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Operations Manager

UNDP Zambia is strategically re-positioning its country programme implementation based on emerging opportunities and UNDP’s comparative advantages that maximizes partnerships, resource mobilisation and impact in keeping with UNDP’s mandate and its current Country Programme Document (CPD) covering the period 2016 – 2021 as well as improving the overall office performance.

Indeed, in 2019 the country office experienced multiple challenges ranging from the low delivery performance, multiple project implementation challenges to urgent improvements required in corporate performance tools such as Comptroller’s Performance Index (CPI) and Integrated Finance Dashboard (IFD).

As the development world and UNDP Zambia move into 2020, defined as the Decade of Action, with only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, it is more pressing that UNDP Zambia revisits its approach to programming to ensure both it continues to explore new ways of optimally supporting the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) to achieve the objectives set out in both Agenda 2030 and the 7th National Development Plan (7th NDP) using a strategic approach to planning resulting in an efficient and effective delivery of the Country Programme.

As a result, the office plans to strengthen its capacity in the area of operational management for an optimal and comprehensive coordination of the operations function and the implementation support work-streams, with an emphasis on accelerating the speed and improving the quality of client-oriented services, by analyzing gaps and bottlenecks and devising new and better ways of working. This will leverage UNDP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, performance tracking tools, global service centers for financial and other operational support services, and links to the UNDP Regional Service Centers, sub-regional platforms, the Global Shared Service Unit (GSSU) and other HQ units to ensure re-positioning of the country office as a recognised and trusted development partner amongst partners as well as a thought leader to play the role of operational backbone of the UN system as part of the UNDS reform.

Under the guidance of Deputy Resident Representative (Programmes and Operations), the Operations Manager will lead the Operations Section and act as an adviser to senior management on all aspects of operations management, including strategic financial and human resources management, and efficient procurement, logistical, ICT and common services consistent with UNDP rules and regulations. The OM will support senior managers in providing overall direction to the country office, fostering collaboration within the Operations team, with programme staff, project personnel and with other UN Agencies, in a client-oriented approach to successfully deliver operations services.

The Operations Manager helps drive the integration of UNDP’s work at all levels through the operational lens, from strategic direction setting to ideas generation, programme/project design, quality assurance, implementation and oversight – and further to reporting, partnerships and communication. The OM is expected to have a broad operational knowledge base, results-based management aptitude and strong programme support credentials, including advanced project and risk management as well as analytical skills. He/she should have strong team building, inter-personal and communication skills, be client-oriented, and have the ability to look at issues from different angles and find creative solutions. They should consistently approach work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Ensures strategic direction of operations
  • Supports programme and project implementation for optimisation of delivery
  • Oversees effective and accurate financial resource management, efficient procurement management and strategic human resources management
  • Provides efficient UN common services, back-office support, security and transactional services to clients
  • Ensures forward-looking information and communication management and supervision of ICT team
  • Ensures team building through Knowledge Management and knowledge sharing with relevant stakeholders
  • Supervision of Finance, Administration, Logistics, ICT teams and leads the Operations Section

As a member of the CO management team, ensures the strategic direction of operations focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Ensures that the Operations Team acts as an efficient and client-oriented “go-to” resource for programme and project implementation activities
  • Ensures full compliance of operations with UN/UNDP rules, regulations and policies, implementation of corporate operational strategies, establishment of management targets (BSC) and monitoring of achievement of results
  • Establishment of collaborate arrangements with potential partners, a Client relationship Management system for resource mobilisation purposes and appropriate operational partnership arrangements
  • CO business processes mapping and establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Finance, Human Resources Management, Procurement, Logistical and ICT services
  • Coordinates the provision of authoritative advisory services on procurement, human resources, programme finance and enterprise risk management, in consultation with relevant RBA and Bureau of Management Services (BMS) regional centres
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, timely readjustment of operations, advice on legal considerations and risk assessment
  • Knowledge building and sharing with regards to management and operations in the CO, organisation of the operations staff trainings, synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices, and sound contributions to UNDP knowledge networks and communities of practice
  • Provides oversight of HACT compliance for the country office in close collaboration with; and puts in place and oversees processes to manage project level cash advances to IP/RPs, as well as provision of grants to CSOs/NGOs

Support to programme and project implementation for optimisation of delivery focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Oversees resource management support that includes programme delivery management, resource allocation, and consolidated pipeline management in collaboration with country office senior management and programme teams
  • Ensures provision of high-quality advice on office financial sustainability and programme resource management, including direct project costing and revenue management
  • Oversees regular monitoring of project and programme management actions to ensure that they are performed consistently and in accordance to corporate standards
  • Puts in place and oversees processes to identify, develop solutions and act upon project-level operational and financial bottlenecks
  • Responsible for office business processes mapping and development of key SOPs; identifies opportunities for converting business processes into web-based systems to enhance efficiency and accountability
  • Responsible for Direct Project Costing implementation in the country office
  • Performs data analysis of programme/project implementation to support country office/programme positioning in collaboration with other relevant team leaders
  • Develops, implements and oversees processes to monitor management of partner agreements in close cooperation with relevant colleagues and to elaborate partnership frameworks and conditions of contributions within the country office’s resources mobilisation efforts
  • Develops, implements and oversees processes to monitor and analyse cost-sharing contributions
  • Performs the function of Audit focal point and coordinates action across various audit-mandated and compliance tasks
  • Performs delegated tasks and back stopping support as and when requested by office senior management.

Oversees effective and accurate financial resource management, efficient procurement management and strategic human resources management:

  • Performs the function of Manager Level 2 in Atlas and works closely with the Global Shared Services Unit (GSSU); Approval of pending disbursements as the “third authority” (cheques, bank transfers, EFT).
  • Approval of bank reconciliations
  • Support the preparation of the country office integrated work planning and budgeting process as it relates to financial and human resources functions, including monitoring and reporting in partnership with other relevant teams in the country office
  • Ensure Direct Project Costing and cost-recovery mechanisms for services provided to projects and other UN Agencies are in place, including accurate forecasting, planning and reporting of extra-budgetary income
  • Oversees proper management of the contribution’s 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
  • Organisation and oversight of country office cash management processes, including liquidity management, recommendation of imprest level, risk assessment and bank relationship management; timely accounting and reconciliation of all transactions, security for cash assets on site, in coordination with the GSSC
  • Oversees country office compliance with corporate rules and regulations in the field, elaboration and management of the CO procurement and contract management strategies, including supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, customer relationship management and promotion of e-procurement
  • Elaboration of the CO contract strategy including tendering processes and evaluation, managing the contract and contractor, legal implications.
  • Oversight of procurement processes and logistical services in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations, and performs the function of Manager Level 2 in Atlas for Purchase orders approvals
  • Oversees management of UNDP assets, facilities and logistical services including full compliance with IPSAS in the accounting for the procurement, utilisation and disposal of the CO’s assets
  • Oversees country office compliance with corporate human resources policies and strategies supports senior management in ensuring optimal staffing of the office and projects
  • Oversees support to recruitment processes and performance management systems, ensuring link of job design with recruitment, performance management and career development
  • Facilitates knowledge building and management, documentation of lessons learned and good practices, and innovation and knowledge transfer in the country office, region and globally
  • Leads processes to facilitate and promote staff learning and engagement
  • Member of bank signatory panel.
  • Responsible for business continuity actions, including adequately planning for disasters and recovery.

Efficient provision of UN common services, back-office support, security and transactional services to clients:

  • Plays a leadership role in the UN inter-agency Operations Management Team (OMT)
  • Oversees efficient provision of client-oriented transactional services in human resources, procurement, finance and administration to UN agencies and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office
  • Elaborates strategic approaches to implementation of common services in line with the UN Development System reform, the latest developments in common services and relevant best practices
  • Acts as UNDP lead on common services, and is responsible for coordinated action to ensure integrated activities on common services and implementation of the UN reform
  • Leads and supports inter-agency efforts towards or management of common premises, as relevant
  • Ensures the implementation of appropriate cost recovery measures for the provision of common services and other support to UN entities, as relevant
  • Ensures proper planning of the common services budget and monitors Agencies’ contributions to the common services account, as relevant
  • Support the Country Security Focal Point for UNDP and office management in ensuring the safety and security of the staff and premises in coordination with UNDSS and UN partners
  • Support the efficient implementation of security measures mandated in the overall Security Plan and/or agreed in the Security Management Team.

Ensures forward-looking information and communication management and supervision of ICT team focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Use of Atlas functionality for improved business results and improved client services
  • Identification of opportunities and ways of converting business processes into web-based systems to address the issues of efficiency and full accountability
  • Maintenance of a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequate planning for disasters and recoveries
  • Identification and promotion of different systems and applications for optimal content management, knowledge sharing, information provision and learning including e-registry, web-based office management system, etc.

Ensures team building through Knowledge Management and knowledge sharing with relevant stakeholders, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Promotes knowledge sharing and learning and an active participation of the CO in the management practice
  • Synthesis of lessons learned and best practices in Operations
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice
  • Contribution to learning strategy and organisation of training for Operations staff on relevant areas of work.

Method of Application

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