Head of Programme
Background 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 – Amman
The UNOPS Hub in Amman implements projects in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen, in partnership with bilateral donors, national governments, and other UN agencies. With an established presence across the region, the office runs operations including large-scale procurement, project development, and technical management, and provides financial, human resources, and infrastructure-related services. The functional objective of UNOPS Hub in Amman is to deliver its projects in an efficient and effective manner and in line with the principles, rules and regulations of UNOPS, in order to support the response to the current needs and national priorities in the region.
The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.
UNOPS is committed to achieving gender parity and to having a fully diverse workforce.
The Head of Programme reports directly to the Director, UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman who provides direction and general supervision. The Head of Programme is responsible for programme development planning and preparation and for managing all stages of programming to achieve results in the area/s of responsibility. The role contributes to the development and implementation of strategies to enhance the competencies and position of UNOPS in sustainable project management and services to partners, stakeholders and UN system partners
Summary of key results:
Programme governance, implementation and monitoring
Programme development and planning
Manage programme resources
Partnership networking and advocacy
Knowledge management and innovation
National/ UN Coordination
1. Programme governance, implementation and monitoring
- Accept responsibility for project portfolio oversight as delegated by the Hub Director and through the role of Project Executive on Project Boards.
- Establish and execute the programme implementation plans in collaboration with the team and partners, including setting objectives, performance measurements, standards and results expected to ensure timely and client-oriented services.
- Monitor and supervise the timely and cost-effective implementation of the programme according to UNOPS goals and partner expectations, approved budget and full cost recovery.
- Supervise the Programme Management Office (PMO) to ensure that project management policies, processes and methods are followed and practiced according to the UNOPS standards, best project management practices are promoted, and overall assurance of projects is provided.
- Mentor and assist Project Managers in planning, execution and delivery of allocated projects, ensuring incorporation of best practice project management processes.
- Facilitate timely and accurate project tracking, analysis of outputs, and reporting.
- Develop and implement the programme governance framework.
2. Programme development and planning
- Support the Hub Director in ensuring the financial sustainability of the programme and delivery of desired results, compliance with organizational strategies, rules, regulations and standards of performance.
- Submit mandated reports and critical issues to the Hub Director and clients, to drive future process improvement and business development planning.
- Analyse and keep abreast of political and development trends in the geographical area, to identify and propose to the Hub Director areas for UNOPS engagement and support based on priorities in the relevant geography, strategic areas of focus and comparative advantage.
- Manage and oversee the preparation of programme documents (including business cases/strategies, policy briefs, programme plans and risk assessments).
- Ensure the accurate and timely completion of programme/business recommendations for the review and approval of the Hub Director.
- Consult and collaborate with internal and external colleagues and partners to ensure linkages, consistency, and harmonisation of approaches and compliance with guidelines, framework and standards of accountability, integrity and performance.
3. Manage programme resources
- Plan and propose to the Hub Director, required programme resources (human and financial).
- Submit revenue and expenditure forecasts based on UNOPS and the Hub financial goals.
- Determine pricing strategies based on UNOPS pricing policy and models to ensure an appropriate balance between revenue and development capacity within UN mandate and spirit.
- Manage programme resources in accordance with UNOPS standards of ethics, integrity and accountability framework and financial sustainability.
- Plan, recruit, manage and develop programme personnel/technical experts with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance and encouraging the formation of diverse teams in term of gender and geography.
- Promote teamwork, collaboration and diversity by providing the programme team with clear direction, objectives and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
- Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.
- Plan, conduct and/or respond to UNOPS performance evaluation reviews and surveys.
4. Partnership, networking and advocacy
- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNOPS competencies in project service delivery and management.
- Support the business development function by identifying and developing new business and partnership/customer opportunities.
- Collaborate with the Partnerships Advisor to prepare proposals and partnerships engagement and foster the programme-partnerships nexus.
- Contribute to current and future growth plans for the Hub, ensuring alignment with the UNOPS Strategic Plan.
- Support Communications Officer in developing communication strategies to maximise communication impact and outreach and build awareness of UNOPS goals and competencies to reinforce UNOPS competitive edge as a provider of sustainable projects results.
- At the request of the Hub Director participate and/or represent the Hub in inter-agency discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.
5. Knowledge management and innovation
- Keep abreast of and incorporate latest/best practices, approaches and technology to enhance the programme delivery and results.
- Institutionalise and share best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.
- Draft policy papers and/or recommend policy changes to align operations with changing environment.
- Lead the planning, implementation and organization of strategic capacity building of personnel, clients and stakeholders within the programme.
- National/ UN Coordination At the request of the Hub Director, participate in relevant inter-agency and external meetings.
- Maintain regular contact with stakeholders, including Government to ensure full information sharing and participation.
- Collaborate with internal and external partners, colleagues and stakeholders to keep abreast of evolving trends, advocate UNOPS services and build partnerships/alliances to maintain/enhance UNOPS visibility in project services in development cooperation.
- At the request of the Hub Director, participate in the UN Security Management Team and in line with the UN Security Management System Framework of Accountability, support the UN Designated Official in discharging his/her mandate related to the safety and security of all UNOPS personnel, premises and assets.
- At the request of the Hub Director, participate in UN Country Team initiatives to strengthen UN coherence, inclusiveness, and aid effectiveness.
- At the request of the Hub Director, keep the UN Resident Coordinator informed of UNOPS activities within the country through regular communication and formal reporting on business acquisition and implementation of activities led by UNOPS as part of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)
- Act as Officer-in-Charge for the Hub Director, as required.
Impact of Results
The effective and successful performance by the Head of Programme/ Country Manager directly impacts on achievement of programme results and 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
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.
A Master’s degree in engineering, project management, public administration, social science or other relevant related field is required.
A combination of Bachelor’s degree with an additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.
- A minimum of 10 years of cumulative experience managing diverse portfolio including engineering, humanitarian and development projects, as well as strategic and managerial leadership in social development, business development, executive management and/or programme management planning and operations in a large international and/or corporate organization is required.
- Experience in the Middle East region is required.
- 3 years progressive leadership experience including supervising teams and managing budgets.
- Some experience in UN system organizations preferably in a developing country is highly desired.
Full working knowledge of English is required while Arabic will be desirable.
PRINCE2® Foundation/Practitioner an asset, but required completion within first 6 months of onboarding.
Programme/Project Management Professional (MSP® or PMI-PgMP/PMI-PMP) an asset.
Contract type, level and duration
Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: I-ICA 3
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:
- 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
- UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
- For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
- 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.