Project Manager

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 22 May 2019
  • Kampala, Uganda
  • Closing on 4 June 2019
  • Current

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific

Uganda is currently the largest host country in Africa with estimated 1.3 million refugees. The trend of refugees settling in Uganda has been increasing since 2009. For example, in 2009, the population of refugees was approximately 200,000 people and has sharply increased to over 1.3 million leading in to 2018. These acute changes in population size are due to various socio-political instabilities such as the continuous and increasing cycles of armed conflicts in surrounding countries. Particularly, the latest conflict in South Sudan since July 2016 which has largely contributed to continued influx of refugees in the West Nile regions of Uganda.

JICA conducted an assessment titled, Study on Refugee Hosting Communities in the West Nile Sub-Region of Uganda. The target areas for the study were the five (5) districts of the West Nile sub region namely: Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Moyo and Yumbe. The study produced an in-depth situation assessment and needs identification analysis of the social infrastructure in the health, education, WASH roads and small- scale bridges sector.

Within the list of priority projects in the Roads and Small Scale Bridges (RB) sector of the JICA Study and at the request of UNHCR Uganda, the Nyara Bridge is among the four small scale bridges identified that require to be constructed urgently. The proposed bridge will connect Ofua Zone in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement to Omugo Zone in the Rhino Camp Extension Settlement.

For the long term, the proposed Nyara Bridge offers a variety of solutions to both refugees and host communities. For example, through government policy, refugees are given land to grow vegetation to provide self-sustenance while simultaneously enabling them to trade grown crops for profit. These profit crops attract Ugandan traders to the refugee settlements; thus, refugees have the ability to operate as a functional and direct actors in the supply chain. Due to situations like this, the bridge would act as a sustainable entry point for both refugees and host communities to produce robust livelihoods and create holistic paths of local integration. The bridge would also enable the promotion of peaceful coexistence and integration by connecting people, goods and services.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the guidance and supervision of the Head of Programmes, the Project Manager-Bridge Specialist provides Technical and Project Management support to the Nyara Bridge Project, ensuring high quality, accuracy and consistency of work. The Project Manager-Bridge Specialist promotes a client-oriented approach consistent with UNOPS rules and regulations. He/she is expected to meet and exceed the organizations performance and delivery goals.

The overarching role is to provide technical assistance, guidance, and oversight with implementation of the Nyara Bridge Project along with supporting Capacity Building and Institutional strengthening of the MOWT(Ministry of Works and Transport) and DLG (District Local Government) teams He/she will be expected to, but not limited to, perform the following duties and responsibilities:

a. Technical

  • Responsible for overseeing, advising and providing technical support on the output of the structure design team (Internal or External)
  • Support and advise on the review of designs and estimations of bridges and other structures;
  • Support and advise on the calculation of quantities, estimation, and preparation of Bill of Quantities for all structures;
  • Review and advise on improving existing practices of local contractors and conventional methodology of bridge construction; make recommendations that will increase efficiency, safety, and productivity through good practices and troubleshooting methods;
  • Ensure the preparation of BoQs and technical documentation is in accordance with UNOPS standards.
  • Manage the production of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary
  • Review technical studies and provide recommendations
  • Review bid documents to contract firms responsible for providing technical services (preliminary studies, design services, technical supervision of works, construction, procurement etc.)
  • Supervise all steps of evaluation and selection of firms
  • Supervise all procedures related to contract negotiations
  • Supervise and provide contract management activities
  • Oversight QA/QC site visit and materials testing reports to ensure sampling, testing and inspection of materials are carried out regularly and works are implemented in compliance with design specifications.
  • Support the design company for approval of design changes as deemed necessary;
  • Undertake capacity building of MOWT (Ministry of Works and Transport) and DLG (District Local Government) Counterpart Engineers in a bridge and structural design, construction techniques including good practices and troubleshooting methods.
  • Provide technical advice and assistance to contractors to ensure that economic and quality materials are purchased.
  • Support monitoring and oversight for implementation of works, including site visits as appropriate, providing guidance and developing approaches to enhance outputs and quality of works undertaken.

b. Project Management

  • Advise the Project Board and Head of Programmes 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
  • Ensure technical and administrative coordination of the project
  • Actively work with the PMO in all phases of project cycle, specifically in terms of formulation of project methodology, support quality development of project documents, following project and budget guidelines, work and financial plan, etc.
  • Ensure that contracted services are rendered according to contractual agreements Oversee all procurement activities
  • Establish measurable long/short term targets and monitor progress to measure performance
  • Support the recruitment, training, supervision, management and deployment of international and national personnel in liaison with HR at various levels to the project

c. Stakeholder Management:

  • Build strong working relationship with the donors, line ministries of the Government of the Uganda and key stakeholders (JICA, MOWT, UNHCR, District Local Government, Other Partners)
  • 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/OC Director and the project(s)

d. Delivery and Performance

  • Develop and Maintain Project Plans and implement approved project plans (including the establishment of milestones) within tolerances set by the project board
    • Create repository of project documents, progress technical and financial reports, audit reports, assessment reports, closing reports, etc.
    • Work with the Project Support Officer and Project Reporting Officer to ensure that all narrative and financial reports are created and distributed as required.
    • Manage the provision of the required products, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary
    • Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into project life cycle.
      • Monitor performance of suppliers and support on the procurement process
      • Manage and review product quality and ensure products are accepted
      • Contribute to high national and international visibility of UNOPS, donors and other stakeholders involved in the Project

e. Procedures

  • 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:

i. Highlight Reports

ii. End Stage Reports

iii. Operational Closure Checklist

iv. End Project Report

v. 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 expenditure 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, 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.

f. Knowledge Management:

  • Participate in the relevant UNOPS’ Communities of Practice
  • 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
  • Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.

g. 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
Monitoring and Progress Controls

Ensure that the project(s) produces the required products within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. The Project Manager- Bridge Specialist 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.

  • Advanced University (Master ́s) Degree in Civil Engineering or other relevant discipline.
  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) with a combination of 2 additional years of relevant professional experience in Civil engineering or other relevant discipline, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree
  • At least 5 years’ experience as a Bridge Engineer
  • At least 2 years’ experience as a Project Manager
  • Previous experience working with the UN, particularly UNOPS, is advantageous.
  • Experience mentoring and providing capacity building in technical aspects of bridge design and construction will be an added advantage
  • Previous experience working in East Africa will be an advantage. Excellent English skills, both written and verbal.
  • Prince 2 certification will be an added advantage
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
  1. Contract type; International Individual Contractor Agreement
  2. Contract level;. I-ICA 2,
  3. Contract duration; 12 Months
  • This position is based in a family duty station

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
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • 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.

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.

Background Information – Kenya Multi Country Office (KMCO)

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KMCO sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and South Africa. This includes primarily transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‘operational’ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and several island states.

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