Head of Engagement Assurance

UNOPS, Denmark
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Job Summary

Job Description

UNOPS strategic focus places increased emphasis on national capacity development and sustainable approaches to project management, procurement and infrastructure services. A key objective is to be recognized as an organization that delivers world-class infrastructure and project management, which is both economically and socially sustainable, even in the most challenging environments. To achieve this goal, UNOPS has established the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG).

Within UNOPS, IPMG’s objectives are to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best-practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programmes and projects around the world.
To achieve its objectives, IPMG has established three interrelated and interdependent work technical teams, namely, Strategic Initiatives, Standards, and Engagement Assurance. IPMG is managed overall by the Director of IPMG and supported by a Programme Support Unit (PSU). Engagement Assurance includes the following units: Organizational Project and Programme Management Office (OPMO), Risk-based Performance Assessment (RPA), and Infrastructure Design Review (Infra DR).

The Engagement Assurance team supports the effective application by the projects and the country offices of the Infrastructure and Project Management policy and associated standards publications. The range of expertise in assurance includes inter alia P3M3 and Infrastructure maturity assessments, Project Management, including in an infrastructure context, Engineering/Architecture, certification of infrastructure designs and identification of the root causes of portfolio level risks associated with partner engagements.

Engagement Assurance is overall managed by the Head of Engagement Assurance. S/he directly supervises the three (3) unit/team leaders of OPMO, RPA, and Infra DR. In addition, the Head of Engagement Assurance is part of the IPMG Management Team, which is the decision-making body of the IPMG and comprises of the IPMG Director and the Heads of the three (3) technical teams as well as the PSU manager. The Head of Engagement Assurance reports to the IPMG Director.
Along with the managerial responsibilities of leading a technical stream and team, the Head of Engagement Assurance is expected to contribute to strategy development and knowledge sharing within UNOPS infrastructure and project management operations with colleagues at all levels and across offices of the organization.. The successful candidate is expected to have an in-depth understanding in project management and infrastructure in complex environments, including post-conflict or post-disaster contexts. S/he will have to be able to provide sound strategic inputs in infrastructure and project management areas as well as support the decision making to manage risks of the IPMG Director, Regional Directors and Country Directors.

This position is opened for a period of one (1) year only, starting in June 2019.
Working closely with and supervising the team within IPMG, the Head of Engagement Assurance’s functional responsibilities include:

  • Team Management & Strategy Development
  • Contribute to development, and execution of the IPMG strategy and Business Plan, within allocated budget;
  • Management of a team consisting of currently 11 members, as well as a small number of retainers (remote supervision);

  • Development, planning, and execution of the work plan for the team within the agreed timeline and quality standards;

  • Provision of management reports to the IPMG Director as required.

  • Organizational Project and Programme Management Office (OPMO)
  • Supervise the development and application of a comprehensive framework to support the Organizational Project and Programme Management Office (OPMO) initiative that helps drive organizational improvements in infrastructure and project management delivery and risk management;
  • Through the OPMO initiative, lead the promotion, facilitation and support of the successful delivery of programmes and projects to overall higher standards, as well as the focus on early identification of issues and mitigation of risk;
  • Lead and participate in the provision of an integrated delivery support and exception response to the projects and programmes either from UNOPS HQ or directly in the relevant Country Offices.
  •  Risk-based performance Assessment (RBPA)
  • Manage the continuous improvement and application of the Risk-based Performance Assessment approach, including the identification and selection of the UNOPS Country offices to be assessed;
  • In close collaboration with the Risk Unit in Finance Group, and through the RBPA initiative, contribute to enhance organizational risk management at the engagement, country, regional and organization level.
  •  Infrastructure Design Review (DR)
  • Direction and overview of the UNOPS Infrastructure Design Review process for the timely delivery of UNOPS Infrastructure design certificates to ensure UNOPS risks in infrastructure in relation to designs are within tolerance;
  • Management of corporate Long-Term Agreements (LTA) for Infrastructure and Project Management.
  •  Knowledge sharing & Contribution to IPMG Standards
  • Lead and participate in the provision of capacity building activities in project management and infrastructure;
  • Support the application of infrastructure and project management policy, best-practices and standards;
  • Support, strengthen and improve change initiatives that will lead to enhanced knowledge, and effective application of UNOPS’ project management processes and tools;
  • Keep abreast of and be adept in contemporary project management and infrastructure techniques and industry practices as they impact UNOPS to implement projects;
  • Provide technical inputs to IPMG Standards publications, especially in relation to construction supervision/management;
  • Show leadership within and contribute to the community of practice, by maintaining contact and building relationships by addressing questions, providing support and acting as an available resource;
  • Carry out other IPMG related tasks as assigned by the Director of IPMG.
  • onitoring and Progress Controls
  • Setting standard, personal and development objectives (PER) for self and direct reports. Ongoing assessment of task completion, which meets quality expectations;
  • Achievement of the targets on IPMG Balance Score Card and workplan assigned to the Head of Engagement Assurance;
  • Successfully meeting time, cost and quality expectations of the team work plan; escalate issues to IPMG Management Team when applicable;
  • Completing progress reports as required.


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Construction Management, Project Management or other relevant discipline is required;
  • A Bachelor’s Degree with two additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree (total 9 years of experience);


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive experience in managing projects (including in an infrastructure context, see below) is required;
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in a leadership role is required; preferably in infrastructure and project management (and may be included within the 7 years of experience above mentioned);
  • Experience in managing infrastructure projects in complex environments such as failed states, or low income developing states, post-conflict or post-disaster context is required;
  • Experience working in the development sector is required;
  • Experience in civil engineering, architecture, strategy development, project/programme management office, risk assessment, organization or project maturity assessment is an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish is an asset.
  • PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner is highly desired;
  • P3O Certification is highly desired;
  • PMP Certification is highly desired.

Source: https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=17889