Contracts Specialist – LAC Regional Office, Panama City At Unicef

Closing date: Friday, 21 July 2023

Contracts Specialist, (P-3), LAC Regional Office, Panama City, Panama #103263

Job no: 563467

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Panama Division/Equivalent: Latin America and Caribbean Regional Off

School/Unit: Regional Services Div (LACR), Panama

Department/Office: Reg Serv – Oper Section, Panama

Categories: Supply Management

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,

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. Therefore, the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The position reports to the Regional Chief Operations, and is in the Regional Office UNICEF in Panama. The responsibilities of the unit are to provide support and oversight to the LAC country offices in of operational matters (administration, finance, HR, supply, ICT). The incumbent will supervise one staff and potentially few volunteers.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of the LAC Regional Chief Operations and in coordination with the Regional Emergency Advisor, the incumbent will have direct responsibility for advising and contracting for services and goods for the RO and advising country offices in the LAC region on emergency supply preparedness and response. The incumbent will require advanced professional contracting and emergency supply preparedness technical knowledge and expertise to provide adequate advice and good practices guidelines to the LAC country offices.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  •  Directly manage the LAC Regional office procurement processes for goods and services; and advise country offices in supply strategy and recommended purchase methods; LTA’s, Institutional Contracts, analysis and evaluation of procurement requests and appropriateness of Terms of References/Scope of Services.
  •  Make recommendations for finalization of contracting processes and award of contracts; sign procurement orders/contracts up to the authorized limit, and, in cases where the amount exceeds authorized signature authority, prepares submissions to the Contracts Review Committee for reviews and subsequent approval by the authorized official.
  •  Advise and monitor on contracts management good practices to ensure supplier compliance to LTA’s and contractual terms and conditions.
  •  Advise and monitor the work of LACRO and COs on procurement practices to comply with the UNICEF Financial Rules and Regulations, SD Manual, and all other applicable procurement procedures.
  •  Provide technical advice and actively share good practices on contracting/procurement for services and goods to LACRO and LAC country offices on all phases of the procurement cycle.
  •  Coordinate with SD on training materials for contracting and procurement activities and ensure effective knowledge acquisition and sharing by LACRO and country offices in the LAC region.
  •  Carry out market research through expressions of interest, internet, UNGM, networks and other methods to broaden the contracting for services supplier base as and when necessary.
  •  Determine and communicate priority listing of countries for supply delivery in emergencies. Keep regular and interactive communication with the LAC country offices to ensure optimum levels of preparedness and response.
  •  In consultation with the Regional Chief Emergency, coordinate emergency supply preparedness activities and ensure adequate monitoring of seasonal threats to trigger potential forecasting of supply requirements
  •  Provide guidance and monitor CO/RO formulation and compliance in establishing suggested emergency-based LTA’s for local/regional supplies procurement and/or prepositioning
  •  In consultation with the Regional Chief Emergency, support the communication with SD’s response to all Level 3, 2 and Level 1 emergencies and keep the COs aware about the stock level of the Regional emergency stock pile held in Panama.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  •  Completed advanced university degree in Procurement, Logistics, Contract/Commercial Law, Business Administration, Economics, Supply Chain Management or related field.
  •  Five minimum years of solid and relevant professional work experience in procurement/contracting for high value, high risk and complex procurement contracting of services; on emergency supply preparedness & humanitarian response mechanisms.
  •  Work experience in UN or a similar organization/NGO is an added advantage.
  •  Fluency in Spanish and English is required and knowledge French is an advantage.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

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. All selected candidates will, therefore, 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.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable male and female 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). 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.

Advertised: Jun 30 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Application close: Jul 20 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Back to list Refer a friend

  •  Closes Jul 20 2023Contracts Specialist, (P-3), LAC Regional Office, Panama City, Panama #103263 in Panama

    If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you. The Contracts Specialist reports to the Regional Chief Operation and in coordination with the Regional Emergency Advisor in the Panama Country Office. The incumbent will have direct responsibility for advising and contracting for services and goods for the Regional Office and advising country offices in the LAC region on emergency supply preparedness and response. The incumbent will require advanced professional contracting and emergency supply preparedness technical knowledge and expertise to provide adequate advice and good practices guidelines to the LAC country offices.


Search Jobs By Country

List of Countries

March 2024