Head of Project Unit (Operations) – UNOPS


Job Description

OrganizationUnited Nations Office for Project Services
Job categoriesProject Management
Job TitleHead of Project Unit (Operations)
Vacancy codeVA/2021/B5019/22686
Department/office Sudan Project Unit
Duty stationKhartoum, Sudan
Contract typeFixed Term
Contract levelP4
Duration12 months (renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability)
Application period10-Oct-2021 to 25-Oct-2021

 Background Information – PSC

Peace and Security Cluster

The UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster (PSC) is a principal service provider in the field of mine action with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), UNDP, UNICEF, Governments of mine-affected countries and other mine action partners.  It is led by the Director, who has overall authority and accountability for the performance PSC on behalf of its clients.  The Director is responsible for administering and providing oversight of the day-to-day management of the Project Field offices, both according to the client requirements and in line with UNOPS rules and regulations.

For over 20 years, UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster (PSC) has provided portfolio and project management services in the area of mine action and explosive hazards, that are reinforced by comprehensive management and oversight controls. 

Under this umbrella, the Cluster is responsible for the implementation of projects that, through the engagement of inputs such as personnel, third parties, assets and other resources, deliver activities that produce substantive mine action outputs. 

Project management is conducted in line with UNOPS Project Management Manual (PMM), which incorporates best practices in the field, as well with a view to quality and cross-cutting initiatives such as workforce and talent management; knowledge and information management; health, safety, social and environmental management; gender parity and mainstreaming; and diversity and inclusion. This comprehensive delivery platform is implemented in accordance with partner requirements and in line with UNOPS rules and regulations through the leadership of the Cluster Director, who has the overall authority and accountability for the performance of PSC on behalf of its clients. 

Background Information – PSC Sudan Project Unit

The PSC Sudan Project Unit operates as an integral part of Peace and Security Cluster structure. The Head of the PSC Sudan Project Unit reports to the PSC Director who provides direction and guidance. S/he is responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring, supervising and closing all projects in the country in order to support substantive partners in delivering its mandate. 

In Sudan, PSC’s partner is the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and UNMAS’ representative in-country is the Chief of Mine Action Programme (CMAP). The CMAP is therefore the HPU’s primary stakeholder. UNOPS PSC and UNMAS have developed a delineation of responsibilities, using a RACI responsibility matrix to define who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. The HPU is expected to work in close cooperation with the CMAP, ensuring that, in substance, the Sudan mine action programme operates as one integrated team.

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 Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of PSC Director, the incumbent will be responsible for the following: Summary of key results:

  1. Project implementation planning
  2. Project implementation delivery
  3. Project Unit leadership and management
  4. Stakeholder management 
  5. Knowledge management and innovation

1. Project implementation planning

  • From the standpoint of being accountable and responsible on UNOPS’ behalf to implement project(s) for UNMAS, provide input to the CMAP on programme and project design documents such as:
    • Programme Strategy (e.g. vision, mission, strategic results framework; stakeholder analysis, risk analysis; resource mobilization strategy; etc.)
    • Programme Workplan and Budget (e.g. nature of threat; logical framework; required personnel and equipment; risk management; etc.)
    • Project proposals to UNITAMS and donors 
  • Input into the documents above includes operational and technical aspects encompassing mine action pillars (e.g., clearance, explosive ordnance risk education, victim assistance, advocacy and stockpile destruction)
  • Ensure that implementation plans have viable timelines, are assigned appropriate resources, and that implementation options reflect the knowledge of the context, as well as UNOPS’ mechanisms and policies; key implementation documents include:
    • UNMAS / UNOPS Project Agreements
    • Solicitation documents used to contract third-parties (i.e. contractors and grantees)
    • Human resources plans

2. Project implementation delivery 

  • In accordance with project agreements with UNMAS, establish and maintain appropriate arrangements and plans for delivery of the Project Unit projects, including leveraging regional or corporate support facilities whenever available.
  • Oversee project implementation (including implementation through third-party contractors and grantees), review progress, assess constraints and take corrective action, ensuring early warning of risks to the PSC New York Office, for action and/or intervention. 
  • Ensure projects are implemented in accordance with UNOPS policies and standards, such as:
    • Financial and procurement rules
    • Contract and grant management policies
    • Project management standards
    • Health, safety, social and environmental standards
    • Gender parity and mainstreaming policies
    • Information management systems and standards
    • Organizational design standards and human resources policies
  • Ensure projects are implemented in accordance with mine action sector standards, such as:
    • International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and corresponding National Technical Specifications and Guidelines (NTSGs) 
    • International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG)
    • Modular Small Arms Control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC)
  • Ensure third-party contracts and grants are delivered in accordance with contractual / grant terms and conditions, including in accordance with mine action technical, operational and quality assurance processes (Implementation Plan, SOPs, task orders issuance, accreditation).
  • Take responsibility for financial decisions/exercise financial control to ensure the financial health/sustainability of the Project Unit.

3. Project Unit leadership and management 

  • Build and strengthen strategic partnership with CMAP through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNOPS competencies in project service delivery and management, to maintain and enhance project engagements.
  • Keep the PSC New York Director informed/advised on opportunities and/or challenges to strengthen UNOPS capacity for programme/project management.
  • Plan, recruit, manage and develop a flexible Project Unit workforce with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance, and ensure gender and geographical diversity.
  • Promote teamwork, collaboration and diversity by providing timely guidance and supervision to the team to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently. 
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Create, foster and role-model a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination, abuse of authority, harrasment, sexual harrassment and sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Ensure accountability for actions and perform duties in accordance with protection mechanisms and action plans, as expected by UNOPS policies, standards and commitments.
  • Oversee, monitor and direct appropriate measures to maintain the safety and security of UNOPS, assets, property, information and personnel and their eligible dependents within the respective area of responsibility.  
  • In consultation with the UNOPS Chief of Security, act as the UNOPS Security Focal Point (SFP) within the country of operation including participating actively in the Security Management Team (SMT) and perform duties on security as outlined in the Framework of Accountability in the UN Security Management System Policy manual.

4. Stakeholder management

  • Manage relationships with the CMAP and other direct UNOPS stakeholders
  • Support the CMAP in managing relationships with:
  • National authorities (particularly for purposes of coordination and capacity building, relating to review/implementation of NTSGs, IMAS, and other relevant international standards as well as treaty implementation/obligations), UN peace and political missions, UN country teams and donors, including reporting to donors and intergovernmental bodies on budget / programme performance and programmatic / substantive issues. 
  • Participate in inter-agency and external meetings/bodies to contribute to the harmonization of policies, practices and approaches within the UN System, such as, integrated Strategic Framework and ‘Delivering as One’.
  • Participate in any UN mission / country team meetings or interagency management groups to contribute to discussions and initiatives to strengthen coherence, inclusiveness, aid effectiveness and security measures.
  • Keep the UN Mission leadership / Resident Coordinator informed of UNOPS activities within the country through regular communication and formal reporting on implementation of activities led by UNOPS as part of the UNDAF or equivalent.

5. Knowledge management and innovation 

  • Keep abreast of and incorporate best practices, approaches and technology to enhance the project delivery and results; continuous review of approaches/methodology to ensure relevance or enact new ones.
  • Initiate and undertake lessons learned exercises, including the sharing, effective filing, and incorporation into future plans the lessons learned by the project(s) and others to improve future delivery and quality, and to strengthen the knowledge and information sharing mechanisms internally, as well as with clients and other key stakeholders.

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Impact of Results

The effective and successful achievement of results by the Head of the Project Unit directly impacts on the development and performance of the Project Unit, the visibility and image of the UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and consequently strengthens its position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services in the country served.

 Education/Experience/Language requirements


Advanced University Degree (Master Degree or equivalent) with a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience is required ORFirst Level University Degree (Bachelor degree) with a minimum of 9 years of relevant experience ORMilitary or police experience with a minimum of 13 years of relevant experience


  • Relevant experience is defined as experience in project management in a military, humanitarian, conflict, post-conflict, or development context
  • A minimum of 2 years of leadership experience, including supervising teams and managing complex projects and budgets is required
  • Experience in the direct management of multiple teams conducting mine action operations is required; examples include the following:

-Explosive Ordnance Disposal in single, multiple and bulk demolitions 
-Non-technical survey 
-Technical survey
-Mechanical clearance and ground preparation 
-Manual mine clearance 
-Battle Area clearance
-Road clearance
-Explosive Ordnance Risk education
-Weapons and small arms ammunition destruction

  • Knowledge of the International Mine Action Standards, with field experience in application of land release methodologies is required
  • Experience in writing and reviewing reports is required
  • Experience working in a developing country is desirable


  • PRINCE 2 Foundation or equivalent is an asset, but is required to be completed within the first 6 months of onboarding
  • EOD Level 3 certification is a distinct advantage


Fluency in English (reading, writing, and speaking) is requiredFluency in Arabic is desired

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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.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)

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 and 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


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).

Results 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.


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.

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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
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

Contract type, level and duration

  • Contract type: Staff (fixed-term appointment)
  • Contract level: P4 (ICS-11) 
  • Contract duration: 12 months (renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability)

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:

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.

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