Senior Project Manager (Agricultural Development)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Antananarivo, Madagascar 🇲🇬

Job categories: Engineering, Project Management, Water Management

Vacancy code: VA/2023/B5301/25608

Level: ICS-11

Department/office: AFR, CDMCO, DR Congo

Duty station: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Contract type: International ICA

Contract level: IICA-3

Duration: Ongoing

Application period: 06-Mar-2023 to 03-Apr-2023

Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Please note that UNOPS will at no stage of the recruitment process request candidates to make payments of any kind.

 Background information – DR Congo

UNOPS in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) provides services from its main office in Kinshasa and its office in the provinces of the DRC.

CDMCO’s office covers 11 French-speaking countries in Central and Southern Africa such as DRC, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Burundi, Rwanda, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Angola and Comoros Islands.

UNOPS helps partners achieve their project objectives, including physical and social infrastructure, elections and environmental protection.

UNOPS CDMCO recently established an office in Madagascar to support several partners in different sectors with advisory, procurement, infrastructure and project management services

Background Information – Job-specific

UNOPS in Madagascar provides services from its main office in Antananarivo and will be opening offices located in several regions of the country once projects are signed for the respective regions. The Office responds to the needs of the Government of Madagascar through funding from multilateral and bilateral donors and IFIs and United Nations agencies. UNOPS in Madagascar provides a wide range of procurement and infrastructure management and aims to expand into project management, basic service provisions and other related services, specifically in economic and social infrastructure (construction and rehabilitation) and financial management in sectors such as Agriculture, Transport/Public Works, WASH, Health, Environment & Climate Change Action, and Digitalization.

In the agricultural sector, UNOPS will support several programmes summarized below:

  • DEFIS (Programme de DĂ©veloppement des Filières agricoles Inclusives): funded by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) aims to improve the sustainability and resilience against climate change of hydro-agricultural infrastructure as well as feeder roads. UNOPS will support mainly 3 activities in order to help increase smallholder farmers production in a sustainable manner and provide a better access to local markets and export possibilities:
  1. Construction of large solar pumping stations
  2. Rehabilitation of feeder roads with innovative specifications
  3. Procurement services
  • AD2M (Projet d’Appui au DĂ©veloppement du Menabe et du Melaky): funded by IFAD, aims to improve food security in the targeted regions and to increase overtime the livelihood of farmers in the corresponding irrigation schemes. UNOPS is to support the promotion of productions systems that are more sustainable and resilient to climate change through several activities: 
  1. Construction of emergency boreholes 
  2. Technical studies for hydro-agricultural infrastructure
  3. Technical assistance and capacity building for the planning and implementation of hydro-agricultural infrastructure

The Senior Project Manager  is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the projects and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. They act on behalf of the Project Board to manage the project on an ongoing basis during the Implementation Stage. The main responsibility of the Senior Project Manager  is to ensure that the project outputs are delivered within the specified project tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits.They are expected to meet the organization’s performance and delivery goals.

The Senior Project Manager  has the authority to assign, as per the Project Plan, work packages to Team Managers and approve deliverables produced by them.They are responsible for creating the Implementation Plan, using the Project Initiation Document (PID), Legal Agreement and having a thorough understanding of the terms, conditions, and the respective roles and responsibilities of the partners/stakeholders, to ensure the projects outputs are capable of meeting the business cases for both UNOPS and the partners. Success of the projects and hence of the Senior Project Manager is based on the defined Success Criteria.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:

  1. Project Delivery and Performance
  2. Procedures 
  3. Monitoring and reporting
  4. Stakeholder engagement
  5. Quality assurance
  6. Knowledge management and innovation 
  7. Personnel management

1. Project Delivery and Performance 

  • Develop, complete and update implementation plan(s).
  • Implement the approved plan (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 span. 
  • Manage the production of the required outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
  • Ensure that quality of work packages and deliverables complies with the quality requirements defined in the Implementation Plan.
  • Liaise with any external suppliers or account managers.
  • Manage acceptance and delivery of work packages.
  • Monitor project progress ensuring that work packages are being executed properly.
  • Control project and work packages changes.
  • Accept goods, services or works delivered by suppliers. 
  • Lead contract management duties including supplier performance evaluation.
  • Act as the Employer’s Representative within the FIDIC works contracts. 
  • Identify, and anticipate in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to senior management/ Project Board so that maximum benefit to partner(s) and other stakeholders is achieved.
  • Identify and report to the supervisor potential business opportunities for UNOPS.

2. Procedures

  • Comply with all organizational policy and specifically the Project Management Manual.
  • Prepare/adapt all relevant plans for approval by the Project Board.
  • Manage the reporting obligations defined in the Legal Agreement(s) and in the Implementation Plan.
  • Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes. Approving requisitions and requests for non-purchase order payments; Evaluating submissions received, if appointed to the evaluation team.
  • Ensure maintenance of the project files and lessons learned are recorded
  • Ensure the development and implementation of project financial management guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations. 
  • 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 expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports).
  • Where the Project Manager has no delegation as a committing officer, they retain these responsibilities and will monitor and instruct/request others to carry out the relevant commitments and disbursements.
  • For project closure purposes, provide a formal handover of the project to the closure manager.
  • Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations.
3. Monitoring and reporting
Prepare and issue regular project and/or financial reports in accordance with Partner and UNOPS requirements for reporting.Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality).Maintain diaries and progress reports as required by the organization’s standard procedures.Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system.Ensure all project team members track and regularly update milestones and targets for the duration of projects’ life span.
4. Stakeholder engagement
Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies.Establish solid working relationships with the Project Board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders.Enable the formulation of project communications plans. Coordinate internal project communications. Monitor the effectiveness of project communications.Coordinate stakeholder engagement and communication, ensuring effective timing and interdependency management of communications. Ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover outputs.
5. Quality assurance
Work with internal stakeholders to ensure projects comply with audit requirementsWork with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers’ quality systemsCoordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverablesProvide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)

6. Knowledge management and innovation
Encourage routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of staff.Actively interact with other Project Managers and the wider PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices.Contribute to the oversight of lessons learned procedures, ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner. Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice.Research and logging of lessons learned throughout the project life span.Provide feedback to Practice Groups on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies.

7. Personnel Management 
Lead and motivate the project management team.Ensure that behavioral expectations of team members are established. Ensure that performance reviews are conducted fairly, accurately and timely.Select, recruit and train a team as required and take into account gender parity and diversity objectives.Ensure safety and security for all project personnel and comply with UNDSS standards.Create, foster and role model a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination, abuse of authority, harassment, sexual harassment 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.

Impact of results 

The Project Manager directly impacts on achievement of project results by adhering to project management methods and strategies, reducing risks, cutting costs and improving success rates.  This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of  UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and strengthens its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An advanced university degree (e.g. Masters) in Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy or related field is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree) in the above mentioned fields in combination with an additional 2 years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.


  • Certification in Project Management (PRINCE2, PMP, etc.) is desired.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in project management, particularly in the field of hydro-agricultural infrastructure project management (i.e. large irrigation, dams, dykes, pumping systems, etc.) or other related projects, and in the implementation and/or monitoring of programs/projects is required.
  • Knowledge of internationally accepted methods, regulations and tools for managing project procurement and management finance is required.
  • Experience in final design projects (APD) or summary preliminary project studies (APS) of the project infrastructure is an asset.
  • Experience with FIDIC infrastructure contracts is a strong asset.
  • Knowledge and experience in administration/management of institutional projects and financial international standards is an asset.
  • Experience in data analysis, management reports and management tools and systems information is an asset.


  • Fluency in French is required.
  • Fluency in English is a huge asset. Intermediate level would be accepted, given that the working language will be French

Contract type, level and duration

  • Contract type: Individual Contract Agreement
  • Contract level: I-ICA 3 ( ICS11)
  • Contract duration: Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Information

  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. 
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions 

  • 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 (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development