Local recruitment: Principal Civil Engineer (Drainage)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

, , NG

Background Information – Job-specific

Background Information – Ghana Multi Country Office (GMCO)

UNOPS Ghana Multi Country Office (GMCO), located in Accra, spans across West Africa, covering Ghana, Gambia,Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

GMCO is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional 
portfolio of engagements, developing and ​ delivering​ cost effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results.  

The core functions of the Operational Hub are to:

● Liaise and develop engagements, and deliver services responding to partner needs. 
● Leverage advice and integrate delivery modalities of the three Delivery Practices and the Global
Partner Service Office. 
● Maintain appropriate arrangements and capacity for direct transactional support for delivery of the
sub-regional portfolio. 

Background Information – Country Specific

The Nigeria Duty Stations are managed by the Nigeria Country Office based in Abuja, Nigeria.

Nigeria is considered a key player in the West African region, with an estimated population of 200 million and accounts for about 47% of the total population of West Africa. Nigeria is considered a High Priority Country for UNOPS GMCO; being a fragile country with a complex development profile and possessing a high risk of humanitarian emergencies and disasters. Likewise with high donor interest and demand for implementation support, Nigeria is viewed as a country in which UNOPS can add value and scale-up efforts by its partners to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the Government of Nigeria.

The last donor-funded project implemented by UNOPS ended in June 2018. The office was reopened in April 2019 and high-level efforts are ongoing to secure donor funded projects. Our objective for 2020 is to consolidate the implementation of our Strategy 2018-2021 – to become Known, Recognized and viewed as a Resource for our development partners on the ground, delivering on our mandate of infrastructure, procurement and project management. A healthy pipeline of engagements are at various stages of discussion with our priority partners  including international financial institutions, UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors.  

The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) is part of the Infrastructure/ Engineering Team, with Primary Supervisor based in GMCO and direct reporting line to the Country/Project Manager in Nigeria on the day-to-day operations.  The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) is required to have extensive design and construction experience. He/she is expected to meet and exceed the organization’s performance and delivery goals.

Background Information – Job Specific

The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage)  is considered a valuable asset to the UNOPS team in Nigeria as partners begin to consider UNOPS as a partner in infrastructure development mainly within the north east of the county. Such development projects include construction of feeder roads that create access to markets and other social and commercial services, rehabilitation of WASH facilities, access to energy through rural electrification and provision of social infrastructure including schools, hospitals, markets etc. Our delivery approach is evidence based, embeds sustainability,  and mainstreams gender, to ensure people are connected and are able to access basic services. 

The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) will give his/her technical expertise as required to produce, manage and coordinate the drainage design aspects for different types of infrastructure and supervise related works. He or she is responsible for managing staff under his/her supervision and ensure high quality design documentation and site works are carried out on time and on or under budget. The projects may be in national and or international locations.  

An agreed Terms of Reference (ToR)  including the scope, deliverables and the maximum time duration will be agreed upon by UNOPS-GMCO and the Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) prior to commencement of each and every assignment. He/she is responsible for ensuring designs and related documentation of projects which is to be carried out on time as per the agreed task.

The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) will be requested to work from home and be prepared to travel to any site in or around Nigeria as required and as United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) permits.

Functional Responsibilities

Specifically, the Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) will be responsible for the following substantive tasks involving the following but not limited to:

Technical – Design and Construction

  • Working closely with Project team in the planning of projects, scheduling of tasks and developing an integrated project design

  • Preparation of comprehensive Drainage Assessments and Designs in accordance with UNOPS, local and international standards

  • Carry out relevant hydrological studies and analysis and hydraulic designs to specify efficient drainage systems 

  • Knowledge and experience in design and construction of different drainage solutions including surface and subsurface drainage, lined and unlined, drainage pipes, open channels, outfalls, dams and cofferdams, erosion and sediment control, irrigation and flooding management and sewage design including septic tanks 

  • Interpret and use survey data and geological/geotechnical information for design of efficient and effective drainage systems 

  • Adopting context appropriate technology/techniques and embedding sustainable solutions as well as whole life-costing in the design development process

  • Experience designing Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (soakaways, swales and balancing / attenuation ponds)

  • Use of Engineering drawing software such as Autocad 

  • Use of relevant design software related to hydrologic modeling and data analysis and hydraulic design 

  • Review designs and modification in terms of accuracy and ensure suitability to overall design requirements, including identifying improvements in the designs and be able to propose practical solutions

  • Development of  Drawings, Technical specifications, BoQs etc to support the Design Review Package and subsequently Tender Dossier

  • Contribute to Design Review process to address feedback from Independent Design Reviewers until receipt of Certificate of Design Review Compliance

  • Collaborate with the Procurement Team in the preparation and evaluation of tender documents 

  • Periodic site supervision and monitoring to ensure that the work is done according to the Works Contract (ie drawings and technical specifications etc), as well as to the required quality standards and in adherence to Health, Safety, Social and Environmental requirements

  • Carry out  testing and commissioning for handover and acceptance of deliverable to Client

  • Contribute to the production of As-built drawings 

  • Archive files for all design documentation, memos and instructions in correct format  and in line with UNOPS archiving procedures

  • Timely delivery of the expected output and identification of risk of delay and development of mitigation measures

  • The Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) will also be required to respond to other related tasks that will be assigned in response to the Country Office needs.


  • Actively support the Project Team and all relevant stakeholders with the supply of data and information including, but not limited to, Senior Civil Engineer (Drainage) designs and drawings, project implementation and completion reports and and other related documents

  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of implementation plan progress 

  • Prepare and submit to the Country/Project Manager a weekly or monthly (or as requested) report, summarizing progress of task, risk, issues and any other pertinent facts as required

  • Produce any appropriate documentation identified by the Technical Team Leader in a professional and accurate manner

Knowledge sharing

  • Ensure highest standards of knowledge management, ensuring quality and complete archiving of project Infrastructure products 

  • Contribute to the project evaluation process; highlight challenges associated with the project and feedback into a continuous improvement cycle.

  • Provide training and knowledge transfer to national/contractor personnel

  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for development planning and knowledge building.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

A.  Education

  • Advanced university degree (master or equivalent) in a Water Engineering related field

  • University Degree (bachelor’s degree / first level) in Civil Engineering  with two (2) additional years of relevant work experience in Drainage design will be accepted in lieu of Master’s Degree requirement.             

B. Work Experience 

  • A minimum of seven (7) years past experience in designing drainage systems in Infrastructure development and management with focus on Quality, Health, Safety, Social and Environmental management  is required

  • Past experience working with Government institutions and/or donor funded projects is an advantage

  • Knowledge of the UN system and familiarity with UNOPS procedures is an advantage

C. Language Requirement

● Full working knowledge of English is required

● Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset

D. Skills

Contextual Skills

  • Multi-disciplinary planning
  • Work experience in Sub Saharan Africa 

Infrastructure Management skills

  • Design development and  Management
  • Construction implementation
  • Construction Supervision
  • Contract Administration
  • Quality Management
  • Health and Safety Management
  • Environmental and Social Management 
E. Certifications
  • Professional certification with an a Recognized Engineering Professional  Body, with a valid license to practice