building; environmental protection, as well as infrastructure rehabilitation and development.

Background Information - Job-specific
The Head of Support Services is a critical leadership role in the Operational Hub/Operations Centre, reporting to the Director, who provides general guidance and supervision. The role is responsible for providing an efficient and integrated support service for the Operational Hub/Operations Centre.

The role contributes, as part of the Operational Hub/Operations Centre leadership team, to the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the competencies and position of UNOPS in sustainable project management and services to partners, stakeholders and UN system partners.

The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

The Head of Support Services (HoSS) has a primary reporting line to the Operational Hub Director (OHD) and is responsible for ensuring the highest efficiency and client service in Support Services. She/he is a member of the Senior Management team, with responsibility and accountability for all aspects of Operations management of the Operational Hub.

The Head of Support Services provides strategic guidance, analyses and operational oversight over the management of SNOH resources, and is responsible for safeguarding the financial accountability of the office. The HoSS leads strategic planning for, coordinates and manages the activities of the support services (human resources, finance, procurement, logistics, administration and ICT). The HoSS advises the OH Director on the overall strategic direction and activities of the functions and their personnel, and is accountable for ensuring consistency with UNOPS Regulations, Rules and procedures and good management practices.

In support of the Operational Hub Director’s leadership role for all SNOH operations, the HoSS is responsible for oversight and delivery of services to the partners of SNOH against tough standards of speed, consistency and quality, establishing UNOPS’ reputation as an organisation that provides operational excellence for results that matter. The HoSS is based in Dakar and provides support to the operations in Dakar and in countries under the responsibility of SNOH.

Functional Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Operational Hub Director, the Head of Support Services (HoSS) ensures development of effective, integrated and centralised administrative and support services for all UNOPS programmes and projects in the Operational Hub. She/he is responsible and accountable for the management and operations of the Operational Hub’s administrative and support division and the properties and assets entrusted to the OH. HoSS will liaise closely with the Integrated Practice Advisory and Support Group (IPAS) at UNOPS HQs.

Below are some of the functionalities

  1. Advisory and technical support
  2. Project planning and coordination support
  3. Procurement
  4. Financial management
  5. Human resource management
  6. Administration and Information Technology
  7. Knowledge management and innovation

Advisory and technical support

  • Contribute to the formulation of Operational Hub/Operations Centre strategies and policies through advisory services to the Operational Hub/Operations Centre Director.
  • Provide technical advice and operational guidance on innovative approaches to project financing, risk assessment/mitigation and use of financing structures, mechanisms instruments and guarantees.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify the need, determine cost and plan all Operational Hub/Operations Centre support services, including procurement, finance, human resources and administrative services.
  • Assist the Director in setting goals, targets and performance standards for projects, and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation and auditing
  • Monitor and supervise all aspects of operations to ensure compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics and integrity and achievement of results.
  • Monitor support services to ensure optimum client service and satisfaction, including liaising with appropriate Headquarters Practice Groups for required support.
  • At the request of the Operational Hub/Operations Centre Director participate in any UN forum discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.
  • Act as focal point for any internal/external audit exercise

Project planning and coordination support

  • Provide assistance and support to programme and project budget preparation, revisions and work planning.
  • Provide input into project engagement and acceptance documents including assisting with contract negotiations.
  • Monitor project financial projections, take necessary action(s) and/or refer critical issues to the Operational Hub/Operations Centre Director and/or other stakeholders for action.
  • Provide advice on programme and project cost sharing, deployment of funds and closure.
  • Constantly monitor and analyses the operating environment to identify potential risks and take action/refer critical issues for intervention to ensure delivery of results.
  • Closely liaise with the Field Offices (within the OH/OC) in order to troubleshoot any issues that might cause interruption in the support services management.


  • Oversee and supervise Operational Hub/Operations Centre procurement processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier 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.
  • Evaluate contractual arrangements and legal commitments/risks for appropriate action.
  • Oversee the efficiency and integrity of the procurement evaluation process to ensure cost-effective procurement of goods and services.
  • In consultation with relevant colleagues, review, administer and issue contracts, agreements/amendments with the different vendors/sub-contractors/service provider.
  • Oversee the logistics of goods and equipment on project sites to confirm delivery and safe warehousing.
  • Evaluate, list, update and monitor the performance of the roster of service providers of suitable firms or institutions.

Financial management

  • Prepare the Operational Hub/Operations Centre financial plan and manage the budget process/cycle to ensure timely revisions and reallocation of funds.
  • Oversee Finance Unit and ensure compliance with the UNOPS/Financial Rules & Regulations and Finance procedures
  • Monitor, track and control expenditure to ensure optimum and appropriate use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of required financial reports and exception reports including investigating anomalies to resolve problems, reporting or recommending any action required to relevant stakeholders.
  • Supervise the timely review, posting and closure of accounts. Certify/verify accuracy and compliance with standards of accountability framework. Submit/prepare mandated report on financial status.
  • Supervise all financial services (accounting, cash management, payments etc.) ensuring timeliness and compliance with standards of accountability and performance.
  • Monitor the Management Budget expenditures for the OH/OC and ensure that LMDC (Locally Managed Direct Cost) is properly recovered, billed and spent in accordance with the applicable procedures.

Human resource management

  • Plan personnel required for Operational Hub/Operations Centre programmes/projects.
  • Oversee all human resource services/processes including recruitment, salary administration and compensation, performance review, training and development, ensuring compliance with human resource rules, regulations, procedures and standards of performance and ensuring that hiring managers actively seek to create diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • Promote and support a learning culture by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Exercise control of all staffing issues within the OH/OC as required by the projects’ demands including recruitment, training, personnel performance review.

Administration and Information Technology

  • In close collaboration with Headquarters, support maintenance of a secure and reliable ICT environment, including adequate plans for disaster recovery.
  • Manage the acquisition, maintenance, inventory, recording, verification and protection of project and administrative facilities/assets, including IT infrastructure, equipment and servers.
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging the use of IT to enhance business operations and efficiency and to facilitate knowledge management, and information sharing.
  • Manage the timely and efficient delivery of all administrative services, (e.g. premises, asset management, organizational and personnel security, travel and IT).

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practice approaches in Operational Hub/Operations Centre support services.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
  • At the request of the Operational Hub/Operations Centre Director and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement and organize strategic capacity building of project personnel, clients and stakeholders.

The effective and successful achievement of results by the Head of Support Services directly impact on the development and performance of the programmes and projects, visibility and image of the UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and consequently strengthen its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services in the country served.

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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A Master’s degree in 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.

A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience covering at least two of the following operations functions: Procurement,Finance, Logistics/ Asset Management and Human Resources.

Knowledge of the other functions is desirable.

A minimum of 5 years of leadership experience managing support services at senior level is required.

Proven experience of at least 2 years in public procurement management is required.

A relevant experience in UN system organizations, preferably in a developing country is desirable.

Experience dealing with UN regulations, rules and policies in the areas of contracting, procurement and human resources is desirable.

Full working knowledge of English and fluency in French is required.

Knowledge of another official UNOPS language, is an asset.

Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: ICA 3
Contract duration: 1 year with possibility of extension

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.
  • 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.
  • The UNOPS Personnel Management Framework has a policy on Hamornization between work and personnal life

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.

About the Organization

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners' needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

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