Project Manager (OKACOM)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Gaborone, Botswana 🇧🇼


The uniqueness of the Cubango-Okavango River Basin (COBR) and natural resource value was recognised jointly by the three basin states twenty years ago with the formation The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) and a call for multi-lateral action to protect it from unsustainable development. Development pressures, for a number of reasons, have been slow to materialise and the basin is still one of the least utilised in terms of water resources in Africa. However, the situation is changing and development pressures, both planned and unplanned, are gathering momentum. Governance of the CORB is a complex issue, bringing together three countries with different development directions and pathways and finding consensus can be time consuming.

It is recognised with population growth that development of the basin’s resources must occur in order to maintain and lift the socio-economic status of the basin’s communities but also acknowledge that this should be done with as minimum impact on the environment as possible. Establishing a strong CORB governance framework is the challenge for OKACOM over the next years. These changes will take time and cost money and should be done in a progressive and step-wise fashion.   

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on behalf of OKACOM, is looking for a Project Manager who will be responsible for ensuring the overall coordination and implementation of the UNDP-GEF project: ‘Support to the Cubango-Okavango River Basin Strategic Action Programme Implementation’. The Project Manager will report to and work in close collaboration with the Programme Coordinator of OKACOM (Implementing Partner) and UNDP Programme Officer in Botswana, supported by the UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for Water and Ocean Governance, to ensure efficient and effective day-to-day management and monitoring of the project.

The performance of the Project Manager will be reviewed and appraised jointly by OKACOM and UNDP.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Ensures the direction of project activities and the achievement of project targets and results, by focusing on the following results:•Oversee and coordinate development and formulation of detailed implementation plans, procurement and human resources, communication and risk management plans for the Project
  • Deliver the expected project outcomes and outputs in scope, in time, in budget based on the approved project document. 
  • Prepare annual work plans and budgets for the Project
  • Prepare quarterly, annual, mid-term and terminal project progress reports including technical, and policy matters, for the consideration by the Project Steering Committee (PSC), UNDP-GEF, UNDP Country Offices
  • Guide and support OKACOM (Implementing Partner) to submit quarterly financial report to UNDP in the required format. 
  • Prepare all documents required to be reviwed by the PSC in two offcial languages of OKACOM at least two weeks prior to each PSC meeting to ensure that PSC functions effectively and is enabled to make informed decisions to guide the project implementation and practice adaptive management, as necessary. 
  • Provide advice and guidance to partner institutions on overall project implementation and coordination in line with the OKACOM SAP, OKACOM Fiver Plan and any other OKACOM strategic policy documents
  • Prepare and Draft ToRs and supervise inputs of short/ long-term consultants and ensure timely and quality delivery of all outputs throughout the project implementation
  • Provide comprehensive technical input and oversight on all project components and deliverables
  • •Assess project impact and oversee the appropriateness and accuracy of methods used to verify progress and results;
  • •Ensure compliance of all actions and activities with organizational rules, regulations, policies, strategies and internal control mechanisms;

Facilitateknowledge building and management, communication and outreach, focusing on the following results:

  • Actively codify, share, disseminate knowledge, including best practices and lessons learned, accumulated through the project implementation widely within the basin and beyond.
  • Represent the Project in meetings and conferences to which the Project is invited to attend
  • •Ensure that the Project systematically builds capacities of Implementing Partners and other national partners through introduction of innovation and best practices, access to knowledge and expertise and promote their application to project implementation

Ensures Effective Coordination, partnership building, resources mobilization focusing on the following results:

  • Ensure and maintain linkages, coherence and synergies among interventions under different components of the project.
  • Establish, maintain and facilitate strategic dialogue between project staff, partners,  and other stakeholders in project´s area of work;
  • Provide overall project technical advice and direction in coordination with OKACOM Programme Coordinator.
  • Coordianate closely with project managers of other initiatives supporting OKACOM and/or basin states under the direction provided by the OKACOM Programme Coordinator to ensure maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness in SAP implementation efforts. 
  • •Monitor the achievements of capacity development initiatives and ensure follow-up support;
  • Lead OKACOM in mobilizing resources required for SAP implementation.

Effective supevision, monitoring and evaluation support:

  • Management of the Project Management Unit staff based in Gaborone, Botswana, and elsewhere in the basin.
  • Evaluate the performance of the staff financed by the project fund in collaboration with OKACOM Executive Secretary
  • Organize and lead regular internal M&E exercises throughout the project
  • Provide guidance and  support to ensure that external evaluation is conducted smoothly and effectively.

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrate integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promote the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Display cultural, gender, religious, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Core Competencies:

  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents
  • Building support and political acumen
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation
  • Building and promoting effective teams
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
  • Sharing knowledge and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking

Functional Competencies:             

Management and Leadership

  • Ability to build strong relationship with clients, focuses on impact and results for the client and responds positively to the feedback;
  • Approach the work with energy and positive and constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrate openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Lead the team and provide mentoring to his/her colleagues;
  • Ability to produce results under a complex and conflict stricken environment;
  • Strong conflict resolution and change management skills.

Client Orientation

  • Anticipates client needs
  • Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service providers
  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective and needs.

Advocacy/Advancing A Policy-Oriented Agenda

  • Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for advocacy work

Results-Based Programme Development and Management

  • Assesses project performance to identify success factors and incorporates best practices into project work
  • Monitors specific stages of projects/programme implementation and results reporting.

Building Strategic Partnerships

  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved and reported.

Innovation and Marketing New Approaches

  • Looks at experience critically, drawing lessons, and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and promotes their use in other situations
  • Documents successes and uses them to project a positive image of programmes and projects
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas from the team with own supervisor

Resource Mobilization

  • Analyzes information on potential bilateral donors and national counterparts to recommend a strategic approach
  • Identifies and compiles lessons learned

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing

  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms
  • Effective presentation and report-writing skills; strong analytical and strategic skills as well as good written and oral communications skills
Required Skills and Experience


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree, or equivalent, in Water Resource Management or Environmental Sciences or related disciplines.  Two additional years of professional experience in the highly relevant field plus a Batchelor’ degree in the relevant field would substitute the Master’s degree requirement.


  • A minimum of 7 years of technical and managerial experience in highly relevant fields dealing with applied natural resources management issues.
  • Demonstrable experience in project management in the environment field is required.  Prior experience in coordinating multi-disciplinary projects would be an advantage.
  • Proven experience in managing a inter-disciplinary team of staff with various background and expertise to achieve a common goal.
  • Familiarity with the goals and procedures of international organizations, those of the GEF and UNDP and regional organizations related to Project
  • Previous work experience in one or more of the participating countries is highly advantageous.

Language Requirements:

  • Good command of English, both written and spoken.
  • Knowledge of Portuguese would be an advantage

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Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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