Associate Portfolio Manager (WASH)

Geneva, , CH

Background Information – UNOPS


UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our 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 some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale. 

Background information- ECR

Based in Geneva, the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECR) supports UNOPS offices throughout the region through: management, financial and programmatic oversight of global and country-specific portfolios, clusters and operations centres, including hosting services; fund and management advisory services; project implementation; procuring goods and services; and managing human resources.

ECR ensures that projects are executed to the highest standards, providing a shared knowledge base and ensuring that best practices and lessons learned are disseminated between business units and projects across the entire region.

ECR operates global portfolios from offices in Geneva, Brussels and New York, and country-specific programmes from its operations and project centres located in Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries. 

One of the main client groups of the Geneva Office is the WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) portfolio. This includes UN Water, Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) and as largest operation the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Ccouncil (WSSCC).

The WSSCC is a global multi-stakeholder partnership organization that works to improve the lives of poor people. UNOPS is the legal and administrative host agency of WSSCC. Founded in 1990, WSSCC’s mission is to ensure sustainable sanitation, better hygiene and safe drinking water for all people, especially the poorest and most marginalized members of society in developing countries. In order to achieve its mission, WSSCC manages the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF), facilitates sector coordination at national, regional and global levels, supports professional development, and advocates on behalf of the 2.5 billion people without a clean, safe toilet to use. More information on WSSCC can be found at:

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the ECR Director and the Head of Programmes, and direct guidance and supervision of the WASH Portfolio/Grants Manager, the Associate Portfolio Manager is mainly responsible for supporting effective portfolio coordination, oversight, strategic planning and systems while acting as internal focal person for the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF). S/He supports the management and ensures the provision of efficient and timely portfolio systems and tools with high quality services to the different Projects/Programmes under the WASH portfolio, with special focus on procurement.

In the discharge of her/his duties, the Associate Portfolio Manager works with limited supervision and directly liaises with Programme Directors/Officers/Managers, Programme Support Officers, and Chief Technical Advisors and Portfolio/Programme Associates/Assistants in order to ensure best coordination and support.

Functional Responsibilities

Below are some of the functionalities, with focus on achieving results in the following areas:

  • Portfolio planning, coordination & administration (focus: procurement):
  • Collaboration in work-plan preparation for portfolio management and coordination, including setting of goals, targets and performance standards for the WASH portfolio;
  • Collaboration within the team to review and assess the operational aspects of the proposed projects, taking timely operational decisions to meet objectives.
  • Take lead in exercises such as determination of required revisions; coordination of mandatory and budget re-phasing , closure of projects through review etc..
  • Financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of WASH portfolio, identification of operational and financial problems, development of solutions with consultation of supervisor and team.
  • Implementation of proper monitoring and control of procurement processes including organization of RFQ, ITB or RFP, receipt of quotations, bids or proposals, their evaluation, negotiation of certain conditions of contracts in full compliance with UNOPS rules and regulation.
  • Compliance of procurement activities with UNOPS rules, regulations, policies and strategies; implementation of the effective internal control, analysis of parameters in support of proper design and functioning of a client-oriented procurement management planning system .
  • Drafting of TOR for subcontractors and consultants; proposals of suitable firms or institutions and individual consultants; evaluation of proposals received; recommendations for contract awards; negotiations with successful bidder, for approval..
  • Drafting of contract documents and letters of agreement with institutions and UN agencies; administration of contracts and agreements and processing amendments, if required, for approval.
  • Supervision, certification and approval of service payments, purchase orders and other disbursements for the WASH portfolio (in  absence of WASH Portfolio Manager);
  • Monitoring and evaluation of performance of service providers, suitable firms or institutions.
  • Signatory for expenditures of less than US$ 30,000 and for local personnel, under limited delegated authority;
  • Certification of disbursement of allocated financial resources for local project activities; reallocation of resources as required, in consultation with clients and supervisor.
  • Active work with clients for the successful execution of   projects, including implementation plans, cost analysis and modifications, identification of milestones and other performance indicators to ensure success.
  • Monitoring missions to evaluate progress, identify problems and take appropriate and timely decisions to meet client needs.
  • Supervision of the work of portfolio support staff (in particular during absence of WASH Portfolio Manager).
  • Support Systems & Tools:
  • Thorough analysis and research of advanced, suitable technologies and systems to support UNOPS operations and in particular WASH portfolio needs;
  • Continuously maintain and review/seek improvements of existing ERP tools for best support systems;
  • Participate in and conduct trainings for the operations/projects staff on best tools and/or ERP system. Provide sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice. Develop specifications/TOR, establishment of evaluation criteria, evaluation of bids/proposals for database or other similar new systems.     
  • Knowledge management and technical support (focus: Global Sanitation Fund),:
  • Identification of sources of information related to policy-driven issues. Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to GSF country programmes and project management;
  • Act as designated first contact within WASH team for the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF). Assist in GSF related planning, procurement processes, systematic management of data needs, results reporting and coordinating responses to requests for information from other internal units and from external parties
  • Contribution to organization and client capacity-building of high performance delivery through coaching and mentoring of internal clients and partners.
  • Participation in the organization of training for the operations/ projects personnel.
  • Professional growth through active learning.
  • Organizational Culture & Client Services
  • Promoting disciplined organizational culture and theory of change approach.
  • Focus on clients’ services, keeping them informed of the status of project activities. Oral and written periodic reports.
  • Active interaction with clients to solicit feedback and gauge client satisfaction.
  • Interaction with internal clients and regional portfolio managers to integrate and harmonize approaches.
Perform other related duties as required. 

Drive with energy:           

–        Change Orientation

–        Initiative

–        Ability to Learn

Focus and Execute:

–        Ability to Analyze

–        Organising and Quality Orientation

–        Result Orientation

 Impact and Energize:

–        Teamwork Skills

–        Communication Skills

Guide with Passion:         

–        Client Focus

Project Management:

–        Project Management Support

–        Budget Management

–        Client Management

–        Quality Control

–        Designing Monitoring Systems

–        Evidence based data and information

Operational Systems & Tools

–        Database knowledge/management

–        Reporting and financial systems


–        ERP OneUNOPS

–        Planning

–        Results-Based Management

–        Coordination

–        Record Management


Master’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field.


Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Political Sciences, Social Sciences or related field plus two additional years of relevant experience in lieu of master’s degree.


Technical licence/diploma/certificate with additional years of relevant experience.


High school diploma with extensive years of relevant experience.

A minimum of 2 years relevant experience in UNOPS or other UN organization/s is required, with master’s degree.


A minimum of 4 years of relevant experience of which 2 should be in UNOPS or other UN organization/s is required, after bachelors degree.


A minimum of 6 years of relevant experience of which 2 should be in UNOPS or other UN organization/s is required, after technical licence/professional diploma.


A minimum of 8 years of relevant experience of which 2 should be in UNOPS or other UN organization/s is required, after high school diploma.


Prince2 Foundation and Project Management Foundation certificates desirable.

Proficiency in oral and written English is required.  Working knowledge of French is desirable.  Knowledge of other UN languages an asset.
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type:  Individual Contractor Agreement 
Contract level: International Specialist Level 1
Contract duration: 1 year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

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.
  • 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.