UN Women: Operations Manager

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :10-Apr-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

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UN Women, 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.

The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is in the process of being established in Istanbul as part of the implementation of a new regional architecture of UN Women. The role of the Regional Centre (RC) is threefold:

  • to empower and support country level capacity and processes to deliver on the UN Women mandate;
  • to oversee country and regional based mandate delivery across normative, policy, advocacy and UN Coordination roles;
  • to deliver on the UN Women mandate at the regional level by leveraging regional coordination mechanisms and liaising closely with other regional bodies.

The Operations Manager is a member of the RC Management Team, together with the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director. S/He provides leadership and advice on all aspects of office management and operations. This includes strategic financial and human resources management, efficient procurement and logistical services, ICT and common services, consistent with UN and UN Women rules and regulations and also acts as the Security Focal Point.

The Operations Manager’s role is to ensure the smooth functioning and results oriented management of operations in the RC and to facilitate programme implementation and delivery by providing for the operational needs of programmes and projects managed by the Region. The Operation Manager will also ensure Country Offices (COs) and Multi-Country Offices (MCOs) within the region are strengthened and supported in their operations, needs and queries in line with corporate administrative arrangements.

The Operation Manager will provide feedback to the Division of Management and Administration on operational aspects in order to improve corporate operational procedures so they become compatible with regional needs. The Operation Manager will also ensure compliance with IPSAS accounting standards by reviewing business processes and systems.

The Operations Manager leads, guides, and supports the Operations staff in the RC and the COs/MCOs in the region through a matrix reporting system and fosters collaboration within the team, with programme staff, with other UN Agencies, and stakeholders, and ensuring a consistent client-oriented approach. The Operations Manager works in close collaboration with programme and project teams in the office, operations staff in other UN Agencies, UN Women HQ staff and other stakeholders to successfully deliver operations services. The Operations Manager reports to the Deputy Regional Director.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance of the Regional Director and the direct supervision of the Deputy Regional Director, the Operations Manager will be responsible for the following key functions:

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Strategic Direction for UN Women Operations within the Region
  • Well-managed and Results-oriented Operations within the  Region
  • Effective Implementation of Security Management Systems
  • Knowledge Management and Sharing
Description of Functions:
Strategic Direction for UN Women Operations within the Region
  • Ensure overall operations are carried out, effectively, efficiently, on time and in a transparent manner.
  • Ensure that annual and longer-term management targets at the UN Women corporate, regional, and CO/MCO level, are consistently met.
  • Determine optimal techniques and business processes for improving effectiveness and efficiency of business operations. Addresses bottlenecks in a consistent and innovative manner to ensure streamlined workflows, leveraging the utilization of IT resources and coaching operations staff throughout the region.
  • Establish the operations team annual work plan in collaboration and discussion with its team members. Set objectives, performance indicators and expected results.
  • Provide support to the RC senior management in monitoring and managing core and extra-budgetary resource allocations.
  • Establish performance plans and evaluation standards. Regularly conduct performance assessments, provide feedback and guidance to ensure optimum performance and accountability according to UN Women standards of integrity, ethics and accountability framework.
Well-Managed and Results-Oriented Operations within Region
  • Serve as a member of the RC Management Team. Provide advice and support to the Regional Director and the Deputy Regional Director on operational issues.
  • Oversee operational and staffing requirements for programmes in the Region and their component projects by participating in review meetings and assessing the managerial and operational capacities of implementing partners, in close collaboration with programme and technical teams.
  • Analyze operational aspects of project inputs under both partners’ and UN Women’s execution in terms of personnel, equipment, sub-contracts, procurement, training, etc.
  • Ensure strategic and efficient management of financial resources, while exercising proper financial controls and adherence to corporate financial policies, rules and regulations. Develop appropriate alternative solutions to meet programme and office objectives for complex cases.
  • Maintain optimal staffing of offices and projects through timely provision and training of human resources applying HR tools and mechanisms and advise on appropriate contract modalities. Implement and monitor HR policies and incorporate HR systems including performance management.
  • Manage and oversee recruitment and contract management processes within the region in accordance with UN Women rules and regulations and in line with post allocations.
  • Supervise implementation of corporate financial, procurement, ICT and HR standards and ensure adequate training of staff and project personnel on these issues. Ensure a continuous and updated flow of information between CO, MCO, RC and HQ.
  • Identify opportunities and ways of converting business processes into web-based systems to strengthen efficiency and ensure full accountability.
  • Maintain a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequate planning for disasters and recoveries.
  • Maintain oversight for the timely provision of goods and services for offices and programmes following established corporate procedures regarding contract review and awarding of contracts, evaluate cost effectiveness.
  • Manage UN Women’s assets and liabilities and ensure proper inventory control.
  • Participate in local Acquisition Management Review Committee (AMRC) as needed.
  • Ensure that UN Women’s interests are reflected in common system activities related to common services and premises, cost-recovery, and cost-sharing arrangements, privileges and immunities, entitlements and salary surveys, security, etc. by participating actively in inter-agency meetings and working groups. Work closely with HQ, COs and MCOs on audit processes, including preparation and follow-up. Ensure corrective action taken as appropriate on audit findings and recommendations related to operations including advances, purchase orders, requisitions, payments and other financial/administrative issues.

Effective Implementation of Security Management Systems:

  • Manage day-to-day security related matters under the guidance of UN Women’s Security Advisor and in alignment with UN local security arrangements.
  • Monitor regular updating of lists of personnel and their recognized dependents.
  • With the assistance of Department of Safety and Security (DSS), maintain and update the country-specific security plan.
  • Ensure that all mandatory reports are provided in a timely manner.
  • Report all security related incidents involving UN personnel and their recognized dependents to DSS and UN Women’s Security Advisor.
  • Assist the Designated Official and the Security Management Team in the development and implementation of minimum operating security standards.
  • Maintain a close technical line of communication with UN Women’s global Security Advisor.
  • Develop and maintain Business Continuity Plan for the RC, and  support and guide COs / MCOs in developing and maintaining their respective Business Continuity Plans.
Knowledge Management and Sharing
  • Ensure knowledge is shared and adequately applied between the regional office and COs/MCOs within the region.
  • Build capacity of operations staff through coaching and mentoring in all aspects of operations management.
  • Create a learning environment; establish and institutionalize learning opportunities within the RC.
  • Identify and promote different systems and applications for optimal content management, knowledge sharing, information provision and learning including e-registry, web-based office management systems.
Impact of Results: 

The key results have an impact on the overall economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of RC operations as it relates to the use of corporate resources in the following areas:

  • Financial Services
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement and Logistical Services
  • ICT
  • Safety and Security of Personnel, Assets, Property and Information.
  • Common Services and the Implementation of the UN Agenda on Common Services and Joint Procurement.


Core Values and Guiding Principles:
  • Integrity: Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
  • Cultural sensitivity and Valuing Diversity:  Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values: Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity.
  • Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
  • Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative.
  • Work in Teams: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds. 
  • Communicating Information and Ideas:  Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication.
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others. 
  • Conflict Management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:   Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision-making.

Functional Competencies:
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting.
  • Ability to lead formulation and monitoring of management projects.
  • Ability to lead business processes re-engineering, implementation of new systems (business side), and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Leads the team effectively and show mentoring as well as conflict resolution skills.
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Promotes knowledge management in UN Women and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example.
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more Practice Areas, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master's Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Finance, or related field.


  • 7 years of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services and/or managing staff and operational systems and establishing interrelationship among international organizations and national governments.
  • Experience in the usage of computers, office software packages.
  • Experience in handling web-based management systems.


  • Fluency in English.
  • Knowledge of Russian or an additional UN Official language is highly desirable.

Important Notice Regarding Vacancy:

  • UN Women P11s and CVs of qualified candidates from this vacancy will be kept in a recruitment roster for similar positions located in other duty stations.
  • 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.

UN Women Background:

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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