Project Manager

El Fasher, , SD

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 – Sudan

The UNOPS Sudan office is based in Khartoum and works closely with the Government of Sudan and international partners to support humanitarian response, recovery and development initiatives. UNOPS is the United Nations sector lead for the Basic Infrastructure Sector in Sudan and helps partners achieve their project goals in sectors including: water resource management, education, census and elections, human resource management and mine action.

Background Information – Job-specific

UNOPS ETOH Sudan Office implemented a successful project to improve urban water supply services in four State capital towns in Darfur, Sudan.  This was part of an emergency response to drought and later evolved to building management capacity to improve sustainability, working closely with the Urban Water Authorities.  The project was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and was completed in November 2014.  DFID now wishes to build on the projects achievements and the partnership with UNOPS.  

The Water for Darfur (urban) project is scheduled to commence in early 2015 with a duration of 4 years. The objective is to support sustainable and more equitable access to water for the urban communities in four targeted State capitals. The project design has 3 components which are: (i) Management support to the Urban Water Authorities to build capacity for cost recovery and better system operations and maintenance, (ii) Development of strategic plans for the short and medium term development and expansion of the water supply systems, and (iii) Implementation of the resulting short-term works to improve equitable access to water for the communities in the un-served peri-urban areas and in adjacent IDP camps.   UNOPS will work in partnership with UNICEF who will implement complementary sanitation and hygiene components.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The Project Manager will be responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of the Water for Darfur (urban) project as part of a joint partnership with UNICEF.   

The scope of work includes:

Project Management Related Tasks

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 given responsibilities.  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.

Stakeholder Management:

  • Establish solid working relationship with the project board (DIFD, UNICEF and Government) and relevant 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:

  • 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 and OC Manager 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:

                                i.            Highlight Reports

                              ii.            End Stage Reports

                            iii.            Operational Closure Checklist

                             iv.            End Project Report

                               v.            Handover Report

  • Maintain the following files:

                                i.            Electronic Blue File; ii. Procurement,

                              ii.            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 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

Managerial & Advisory Tasks

  • Review the team technical and management capacity according to the project objective
  • Help in developing key TORs’ that meets to the objective to Senior level staff
  • Restructure the project structure to meet the demand of the project with in the budget already approved
  • Identify the position reviewed staff for the project.
  • Establish key internal and external stakeholder analysis of the project with clear purpose and develop the communication flow for better coordination and result.

Policy Related Tasks

  • Provide substantive contribution to continuous improvement; technical leadership, supporting the project activities, developing tools, recommendations and sharing best practices.
  • Conduct mission field to provide guidance and identify and solve soft component issues such as Water Market assessment, Institutional Analysis, and Master plan/Strategic plan studies

Leadership for Conduct of Technical Assessments

  • Develop ToRs for the consulting firm for Master Plans (water supply Master plan and intuitional capacity assessment) in two state Capitals of Darfur Zalingei and El Fasher and approval by the Donor (DFID).
  • Finalize the objectives and scope of the Master Plan for water, and define its process for development. 
  • Review methodology for cost recovery KPI and develop more realistic figures based on the full costs of service delivery including an appropriate budget for operations and maintenance.
  • Review the set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure they are valid, and delete, amend or add KPIs as required to strengthen performance measurement of service delivery and guide the team to fully understand the rationale for the each KPI,
  • Analyze of Key performance indicators (KPI) to improve management capacity of UWAs and SWCs in four state capitals of Darfur.
  • Create mechanism to calculate Full Cost Recovery from data available from network water system
  • Create mechanism to finalize the log frame with baselines, targets and annual milestones on completion of the various studies.
  • Provide sound and relevant strategic and technical advice on these matters.
  • Provide technical justifications and clearance to the partners and client inquiries with regard to the urban water supply strategic plan any other related outputs.

Technical Expert Tasks:

  • Building a sound basis of cooperation and trust with the State Governments in particular the State Water Corporations and Urban Water Authorities in the four towns to ensure an effective partnership.  This is essential to be able to tackle challenging issues related to improving management including cost recovery and equitable allocation, as well as improving operations and maintenance.   
  • Understanding and managing the complex political, social and economic dynamics in the (largely) post-conflict context in Darfur in order to effectively and efficiently implement the project and to manage risks.  This will include developing practical solutions to address unequal access to water and to better understand and manage the competition for the water business with private sector vendors. 
  • Reviewing and defining the institutional development needs of the Urban Water Authorities in four towns, identifying gaps and developing a prioritised programme to enhance capacity on-the-job.  This will build on and expand previous actions, including implementation of a system of key performance indicators to ensure greater use of information and evidence as part of decision making.
  • Leading the development of strategic plans for water supply in 2 towns with a focus on increasing the availability and reliability of water supply services, particularly to residents in the peri-urban areas and adjacent long term IDP camps.   This will include assessments of the various water sources, the network, management effectiveness, cost recovery and tariffs, the private sector vendor business, etc.  
  • Leading the planning and implementation of targeted works in 2 towns to implement the short term priorities in the strategic plan in addition to institutional development activities. This is expected to include rehabilitation and expansion of the network including the introduction of community managed water points and improvements to vendor water points.   It will not include development of new sources.  
  • Oversight of contracting processes and contract supervision.  All major contractors will be selected by open and competitive tender.
  • Leading cooperation with UNICEF within the partnership to ensure full coherence between the water supply activities and sanitation and hygiene promotion activities.  This will also involve active liaison with the donor. 
  • Managing a team of international and national staff, with targeted support from consultants as required. 

Core Values and Principles

  • Understand and respect UNOPS sustainability principles

                                I.            Look for ways to embed UNOPS sustainability principles in day to day project management

                              II.            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

                                i.            Understand the principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness and mainstream them into the project plans

                              ii.            Seek opportunities to recruit qualified local staff

                            iii.            Look for ways to build capacity of local counterparts

  • Partnerships and Coordination

                                i.            Understand the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and UNOPS, the project’s place in the UN system

                              ii.            Know the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and seek to contribute within the deliverables of the project

                            iii.            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

                                i.            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

                                i.            Contribute to innovation and the adaptation of best practice standards of sustainability and quality.

3. Monitoring and Progress Controls


The project result at outcome level is to achieve at least 400,000 people with sustainable access to clean drinking water sources.

Ensure that the project 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 to deliver the given scope of works.

    • Advanced University Degree (Master’s or equivalent), preferably in Project Management, Business Administration, International Relations, Political/Security/Development Studies, Civil Engineering, preferably in with specialization in water related discipline or other relevant discipline is required.
    • First level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in relevant discipline in combination with 2 additional years of experience, may be accepted in lieu of  a Master’s degree.


    • PRINCE2 Foundation & Practitioner Certifications would be an advantage
    • Completion of the UNOPS Project Management Foundation course within one year after signing this TOR
    Work Experience
    • A minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in project leadership, development and management, preferably with focus on delivering results, management of risk and value for money, in either public or private sector organizations is required.
    • Experience in urban water supply system planning, design, implementation and/or operation, and national capacity building is required.
    • Experience of working in fragile and conflict affected areas is desirable.
    • Experience of leading engagement with partners to deliver results to quality and on time is desirable.
    • Effective lead leadership and management is an asset.

    Additional Requirements:

    • Work experience in the UN system, DFID & EU system, and/or with NGOs is highly desirable.
    • Experience in infrastructure projects and relevant cross-cutting issues, is highly desirable.
    • Experience in gender analysis, gender sensitive planning and monitoring is desirable.
    • Experience in coordination of complex projects involving several partners is desirable.
    • Knowledge of Sudan is an asset.
    • Fluency in  English is required .
    • Knowledge of Arabic is an advantage
    Contract type, level and duration

    Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement
    Contract level: IICA 3
    Contract duration: 1 year (with possibility of extension subject to satisfactory performance and funds 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 (CET)
    • 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.
    • For staff positions 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.