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Programme Management – Senior Officer [National Coordinator Caretaker] – retainer at United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

  • Full Time
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job categoriesProject Management, Programme Management, Environment
Vacancy codeVA/2024/B5003/27489
Department/officeGPG, SDC, Grant Management Services
Duty stationLilongwe, Malawi
Contract typeLocal ICA Specialist
Contract levelLICA Specialist-9
DurationUp to 200 working days – retainer contract
Application period06-Feb-2024 to 20-Feb-2024


Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement. 

Please note that UNOPS will at no stage of the recruitment process request candidates to make payments of any kind.

 Background Information – Job-specific


UNOPS supports partners to build a better future by providing services that increase the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of peace building, humanitarian and development projects. 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.

The New York Portfolios Office (NYPO) supports the United Nations Secretariat, as well as other New York-based United Nations organizations, bilateral and multilateral partners in the delivery of UNOPS mandate in project management, infrastructure management, and procurement management. The Sustainable Development Cluster (SDC) supports diverse partners with their peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations. It was formed by combining the following portfolios: Grants Management Services (GMS), UN Technology Support Services (UNTSS), Development and Special Initiatives Portfolio (DSIP) It provides Services to partners’ programmes that are designed, structured, and managed with a global perspective and primarily serving partners that are headquartered in New York. SDC has a footprint of approximately 125 countries.

UNOPS has signed an agreement to implement the project activities for the Small Grants Programme (SGP).

SGP grantmaking supports community-based innovation in addressing global environmental issues and improved, more sustainable livelihoods through initiatives led by civil society and community organizations, with special consideration for indigenous peoples, women, youth and persons with disabilities. SGP has supported over 25,000 community-based projects in over 125 countries aimed at biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable land management, protection of international waters, and sound chemicals and waste management. Over the years, SGP has developed extensive partnerships at global, national and local levels. See for further background information.

The duration of the consultancy will be up to 200 working days.

The incumbent of this position will be a UNOPS supervised personnel.

 Functional Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the SGP Regional Focal Point, and with close coordination with the SGP Country Programme team, the National Steering Committee members, UNDP Country Office team and GMS team, the Programme Management – Senior Officer [National Coordinator Caretaker] will carry out the following activities:

  • Oversee ongoing SGP grant projects and conduct periodic project monitoring field visits and provide technical and operational support and guidance to SGP grantees as required.
  • Organize ‘call for proposals’, support and closely coordinate with the National Steering Committee, in the process of project proposal review, selection and approval, especially the initial appraisal of proposals and assessment of eligibility.
  • Exercise quality control over the development of a portfolio of project ideas and concepts, and closely monitor the programme implementation progress and results.
  • Organize periodic stakeholder workshops and project development sessions for civil society organizations (CSOs) and local communities, and potential applicants and other stakeholders to inform about SGP and its Strategic Initiatives.
  • Work closely with CSOs and CBOs in preparation of project concepts and proposals to ensure that projects fit with the SGP Strategic Initiatives, Country Programme Strategy, and technical guidance notes.
  • Review grantees’ progress and final reports and provide technical guidance to grantees to guarantee the quality of reports.
  • Provide capacity building training to grantees on project cycle management to ensure adherence to SGP Standard Operating Procedures as well as UNOPS rules and regulations and ensure timely and effective use of SGP resources.
  • Undertake monitoring and evaluation of SGP Country Programme and projects, and grant maker initiatives, in coordination with NSC and CPMT.
  • Report periodically to CPMT on programme implementation status, including annual monitoring reporting, financial reporting, audit, and update the relevant UNOPS and SGP databases.
  • Perform and coordinate administrative tasks (i.e. procurement, travel) adhering to SGP SOPs procurement rules and regulations; as required for programme implementation.
  • Document programme/project stories, lessons learned, and best practices in SGP programme/project development, implementation, and oversight.
  • Develop SGP country programme annual report.

Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Sound SGP programme results and impacts, in alignment with national strategies and priorities and SGP strategy and approaches, that contribute to transformational change in society and economy to conserve the global environment and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Innovative, technically sound and socially inclusive grant portfolio is developed and implemented. Effective and efficient use of resources to create maximum project/programme impact. Increased trust by clients and donors and increased opportunities for visibility, partnerships and co-financing.
 Education/Experience/Language requirements





  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent), preferably in environment or natural resource management, environmental economics, development, business administration or other related discipline is required.
  • First-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in combination with 2 additional years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced university degree;

Experience required:

  • At least three (3) years in the environment, development work, monitoring & evaluation, and/or related field (in example but not limited to NGO work, research, and programme/project management, inclusive growth, livelihoods, poverty reduction, natural resources management, and/or environmentally sustainable development);
  • Experience in program/project management and/or evaluation at the national level is required.
Experience Desirable: (The following experience is optional.  Candidates who do not have it are welcome to apply)
  • Experience in gender-sensitive programming and/or evaluation is desirable;
  • Knowledge of SGP, the GEF, and NGO grant programme management will be an asset.

Language Skills:

  • Fluency in the official national language and English is required. Knowledge of other UN languages is considered an asset.

IT Skills:

  • Proficiency in standard computer software (word-processing, excel, presentations, databases and internet)


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. For people managers only: 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.
 Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) Retainer – A retainer contract is issued for a period of time during which the services of the individual contractor are required intermittently. The individual contractor agreement on retainer basis will specify a “unit price” per day worked. For budgetary purposes, a monetary cap will be determined when the contract is awarded and issued. Please note that the retainer contract will not provide for a minimum, and payment will be made only after completion of work 

Contract level: Local Individual Contractor Agreement (LICA-9)

Contract duration: Up to 200 working days.

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:


  • Please note that UNOPS does not accept unsolicited resumes.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNOPS embraces diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity. Our workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures,  languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce.
  • Qualified women and candidates from groups which are underrepresented in the UNOPS workforce are encouraged to apply. These include in particular candidates from racialized and/or indigenous groups, members of minority gender identities and sexual orientations, and people with disabilities.
  • We would like to ensure all candidates perform at their best during the assessment process.  If you are shortlisted and require additional assistance to complete any assessment, including reasonable accommodation, please inform our human resources team when you receive an invitation.

Terms and Conditions

  • 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 (they take around 4 hours to complete) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS. For more information on a retainer contract here.
  • All UNOPS personnel are responsible for performing their duties in accordance with the UN Charter and UNOPS Policies and Instructions, as well as other relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, all personnel must demonstrate an understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a manner consistent with UN core values and the UN Common Agenda.
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential personnel. Recruitment in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

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