Lead Construction Management Engineer

UNOPS , Zimbabwe
 UNOPS  logo
Job Summary

Job Description

* Background Information - job-specific

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is the operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Mandated as a central resource of the United Nations, UNOPS provides sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure services to a wide range of governments, donors and United Nations organizations. With over 8,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, where they need it. By implementing around 1,000 projects for our partners at any given time, UNOPS makes significant contributions to results on the ground, often in the most challenging environments.

Background Information

Following devastation caused to life, livelihoods and property by tropical storm Idai in March 2019, the World Bank (WB)has allocated up to US$ 72 million and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has allocated a further US$ 25 million to finance recovery projects for Zimbabwe. The projects cater to both early and mid-term recovery needs in multiple sectors (livelihoods, health, education, agriculture). UNOPS has been requested to establish multiple projects in Zimbabwe to assist with the recovery of the selected areas in Zimbabwe that were most affected by the storm.

General Background of Project / Assignment

The Zimbabwe Hurricane Idai Recovery Programme (ZIRP) will fall under the purview of the UNOPS KEMC (Kenya Multi Country Office) Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMC sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and Southern Africa. This includes a large portfolio of Infrastructure, procurement and project management service projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and several Island states.


Following devastation caused to life, livelihoods and property by tropical storm Idai in March 2019, the WB has allocated up to US$ 75 million to finance a recovery project for Zimbabwe. The project addresses both early and mid-term recovery needs in multiple sectors (livelihoods, health, education, agriculture). UNOPS has been requested to manage the WB funds and has established a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) and UNOPS is also implementing part of those funds to support the delivery of community infrastructures in different sector (labor intensive roads; small health facilities; schools; irrigation schemes; etc.). This component has been set up as a specific project under UNOPS system with a dedicated Project Manager.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment **

The Lead Construction Management Engineer will work directly under the Community Infrastructure Project Manager’s supervision to effectively manage the project implementation team and the different field operations. S/he will be expected to maintain and strengthen relationships with key government counterparts at different levels, as well as relevant UN agencies.

Activity Planning

  • Provide the Project Manager (PM), with coherent work plans (weekly, monthly and semester wise) for each infrastructure component;
  • At each milestone and project review stages, review progress with the teams and adjust activity plans to mitigate delays and changes;
  • Assist the Project Manager in managing the different field teams through the organization of regular periodic meetings, technical guidance on implementation, government and community engagement;
  • Report to the Project Manager any issues on the established work plans;
  • Provide guidance on UNOPS sustainable infrastructure approach to the field teams.

Project Execution:

  • Ensure work plans are followed at the field level. Set up a management system for tracking performance and making staff accountable for their outputs;
  • Alongside the PM and the Field Team, the Lead Construction Management Engineer will ensure that the planned activities are conducted in time and provide leadership to all field operations;
  • Escalate to the PM any risks, issues and provide solutions from the ground. The Lead Construction Management Engineer will be solution focused and team oriented in order to rally both the UNOPS project support team with the Field Implementation Teams;
  • Tasks, objectives, and work plans will be made clear to the Field teams;
  • It is the Lead Construction Management Engineer’s responsibility to ensure that the Field teams follow their work plans and deliver accordingly;
  • Ensure that the implementation of community infrastructure (including contracting of labor, procurement of goods, development of designs, etc.) is in accordance with UNOPS Rules and Regulations;
  • Provide technical leadership for the implementation of works in different sectors;
  • Lead the utilization of Operational Advances on the field and their correct utilization according to UNOPS rules;
  • Lead and oversee successful procurement processes for all construction processes, specifically as it relates to shopping processes for small field offices supplies, construction tools, etc.;
  • Oversee implementation of construction as per design approved by the Design Review Team and lead the interaction for any potential design changes in accordance with UNOPS Design Planning Manual;
  • Ensure the strict compliance with all UNOPS Health Safety Social & Environment policies for all works implemented and act as lead resource on the field;
  • Provide leadership, mentorship and build capacity of the project team including engineers and interns.

Project Control:

  • Monitor all project activities in relation to the respective project work plans and take corrective action, when necessary, to ensure the timely and cost-effective delivery of project outputs;
  • Maintain and contribute to the project communication system to facilitate the dissemination of information and reports to all key stakeholders;
  • Participate in the preparation and monitoring of project progress and other reports (including risk logs, issues log, lessons learned, etc.);
  • Ensure all supporting documents are collected from the field to support requests for payment, OA (Operational Advance) and reconciliation, etc.;
  • Ensure daily labor are contracted following UNOPS rules.


  • Represent the PM and UNOPS at coordination meetings, community groups and meetings as delegated, especially in relation to the community infrastructure implementation progress and challenges faced.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Project Management, or related fields is required;
  • Advanced University degree in Engineering, Project Management, or related fields will be an added advantage.
  • At least seven (7) years of working experience in team management in remote areas is required. This position is a field based position and requires a dynamic approach to work, the candidate must be outgoing and ready to tackle challenges on the field;

  • Minimum of two (2) years of experience managing infrastructure works with a labor intensive approach in different sectors is required;

  • Experience with UNOPS Procurement Regulations and Rules is an added advantage;

  • Experience with UNOPS is an asset.

  • Experience in managing/supervising construction activities with community infrastructures preferably in schools, health facilities, roads, bridges, markets, etc. is an asset

Fluency in written and oral English language is required.

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.

Integrity and 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.

  • 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
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • 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.

  • This position is based in a family duty station.

Contract level: I-ICA 2
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:

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=20819