Project Manager

  • Senior-level
  • Posted on 16 August 2019

Job Description

  1. General Background

The Gambia has one of the fastest urbanisation rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with the GBA already accounting for 68% of the total population. This has resulted in several environmental and socio-economic problems including deforestation, soil erosion, pollution and waste generation, as well as stress on health, education and employment services. These have been exacerbated by the lack of an urban masterplan for Banjul (which has not been updated for nearly 20 years) and the absence of a planned response to the growing economic activity of the city. Likeswise the absence of an updated cadastral map and insufficient data on taxable properties in the Greater Banjul Area has resulted in the municipalities being able to collect only a small portion of their potential revenue from property taxes. With inadequate funding available from the central government, there is increased pressure on the municipalities to explore innovative revenue generation mechanisms to effectively deliver basic services.

Despite these challenges, the investment climate in The Gambia is growing in attractiveness to investors and is expected to improve with accelerated investments via the next prospective flagship project of the Port Expansion and the current opening of the new trans-Gambian bridge. It is imperative the city has the proper instruments in place to prepare for increased urbanization, traffic flows and vulnerability to climatic change.

To respond to this potential and address these issues, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has affirmed its support to the Government of The Gambia for the development of a comprehensive, digitized master plan for the Greater Banjul Area. The overall aim of hte Greater Banjul Area: Sustainable Urban Development Programme 2020-40 (GBA-SUDP) is to put in place innovative mechanisms to support an increase in local revenue generation and collection, improve the delivery of basic services and roll out the decentralised approach as stated in the National Development Plan (2018-2021). The project can be defined in two main service lines (a) Urban Master Plan Development and (b) Technical Assistance to institutional capacity development; covering 6 main outputs:

  1. A digital masterplan for the Greater Banjul Area, integrating the Port and linking it with the immediate area of Barra Esau (opposite the River Gambia)
  2. 5-year urban development investment plans for the 3 municipalities in Greater Banjul Area
  3. Study tour to Senegal for benchmarking
  4. Technical Assistance (TA) and capacity building, including training, for 3 municipal governments and the Ministry of Land and Regional Government
  5. Institutions’ (GPA, BCC, KMC, BAC and MoLRG) staff trained in project management
  6. Procurement of ICT and office equipment to support the facilitation of municipal management

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 organizations performance and delivery goals.

  1. 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 duties and responsibilities of the Project Manager Level 3 are similar to that of the Project Manager Level 4, with the difference in grades being determined by the project(s) level, complexity and level of responsibility of the specific position. A project manager at this level would normally be responsible for one or more UNOPS Level 3 project. A project manager at this level would likely be expected to manage one or more complex and risky projects. The project(s) would rely on a number of external suppliers for its successful delivery and would be working with firm deadlines. The project manager 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:

  • Establish solid working relationship with the Project Governance structures, clients 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/OC Director and the project(s)

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:
    1. Highlight Reports
    2. End Stage Reports
    3. Operational Closure Checklist
    4. End Project Report
    5. Handover Report.
  • Maintain the following: i. Project Document Archive; 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.

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 Technical Team Leader 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 work place
  • 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:

The Project Manager will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Provide technical expertise on strategic urban planning for sustainable and inclusive development working closely with the project team

Urban Planning

  • Lead and coordinate the development of an Urban Master Plan for the Greater Banjul Area
  • Lead and coordinate the development a corresponding 5 year investment plan
  • Responsible for the performance management of the master plan consulting firm including effective contract management and administration

Institutional Capacity Building

  • Development and implementation of a technical assistance needs assessment and action plan
  • Coordinate the implementation and the performance management of the Technical Assistance Action Plan
  • ICT and Office equipment requirements assessed, procured and handed over to partners
  • Successful organization of a study tour to Senegal for benchmarking
  • Successful organization of Prince 2© training certification of project partners

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Efficient and effective performance management of the master plan consulting firm
  • Effective, timely and comprehensive project implementation plans
  • Project Board acceptance and Stakeholder adoption of the master plan
  • 5year investment plan developed and accepted by the Project Board
  • Development and implementation of a technical assistance needs assessment and implementation plan
  • Successful organization of a study tour to Senegal for benchmarking
  • Activation and implementation of the project governance structure
  • Successful organization of Prince 2© training certification of project partners
  • ICT and Office equipment requirements assessed, procured and handed over to partners


Ensure that the project(s) produces 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. Contribute to the overall business targets and needs.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Qualifications and Experience
  2. Education
  • Advanced University Degree in Urban Planning, Urban Geography, Civil Engineering, Architecture, International Relations, Public Financial Management/Investments, Political/Security/Development Studies, or other relevant discipline.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning, Urban Geography, Civil Engineering, Architecture, International Relations, Public Financial Management/Investments, Political/Security/Development Studies, or other relevant discipline with a combination of two (2) additional years of relevant professional experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification – Preferred

Additional Requirements:

  1. Work Experience


  • A minimum seven (7) years progressively responsible experience in project management and project development is required with at least two (2) years demonstrated experience in urban development, master planning or spatial planning in a development context is required;
  • Demonstrated experience in management and administration of contracts;
  • Experience leading a team of multi-disciplinary experts is desirable;
  • Experience in institutional capacity building and/or technical assistance to governments is an asset;
  • Previous experience working with UN Agencies is an asset;
  • Previous experience working in Africa is desirable;
  • Knowledge of Sustainable Development and SDGs an asset;
  • Knowledge of Urban Infrastructure an asset;
  • Knowledge of municipal finance management an asset;
  • Experience in managing digital mapping of geographic data and other data sources is an asset.

Additional Requirements: Past experience managing institutional capacity development and/or technical assistance is highly desirable.


  • PRINCE2® Foundation is highly distinct.
  • PRINCE2® Practitioner an asset, but required completion within first 6 months of onboarding.

About the Organization

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.

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