Operations Specialist

Location : Mogadishu, SOMALIA
Application Deadline :13-Aug-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year (with possible renewal)
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year (with possible renewal)

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.


In order to urgently enhance its operational presence and capabilities inside Somalia, the UN Somalia Country Team (UNCT) has agreed a common strategy and major effort towards establishment of and/or increased presence in a number of areas designated as operational hubs in Somalia. The UNCT has also agreed a typology of premises, ranging from those to be operated and used by only one agency to full fledged UN Common Premises (UNCCs) on a location-by-location basis, the type of premise to be established and the “lead” agency to be tasked with moving forward were identified.

Where UNCCs will be established but also in other cases, the UNCT has further decided to implement common quality standards for accommodation and office space. The Security Management Team and Designated Official have – after recent events in Somalia, approved a revised Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS) which will be applied to all areas of UN presence in Somalia.

Due to the complexity of the Common Services and the involvement of many UN Agencies in Somalia, it was seen necessary to have a dedicated UN Common Services/Premises Project Manager who will perform the functions of Operations Specialist and manage the overall UN CS starting from the work plan, up to the implementation, monitoring and reporting. Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Chair of the UN SOMT (Somalia Operations Management Team), the Operations Specialist provides the overall administration and execution of varied and inter-related operational and logistical activities for all UN Agencies in Somalia, ensuring high quality and accuracy of work. The Operations Specialist promotes a client, quality and results-oriented approach. The Operations Specialist will travel extensively to the various locations of UN presence and, where required, will assist lead agencies in mobilizing specific technical expertise. The Operations Specialist will also be expected to develop additional common services where opportunities arise.

The Operations Specialist of the UN Common System Services/Premises works on a daily basis with colleagues of the UN Agencies within the framework of the SOMT, including the head of agencies and heads of sub-offices. The incumbent of the Operations Specialist post must be able to develop and maintain viable working relationships with colleagues across the UN Agencies, and be able to work with them in a responsive client orientation and in a problem solving mode.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Ensuring effective implementation of common services operations;
  • Financial resources management of common services budget;
  • Ensuring effective implementation of strategic operation of SOMT decisions;
  • Efficient operations management of the Mogadishu office;
  • Ensures facilitation of knowledge building and sharing among the SOMT members.

Provide advice to ensure effective implementation of Common Services operation focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Full compliance of operations with UN/UNDP rules, regulations and policies, implementation of corporate operational strategies, establishment of management targets (BSC) and monitoring of achievement of results;
  • Business processes mapping and establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in common services;
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, timely readjustment of the operations, advice on legal considerations and risk assessment;
  • Provide support to the Chair of SOMT on all issues related to common services, including identifying new Common Services (CS), initiating negotiations with service providers, formulating draft agreement, monitoring performance of common services;
  • Analyze existing common services and identify new areas of opportunities where Common Services interventions could be further developed, i.e., security, transport and travel services, building maintenance, ICT and IT-support, procurement;
  • Monitor progress of Common Services arrangements and identify constraints and delays to bring to the attention of the Chair of SOMT, identify new areas of opportunities where Common Service interventions could further be developed. Develop new and improved CS, and regularly review the CS mechanism with a view to keeping it aligned with changing scope of CS in Somalia. Oversee the Common Services cost sharing arrangement. Ensure timely development of Common Services annual work plans and budgets, as required;
  • Advise on the establishment of common premises, including cost-benefit analysis and coordination with agencies;
  • Provide specialized technical input for the preparation of all appropriate documentation (e.g. RFQ, RFP, ITB) on all Common premises and facilities-related vendor contracts. Technical inputs are to be provided in a timely cost effective and ethical manner within the UN financial and administrative regulations and rules in order to ensure continuity of business and value for money.

Ensure proper common services organization and UNCC Financial management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Conduct cost benefit analysis of the various possible common services and develop a priority implementation plan;
  • Review office space availability and allocations on a regular basis, ensure all floor plans are current. Periodically analyze and upgrade space policy guidelines and prescriptive content to relevant UN guideline documentation (e.g. JIU);
  • Coordinate and monitor progress on all major renovations with counterparts (vendors, etc) with respect to UN standards, contract prices, budget);
  • Ensure that all premises and facility management-related vendors are performing in full compliance with all of their contractual obligations at all times;
  • Proper UNCC expenditure tracking and audit of financial resources, in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations;
  • Performance of Manager Level 1 (transaction up to $5000) role in Atlas for vouchers approvals;
  • Organization of cost-recovery mechanisms for the UNCC services provided to projects and UN Agencies, including ensuring preparation of proforma invoices for UN agencies;
  • Organization and oversight of petty cash management processes, including risk assessment timely accounting and reconciliation of all petty cash transactions, security for cash assets on site;
  • All financial transactions are identified, recorded and verified in compliance with IPSAS as outlined in the corporate policies and procedures.

Ensure effective implementation of SOMT strategy for operations focusing on achievement of following:

  • Facilitate the development of a strategy as per the direction of SOMT that will enhance common services among the UN organizations in Somalia, as well as helping with the simplification and harmonization of operational procedures/ activities. Ensure ad hoc reviews are conducted to identify new areas of opportunities where CS interventions could be further developed;
  • Monitor and report on progress against the UNCT-approved SOMT work plan and Monitoring and Evaluation frame work for reform process and periodically update and amend the SOMT work plan;
  • Elaboration of proposals and implementation of cost saving and reduction strategies in consultations with UN-SOMT;
  • Work closely with other UN Agencies or any related task force/UN reform body in order to maximize efficiencies and opportunities for common services/operations including UNDP Security Division and UNDSS on security-related issues and ensure the establishment of partnerships with all stakeholders;
  • Ensure proper common services organization and management, as required by the SOMT in order to achieve results;
  • Plan, organize, and co-facilitate Common Service (CS) workshops, meetings and outputs in coordination with the SOMT.

Efficient operations management of the Mogadishu office, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Maintenance of the proper performance management and staff development systems;
  • Compliance with corporate rules and regulations in the field and elaboration of the   procurement strategies including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, customer relationship management, e-procurement promotion and introduction, performance measurement;
  • Elaboration of the contract strategy including tendering processes and evaluation, managing the contract and contractor, legal implications. Oversight of procurement processes and logistical services in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations, OM acting as Manager Level 1 in Atlas for Purchase orders approvals;
  • Proper management of assets, facilities and logistical services, including full compliance with IPSAS in the accounting for the procurement, utilization and disposal of the assets;
  • Identification of opportunities and ways of converting business processes into web-based systems to address the issues of efficiency and full accountability;
  • Maintenance of a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequate planning for disasters and recoveries.

Support knowledge building and management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Promote identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned from the UN Somalia Common Services experience for organizational sharing and learning;
  • Promote cross-Agency team work and the development of common services/UN reform skills of the UNCT members;
  • Support capacity-building of national counterparts;
  • Promote a knowledge sharing and learning culture;
  • Knowledge building and sharing with regards to management and operations and synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices.
Impact of Results:

The key results have an impact on streamlining the management of UNCC’s in Somalia in terms of cost effectiveness and client orientation; assist the SOMT in developing and implementing a strategy for improving the overall effectiveness of UN operations in Somalia; establish coordination and cooperation between UN Agencies operations within technical areas, including UN common procurement, streamlining of HR policies, implementation and synergies on IT and fleet management; improve the coordination between the SOMT and UNCT.


Functional Competencies:
  •  Knowledge of UN as a whole, and the role of the UN Resident Coordinator system is an asset.
Building Partnerships: Identifying and building partnerships
  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build alliances;  
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners;
  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments.

Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Developing tools and mechanisms

  • Participates in the development of mechanisms, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies.

Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise: In-depth knowledge of own discipline

  • Understands advanced aspects of primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines (financial resources and human resources management, contract, asset and procurement, information and communication technology, general administration);
  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit;
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally;
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments;
  • Continually looking for ways to enhance financial performance in the office.

Promoting Organizational Change and Development: Assisting the individuals to cope with change

  • Performs appropriate work analysis and assists in redesign to establish clear standards for implementation.

Design And Implementation of Management Systems: Designing and implementing management system

  • Makes recommendations regarding operation of systems within organizational units;
  • Identifies and recommends remedial measures to address problems in systems design or implementation.

Client Orientation: Contributing to positive outcomes for the client

  • Anticipates client needs;
  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspective;
  • Solicits feedback on service provision and qualifications.

Promoting Accountability and Results-Based Management: Input to the development of standards and policies

  • Provides inputs to the development of organizational standards for accountability.
Core Competencies:
  • Building support and political acumen;
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Building and promoting effective teams;
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication;
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization;
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UNDP & setting standards;
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member;
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Engineering, Architecture or related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years professional work experience in relevant areas such as UN’s common services management of which 3 or more years should be of project management responsibilities of similar size and complexity;
  • UN operational Work experience in a conflict or post setting is an asset;
  • Thorough professional and technical knowledge of ATLAS Modules or other ERP systems is an advantage;
  • Experience in implementation and monitoring Action Plans involving many UN organizations to ensure effective operational common support office structure is an asset.
Language Requirements:            
  • Strong written and spoken English skills.

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders).

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact the eRecruit Helpdesk.

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme