Project Manager

UNOPS, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
29th September, 2020

Job Description

Background Information - Job-specific

The Cities Alliance is a global partnership promoting the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Since its establishment in 1999, the Cities Alliance has awarded more than 400 grants totalling over $110 m in more than 80 countries. The Cities Alliance is located within the UN system: while it was originally based at the World Bank in Washington DC, since 2013 it has been based in Brussels where it is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The Cities Alliance has established an international reputation for its role in promoting coherence of effort in international development, identifying critical policy and knowledge gaps, convening members and partners, and delivering high-quality programmes. The context of its work is that of rapidly urbanising economies, the growth of cities of all sizes, and the role of the urban poor in general, and women in particular. Adopting a long-term and programmatic approach that recognises the catalytic nature of development assistance, the Cities Alliance seeks to work with and support local expertise and institutions, ensure citywide and nationwide approaches to development, and facilitate follow-up investments and impacts.

Background information – job specific

The Cities Alliance is preparing a multi-year engagement in Ethiopia with a focus on urban development and municipal finance in secondary cities. Against this background the Cities Alliance is seeking a highly motivated, experienced and skilled Project Manager to manage the implementation of the project. Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project(s) and provides services to the different donors, partners and beneficiaries. The main responsibility of a Project Manager is to ensure that the project outputs are delivered within the specified project tolerances of time, cost, quality, scope, risk and benefits. He/she is expected to meet the organization’s performance and delivery goals.

The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent knowledge of the key developmental challenges confronting contemporary Ethiopia, as well as a deep understanding of urban development and management and municipal finance. In addition, the candidate will have experience in project implementation involving local communities across multiple dimensions and strong project management and relationship building skills.

The Project Manager will report to the Head of Programmes and work under the guidance of the Principal Urban Advisor, both based in Brussels (Belgium). S/he will work in partnership with Cities Alliance members and partners in Addis Ababa to drive the effective and efficient implementation of the project

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of functions:

  • Project Delivery and Performance
  • Procedures
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Quality assurance
  • Knowledge management and innovation
  • Personnel management
  • Gender Mainstreaming

Project Delivery and Performance

  • Prepare annual work plans with activities, performance targets, human resource allocations and budgets, ensuring alignment with the Cities Alliance goals and objectives;
  • Manage all aspects of project implementation according to the projects’ grant agreements and annual work plan ensuring delivery of activities and outputs
  • Manage the production of the required outputs, taking responsibility for overall progress and use of resources and initiating corrective action where necessary.
  • Ensure that quality of work packages and deliverables complies with the quality requirements defined in the Implementation Plan.
  • Manage acceptance and delivery of work packages
  • Monitor project progress ensuring that work packages are being executed properly
  • Control project and work packages changes
  • Accept goods, services or works delivered by suppliers.
  • Lead all project-related meetings and events, including but not limited to Steering Committee meetings and workshops.
  • Support fiduciary management in line with UNOPS policies and procedures;
  • Procurement of goods and services with assistance from the CA Secretariat – drafting TORs, contract management and ensuring service providers deliver on-time and to quality standards;
  • Identify, and anticipate in a timely manner, potential risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to senior management/ Project Board so that maximum benefit to partner(s) and other stakeholders is achieved
  • Identifying solutions for operational and programmatic challenges and managing the implementation of solutions which ensure accountability, compliance and efficiency.
  • Embed sustainability dimensions including social and gender inclusion, environmental and economic aspects into project life span.
  • Identify and report to the supervisor potential business opportunities for UNOPS
  • Liaise with the UNOPS Ethiopia Operational Hub as appropriate;
  • Comply with UNOPS/UNDSS security procedures;


  • Manage the reporting obligations defined in the Legal Agreement(s) and in the Implementation Plan
  • Draft the requirements definitions for procurement processes.
  • Ensure the development and implementation of project financial management guidelines and control mechanisms, in conformity with UNOPS rules and regulations.
  • Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors and personnel are received on time.
  • Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel
  • Manage expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports)
  • Support project audit activities, including planning, preparation and coordination during the audits and follow up on audit observations/recommendations

Monitoring and reporting

  • Prepare and issue regular project and/or financial reports in accordance with Partner and UNOPS requirements for reporting.
  • Regularly review project status, evaluating performance criteria (scope, cost, schedule and quality).
  • Provide reports to the Head of Programmes on through the bi-monthly reporting and on an ad hoc basis when requested
  • Provide routine oversight and analysis of delivery data within the dashboard system.
  • Ensure all project team members track and regularly update milestones and targets for the duration of projects' life span

Stakeholder engagement

  • Develop stakeholder profiles and facilitate the formulation of stakeholder engagement strategies
  • Establish solid working relationships with the Project Board (Executive, Senior Users and Senior Suppliers), client and key stakeholders
  • Enable the formulation of project communications plans. Coordinate internal project communications. Monitor the effectiveness of project communications
  • Represent the Cities Alliance and engage with a wide range of national, local government, international development, private sector and civil society actors;
  • Support the Cities Alliance in engaging the International financial Institutions and private sector linking them to the activities planned in the programme with the view of promoting follow-up investment in the project identified during the programme planning processes;
  • Develop a network of contacts and scope out potential opportunities for the project or other related CA activities in Ethiopia;

Quality assurance

  • Work with internal stakeholders to ensure projects comply with audit requirements
  • Work with procurement/purchasing staff to ensure effective interface with suppliers' quality systems
  • Coordinate quality reviews of project documents and deliverables
  • Provide quality control for management outputs (project documents, reports, etc.)

Knowledge management and innovation

  • Encourage routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of staff.
  • Actively interact with other Project Managers and the wider PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practices
  • Contribute to the oversight of lessons learned procedures, ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner. Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice
  • Research and logging of lessons learned throughout the project life span.
  • Provide feedback to Practice Groups on policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies

Personnel Management

  • Recruit, manage and motivate a team of local and international personnel;
  • Ensure that behavioural expectations of team members are established
  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted fairly, accurately and timely
  • Select, recruit and train the team as required and take into account gender parity and diversity objectives.
  • Ensure safety and security for all project personnel and comply with UNOPS/UNDSS standards
  • Create, foster and role model a culture of respect and zero tolerance for discrimination, abuse of authority, harassment, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse. Ensure accountability for actions and perform duties in accordance with protection mechanisms and action plans, as expected by UNOPS policies, standards and commitment

Gender mainstreaming

  • Ensure that gender considerations are actively promoted and adequately mainstreamed through production, implementation and monitoring of a gender mainstreaming strategy for the Programme.
  • Ensure that the project's activities, outputs and indicators mainstream gender.
  • Promote a gender friendly institutional environment for the office in accordance with the Cities Alliance Gender Equality Strategy


  • Advanced university degree in project management, business administration, urban development, international development, environmental studies; economics; or related disciplines.
  • A first level university degree combined with 2 additional years of relevant experience may substitute the advanced university degree.
  • PRINCE2 Foundation or a similar foundation level project/programme management certification (i.e. PMP, PMI) is desired. The successful incumbent will be required to complete PRINCE2® Foundation within the first 6 months.


  • At least 5 years with advanced university degree or 7 years with first level university degree of progressive experience in project development and management, with focus on monitoring, reporting, development and coordination in either public or private sector organizations is required.
  • Previous experience in managing projects funded by international bi- and multilateral development partners required.
  • Experience with USAID funded projects is considered an asset.
  • Experience in managing, and motivating teams to deliver results on time, within budget, and against results-based performance indicators. Experience managing operational aspects of project management desired– preferably in UN context.
  • Familiarity with the work of the Cities Alliance and other multilateral, bilateral and civil society development partners in urban development is desirable.
  • Experience of promoting constructive dialogue between diverse stakeholders and of communicating clearly and respectfully at the highest levels of government and with civil society desired.
  • Willingness to travel both within Ethiopia and internationally as required.


  • Fluency in oral and written Amharic and English is required.


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