UN Women: Procurement Specialist

Application Deadline :18-Jan-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


UN Women (UNW), grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women's rights at the centre of all its efforts, the UN Women will lead and coordinate United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States' priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The Division of Management and Administration is responsible for the planning, allocation and management of financial, human and administrative resources including information communications and technology, the effective and efficient delivery of essential operations services in UN Women, continuous development and improvement in operations, policies, and methods to align with UN Women and stakeholders' evolving business needs and advisory support to the Executive Director in the formulation and implementation of the UN Women overall mission, strategy and plans of actions.

Under the direction and guidance of the Deputy Director Operations, Division of Management and Administration, the Procurement Specialist provides strategic and operational advice to promote and  ensure effective delivery of procurement services in UN Women headquarters and Country Offices, in order to obtain best value for money and supporting programme delivery requirements. She/he analyzes and interprets UN Women Financial Regulations and Rules and Procurement guidelines, and provides solutions to a wide spectrum of complex issues related to procurement relevant to Headquarters and Country Office environments. The Procurement Specialist promotes a  collaborative, client, quality and results-oriented approach. The Procurement Specialist supervises and leads all staff in the Procurement Section, and works in close collaboration with the operations, programme and projects teams in UN Women HQ and Country Offices and other stakeholders to successfully deliver procurement services.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

Strategic Advice on Procurement Operations and Services:
  • Provides expert procurement advice on procurement activities to UN Women officials in headquarters and country offices during all phases of the procurement cycle.
  • Serves as a senior procurement and contracting expert, providing strategic advice to the Deputy Director, Operations and to Country Office personnel.
  • Contributes to development of institutional procurement policies and procedures; develops guidance including on: UN Women procurement through service providers in the field and HQ (such as UNDP); standards and criteria for the evaluation of goods, services, supplier capacity, etc.
  • With guidance from the Deputy Director Operations, lead the conceptualization, elaboration and implementation of strategic procurement in UN Women including sourcing strategies, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, customer relationship management, promotion of e-procurement, and performance measurement.
  • Advice the Deputy director, Operations and UN Women offices on establishment and implementation of harmonized procurement services and elaboration of proposals on common services expansion and management of joint procurement for UN Agencies in line with the UN reform.
  • Advice the Deputy Director on revisions to the procurement processes in order to make them more efficient and effective.
Procurement Planning and Monitoring:
  • Actively support, follow up and report on procurement activities of UN-Women overall, including development of procurement plans, ensuring compliance with procurement guidelines, and evaluating the attainment of Value for Money for UN Women. Monitor and report on any irregularities in the procurement process, and propose strategic remedial measures.
  • Promote and monitor an internal control system that ensures that Purchase Orders (POs) are properly prepared and dispatched, and ensure timely corrective actions on POs with budget check errors and other problems.
  • Promote and support development and management of the rosters of suppliers, elaboration of supplier selection and evaluation, quality and performance measurement mechanisms.
  • Promote the culture of using LTAs within UN-Women. Develop and Establish an LTA database containing UN-Women and Other UN LTAs.

Leadership of HQ Procurement Operations and Services:

  • Procurement of a wide variety of supplies and services for HQ, and supporting UNW Country Offices with complex (technically and legally) contracts and procurement activities.
  • Analyzes and evaluates HQ procurement requests and ensures appropriateness of technical specifications.
  • Leads the procurement team in the organization of RFQs, ITBs or RFPs, receipt of quotations, bids or proposals, their evaluation, negotiation of certain conditions of contracts in full compliance with UN- Women regulations, rules and procedures. Prepares submissions to the Contracts Committee for review and subsequent approval by the authorized official. 
  • Oversees and support the AMRC secretariat. 
  • Develops and prepares contracts for procurement of non-routine and/or complex services, and goods.
  • Establishes approaches for negotiations and conducts or coordinates all phases of negotiations with all concerned parties. 
  • Approves Atlas Purchase Orders (as Committing Officer) within limits of delegated authority and the Internal Control Framework. 
  • Management of procurement contracts. 
  • Develops and manages a UN-Women system of tracking, negotiation and resolution of contract disputes. 
  • Provides direction and guidance to Procurement Section staff.
  • Procurement business processes mapping and elaboration/establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Procurement, control of the workflows in the Procurement Unit, harmonization of the workflows in the office
Facilitation of Knowledge-Building and Knowledge-Sharing:
  • Work with programme/project staff on procurement planning and needs, providing technical support and advice on specifications, cost implications and, where relevant, logistics for timely delivery internationally or nationally.
  • Enhance staff capacity and skills of the staff through coaching, training, mentoring and other innovative measures.
  • Coordinate and provide procurement and Atlas training, including training/support missions as necessary, to UN-Women Country Offices and HQ programme and operations staff.
  • Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices in procurement.
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.
Impact of Results:

Full compliance of procurement activities with UN-Women rules, regulations, policies and strategies. Implementation of the effective internal controls, proper design and functioning of a client-oriented procurement management system customized to UN-Women needs


Core Values / Guiding Principles:

  • Integrity: Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity: Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity. 
 Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values: Promoting Ethics and Integrity / Creating Organizational Precedents
  • Organizational Awareness: Building support and political acumen
  • Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring: Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation.
  • Working in Teams: Building and promoting effective teams.
  • Communicating Information and Ideas: Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Self-management and Emotional intelligence: Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Conflict Management / Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements: Leveraging conflict in the interests of the organization & setting standards
  • Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning: Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking
Functional Competencies:
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN-Women.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office.
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice.
  • Ability to introduce and implement strategic procurement, contract and sourcing strategy.
  • Ability to lead implementation of new systems and processes, and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change.
  • Proven conceptual analytical and evaluative skills and ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identifying issues, formulating options and making conclusions and recommendations. An in-depth grasp of procurement principles and practice.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with procurement counterparts and other staff/offices.
  • Ability to communicate technical procurement matters in a simple and clear manner to individuals not well versed in the intricacies of procurement.
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor work plan and those under his/her supervision.
  • Focuses on impact and results for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Leads teams effectively and shows conflict-resolution skills.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business administration, public administration, commerce, engineering, law or a related field.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in procurement, contract management, administration or related area. Professional procurement certification would be an asset 
  • Fluency in oral and written English required.
  • Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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