Operations Manager - (Vacancy open to Common UN System Only)

Location : Praia, CAPE VERDE
Application Deadline :30-Nov-14 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Management
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
English   French   Portuguese
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :One year , renewable


Cabo Verde became the first pilot Joint Office (JO) of the Ex-Com agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and WFP) on 1 January 2006.  This was a major step of UN reform towards the harmonization and simplification of UN activities in small countries.  A Joint Office model consists of a single UN office of the participating agencies, led by one representative who equally represents all the participating agencies and is also the UN Resident Coordinator. The JO has one organizational structure and a single programme/common country programme encompassing the activities and mandates of all participating agencies, and uses one set of business processes, rules and regulations under a “support agency” arrangement, and is agency-neutral.  In Cape Verde, the UNDP system is used.  The JO in Cape Verde became part of the group of 8 Delivering as One (DaO) pilot countries in 2007.  In 2008, the first One UN Programme under UNDAF with the participation of 21 UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes was launched aimed at contributing towards the country’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP).  A Common Country Programme Document (CCPD) was approved based on four pillars - Democratic Governance, Pro-Poor Policies, Environment/Disaster Prevention, and Human Capital Development.  A Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) was prepared with seven Annual Work Plans for the period of 2006-2010 to finance activities worth over $33 million.  The four ExCom agencies were also key participants in the One UN programme leading several of its 9 sub-programmes.  The JO, now comprising only 3 agencies – UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA - is presently implementing the second UNDAF/One UN Programme covering the period 2012-2016 under four pillars – Inclusive growth and poverty reduction, Consolidation of institutions, democracy and citizenship, and Environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation -   for a total estimated amount of US$16.8 million. 

The Cape Verde Joint Office operates under the purview of the Regional Offices of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA.  The JO structure consists of the following key Unit/teams:  Coherence Unit/Resident Coordination Office (RCO); a Programme Team, and an Operations Team.  The RCO team reports to the RC, and both the Programme and the Operations teams are under the supervision of the Deputy Representative (P/O).

Under the guidance of the Deputy Representative (P/O), the Operations Manager is accountable for the cost effective, efficient and secure operations of the Joint Office, and supports Management in the implementation of Corporate Strategic Plans of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA, the One UN Programme and the JO’s annual Integrated Work Plan.  S/he ensures a well-managed, results-oriented and fully accountable office and facilitates programme implementation and delivery by providing for the operational needs of programmes and projects. 

The Operations Manager supervises the Operations team including strategic planning, financial and human resources management, efficient procurement and logistical services, information technology, administration, common services and security of the office premises and staff.  The Operations Manager works in close collaboration with programme and project teams in the country, the counterparts in other non-resident UN Agencies, HQs and Regional Office staff of the JO agencies, and Government officials and partners to successfully deliver operational and programme support services.

Duties and Responsibilities

Effectively support development and implementation of the CPD, IWP and other initiatives, focusing on the following results:

  • Annual management targets of the JO established and achievement of results closely monitored. Effective contribution provided to the development of the CPD, IWP ensuring adequate inputs and performance indicators are incorporated to allow for effective progress monitoring and successful achievement of the IWP;
  • Close monitoring of quarterly progress reports focusing on the financial area, and timely preparation and submission of accurate financial reports and other substantial and administrative reports to the participating UN agencies;
  • A strategic, cost-effective approach to support the implementation of UNDAF and IWPs developed in the form of a Business Operations Strategy (BOS);
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment and any new business requirements undertaken, for quick readjustment of the operations, advice on any legal considerations and risk assessment.

Provide effective supervision of the operations team, focusing on the following results: 

  • All resources of the JO effectively managed, utilized and monitored, and financial integrity ensured; 
  • Adequate systems put in place to ensure effective monitoring of compliance with established policies, procedures and systems in the areas of Finance; Human Resources Management; Procurement; Information, Communication and Technology;
  • Office premises and Common Services; and security of the premises and compliance with all operational personnel;
  • Fiduciary integrity for funds and assets of the JO ensured, ensuring effective and timely execution of planned activities for optimum utilization and taking appropriate and timely decision on all operational and financial transactions, disbursement of funds, and administrative arrangements;
  • JO business processes duly mapped and internal Standard Operating Procedures developed, updated and implemented in the areas of Finance, Human Resources Management, Procurement, Logistical and ICT services, and Results Management;
  • Compliance with UN rules, regulations, policies and procedures ensured, and corporate operational strategies implemented in line with the operational set-up of the JO;

Specific key responsibilities in the following functional areas include:


  • Proper planning, expenditure tracking and audit of financial resources in accordance with corporate rules and regulations;
  • Proper management of the contributions management business process and accounting for contributions to ensure that the money due is properly identified, consistently and uniformly classified, recorded on a timely basis and received with sufficient supporting documentation;
  • Performance of Manager Level 2 role in Atlas for voucher and Treasury transactions approvals, bank reconciliation. Approval of pending disbursements as the “third authority” (cheques, bank transfers, EFT). Approval of bank reconciliations;
  • Organization of cost-recovery mechanisms for CO services provided to projects and UN Agencies, including ensuring preparation of proforma invoices for UN agencies, and applying the exceptions related to JO specific arrangements with JO participating Agencies;
  • Organization and oversight of CO cash management processes, including liquidity management, recommendation of imprest level, risk assessment, bank relationship management; timely accounting and reconciliation of all transactions, security for cash assets on site;
  • Monitoring of financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions and investigation of anomalies or unusual transactions. Provision of information to supervisors and other UNDP staff at HQ of the results of the investigation when satisfactory answers are not obtained;
  • Member of bank signatory panel;
  • Transaction and stop payment approval on internet banking system;
  • All financial transactions are identified, recorded and verified in compliance with IPSAS as outlined in the corporate policies and procedures.

Human Resources

  • Compliance with corporate human resources policies and strategies;
  • Oversight of recruitment processes in accordance with corporate rules and regulations, appropriate use of different contractual modalities, contracts management, OM performing the function of HR Manager in Atlas;
  • HR management strategy developed including sourcing and talent management;
  • Optimal office structure and staffing for the JO and projects developed and maintained;
  • Recruitment processes and performance management systems managed, ensuring linkage to job design with recruitment, performance management and career development;
  • Established corporate HR strategy, policies and procedures, and systems including performance management implemented;
  • Staff learning needs identified, effective training and learning activities developed and implemented to ensure effective optimum performance and efficiency;
  • Operations and Programme training and workshops for all staff planned and organized for competency building, staff development, learning and career development;
  • Coaching and career counselling provided to staff on performance enhancement/development.

Procurement and Logistics

  • Oversight of procurement processes, logistical services and asset management in accordance with corporate rules and regulations;
  • Liaison and collaboration ensured with procurement and logistical services of the JO participating agencies, for most efficient JO response in different areas;
  • Procurement strategy developed and managed, including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, contracting strategy including development of a robust contract management system, quality management, customer relationship management, e-procurement promotion and introduction of performance measurement;
  • Ensure full compliance with corporate rules and regulations governing procurement and assets management;
  • Perform function of Manager Level 2 in Atlas for Purchase orders approvals;
  • Maintain oversight for the timely provision of goods and services for office and projects following established corporate procedures.


  • Forward-looking information and communication management strategy developed and implemented to support business needs of the JO;
  • JO disaster recovery plan and Business Continuity Plan developed, implemented and maintained, ensuring that they are current and ready for implementation at all times;
  • Secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT is maintained;
  • ICT team coached to ensure that the team is fully up-to-date with emerging technologies to best provide business solutions for the JO operations and requirements;
  • Efficient and quality technical support to user provided;
  • Atlas functionality and reports utilized for improved business results and improved client services;
  • Opportunities identified for converting business processes into web-based systems to address the issues of efficiency and full accountability;
  • Different systems and applications promoted for optimal content management, knowledge sharing, information provision and learning including e-registry, web-based office management system, etc;
  • JO website is up-to-date and information therein is quality-controlled. 

 Common Services

  • Establishment of common services, maintenance of coordinating machinery to ensure integrated activities on common services and implementation of the UN reform;
  • Elaboration of the strategic approach for implementation of common services in line with the latest developments in common services and the best practices;
  • Proper planning and tracking of common services budget and of Agencies contributions to the common services account;
  • Partnerships with other UN Agencies established.


  • Security Contingency Plan maintained and updated and regular emergency drills conducted;
  • Prompt coordination with the Head of Office, JO and all staff in the country, and the Regional Office on security-related issues and emergency operations;
  • Operational support to emergency preparedness and emergency situations provided;
  • All staff in the country informed and updated on security related issues and emergency operations;
  • Security of premises, assets and staff ensured at all times.

Facilitate capacity building, knowledge management and sharing, focusing on the following key results:

  • Capacity-building of IPs and project teams provided on operational issues on a need basis;
  • Synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices in operational areas prepared and widely shared among various practice networks;
  • Sound contributions made to various knowledge networks and communities of practices.

Provide inputs and support to the DRR P&O on cooperation with other UN agencies  on UN reform initiatives and on implementation of the Delivering As One (DoA) initiative in Cabo Verde, with regard to operational matters, focusing on the following results:

  • Effective support and contribution to furthering DaO initiative through experimenting new business practices in all functional areas, documenting experiences gained with a view to developing new harmonized policies and procedures that could be formalized for application in other countries;
  • Effective monitoring and reporting, both on the mandatory operational activities as well as at UN-DOCO level on operational matters related to DaO;
  • Effective guidance and contribution to decision and policy making at JO Management level as a member of the JO Management Team, and contribution to partnership-building and resource mobilization efforts for promotion of the DaO operational guidelines;
  • Evidence-based knowledge management, codification of best practices and lessons learned, and knowledge-sharing on DaO and One UN Programme, covering operational aspects.


Functional Competencies:

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 quality.

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 or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, or related field;
  • Specialization in Finance/Accounting, Human Resources management, Procurement and Logistic/Supply Chain management an asset.


  • Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible experience in providing management advisory services and or managing staff and operational systems, with a minimum of three years at the international level;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, proficiency in handling of web based management systems and integrated information systems/ERP, preferably PeopleSoft;
  • Experience of accrual accounting, IPSAS of IFRS is highly desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in French and English. Working knowledge of Portuguese an important asset.

Important note:

  • All applicants, in addition to submitting an application and resume, must complete and attach a UNDP Personal History Form (P.11); Please note that the system takes only one attachment, therefore all documents should be scanned in one single PDF file.
  • Only applicants who have submitted an updated complete and signed UNDP P.11, certifying that the information contained therein is fully accurate, will be given consideration for the post;
  • Only candidates who fully meet the requited qualifications for the position as specified in the vacancy announcement may be considered to be shortlisted for the post.

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