Project Management Support

UNOPS, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Skill Required:, Project Management
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th March, 2020

Job Description

Background Information – Job Specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations.
Sierra Leone’s geographical location, land characteristics, and monsoon climate make the country susceptible to natural hazards including floods, landslides and coastal erosion. In 2015 and 2017, massive floods in Freetown led to more than 9,000 people being displaced, including over 1,200 dead and missing. Freetown continues to remain at high risk of natural disasters. In 2017 UNOPS embarked on a partnership with the Freetown City Council (FCC) to carry out technical assessments and develop resilient infrastructure at key points in the city at risk of failure as a result of extreme climatic conditions.

In 2020 the Government of Japan pledged to contribute to this programme by boosting humanitarian assistance and increasing resilience, through rehabilitation works which reduce immediate risks to life and property in Freetown communities affected by flooding since June 2019. The project will also contribute to capacity building and income generation of low-income beneficiaries through implementation of the following project activities:

  • Conduct assessment of resilient infrastructure and plan the implementation
  •  Rehabilitation and/or replacement of damaged infrastructures including footbridges, channels, culverts and tree planting (for slope stabilization and reducing rainwater runoff)
  • Provide technical assistance for labor intensive works – using low-income community labor force for rehabilitation works

The Project Management Support Analyst reports to the Project Manager, who provides broad supervision and guidance. The role is responsible for supporting the Project Manager with the day-to-day operations, coordinating implementation, and liaison with the Government of Japan. S/he maintains a close eye on the operational and financial performance, identifies probable issues that may need attention, supports in problem analysis and solution identification as necessary, coordinates resolution as per action-items assigned, drafting required correspondences to stakeholders concerned and preparation of mission reports. The Project Management Support Analyst is required to work in a complex and challenging environment with limited resources.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:

  • Project Implementation
  • Financial and procurement management
  • Project monitoring and reporting
  • Stakeholder management, coordination and liaison
  • Knowledge management and innovation
  • Project implementation
  • Preparation and maintenance of project files, including internal and external project reports.
  • Coordinate information flows and oversee change controls, risk registers and issue management by establishing document control procedures
  • Coordinate assigned delivery of work packages and take responsibility for progress.
  • Coordinate and liaise with the Project Manager on the implementation progress.
  • Identify and escalate to the Project Manager of any deviations from the plan and update plans.
  • Work with Project manager to identify and manage risks.

Financial and procurement management

  • Maintain all supporting project financial documents for audit and review processes.
  • Support the Project Manager to ensure accurate data entry into UNOPS ERP system (OneUNOPS) and OneUNOPS Projects – as appropriate.
  • Monitor project budget and financial expenditure and all administrative procedures in line with the work-plan.
  • Facilitating processing of direct payments and advance requests and prepare project budget revisions.
  • Manage the preparation of financial reports; including developing financial monitoring and reporting formats as per UNOPS requirements.
  • Monitor budgets, cash flow and reporting on expense obligations to ensure that deliverables are met.
  • Conduct financial analysis to manage calculate financial shortfalls and over-expenditures.
  • Conduct budget revisions and initiate corrective actions when necessary.
  • Coordinate vendor communications, meetings, and reports as necessary

Project monitoring and reporting

  • Provide substantive inputs to assist the Project Manager in the preparation of project reports and documents, ensure compliance with contractual obligations and UNOPS policies, processes and procedures
  • Maintain records of project files and other supporting documents.
  • Maintain the following records: Quality Register, Configuration Item Records and all other registers/logs delegated by the Project Manager
  • Support the Project Manager in maintaining the following:
  • Project Document records,
  • Procurement, HR and Finance files as required by UNOPS policies
  • Coordinate the compilation, consolidation and analysis of relevant data of the project

Stakeholder management, coordination and liaison

  • Establish a solid working relationship with the project board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders
  • Supports the Project Manager in communication between the project and the Government of Japan
  • Manage communications with stakeholders and ensure stakeholders are aware of project activities, progress, exceptions and are in a position to accept handover products.
  • Supports the Project Manager to advise the client on issues that may impact the achievement of their outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance)
  • Coordinate the information flows between the Project Board/OC Director and the project(s)
  • Liaise and build relationships with other United Nations (UN) agencies and international non-governmental organizations (I/NGOs) for the purposes of facilitating activities and improving the quality and relevance of information analysis.
  • Participate in meetings with UN agencies, NGO’s and other Stakeholders as required.

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Actively seeks advice and coordinates donor engagement with the UNOPS Japan Partnerships Liaison Office
  • Support the compilation of lessons learned as per defined reporting format and the PMM.
  • Actively contribute to building local capacities at every level and opportunity in Project Management Support.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for planning and knowledge building.
  • Contribute to expertise in tools and techniques

Impact of results

The Project Management Support Analyst directly impacts on achievement of project results by assisting the Project Manager to adhere to project management methods and strategies, reduced risks, cut costs and improved quality and success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of UNOPS as an effective service provider in project services and management and strengthens its competitive position as a partner of choice in sustainable development and project services.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • Advanced university degree (master or equivalent) with two years of relevant experience
  • University degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.
  • A relevant combination of academic credentials and/or industry certifications and qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the university education.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 2 years relevant and progressive professional experience, specifically in the field of Project Management and/or support with focus on planning, stakeholder management, monitoring, reporting is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in preparing reports to donors and partners is required.
  • Experience in development projects involving capacity building, development coordination mechanisms, and/or operations management is desirable.
  • Experience and demonstrated knowledge of UN rules and procedures in Procurement, Finance, and administrative rules and regulations will be an advantage.
  • Experience in Infrastructure project delivery is considered an advantage.
  • Previous experience working in Africa is an advantage


  • Full working knowledge of Japanese is required
  • Full working knowledge of English is essential.
  • Fluency in one or more additional official UNOPS languages is an advantage


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