Programme Manager

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 16 March 2020

Job Description

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The programme manager is responsible for all project documents, including legal agreements, and must have a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders to ensure the project products are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the client. Success of the project, and hence the Programme Manager RSHQ, will be based on the UNOPS Success Criteria of engagements which are linked to the responsibilities below. The Programme Manager RSHQ is responsible for all aspects of the project life cycle. S/he must be able to apply, independently, the below duties and responsibilities of the project success criteria:

Stakeholder Management:

In close coordination with the AFOC Stakeholder Engagement Officer, establish solid working relationship with the project board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders

Manage stakeholders engagement and project communications, ensuring all 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 outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance)

Manage information flow between the project board, AFOC’s Head of Programmes and the project team

Delivery and Performance:

  • Manage and deliver the programme in line with procedures and requirements defined by the AFOC Programme Management Office (PMO)
  • Implement approved programme plans (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the project board (or AFOC Head of Programmes)
  • 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 AFOC Head of Programmes of any deviations from the plan
  • Identify and manage risks and issues 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 AFOC Head of Programmes
  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to AFOC PMO
  • 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
  • Under the guidance of AFOC’s PMO prepare and submit 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 as required by those practices as per OD12.
  • Ensure that all expenditures comply 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 and related corporate charges as they apply to the project
  • Understand the unique structures of UNOPS and budget appropriately for personnel
  • Manage and remain accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports)
  • Where the Programme 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 programme 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 AFOC Head of Programmes
  • Have a thorough understanding of UNOPS personnel contract modalities
  • Select, recruit and train team as required by the project plan
  • Perform the Team Manager role, unless appointed to another person(s)
  • Perform Programme 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:

  • 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
  • Harmonization within the UN and beyond
  • Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the programme’s place in the UN system
  • Know the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and seek to contribute within the deliverables of the project
  • Service to Others
  • As the project is representative of the United Nations it should be firmly rooted in the principle of service to others. This should be considered carefully in the development of project plans
  • Accountability for results and the use of resources
Additional Requirements:
  • Manage and monitor programme activities including project implementation plans, construction work programmes, budgets, facility requirements and staffing schedules;
  • Ensure adherence to reporting requirements to donors and clients;
  • Plan, manage, monitor and evaluate project engineering design and construction activities;
  • Elaborate coherent work plans and budgets for all activities in the programme;
  • Ensure timely and adequate reporting against plans including providing timely and articulate progress reports;
  • Ensure integrity of financial and administrative operations in the programme area by exercising oversight of financial and budgetary aspects of the projects, in consultation with TSP support staff;
  • Ensure strict and consistent application of UNOPS rules and regulations and ensure the implementation of clear accountability mechanisms throughout the TSP programme;
  • Ensure that human resources needed for programme implementation are identified, recruited and managed in accordance with the project staffing requirements and UN rules and regulations;
  • Manage, plan, monitor and evaluate project procurement and contracting processes;
  • Provide leadership and direction to the respective project teams on substantive and managerial aspects;
  • Monitor all projects’ activities in relation to the respective work plans and take corrective action, when necessary, to ensure the timely and cost-effective delivery of projects’ outputs;
  • Ensure the highest possible quality of delivery and devise strategies for increased program delivery and quality programming;
  • Participate in business development and stakeholder relationship building;
  • Undertake occasional mission travel in and outside the country when required;
  • Maintain and improve the programme communication system to facilitate the dissemination of information and reports to all key stakeholders;
  • Prepare and monitor project progress and other reports and documents as needed to meet internal and external/donor reporting requirements;
  • Coordinate with partners and donors in the development and execution of socioeconomic impact studies;
  • Analyse the efficiency of projects within the portfolio and develop mechanisms to improve performance as required; and
  • Any other project management activities as they arise.
Advocacy and Knowledge Management:
  • Participate in policy dialogue (related to Afghanistan and other countries in the region) on issues related to the transport sector and contribute to in-house knowledge about new developments in the sector;
  • Raise awareness among AFOC staff and local counterparts on the principles of social inclusion and environmental management, and support the monitoring, evaluation and reporting on socially inclusive and environmentally responsible practices within the portfolio;
  • Identify opportunities to strengthen linkages between key projects within the AFOC including mainstreaming SDGs into ongoing projects & those under development;
  • Draft recommendations and contribute to UNOPS policy dialogue on key programme areas including Social Inclusion, Poverty Reduction, and Employment Creation, Impact Evaluation and Capacity Development;
  • Advocate for gender mainstreaming in work package planning at all levels, socio-economic analysis and other areas where feasible; and
Monitoring and Progress Controls:
  • Conduct periodic reporting, as defined by the PMO, including financial status reports on commitments and disbursements, monthly, quarterly and annual reports (including resources’ allocation and project performance), the project completion report, and evaluation report;
  • Develop and operate a quantitative and qualitative Project Performance Monitoring System (PPMS) to monitor and evaluate the performance of the project in relation to its goals, purposes and outputs;
  • Disseminate relevant information and PR materials that demonstrate good practices.
  • General:
  • Ensure that the project produces the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The Programme Manager is also responsible for the project producing a result capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business Case. Contribute to the overall business targets and needs.

A. Education

Master’s degree or equivalent, preferably in engineering or architecture, business and/or public administration, international business, international relations or another field of relevance to the work of UNOPS. Additional years of relevant work experience, preferably in combination with a relevant bachelor’s degree, may substitute for the requirement of a master’s degree.

PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification – Preferred

B. Work Experience

  • Minimum 7 years of experience in Project Management;
  • Experience working in emergency, post-crisis environment and/or with UN missions is a strong asset;
  • Strong experience in Project Management is required;
  • Experience working with international military is desirable;
  • Experience in Engineering and construction with UNOPS is a strong asset;
  • Proven experience in management of complex projects is required;
  • Proven experience in financial management is required;
  • Proven experience in horizontal infrastructure projects is an asset.
  • Previous experience in Afghanistan an advantage
  • Fluency in both written and oral English is essential

About the Organization

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.


UNOPS strategy for Afghanistan is aimed at providing maximum support to the Government and people of Afghanistan though the delivery of projects and services in line with the government’s own priorities. The UNOPS Afghanistan Operation Center (AFOC) has been established as an organizational mechanism to deliver a range of projects for which UNOPS has been designated as the implementation agency. At present, UNOPS AFOC is implementing a number of projects in a range of sectors including infrastructure (roads and schools) development, capacity building to various ministries, and environmental protection, among others, on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan and the donor community.

The functional objective of UNOPS AFOC is to deliver projects in an efficient and effective manner, to achieve the development outcomes sought by the Government of Afghanistan and the donor community, where capacity building is always considered and encouraged. The aim of UNOPS AFOC is to provide implementation services to the Government of Afghanistan, the donor community and partner agencies in the reconstruction and development of the country. In doing so, UNOPS aims to exceed client expectations in the delivery of quality services throughout the country.

Similar Jobs