Project Advisor

Bangui, Central African Republic
Apply by 18 March 2018
Mid-level , Long-term consulting assignment
Posted on 5 March 2018

Job Description

Background information – Job-specific

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a highly fragile country with a history of recurrent conflict, the most recent of which took place in 2013 between multiple armed groups. The violence that followed the 2013 crisis greatly damaged public assets and infrastructure, disrupted service delivery, and further weakened the social fabric, and exacerbated people’s poverty and vulnerability to shocks. As a result, roughly one-quarter of the population was internally displaced or had to flee as refugees to neighboring countries. Forced displacement has disrupted livelihoods, depleted the assets of the poor, and put an additional strain on service delivery in areas of displacement.

Improvements in the security situation have resulted in the voluntary return of displaced populations, primarily in the northwest and southwest of the country. It is estimated that about 15 to 20 percent of the displaced population has returned spontaneously. However, the return of the displaced to the areas of origin remains fragile and dependent on the overall security situation. The reintegration of displaced populations and provision of social safety nets is a short-term priority and essential to the stabilization and economic revitalization of the country.

To this end, the World Bank is supporting the Government of CAR to prepare a project to increase access to basic services, infrastructure and social safety nets by communities affected by forced displacement. The project will be implemented through UNOPS, and it will work in the following areas: Kaga-bandoro, Batafongo, Bria, Bambari and Bangui.

The project adopts a multifaceted approach in support of communities affected by displacement in CAR and it entails 1) support to enhance the delivery of local services and availability of local infrastructure to benefit communities impacted by displacement; 2) financial support to the most vulnerable households among displaced populations and local communities; 3) working with local communities and displaced populations to enhance their capacity to address the impact of displacement and promote peaceful coexistence of different groups; and 4) to enable local authorities (territorial administration and communes) to participate in planning and overseeing the execution of all activities executed under this project.

Functional responsibilities

The Project Advisor is responsible for providing advice to the Project Manager, project team, government counterparts and other key stakeholders. Through the provision of operational and capacity building services to the government ministries, NGOs and consulting partners/stakeholders and to local beneficiary communities. He/she will play key advisory role to the government, and help ensure that the project results are delivered on time and to a high standard. He/she is expected to meet and exceed the organization’s performance and delivery goals. The Project Advisor will be directly supervised by Project Manager in CAR.

3.1. Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The Project Advisor is responsible for providing technical expertise and advice to the partners/stakeholders to ensure the project’s products meet the business cases for UNOPS, the government client(s), and the funder. Including in the areas shown below:

Management:

  • Provide advice concerning consultants and staff for studies and assessments, project activities and support to deliver project products on timely manner;
  • Provides support/advice to the Project Manager with the overall management of project implementation and day-to-day operations (aligned with work plan) toward successful project completion;

Coordination:

  • Provides inputs to Technical Committees and Project Board to ensure review, inputs, feedback and approvals/alignment with government/ministerial partners, consultants undertaking studies, UNOPS staff and World Bank managers on project issues, deliverable progress, and results for the success of the project.
  • Provides technical inputs to UNOPS staff, ministerial staff, consultants, and stakeholders for efficient capacity building and operational support activities.
  • Provides technical inputs on how best to provide cash transfers in the field to vulnerable and displaced families, in a fair, transparent and safe manner.

Stackeholder Management

  • Establishes solid working relationship with client and key stakeholders;
  • Works closely with the national and local authorities and ensure they are fully implicated during each stage of the project;
  • Support to build the national capacity of national and local government officials by involving them in the project design, planning and implementation and monitoring activities of the project;
  • Help ensure that national authorities play a central role in decision making processes which should be well documented

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

Project Delivery and performance:

  • Provides inputs to develop and maintain project plans
  • Provides inputs to embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental, social and economic aspects into project life cycle.
  • Advise the Project Manager of any deviations from the plan
  • Supports to identify and manage risks so that maximum benefit to client and stakeholders is achieved
  • Supports to monitor and evaluate performance of service providers
  • Identify and report threats to UNOPS internal business case to supervisor

Procedures:

  • Follow the Project Management Cycle Instructions and ensure that all organizational policy is complied with (Organizational Directives and Administrative Instructions);
  • Supports to prepare/adapt the following plans for approval by the Project Board: I. Project Initiation Documentation; II. Stage/Exception Plans and relevant Product Descriptions
  • Supports to prepare the following reports:
  1. Highlight Reports (Monthly)
  2. End Stage Report

iii. Operational Closure Checklist

  1. End Project Report
  2. Handover Report

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:

  • Mentor the National Staff members
  • Mentor associated ministerial partner-personnel;
  • Identify outstanding staff and bring them to the attention of the Project manager and HoO
  • Perform Project Support role, unless appointed to another person or corporate/programme function
  • Supports to ensure safety and security for all personnel and comply with UNDSS standards

Core Values and Principles:

  • Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles
  1. Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day to day project management
  2. Seek opportunities to champion gender equality at work place

III. Champion and communicate project’s sustainability aspects with key stakeholders

  • Understand and Respect National ownership and capacity:
  1. Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans
  2. Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff

iii. Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts

  • Partnerships and Coordination:
  1. Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system
  2. 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
  1. The project management processes are designed to deliver maximum accountability, transparency and results.
  • Operational Excellence
  1. Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality.

Coordination of Procurement of goods and services:

  • Supports coordinates strategic Planning, implementation and oversight of procurement of goods and services in coordination with the CDOH procurement unit
  • Adheres to tools and guidelines to assist customer units/portfolios in procurement activities. Ensures that risk assessments are undertaken as needed particularly for large value procurement contracting in consultation with relevant business owner.
  • Supports the Procurement Advisor to secure compliance with UNOPS Financial Rules & Regulations, General Terms & Conditions, and Auditor’s recommendations/ observations in all procurement activities.
  • Supports in preparations of all Invitations to Bid, Requests for Proposal, Award Recommendations above $50K, CPC Submissions (HQCPC/LCPC) and Contracts.
  • Coordinates development of procurement plans and strategies for the project
  • Supports in overseeing adherence to contractual agreements, recommend amendments and contract extensions, advise concerned parties with respect to contractual rights/obligations;
  • Assists in development and maintenance of appropriate supplier performance management system

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Helps ensure that the project(s) produces the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits.
  • Contribute to the overall business targets and needs

Education

  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Engineering, Development Studies, International Development, Urban/Municipal Planning, Project Management, or other relevant discipline is required.
  • First level University Degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in combination with 2 additional years of relevant professional experience in Engineering, Development Studies, International Development, Urban/Municipa Planning, Project Management or other relevant discipline, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification – Desirable
  • A relevant combination of academic credentials and/or industry certifications and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the university degree.

Experience:

  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience in programme/project management is required.
  • Solid experience managing large integrated programmes at a strategic level with financial oversight is desirable
  • Solid experience of managing, or having a worked in a senior position with a large multi-donor fund is desirable
  • At least 2 years of solid practical experience in working with the UN ; experience with multilateral donors, non-governmental organizations, and with public sector will be an asset.
  • Solid experience of working in urban, peri-urban and rural development, on community infrastructure rehabilitation/construction and on cross cutting agendas is desirable
  • Working experience and knowledge and in Central Africa will be a strong asset. Previous experience in Africa will also be an asset
  • Experience and understanding of working in fragile states is an asset
  • Experience of sector wide approaches in post conflict contexts, social service infrastructure and local development sector will be an asset.
  • Managing previous WB-funded projects would be considered a strong asset

Languages

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in French is required

Certification

  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification – Desirable

Competencies

Strategic Perspective

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.

Integrity & Inclusion

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.

Leading self & others

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.

Partnering

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).

Result orientation

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.

Agility

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.

Solution focused

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.

Effective communication

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.

About the Organization

About us

UNOPS 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 more than 80 countries, UNOPS supports partners in the implementation of approximately 1,000 projects, which range from managing the construction of roads in South Sudan to building shelters in Haiti to procuring educational computers in Argentina. UNOPS works closely with governments and communities to ensure increased economic, social and environmental sustainability for the projects it supports.

Working with UNOPS

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We’re looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in many disciplines, from project management, to procurement, infrastructure, finance and human resources. The work we do is fulfilling and offers opportunities for professional and personal development.

Watch this video to learn more about working with UNOPS

Diversity

With over 6,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce as a means of better understanding and addressing the needs of our partners, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage the recruitment of qualified female candidates. Moreover, the vast majority of our personnel are nationals, working in their own country and developing local capacity.

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, such as flexi-time, compressed work schedules and telecommuting. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types across the globe.