Operations Manager

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    4 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Management and Strategy
  • Deadline:


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Major socio-economic challenges facing those in need include lack of jobs and income generating activities, shortages in electricity and water supply for domestic, agricultural and industrial/productive use, deteriorating and the lack of basic and social infrastructure and services. The devastation of economic, social and human infrastructure has deprived Syrians across the country of the foundation required to meet their basic needs. While it is evident that local economies require a safe and stable environment conducive to providing livelihood opportunities and enabling improved living conditions, the deterioration of basic services continues to undermine the viability of productive sectors faced with a multitude of related challenges, and feeding a vicious cycle of unemployment, diminishing resources and increased levels of poverty.  An overarching challenge is the impact of the crisis on the social fabric of communities- early recovery interventions should be informed by conflict analyses to ensure do no harm, while maximizing do good through addressing grievances, providing opportunities, and connecting people for social cohesion in local communities.

The priorities of UNDP Syria stipulated under the new Country Programme Document (CPD) 2022-2024 focus on three areas of socioeconomic recovery, local governance and basic services, and climate actions to enhance the resilience and socio-economic stabilization of individuals and communities through restoring the disrupted livelihoods of the affected communities while strengthening the social cohesion of communities to enable them to lead autonomous local recovery processes restoring; participatory and context sensitive local governance including rehabilitating and maintaining sustainable basic services and infrastructures; and green early recovery climate change adaptation and environment.

On top of the ongoing crisis, on the morning of 6 February 2023, multiple earthquakes – the strongest of 7.8 magnitude – hit southwestern Türkiye and Syria.  On 20 February, two 6.4 and 5.8 magnitude aftershocks again hit the region. Several governorates in the north, central, and western parts of Syria namely Aleppo, Hama, Idleb, Lattakia, and Tartous were heavily affected.  The affected areas had already been greatly impacted by the war and were hosting large number of internally displaced people (IDPs).  The earthquake further exacerbated the humanitarian and recovery challenges accumulated over a decade long conflict, resulting in at least 20% more being added or pushed to higher severity levels to the pre-earthquake 15.3 Persons in Need (PiN).  This crisis within a crisis had a devastating effect on the already constrained lives, livelihoods and access to essential services for the affected population and consequently added new tensions to the social fabric.

Position Purrpose

Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative (RR) and direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative (DRR), the Operations Manager acts as an advisor to Senior Management on all aspects of Country Office (CO) management and operations. This includes strategic management of financial and human resources, efficient procurement and logistical services, ICT and common services consistent with UNDP rules and regulations.

The Operations Manager’s main role is to lead, constantly evaluate, and adjust the operations of the Country Office to ensure consistent services delivery and smooth functioning of the CO programmes and projects.

The Operations Manager leads and guides the (CO) Operations Team and fosters collaboration within the team, and with programme staff and other UN Agencies using a client-oriented approach. The Operations Manager works in close collaboration with programme and project teams in the CO, Operations staff in other UN Agencies, UNDP HQ staff and Government officials to successfully deliver the country programme.

UNDP adopts a portfolio approach to accommodate changing business needs and leverage linkages across interventions to achieve its strategic goals. Therefore, UNDP personnel are expected to work across units, functions, teams, and projects in multidisciplinary teams in order to enhance and enable horizontal collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • As a member of the CO management team, ensures the strategic direction of operations.
  1. Ensure full compliance of operations with UN/UNDP rules, regulations, policies, and Internal Control Framework (ICF).
  2. Implement corporate operational strategies. Establish management targets (BSC); and regularly monitor office performance indicators for achievement of results. Take timely corrective actions when required.
  3. Establish collaborative arrangements with potential partners and a client management system for appropriate management of partnerships and resource mobilization purposes.
  4. Ensure mapping of CO business processes, and establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Finance, Human Resources Management, Procurement, ICT, Logistic, Protocol, Travel and Transportation Management Services.
  5. Support senior management in identifying and overseeing risks to ensure dynamic and effective risk management in the CO and to make more risk-informed and timely decisions. Monitor and analyze the operating environment; undertake risk analysis related to operations for discussion with the DRR and RR, as appropriate; and make timely readjustment of operations services, considering advice on legal considerations.
  6. Ensure systematic adherence to UNDP policies, procedures, and corporate guidance on enterprise risk management in the CO and at the project level. Participate in the appraisal of projects to provide operational input that includes formulating risk management plans and anticipating cost of risks during the project design phase.
  7. Ensure relevant colleagues and stakeholders from both programme and operations are consulted in the identification, costing, and management of risks for the programme, all projects, and portfolios in the office/unit when applicable.
  8. Ensure knowledge building and sharing about management and operations in the CO, coordination of staff learning needs, and consolidation of lessons learnt/best practices.
  9. Provide sound contributions to UNDP knowledge networks and communities of practice.
  • Ensure effective, risk-informed, and accurate financial resources management and supervision of the Finance team.
  1. Ensure proper planning of CO financial resources, tracking and recording of expenditures in compliance with IPSAS, and audit of financial resources, including extra-budgetary income in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
  2. Oversee the contributions management business process and accounting for contributions to ensure that the money due to UNDP is properly identified, consistently and uniformly classified, recorded on a timely basis, and received with sufficient supporting documentation.
  3. Perform appropriate delegations in ERP for voucher and Treasury transactions approvals and bank reconciliation. Approve bank reconciliations and pending disbursements as the “third authority” (cheques, bank transfers, EFT).
  4. Organize cost-recovery mechanisms for CO services provided to projects and UN Agencies that includes ensuring timely preparation of proforma invoices for UN agencies.
  5. Organize and provide oversight of CO cash management processes, including liquidity management, recommendation of imprest level, risk assessment, bank relationship management, timely accounting and reconciliation of all transactions, and security for cash assets on site.
  6. Monitor financial exception reports for unusual activities and/or transactions; and investigate anomalies or unusual transactions. Ensure appropriate CO and UNDP HQ staff are informed of the results of the investigation when satisfactory answers are not obtained.
  7. Serve as member of bank signatory panel.
  8. Ensure transactions and stop payment approval on internet banking system.
  9. Ensure all financial transactions are identified, recorded, and verified in compliance with IPSAS as outlined in the corporate policies and procedures.
  • Ensure strategic human resources management and supervision of the HR team.
  1. Ensure CO compliance with corporate human resources policies and strategies.
  2. Advise on optimal staffing of the office and projects.
  3. Provide oversight for recruitment processes and appropriate use of different contractual modalities in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
  4. Establish and maintain proper performance management and staff development systems, ensuring staff access to role appropriate learning activities.
  • Ensure provision of efficient procurement, logistical and administrative services, and supervision of the Procurement team.
    1. Ensure CO compliance with corporate rules and regulations related to procurement and logistics.
  1. Develop CO procurement strategies including sourcing, supplier selection and evaluation, quality control, customer relationship management, and supplier performance evaluation system.
  2. Develop CO procurement plan and ensure proper contract management, anticipating potential litigations.
  3. Oversee procurement processes and logistical services in compliance with procurement principles and guidelines.
  4. Ensure proper management of UNDP assets, facilities and logistical services, and administrative services, including full compliance with IPSAS during purchasing, utilization, and disposal of the CO’s assets.
  • Ensure forward-looking information and communication management and supervision of ICT team.
  1. Ensure ERP functionality is used for improved business results and improved client services.
  2. Identify opportunities and ways of converting business processes into web-based systems to address the issues of efficiency and full accountability.
  3. Maintain a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequate planning for disasters and recoveries. Update the ICT Disaster Recovery Plan regularly.
  4. Identify and promote different systems and applications for optimal content management, knowledge sharing, information provision and learning including e-registry and web-based office management system, etc.
  • Ensure proper common services management and establishment of strong collaboration with other UN Agencies.
    1. Elaborate strategic approach for implementation of common services in line with the latest developments in common services and best practices.
  1. Ensure proper planning and tracking of common services budget and of Agencies’ contributions to the common services account.
  2. Contribute to Operations Management Team (OMT) activities including the area of risk management.
The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.
Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:  Supervise and manage UNDP Country Office operations staff
Achieve Results LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact
Think Innovatively LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems
Learn Continuously LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences.
Adapt with Agility  LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
Act with Determination  LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity
People Management 

UNDP People Management Competencies can be found in the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 
Thematic Area Name Definition
Business Direction & Strategy System Thinking
  • Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
Business Direction & Strategy Strategic Thinking
  • Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions
  • Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP
Business Management Resource Management
  • Ability to allocate and use resources in a strategic or tactical way in line with principles of accountability and integrity
Business Management Customer Satisfaction/Client Management
  • Ability to respond timely and appropriately with a sense of urgency, provide consistent solutions, and deliver timely and quality results and/or solutions to fulfil and understand the real customers’ needs. Provide inputs to the development of customer service strategy. Look for ways to add value beyond clients’ immediate requests.
  • Ability to anticipate client’s upcoming needs and concerns.
Business Management Communication
  • Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience.
  • Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels
Business Management Portfolio Management
  • Ability to select, prioritise and control the organization’s programmes and projects, in line with its strategic objectives and capacity; ability to balance the implementation of change initiatives and the maintenance of business-as-usual, while optimising return on investment
Finance   Audit Risk Management
  • Ability to address audit issues raised in the course of an audit and propose solutions in order to ensure a true and fair audit opinion is achieved.
Required Skills and Experience
  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, Economics, or related field is required, OR
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
 Experience, Knowledge, and Skills
  • Minimum of 5 years (with master’s degree) or 7 years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services and/or managing operational systems and establishing relationships with international organizations and national governments.
  • Experience in the use of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.), and web-based management systems such as ERP.
  • Experience and good knowledge of accrual accounting, IPSAS or IFRS is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of business operations strategy is desirable.
  • Experience in establishing an internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Finance, Human Resources Management, Procurement, ICT, Logistic, Protocol, Travel and Transportation Management Services is desirable.
  • Experience in planning of CO financial resources, tracking of expenditures, and audit of financial resources, including extra-budgetary income is desirable.
  • Experience in Establish and maintain proper performance management & staff development systems, ensuring staff access to role appropriate learning activities is desirable.
  • Experience in Overseeing the procurement processes, logistical services, Premises management, and administrative services in compliance with the UNDP rule and regulations.
  • Previous supervisory and managerial skills to lead and manage teams effectively, and consider leadership experience, conflict resolution skills, and the ability to motivate and inspire staff is desirable.
  • Experience of common services strategic approach for implementation of common services in line with the latest developments in common services and best practices is desirable.
Language Requirements: 
  • Fluency in English and Arabic is required.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
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