Project Management Office (PMO) Specialist ( Internal for UNOPS Personnel)

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Careerpoint Solutions
  • Post Date: April 2, 2022
  • Applications 0
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Job Overview

Background Information – Job-specific

Background Information – Kenya Multi Country Office (KEMC)

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMCO sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and South Africa. This includes primarily transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‘operational’ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and several island states.

Background Information – Job-specific

The Project Management Office (PMO) Specialist, is part of the broader KEMC PMO. The role of the PMO is to provide projects with the structures, tools and techniques needed to ensure proper implementation that it has the right programmes and projects in place, that operational and change priorities are balanced, the governance and decision making is facilitated and it has the resources and capability to deliver them consistently well. The functional areas covered by the PMO, include:

  •  Strategic Planning/Portfolio Support: Ensuring UNOPS is focused on doing the right projects by supporting management decision-making.
  •  Delivery Support: Ensuring UNOPS is doing projects the right way, through the effective delivery of the programme and projects.
  •  Best Practises: Applying UNOPS standards in project management, encouraging consistent working practises and ensuring appropriate application.

The KEMC Programme is composed of a wide variety of projects categories and service lines. The oversight and assurance of the programme is distributed within the PMO team according to the categories of projects.

The Project Management Office (PMO) Specialist will be responsible for supporting and overseeing all infrastructure projects (Category 3) within the KEMC Programme. The responsibilities of the PMO Specialist will cover all functional areas of the PMO, with specific emphasis on streamlining best practises in Quality, Health, Safety, Social and Environmental Management (QHHSE).

The primary role of a PMO Specialist is to ensure that project management policies, processes and methods are followed and practised according to the organisation standards, while acting as the overall Project Assurance capacity within the business unit on behalf of the Director and Representative (Executive). The PMO strongly contributes to moving the KEMC toward achieving its mission-focused goals and objectives.

Functional Responsibilities

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

  •  Strategic Planning and Portfolio Support
  •  Provides appropriate levels of programmatic management and administrative support to the Head of Programme regarding all infrastructure activities, while maintaining and implementing appropriate standards and best practises in line with UNOPS policies and procedures.
  •  Directly contributes to strategic oversight, advice and direction on infrastructure project management in line with service agreements and project documents.
  •  Ensure proper development, implementation and, as and when appropriate, amendments, of project budgets and staffing resources, ensuring synergies across the [OC/Hub/PC].
  •  Develops and establishes resource monitoring systems for use within the PMO,
  •  Identifies potential programme-level risks and issues and advises mitigating measures to the Head of Programme in a timely manner.
  •  Support the PMO Specialist with necessary project analysis and information relevant to the PMO (i.e. LMDCs, Procurement Plans, Resources Plans, Forecasts etc.).
  •  Support the PMO Specialist with necessary project analysis reports and information relevant to the PMO (i.e. LMDCs, Procurement Plans, Resources Plans, Forecasts etc.).
  •  Provide guidance and support to the PMs on the development and implementation of QHSSE plans
  •  Ensure Environmental Screening is complete for all Infrastructure projects, provide support and guidance to PMs as required
  •  Provide technical assistance in the drafting of ToRs for ESIAs implemented by 3rd Parties

2. Set-up and closure

  •  Oversee and support the start up of new infrastructure projects; in the absence of a PM, lead the startup of infrastructure projects including the recruitment of the project team and preliminary activities;
  •  Contributes to the development of high-level programme/project plans, including the collation of lower-level plans into programme/project-level milestones.
  •  Develop, track and maintain dependencies amongst Infrastructure projects.
  •  Oversee and coordinate all project closure activities for infrastructure projects, ensuring appropriate disposal of project assets, timely and effective final (operational) reporting, initiation of financial disbursements as appropriate during Defects Notification Periods (DNPs), updating of information on oU Projects, and effective handover of closed projects to UNOPS HQ for financial closure processes
  •  Facilitate and ensure that all KEMC Infrastructure Projects have a valid (and agreed) DNP Monitoring plan.
  •  In the absence of a PM, coordinate the implementation of DNP monitoring plans as per the schedule and review relevant documents as part of the project closure requirements.

3. Delivery Support

The PMO Infrastructure Specialist is responsible for overseeing the performance of all infrastructure projects within the KEMC Programme, ensuring projects are delivered on time, to quality and within budget:

  •  Provide routine monitoring infrastructure projects progress and performance through dashboards
  •  Review, assure and provide strategic advice over reports prepared by infrastructure Project Managers in accordance with reporting schedule and KEMC Guidance.
  •  Identify, in a timely manner, potential risks and issues specific to infrastructure project delivery and escalate to the Head of Programme with recommended mitigating measures.
  •  Coordinate and oversee the implementation of requests or initiatives relevant to project management from the Regional Office, IPAS, and HQ Teams, as required.
  •  Backstop or take part in surge initiatives for Infrastructure Project Managers and/or technical team members as required
  •  Undertake periodic monitoring of the implementation of ESMPs, including missions (as appropriate) and ensure regular reporting is mainstreamed into project progress reports
  •  Takes an active role in monitoring the implementation of HSSE plans including requirements and guidelines at project sites
  •  Takes part in periodic HSSE inspections, induction training, incident reporting and investigation as per guidelines
  •  Support the Head of Programme to coordinate timely HSSE monthly reporting and handling of HSSE incidents as per guidelines
  •  Identify gaps, areas to improve and make recommendations to the Head of Programme on appropriate corrective actions
  •  Supports the Head of Programme in taking part in periodic risk assessment, related to HSSE, recommend preventative measures, and application of good practises
  •  Contribute in the achievement of the goal zero of incidents (injury, disease and fatal).

4. Stakeholder engagement

  •  Contribute to development of stakeholder identification and facilitate the formulation of engagement strategies related to infrastructure projects
  •  Contribute to the formulation of programme and project communications plans.
  •  Facilitate internal engagement and communication with IPMG and related business units ensuring effective timing and interdependency.
  •  Support monitoring the effectiveness of programme/project communication related to infrastructure projects

5. Quality Assurance

On behalf of the PMO, provide quality assurance through periodic monitoring and site inspections to verify the implementation of quality management approaches:

  •  Appraise and facilitate compliance with UNOPS defined standards and international best practice for infrastructure project management including QHSSE.
  •  Coordinate quality reviews of programme/ infrastructure project documents and deliverables, including design review submissions through the platform
  •  Provide quality control for management products (project documents, reports, etc.).
  •  Represent the Head of Programme in supporting key stakeholders to continuously identify and improve operational processes relevant to infrastructure projects implementation.
  •  Support the PMO in promoting a culture of compliance on Quality Management policies, guidance, tools and templates
  •  Review and provide assurance of QMPs on behalf of the PMO
  •  Ensure all Infrastructure projects have a valid Construction Quality Assurance Plan (QAP) which is aligned with the contract requirements.
  •  Identify issues or non-conformity, and recommend necessary actions to enforce where unsafe acts or processes that seem dangerous or unhealthy are detected
  •  Undertake reviews to ensure infrastructure projects document records are complete and up to date: Design brief, Design Review Certificates, Substantial Completion Certificates, Final Completion Certificates, Contractor Notices, Materials Testing reports, Non-Conformity Registers, DNP monitoring plans, Defects Registers, As-Built Drawings etc.
  •  Provide advice to PMs in the application of Contracts for Works Guidance Material
  •  Develop tools to track compliance of infrastructure products with relevant policies, guidelines and tools, and undertake assurance over their practises for all Infrastructure projects
  •  Escalate issues and risks related to infrastructure compliance to the Project Executive as they arise
  •  In the absence of a PM, coordinate the implementation of DNP monitoring plans as per the schedule and review relevant documents as part of the project closure requirements

6. Knowledge management and innovation

  •  Act as a focal point for the KEMC Infrastructure maturity enhancement initiatives.
  •  Facilitate training on UNOPS QHSSE policies, tools and instruments including Construction Supervision Guidance,
  •  Provide guidance and support to PMs in the development of Quality Management Plans (QMPs) in line with UNOPS Operational Instruction Ref.OI.IPS.2021.02 – Quality Management and Good Practises;
  •  Ensure routine and effective capacity building activities are conducted in order to build the long-term and sustainable capacity of national staff.
  •  Participate in, and advocate Infrastructure practitioners membership in relevant Communities of Practice.
  •  Lead the establishment of and curates relevant KEMC knowledge networks in infrastructure related disciplines
  •  Actively interact with PMs and the wider UNOPS Infrastructure community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practises in the Knowledge System.
  •  Provides feedback on policy and supporting guidance related to QHSSE and infrastructure practises.
  •  Contributes to ensuring that lessons learnt are shared in a timely and appropriate manner.
  •  Provide technical assistance in the drafting of ToRs for ESIAs implemented by 3rd Parties

7. Personnel management (if managing a team)

  •  Leads the performance, resource and talent management of Infrastructure and HSSE practitioners in KEMC
  •  Actively promote a culture of continuous improvement and lessons learning in infrastructure related disciplines
  •  Take the lead in recruiting quality technical resources internally and externally to UNOPS in the absence of PMs. Actively support PMs in doing so where already in place.
  •  Lead on-boarding Infrastructure and HSSE practitioners and provide guidance on performance setting and reviews within the practise.
  •  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.

Impact of Results

The Project Management Office (PMO) Specialist, directly impacts on achievement of project results by assisting the Head of Programme to implement effective project management methods and strategies, reduce risks, cut costs and improve success rates. This consequently reinforces the visibility and image of the 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


  •  A Master’s degree in Architecture, Urban Planning, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or other related technical discipline with a Master in either a related engineering based discipline is required;
  •  A combination of a Bachelor’s degree with an additional 7 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.


  •  A minimum of at least 5 years of experience in the field of Infrastructure Project Management is required;
  •  At least 2 years experience with the design, procurement stages of the infrastructure life cycle is required;
  •  Experience working in middle income countries and/or developing countries and with multicultural teams is an asset;
  •  Experience delivering training/ capacity building workshops in infrastructure related topics is a distinct advantage;
  •  Experience managing/overseeing a programme of multiple projects simultaneously is an advantage;
  •  Experience working with Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Donor funded projects is an asset;
  •  Knowledge of the UN system and familiarity with UNOPS procedures is a distinct advantage;
  •  Experience in works contract management preferably FIDIC contracting is desired.
  •  Good knowledge of internationally recognized building codes and standards is desired;
  •  Experience implementing infrastructure projects in post-conflict, post-disaster environments will be an advantage;
  •  Experience managing projects with multiple sites and complex logistical dimensions in remote locations is an asset;
  •  A minimum of one (1) year UNOPS work experience in the relevant field is required.


  •  Fluency in English (write, read, speak) is required;
  •  Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


  •  Certification in PRINCE2 Foundation/ practitioner or similar (PMI, MSP etc.) is desired


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.

Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.

Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Additional Considerations

  •  Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  •  Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  •  Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  •  Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  •  UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  •  Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  •  For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  •  For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  •  The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

  •  This position is based in a family duty station.
  •  This is a local post for UNOPS internal personnel who are Kenyan Nationals and have the requisite UNOPS experience

Contract type, level and duration

  •  Contract type: Local Individual Contractor Agreement
  •  Contract level: ICS 10/ LICA Specialist 10
  •  Contract duration: Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: Information – UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information – Kenya

Kenya The UNOPS Kenya office manages more than 60 projects in around 10 countries of eastern and southern Africa. UNOPS in Kenya helps partners achieve their project goals in sectors including: governance, education, health, the environment, grant management and rural development.

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