Construction Specialist, P3, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, # 128051, (Temporary Appointment), 364 days (not for nationals of Guinea-Bissau)

$100,285 - $134,380 / YEAR Expired 1 month ago
This job has expired.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, learning.

  1. Background & Justification

The Guinea-Bissau education system is beset by several structural constraints that severely limit children and youth’s ability to exercise their right to a quality education. Compounding this problem are the lack of public spaces for children and youth to congregate and engage in sports and recreation activities. While the population of Bissau has grown rapidly, more than doubling from 224,789 in 2021 to 525,478 in 2023 (and increasing from 78,676 to 183,917 for the 10-18 age group over the same period), the number of school-based or public multi-sports sports complexes has not increased. Furthermore, existing public recreation infrastructure is not effectively managed nor well-maintained, resulting in low-quality facilities that offer little programming or activities, particularly for marginalized groups. Therefore, children and young people in Guinea-Bissau are beset by interlocking challenges: the low quality and availability of education not only constrains the development of key academic and life skills and limits future opportunities, but youth also have few places outside of school to interact and grow and develop transversal and transferable skills.

UNICEF will implement a project to increase retention and completion rates, improve physical health, and strengthen transversal skills for students at the Agostinho Neto Secondary School, the Kwame Nkrumah Secondary School, the Rui Barcelo da Cunha secondary school, and the Salvador Allende Primary School, as well as children and youth in the Bairro Reno neighbourhood of Bissau (with a focus on adolescent girls and other marginalized groups).

To achieve this goal, UNICEF will rehabilitate sports and academic infrastructure and develop a community management model to oversee the efficient administration of sports facilities and provide high-quality Sports for Development programming.

How to make a differen

  1. Purpose of the Job

Under the direct supervision and guidance of the Deputy Representative Operations, the incumbent will be responsible for managing and monitoring all construction activities under the Strengthening School and Sporting Infrastructure in Bissau project and providing technical support to UNICEF Programmes/Operations on construction and rehabilitation activities.

The Construction Specialist will be responsible for implementing Output 1 of the project, namely:

  • The Agostinho Neto Secondary School, the Ministry of Education annex, and the shared sports recreation facilities have improved, fully accessible infrastructure.
  1. Main responsibilities
    1. Preparation of construction annual workplan
    2. Collaboration with UNICEF Programmes/Operations and coordination with Government counterparts
    3. Preparation of design and technical documents
    4. Support to procurement process
    5. Monitoring of construction projects
  2. Specific tasks include:


1. Preparation of construction annual workplan

  • Develop the annual work plan for the construction activities; determine priorities/targets and performance measurements and monitor work progress to ensure that results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.
  • Manage the Construction Officer (NO-A) and financial resources.
  • Supervise and coach the Construction Officer (NO-A); conduct weekly construction meetings; ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities. In collaboration with the Construction Unit in Supply Division and DFAM Field Support Unit, ensure knowledge sharing and learning is prioritized to continuously build capacity of individuals and the team.

2. Collaboration with UNICEF Programmes/Operations and coordination with Government counterparts

  • Provide technical backstopping and support in matter of construction project management to Programme/ Operations sections and Government counterparts; contribute with Programme sections in developing child-friendly community infrastructure development program proposals; provide information to Programme on construction related activities to include them in their AWP.
  • Provide assistance to Programme /Operations sections through involvement in construction project proposals, planning, and preparation of relevant terms of reference; analyze the project context and suggest the appropriate implementation and procurement modality.
  • In collaboration with the Government counterparts, develop and produce innovative cost-effective construction designs using local construction materials; compile and update list of best practices in construction and building design.
  • Attend steering and technical cooperation meetings; prepare PPT presentations on projects’ progress; undertake follow-up actions in relation to project implementation and monitoring.
  • Provide Programme/Operations sections with information on projects’ progress; undertake appropriate actions to overcome technical obstacles; draft relevant sections of project reports required for donors, management, annual reports, etc.

3. Preparation of design and technical documents

  • Prepare the scope of construction works based on Programme/ Operations requirements, budget and site limitations; define deliverables and payment modality.
  • Apply UNICEF norms and standards (child-friendly, accessibility, MOSS, MORSS, etc.) to construction projects, taking into consideration the local environment and available materials; verify if compliance with green building standards is required in coordination with DFAM Field Support Unit.
  • Check technical documents related to construction (design drawings, technical specifications and bills of quantities); verify whether they are clear, complete and compliant to programmatic and construction needs, eco-efficiency and accessibility requirements; undertake the actions required to endorse these technical documents by relevant ministries.
  • Follow up with the designing firms and government entities for obtaining all permits required for construction activities prior initiating works.

4. Support to procurement process

  • Provide support to Supply section with preparation of LPA requests and CRC submissions with supporting documents related to construction activities.
  • Conduct surveys to identify potential construction companies and engineering firms available in the local market; prepare terms of reference required for establishing local Long-Term Arrangements for engineering services (design and site supervision).
  • Prepare tender documents in relation to construction works and engineering services; attend bidders’ conference and present the technical components of the tender; prepare answers on technical questions raised by the bidders during the tendering.
  • Support Supply section in organizing bidders’ conference and site visits; conduct the evaluation of technical proposals received and prepare the evaluation report; provide support to Supply section on the analysis of financial proposals.

5. Monitoring of construction projects

  • Conduct the kick-off meeting of construction works with the construction company, the engineering firm and relevant government counterparts.
  • Provide close monitoring on construction activities by undertaking regular site visits and conducting regular technical meetings including joint monitoring with relevant Government technical services; follow up progress for each activity per milestones and review site supervision reports to ensure work compliance with norms, standards, and timeline; verify quality and precautions on health and safety standards on ground.
  • Use effective monitoring and supervision tools to easily ensure assessment of works quality, progress, and performance of engineering firms and construction companies during the entire duration of the project; apply multi-layered approach to construction supervision and quality assurance; use documented hold and inspection points, where applicable.
  • Certify payments/variations and compile supporting documents; monitor construction expenditures and progress certificates; prepare and maintain relevant table for each construction activity.
  • Provide support to UNICEF Contract Administrator on contract management, amendments, variations, duration extensions, applying liquidated damages, etc. Ensure all documents/information required for contract management are available, complete and properly archived.
  • Participate in the partial, substantial and final reception of works after verifying the correction of all defects during the DLP; prepare and issue relevant certificates.
  • Prepare Contract Performance Evaluation; provide support to UNICEF Contract Administrator on contract close-out in VISION; prepare the final completion report with the lessons learned for submission to the Construction Unit (SD) and AMS/NYHQ as necessary.



  1. Key Results

The rehabilitated Agostinho Neto Secondary School, Ministry of Education annex, and the shared Campo Radio recreation facilities have improved, fully accessible infrastructure.

  • The Campo Radio sports complex is completely renovated with 2 outdoor playing fields and 1 covered gymnasium that are fully accessible and safe to use.
  • 28 classrooms at Agostinho Neto Secondary School are fully accessible and equipped, facilitating quality earning.
  • The Ministry of Education Annex is fully accessible and equipped, facilitating the effective functioning of Ministry staff.
  • Water sanitation and hygiene infrastructure improved.

6. Qualifications and Competencies

1. Education

  • An advanced university degree is required in civil engineering, construction engineering, architecture or other relevant area, in conjunction with a valid relevant professional certification is required.
  • A first level university degree (Bachelor’s) in a relevant technical field (as identified above), in conjunction with additional two (2) years of relevant work experience may be taken in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  1. Work Experience
  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant experience, at the national and/or international levels, in project management, site supervision, quality assurance and/or other directly related technical fields is required.
  • Understanding of development and humanitarian work.
  • Emergency experience an advantage.
  1. Language Proficiency 
  • Fluency in English or French is required. Knowledge of Portuguese or Bissau-Guinean Creole is considered as an asset.
  1. UNICEF values and competency Required

For every Child, you demonstrate…

i) Core Values (CRITAS)

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability
  • Sustainability

ii) Core Competencies (For Staff with Supervisory Responsibilities) *


  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable women and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
This job has expired.