Project Associate

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Panama City, Panama 🇵🇦

UNDP is the UN’s global development network and assists countries to build and share solutions to the challenges of globalization and human development. UNDP helps countries pursue a development response to all citizens, to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone, including those at greater risk of exclusion (ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, internally displaced persons, rural populations, women and young people). Through investments in improved care of natural resources, we support a sustainable balancing of human and environmental priorities. This includes:
  • Promoting human development and tackling the drivers of social exclusion to ensure that disadvantaged groups are not left behind.
  • Integrating the Millennium Development Goals into national development strategies and transitioning to post-2015 development framework of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Promoting social protection systems to extend greater protection to the poor and at-risk groups from major natural, economic, and conflict-related shocks
  • Policy design and monitoring that enables trade and productive capacities that are diversified, add value, and help create employment and livelihoods
  • Sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services for expanded employment and livelihoods
The UNDP-GEF Project: Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks, and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol (“Global ABS project”, 2016-2019), is a 3-year project that specifically aims at assisting countries in the development and strengthening of their national ABS frameworks, human resources, and administrative capabilities to implement the Nagoya Protocol.  The expected outcomes of the project are:
  1. Strengthening the legal, policy and institutional capacity to develop national ABS frameworks.
  2. Building trust between users and providers of genetic resources to facilitate the identification of bio-discovery efforts.
  3. Strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local communities to contribute to the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.
  4. Implementing a community of practices on ABS and South-South Cooperation mechanisms.
The Project Associate is responsible for the day-to-day administrative support to the UNDP Global ABS project, most importantly its Project Coordination Unit (PCU). The Project Associate therefore provides support to office management, human resources, sourcing consultants, financial management, documentation management, and support to monitoring and reporting as required for the successful management and achievement of the outcomes of the project in compliance with the policies, processes and procedures of UNDP and the requirements of the project’s donors.
The Project Associate is based at UNDP’s Regional Hub in Panama City, Panama. The Project Associate works primarily, but not exclusively with, the global ABS Project Team, UNDP country offices, pilot and donor country governments, other international/multi-lateral organisations, and contractors. S/he reports to the Global Project Manager (PM). 
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of Key Functions:
  • Operational and administrative services:
  • Financial and technical management
  • Monitoring and reporting
The following are the specific key functions/results expected:
1. Operational and administrative services: 
  • Serve as point of contact on administrative and operational issues between the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) and UNDP finance, other support staff, UNDP country offices, and national implementation teams; 
  • Monitoring and ensuring compliance with management and administrative requirements from donors (technical and financial reports, budget compliance and audits at the global and country levels, time-sheets, communication guidelines, etc.); 
  • Monitoring and ensuring compliance with UNDP-specific processes in managing financial resources, monitoring and evaluation, travel arrangements, etc.; 
  • Assist with the development and output of implementation materials, including project documents, guidance materials, templates, technical reports, etc. as required; 
  • Support the recruitment of personnel, consultants or service providers ensuring compliance with the applicable UNDP rules & regulations; 
  • Facilitate the preparation and organization of international and national meetings and workshops, including obtaining bids, organizing travel arrangements as required, including of the Project Steering Committee (PSC), etc.; 
  • Facilitate knowledge-building and sharing and provide support and input to the platforms created; 
  • Support the PCU in meetings with key stakeholders as required; 
  • Support the PCU in relevant exchanges as required.
Key result: Effective support to Project operational and administrative activities ensuring timelines and milestones are met and fully compliant with UNDP policies and procedures and donor requirements.
2. Financial and technical management: 
  • Maintain document control procedures and a document filing system, including for supporting documentation for financial reviews, continuously integrating relevant new information/data; 
  • Managing requests for day-to-day financial administration, using advance of funds, direct payments, or reimbursement using Fund Authorization and Certificate of Expenditures;
Key Result: Effective and timely operational support  that is fully compliant with UNDP and donor requirements.
3. Monitoring and reporting: 
  • Ensure results-based project development and management throughout the different stages of project implementation; 
  • Manage information flows and support regular reviews by the PM regarding project details, schedules, risks, deliverables and budgets to ensure implementation is on track; 
  • Monitor quality indicators and administer quality review processes and independent evaluations of the Initiative; 
  • Monitor planning and implementation carried out by responsible parties, such as by contractors and service providers including in pilot countries, and that they are aligned with key milestones; 
  • Provide support to resource mobilization, maintaining information/databases on potential and actual donors, providing administrative information and editing support towards funding proposals;
Key result: Hiqh-quality data analysis, monitoring and timely reporting in accordance with UNDP policies and procedures and donor requirements. 
Core Competencies:
  • Innovation;   
  • Leadership;
  • People Management;
  • Communication;
  • Delivery
  • Results-based Management;
  • Event, Meeting and Workshop Facilitation;
  • Project Management;
  • Quality Assurance;
  • Budget Management;
  • Office Administration;
  • Procurement.
  • Knowledge Management;
  • Trust Fund Management.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Secondary education, preferably with specialized training in administration, accounting and finance;
  • University degree in business or public administration, finance, economics, environmental sciences, political or social sciences is desirable, but not a requirement;
  • Prince2 (or similar) and/or CIPS certification would be an advantage. 
  • Minimum of 6 years progressively responsible experience required at the national or international level, providing administrative and management support to project/programme implementation and oversight; 
  • Experience in budget management and reporting, human resources and consultant management, technical report writing and communications experience would be an asset; 
  • Experience in results-based and results-oriented project implementation and management is an asset; 
  • Experience supporting high-profile projects involving government stakeholders is desirable; 
  • Experience with developing and handling reliable and complex spreadsheets and data bases, and with handling web-based ERP/management systems (preferably PeopleSoft i.e. ATLAS) is required; 
  • Experience organizing exchange workshops and/or training activities at the international level is required; 
  • Working experience in an international organization and with developing countries is an advantage, as is knowledge of UNDP policies, procedures and practices; 
  • Full computer literacy including advanced knowledge of word-processing, spreadsheet and database packages, and web-based management systems. 
Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English and national language of the duty station, with good writing and communication skills; 
  • Proficiency in other UN languages, especially French, is an asset. 

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