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Head of Support Services (Expiration 15/11/2018)

Under the primary guidance of the Country Director the Head of Support Services acts as an advisor to Senior Management on all aspects of Country Office Support Services and operations. This includes strategic financial and human resources management, efficient procurement and logistical services, ICT, transportation and vehicle management, consistent with UNOPS rules and regulations. The main role is to lead support service operations, ensuring smooth functioning of the Country Office, consistent services delivery and constant evaluation and readjustment of operations to take into account changes in the operating environment as and when needed.

The Head of Support Services reports to the Somalia Director, who provides general guidance and supervision. The role is responsible for providing an efficient and integrated support service for the Country Office. The Head of Support Services guides the Country Office Operations Team and fosters collaboration within the team, with programme staff and with other UN Agencies Funds and Programmes and delivers  a client-oriented approach. S/he works in close collaboration with programme and project teams in the Country Office, operations staff in other UN Agencies, UNOPS HQs staff and Government officials to successfully deliver operations services.The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

Summary of key responsibilities:

  1. Advisory and technical support
  2. Project planning and coordination support
  3. Procurement
  4. Financial management
  5. Human resource management
  6. Administration and Information Technology
  7. Knowledge management and innovation

1.     Advisory and technical support

  • Contribute to the formulation of Somalia strategies and policies through advisory services to the Country Director.
  • Provide technical advice and operational guidance on innovative approaches to project financing, risk assessment/mitigation and use of financing structures, mechanisms, instruments and guarantees.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify the need, determine cost and plan all Somalia support services, including procurement, finance, human resources and administrative services.
  • Monitor and supervise all aspects of operations to ensure compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics and integrity and achievement of results.
  • Monitor support services to ensure optimum client service and satisfaction, including liaising with Headquarters Practice Groups for required support.
  • At the request of the Somalia Director, participate in any UN forum discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.
  • Act as focal point for any internal/external audit exercise.

2.  Project planning and coordination support

  • Provide assistance and support to programme and project budget preparation, revisions and work planning.
  • Provide inputs into project engagement and acceptance documents including assisting with contract negotiations.
  • Provide advice on goal setting, targets and performance standards for projects and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation and auditing.
  • Monitor project financial projections, take decisions and/or refer critical issues to the Country Director and/or other stakeholders for action.
  • Provide advice on programme and project cost sharing, deployment of funds and closure.
  • Constantly monitor and analyses the operating environment to identify potential risks and take action/refer critical issues for intervention to ensure delivery of results.

3.     Procurement

  • Oversee and supervise Somalia’s procurement processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier selection, to ensure viable procurement solutions that meet operational needs and compliance with UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations and standard of accountability, ethics, integrity and performance.
  • Evaluate contractual arrangements and legal commitments/risks for appropriate action.
  • Oversee the efficiency and integrity of the procurement evaluation process to ensure cost-effective procurement of goods and services.
  • In consultation with relevant colleagues, review, administer and issue contracts, agreements/amendments with institutions and UN agencies.
  • Oversee the logistics of goods and equipment on project sites to confirm delivery and safe warehousing.
  • Evaluate, list, update and monitor the performance of the roster of service providers of suitable firms or institutions.

4.   Financial management

  • In close collaboration with the Budget & Finance Officer, oversee preparation of Somalia financial plans and manage the budget process/cycle to ensure timely revisions and reallocation of funds.
  • Oversee Finance Unit and ensure compliance with the UNOPS/Financial Rules & Regulations and Finance procedures.
  • Advise on audit priorities, coordinate with the UN Board of External Audit on the annual UNOPS External Audit, follow up on all internal and external audit issues and ensure appropriate implementation of recommendations.
  • Manage audit observations and implement audit recommendations.
  • Monitor, track and control expenditure to ensure optimum and appropriate use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of required financial reports to supplement exception reports including investigating anomalies to resolve problems, reporting or recommending any action required to relevant stakeholders.
  • Supervise the timely review, posting and closure of accounts. Certify/verify accuracy and compliance with standards of accountability framework. Submit/prepare mandated report on financial status.
  • Supervise all financial services (accounting, cash management, payments etc.) ensuring timeliness and compliance with standards of accountability and performance.
  • Monitor the Management Budget expenditures for the OC and ensure that LMDC (Locally Managed Direct Cost) is properly recovered, billed and spent in accordance with the applicable procedures

4.     Human resource management

  • Plan personnel required for Somalia programmes/projects.
  • Oversee all human resource services/processes including recruitment, salary administration and compensation, performance review, training and development, ensuring compliance with human resource rules, regulations, procedures and standards of performance and ensuring that hiring managers actively seek to create diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • Promote and support a learning culture by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
  • Exercise control of all staffing issues within the Country Office as required by the projects’ demands including recruitment, training, staff performance review

5.     Administration and Information Technology

  • In close collaboration with Headquarters, support maintenance of a secure and reliable ICT environment, including adequate plans for disaster recovery.
  • Manage the acquisition, maintenance, inventory, recording, verification and protection of project and administrative facilities/assets, including IT infrastructure, equipment and servers.
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging the use of IT to enhance business operations and efficiency and to facilitate knowledge management, and information sharing.
  • Manage the timely and efficient delivery of all administrative services, (e.g. premises, asset management, organizational and personnel security, travel and IT).

6.     Knowledge management and innovation

  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practice approaches in Somalia’s support services.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
  • At the request of the Somalia Country Director and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement and organize strategic capacity building of project personnel, clients and stakeholders


  • Master’s degree in a relevant related discipline is required.  
  • A combination of a Bachelor’s degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience in international development, business development, operations and/or programme management in a large international and/or corporate organization is required.
  • Solid experience at senior levels in UN system organizations with special emphasis on financial management, procurement, logistics, budgeting and human resources management will be considered as a key asset.
  • UNOPS experience is required

Language Requirements:

  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.


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7 ans
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