Project Management Support Specialist
Background information: Water and Energy Cluster (WEC)
UNOPS Water and Energy Cluster (WEC) supports the design and management of multi-stakeholder initiatives by providing services in financial and grant management, procurement, human resources, and project management.
The cluster has supported projects in the areas of water resource management, climate change adaptation, mitigation and transparency, energy access and distribution and environmental conservation under the Paris Agreement. The WEC has also supported operations and financial management services, in Vienna, the rest of the ECR region and beyond.
The main partners include UN agencies, bilateral agreements (with the Nordics, Germany, and Italy), the Green Climate Fund and several NGOs (such as CIFF and CWF).
Initiative for Climate Action Transparency
The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) helps countries better assess the impacts of their climate policies and actions, and fulfil their transparency commitments under the Paris Agreement. It does this by increasing the overall transparency capacities of countries, including the capacity to assess the contribution of climate policies and actions on countries’ development objectives, and providing appropriate methodological information and tools to support evidence-based policy-making. ICAT’s innovative approach is to integrate these two aspects.
ICAT works with over 30 developing countries worldwide to support their work on NDCs, including tracking of implementation, further policy development and related MRV. Work covers sectoral policies (renewables, energy efficiency, transport, etc.) and cross-cutting aspects such as the link to sustainable development benefits, transformational change, and integration of subnational and non-state actors.
ICAT is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Italian Ministry of the Environment (IMELS) and the ClimateWorks Foundation.
Under the overall guidance of the ECR WEC, and in coordination with the ICAT Director, the incumbent is responsible for supporting the funds/grants/project management and facilitating delivery of the Initiative, hosted by UNOPS. This includes functions such as supporting effective portfolio coordination, oversight, financial reporting and operations management, serving as the operational focal point for the Initiative.
The incumbent will liaise with the ECR WEC team to help ensure rapid and compliant delivery of all aspects of the programme, to include administration, procurement, human resources, and finance. This includes liaising with the ICAT Director to ensure the effective day-to-day management of the Initiative, including grants management activities required by the Initiative.
Project Planning, Coordination & Governance Support:
- Assist with the overall planning, coordination and governance of the project, including the liaison with various donors and stakeholders, and including the preparation of background documents, discussion papers and and presentations on management, financial and operational matters.
- Support the organization of various project meetings and events, including planning and logistics management of annual planning workshops, as well as various regular donor, advisory and implementing partner meetings, ensuring that they are held effectively and their proceedings are recorded accurately.
- Create, review and manage donor contribution agreements, input new engagements into the UNOPS engagement system, and manage the required revisions or specific conditions to be met, prior to and during project execution.
- Review and coordinate the operational aspects of the project, and facilitate delivery in discussion with the relevant operational support teams in ECR and UNOPS HQ.
- Identify operational and financial issues, risks and challenges, and manage and resolve them by taking appropriate action, following consultation with the supervisor.
- Draft correspondence to parties concerned, follow up on the implementation of Steering Committee decisions, and prepare regular progress, narrative, financial and other reports, as appropriate;
- Coordinate the preparation of aggregated donor reports on ICAT progress and financial performance;
- Ensure the effective provision of services related to procurement/contract administration, finance/payment process, grant management and HR/recruitment process.
- Develop specifications/TORs, establish evaluation criteria, and coordinate the evaluation of bids/proposals for procurement, grants and recruitment processes required by the Initiative, ensuring that contractual arrangements are created and managed effectively.
Financial Planning, Monitoring and Reporting:
- Develop and maintain monitoring systems to keep track of the performance of implementing partners and partner country beneficiaries.
- Ensure that the Initiative’s M&E framework is properly implemented, including the alignment of contract management with the overall Theory of Change.
- Coordinate with implementing partners the application of M&E tools, such as reporting templates and evaluation surveys to ensure the adequate data collection and quality assurance.
- Set up project proposals and budgets in the ERP system and monitor project budgets, support the preparation of due budget revisions in consultation with the supervisor and Finance Unit, as well as the relevant project counterparts.
- Prepare work plans, budgets, financial reports and ad-hoc updates on cash-flow status, contractual commitment and expenditure status; draft appropriate comments on audit reports, as necessary.
Support Systems, Tools & Knowledge Management:
- Continuously maintain and review/seek improvements of existing ERP and project management tools/perspectives, as well as relevant internal mechanisms, for high quality service provision to various partners.
- Drive the regular data updates and related exercises especially related to project level and financial reporting.
- Participate in and conduct trainings for the operations and project staff on the relevant tools, approaches and procedures, to ensure effective project implementation.
- Provide sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
- Collaborate closely with colleagues in the ICAT team and ensure effective knowledge management related to all functions.
HR, Procurement & Grants Management Guidance:
- Act as designated first contact with the Initiative for all procurement, admin and grants management issues and support needs, facilitating delivery of effective services.
- Coordinate with the respective ECR and HQ teams on specific cases and best possible support for timely provision of guidance on operational processes and procedures.
- Facilitate the development and implementation of an HR, procurement, admin and grants management system for the Initiative with regard to planning, awarding, administering and monitoring of all matters related to HR, procurement and grants activities of the portfolio.
- Assist the Initiative with the management of HR, procurement and grants management processes, including systematic management of data needs, issue resolution, and results reporting and coordinating responses to requests for information from other internal units and from external parties.
- Perform other related duties as required and assigned by the supervisors, focused on improving the quality, timeliness and cost-effectiveness of UNOPS’s support to its partners.
Education and Experience
- Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) preferably in public administration, business, economics, international affairs, development studies, environmental science, political science, or related area.
- A first-level university degree with relevant combination of academic qualifications and two years of additional experience related to the nature of the position may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
- Minimum of five (5) years of progressive experience in project and/or operations management in an international/ multicultural setting is required.
- At least three (3) years of experience with fund and/or grants management is mandatory.
- At least two (2) years of experience with stakeholder and partner management, including interacting with government officials and/or donors is essential.
- Past work experience with UN/UNOPS is highly desirable.
- Exposure to and a good understanding of international climate change and sustainable development cooperation would be an advantage.
- Fluency in English is required
- Working knowledge of another, official UN language is desirable