Head of Finance and Operations

UNOPS, Lubombo, Swaziland
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Job Summary

Job Description

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) was established in 1990 and mandated by name in United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/45/181.The WSSCC Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and aims to accelerate the achievement of sustainable sanitation, hygiene and water services for all people, with special attention to the unserved poor, by enhancing collaboration and coordination of all sector stakeholders. The WSSCC Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland. More information on WSSCC can be found on the website at 
Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, and working on a daily basis with the Deputy Executive Director/Head of Programmes, the Head of Finance and Operations Unit (FOU) is the primary authority and first point of contact for WSSCC and partners on finance and operations matters, and advises Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Steering Committee as needed on these areas. This includes aspects of strategic financial and operational resource management, within UNOPS policies and guidelines. S/he leads in ensuring financial integrity of the WSSCC operations and transactions, supporting the design, implementation and oversight/controls within WSSCC to improve delivery, both at the global and country levels. Managing a limited team of finance, grant management, travel and operations specialists, the Head of FOU ensures prudent financial management in full compliance with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations.

Technical and Advisory Support

  • As a key leadership role for the WSSCC, monitor and supervise a team and direct all aspects of finance and operations to support achievement of results, ensure proper controls whilst driving compliances with WSSCC strategies, UNOPS financial rules and regulations, policies and standards of accountability, ethics and integrity.
  • Provide technical advice and operational guidance on country programme approaches covering operations, financial monitoring and oversight, risk assessment and mitigation and review of implementing partners financial and operations oversight structures and systems.
  • Direct efficient delivery of finance and operational support services while constantly reviewing and analyzing WSSCC operating environment to identify potential risks, take action and refer critical issues for management intervention to ensure delivery of results.
  • Contribute to the development of WSSCC strategies and setting of goals, targets and performance standards and lead in the financial monitoring, oversight and reporting tasks.
  • Serve as WSSCC main interlocutor and financial authority within Secretariat, working closely with the dedicated UNOPS portfolio management team.

Financial Management

  • Coordinate development of financial elements of WSSCC workplan and budget and provide support and guidance to heads of units in overall work-planning and budgeting aspects.
  • Closely liaise with all heads of WSSCC units to monitor, mitigate risk and troubleshoot issues that might cause interruption of finance and operations workflows and delivery targets.
  • Implement effective internal control, proper design and functioning of financial resource management arrangements for the upstream and downstream financial activities.
  • Prepare periodic budget projections for WSSCC. Once resource allocations are approved, support in overseeing implementation within WSSCC as well as allocations implemented by other partners in accordance with WSSCC strategies and UNOPS policies and guidelines.
  • Lead in enhancing financial accounting and reporting systems for implementing partners, and to improve financial monitoring, strengthen financial oversight and transparency, and allow for systematic analysis of expenditure against results.
  • Coordinate financial systems and tools development in order for the information/data to be integrated with UNOPS and implementing partners financial management systems, if needed.
  • In coordination with regional managers, carry out country financial monitoring and oversight of implementing partners, ensuring findings and recommendations are timely implemented.
  • Oversee compliance reviews of grant disbursements in line with grant support agreements disbursement conditions, ensuring complete documentation and certification of milestones.
  • Act as focal point for internal and external audit for WSSCC and coordinate audits for country implementing partners in consultation with regional managers and UNOPS.
  • Coordinate the implementation and closure of audit findings and recommendations with senior leadership team, regional managers, country implementing partners and UNOPS.
  • Participate in Steering Committee and Finance Standing Committee meetings. Prepare reports and presentations on financial and operations aspects for Finance Standing Committee.
  • In coordination with UNOPS, prepare and present financial reports and cash-flow forecasts including budget variance analysis for appropriate SLT and Steering Committee decisions that will lead to the attainment of strategic objectives set out in the WSSCC workplan and budget.

Operations Management

  • In collaboration with UNOPS, coordinate WSSCC human resources tasks including personnel plans, terms of references, recruitment schedules etc., ensuring compliance with UNOPS human resource rules, regulations, procedures and standards of performance, and encourage hiring managers to actively seek creating diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • In collaboration with UNOPS, and in close consultation with the Deputy Executive Director/Programme Director, oversee travel management aspects of WSSCC ensuring efficient and cost effective travel services for missions, conferences and learning activities. The tasks include supervising preparation travel plans, certifications of travel authorization, monitoring the implementation of the travel plans and planned budget and preparing reports for Senior Leadership Team, Finance Standing Committee and the Steering Committee.
  • In close consultation with SLT, identify requirements and resources for personnel development, and follow up its implementation. During periods of transition, pay special attention to the identification of possible gaps between personnel competencies and identify resources for remedial actions in form of training, coaching, workshops and other means.
  • Coordinate WSSCC procurement activities covering preparation of procurement plans, procurement processes, including tendering and supplier selection, to ensure solutions that meet WSSCC operational needs and compliance with UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations and standard of accountability, ethics, integrity and performance.
  • Carry out contracts management including evaluating contractual arrangements, legal commitments and risks for appropriate action, and evaluate performance service providers.
  • In close collaboration with UNOPS, support the maintenance of secure and reliable ICT environment, including adequate plans for disaster recovery. Identify opportunities for leveraging the use of IT to enhance business operations and efficiency and to facilitate knowledge management, internal training as well as information sharing.
  • Manage the acquisition, maintenance, inventory, recording, verification and protection of WSSCC administrative facilities/assets, including IT infrastructure, equipment and servers.
  • Manage the timely and efficient delivery of all administrative services and supervise the logistics of events and workshops, including early planning and the related arrangements.

Knowledge Management

  • Support and promote learning culture by empowering individuals to identify learning needs and plans for learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.
  • Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure WSSCC is continually incorporating best practice approaches in the areas of finance and operations.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for WSSCC development planning and knowledge building.
  • Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.


  • Master’s degree in finance, accounting, auditing, business administration, economics, commerce or Certified Public Account (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) or similarly recognized accreditation 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.Experience

  • Minimum of seven years’ experience in financial and operations management, finance in a large international and/or corporate organization, with three years of these experiences in Africa or Asia.

  • A minimum 3 years leadership experience, including proven track record in managing personnel and operational operations

  • Experience in UN system organizations preferably in a developing country is desirable.

  • Experience dealing with UN regulations, rules and policies in the areas of finance, contracting, procurement and human resources is desirable.Language

  • Fluency in English is required.

  • Knowledge of French would be an asset and other UN official language is an asset.

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. 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.

  • Proven conceptual analytical and evaluating skills and ability to conduct independent research and analysis, identifying issues, formulating options and making conclusions and recommendations. A complete in-depth grasp of financial principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of project management, especially with regard to project start-ups, highly desirable.
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan and those under his/her supervision.
  • Solid computer skills including proficiency in Excel. Knowledge of other software applications (such as databases) and ERP would be desirable.
  • Proven ability to write in a clear concise manner and to communicate effectively orally.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective work relationships with financial counterparts and substantive offices.
  • Ability to communicate technical financial matters in a simple, concise and clear manner to individuals not well-versed in the intricacies of financial management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Familiarity with UN Financial rules and regulations an advantage.

 Contract type: Fixed Term Staff Contract
Contract level: ICS11 / P4
Contract duration:One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, 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.

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.

Source: https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=18855#7