Head of Support Services

UNOPS, Phnum Penh, Cambodia
 UNOPS logo
Job Summary

Job Description

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. 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.

Background Information – Cambodia

UNOPS established its Cambodia Office (KHOH) in early 2013 which oversees a diverse set of projects/programs that includes a multi-donor funded project to support the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the Malaria Programs funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), the Regional Ardemisinin Initiative (RAI), advisory services to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Governance related projects funded by the EU as well as nutrition related initiatives.

UNOPS KHOH is also overseeing business activities and providing support and services to UNOPS operations in other countries, especially within the Mekong Region and the Philippines.

UNOPS KHOH is in the process of expanding its area of engagement in cooperation with its development partners, focusing mainly on a portfolio comprised of projects and programs in the infrastructure, governance, procurement, justice and agricultural sector and subsequently is looking for qualified and committed experts.

Background Information - Job-specific

UNOPS Director KHOH is responsible for managing strategic and operational risks associated with a subset of the regional portfolio of engagements, developing and delivering cost effective services contributing to partners’ sustainable results and achievements of UNOPS management results. There are currently 19 of these Country Offices / Multi Country Offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Head of Support Services is a critical leadership role in the Cambodia Operational Hub, reporting to the Director, who provides general guidance and vision. The role is responsible for providing an efficient and integrated support service for the hub (including the Project Offices in scope) dealing on a daily basis with a diverse team of national and international professionals.

Functional Responsibilities

Summary of key responsibilities:

  1. Operational leadership, advisory and technical support
  2. Project planning and coordination support
  3. Procurement
  4. Financial and compliance management
  5. Human resource management
  6. Administration and Information Technology
  7. Knowledge management and innovation

1. Operational Leadership, advisory and technical support

· As a Key leadership role for Cambodia Operational Hub (KHOH), the Head of Support Services monitors and supervises teams as well as all aspects of operations (Finance, HR, Procurement, Health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE), Information Technology(ICT) and Administration) to ensure achievement of results, whilst driving compliance with corporate strategies, UNOPS rules, regulations, policies, and standards of accountability, ethics and integrity.

· Monitor support services to ensure continuously improving client service and satisfaction, including liaising with appropriate Head Quarters Practice Groups and IPAS for required support.

· Contribute to the formulation of KHOH strategies and policies through advisory services to the KHOH Director.

· Provide technical advice and operational guidance on innovative approaches to project financing, risk assessment/mitigation and use of financing structures, mechanisms instruments and guarantees.

· Collaborate with colleagues to identify the need, determine cost and plan all KHOH support services, including procurement, finance, human resources and administrative services.

· Assist the KHOH Director in setting goals, targets and performance standards for projects, and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation and auditing

· At the request of the KHOH Director participate in any UN forum discussions and planning to ensure UNOPS position, interests and priorities are fully considered.

· Lead on health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE) matters to ensure they are integrated into all aspects of the operations and that related risks are managed effectively.

2. Project planning and coordination support

· Provide assistance and support to programme and project budget preparation, revisions and work planning.

· Provide input into project engagement and acceptance documents including assisting with contract negotiations.

· Provide advice on goal setting, targets and performance standards for projects and recommend tools for monitoring, evaluation and auditing.

· Monitor project financial projections, take decisions and/or refer critical issues to the KHOH Director and/or other stakeholders for action.

· Provide advice on programme and project cost sharing, deployment of funds and closure.

· Constantly monitor and analyze the operating environment to identify potential risks and take action/refer critical issues for intervention to ensure delivery of results.

· Closely liaise with the Project Offices (within KHOH) in order to troubleshoot any issues that might cause interruption in the support services management.

3. Procurement

· Oversee and supervise KHOH procurement processes, including tendering processes and evaluation and supplier selection, to ensure viable procurement solutions that meet operational needs and compliance with UNOPS procurement procedures, regulations and standard of accountability, ethics, integrity and performance.

· Evaluate contractual arrangements and legal commitments/risks for appropriate action.

· In consultation with relevant colleague, review, administer and issue contracts, agreements/amendments with institutions and UN agencies.

· Oversee the logistics of goods and equipment on project sites to confirm delivery and safe warehousing.

· Evaluate, list, update and monitor the performance of the roster of service providers of suitable firms or institutions.

4. Financial and compliance management

  • Prepare the KHOH financial plan and manage the budget process/cycle to ensure timely revisions and reallocation of funds.
  • Oversee the Support Services Finance Unit and ensure compliance with the UNOPS/Financial Rules & Regulations and Finance procedures
  • Monitor, track and control expenditure to ensure optimum and appropriate use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of required financial reports and exception reports including investigating anomalies to resolve problems, reporting or recommending any action required to relevant stakeholders.
  • Supervise the timely review, posting and closure of accounts. Certify/verify accuracy and compliance with standards of accountability framework. Submit/prepare mandated report on financial status.
  • Supervise all financial services (accounting, cash management, payments etc.) ensuring timeliness and compliance with standards of accountability and performance.
  • Monitor the Management Budget expenditures for the KHOH and ensure that LMDC (Locally Managed Direct Cost) is properly recovered, billed and spent in accordance with the applicable procedures;
  • Act as focal point for any internal/external audit exercise.

5. Human resource management

· Plan personnel required for KHOH programmes/projects.

· Oversee all human resource services/processes including recruitment, salary administration and compensation, performance review, training and development, ensuring compliance with human resource rules, regulations, procedures and standards of performance and ensuring that hiring managers actively seek to create diverse teams in terms of gender and geography.

· Promote and support a learning culture by empowering individuals and teams to identify critical learning needs and plan/provide easy access to learning opportunities to maintain personnel competency and flexibility.

· Foster a positive work environment, respectful of both men and women, and ensure that the highest standards of conduct are observed.

· Exercise control of all staffing issues within KHOH as required by the projects’ demands including recruitment, training, staff performance review.

6. Administration and Information Technology

· In close collaboration with Headquarters, support maintenance of a secure and reliable ICT environment, including adequate plans for disaster recovery.

· Manage the acquisition, maintenance, inventory, recording, verification and protection of project and administrative facilities/assets, including IT infrastructure, equipment and servers.

· Identify opportunities for leveraging the use of IT to enhance business operations and efficiency and to facilitate knowledge management, and information sharing.

· Manage the timely and efficient delivery of all administrative services, (e.g. premises, asset management, organizational and personnel security, travel and IT).

7. Knowledge management and innovation

· Contribute to the development and introduction of innovation to ensure UNOPS is continually incorporating best practice approaches in KHOH Support Services.

· Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for corporate development planning and knowledge building.

· At the request of the KHOH Director and in collaboration with the team, plan, implement and organise strategic capacity building of project personnel, clients and stakeholders.


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 Finance, Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Management, Social Sciences or a 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.


· CPA, ACCA certificate is desirable.

· PRINCE2® Foundation desirable.

· Certificate of other project management such as MSP, MoV, MoP, P3O is an asset.


· A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience covering at least two of the following operations functions: Procurement, Finance, Logistics/ Asset Management and Human Resources, of which at least 5 years within Financial Management would be desirable.

· At least 5 years of international work experience in financial management including experience within financial reporting,financial planning and analysis,financial management, project financial control is required.

· Knowledge of UN Financial Rules and Regulations is highly desirable.

· A minimum of 3 years of leadership experience, including a proven track record managing staff and operational systems is required.

· Some experience in UN system organizations preferably in a developing country is desirable.

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

· Willingness to work in hardship duty stations and/or travel to post crisis locations.

· Experience in South East Asia region is an asset.

· UNOPS experience is an advantage.


· Full working knowledge of English is required.

· Knowledge of another official UNOPS language is an asset.

Source:  https://jobs.unops.org/Pages/ViewVacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=17711#5