Head of Programme

UNOPS, Phnum Penh, Cambodia
UNOPS logo
Job Summary

Job Description

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 – Cambodia

UNOPS established its Cambodia Multi-Country Office (KHOH) in early 2013. Since then, KHOH has carried out a diverse set of projects/programs, such as a multi-donor funded project to support the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (also known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal). Also, KHOH has been providing advisory services in the infrastructure sector to other development partners, such as the Government of the Russian Federation and KOICA, and procurement support and advisory services to different line ministries of the Royal Government of Cambodia.

UNOPS KHOH is also overseeing business activities and/or providing Support and Services to UNOPS operations in other countries, within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region such as Lao PDR and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as well as the Philippines, mainly focused on the infrastructure sector, but also encompassing good governance, trade facilitation and environmental issues.

In addition, KHOH is providing Support Services to the Malaria Programs and Regional Artemisinin Initiative (RAI) funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).

UNOPS KHOH is in the process of expanding its area of engagement in cooperation with different development partners, focusing mainly on a portfolio comprised of projects and programs in the infrastructure and environmental sectors, as well as continuing with the provision of transactional services (HR and Procurement services). For that, UNOPS is subsequently looking for qualified and committed experts that can contribute to fulfill our mandate in Greater Mekong Sub-Region and beyond.

Background Information - Job-specific

The Head of Programme reports directly to the Multi-Country Office Director 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:

  1. Programme development and planning

  2. Manage programme resources

  3. Partnership networking and advocacy

  4. Knowledge management and innovation

1. Programme development and planning

  • Support the Multi-Country Office Director in ensuring the financial sustainability of the programme and delivery of desired results, compliance with organisational strategies, rules, regulations and standards of performance.
  • Submit mandated reports and critical issues to the Multi-Country Office 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 Multi-Country Office 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 Multi-Country Office Director.
  • Consult and collaborate with internal and external colleagues and partners to ensure linkages, consistency, and harmonization of approaches and compliance with guidelines, framework and standards of accountability, integrity and performance.
  • Ensure gender mainstreaming and environmental sustainability considerations are integrated in all programme and project plans and activities.

2. Manage programme resources

  • · Plan and propose to the Multi-Country Office Director, required programme resources (human and financial).
  • · Submit revenue and expenditure forecasts based on UNOPS and 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 and develop programme personnel/technical experts with the skills and competencies needed to ensure optimum performance and encouraging the formation of diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.
  • · Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

3. 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 Country Managers and Project Managers across the Hub to prepare proposals and partnerships engagement.
  • Contribute to current and future growth plans and strategy for the Multi-Country Office, ensuring alignment with the UNOP Strategic Plan and the Asia Region Business Plan.
  • At the request of the Multi-Country Office Director participate and/or represent the Multi Country Office in inter-agency discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.
  • Support the Multi-Country Office Director in diversification of the portfolio.

4. Technical Knowledge input and innovation

  • Keep abreast of and incorporate the latest best practices, approaches and technology to enhance the programme delivery and results.
  • Instill best practices and lessons learned into corporate development planning and proposals.
  • Provide technical knowledge and innovation in the development of new business, ensuring the highest standards of UNOPS core competencies and operations.
  • Contribute proactively to corporate knowledge development and exchange initiatives in line with the UNOPS corporate knowledge management strategy.


Strategic Perspective: 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. (for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)

Integrity & Inclusion: 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.

Leading Self and Others: 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.

Partnering: 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).

Results Orientation: 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.

Agility: 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.

Solution Focused: 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.

Effective Communication: 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.


  • Programme Management (3 years required)
  • Business development (3 years required)
  • Experience working in Infrastructure and Project Management (3 years required)
  • Geographical exposure-South East Asia (3 years required)
  • Partnership building
  • Knowledge Management
  • Senior Management Experience
  • Budget Management
  • Risk analysis


  • PRINCE2® Foundation/Practitioner an asset, but required completion within first 6 months of onboarding.
  • Programme Management Professional (MSP® foundation/practitioner) an asset.


  • A minimum of 7 years of experience that combines technical expertise and business development, executive management and/or programme management planning and operations in a large international and/or corporate organization.
  • At least 3 years of leadership experience including supervising teams and managing budgets
  • A minimum 2 years of work experience in business development, project design and/or proposal writing, donor relations preferably in an international business environment is required;
  • A minimum 2 years of professional-level project management (Infrastructure and/or environment) experience, including major area(s) such as budget management, risk analysis, and monitoring & evaluation.
  • Experience with Public Private Partnerships and/or social impact investment is desirable.
  • Experience in a leadership position in business development and stakeholder management/communication is highly desirable;
  • Experience in managing infrastructure and/or environmental projects with focus on Public Administration and Public Financial Management is desirable.
  • Experience in UN system organizations in developing countries and middle-income countries is desirable.
  • Prior experience in Asia (in particular in the Greater Mekong Subregion) is desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.

Source:  https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=19269