Cost-Retainer Specialist, Home based ( Civil Engineer ), Panama City At United Nations Office for Project Services ( UNOPS )

Closing date: Thursday, June 29, 2023

Background Information – Job-specific

UNOPS’s mission is to serve people in need by expanding the capacity of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructures and acquisitions in a sustainable and efficient way.

Within these three main areas of knowledge, UNOPS provides its partners with transactional services, advice and implementation in projects ranging from the construction of schools and hospitals to the acquisition of goods and services or the training of local personnel. UNOPS works closely with governments and communities to ensure greater economic, social and environmental sustainability in the projects we support, with special emphasis on developing national capacity

Working in some of the most challenging environments in the world, UNOPS vision is to promote sustainable implementation practices in humanitarian, development and peacebuilding contexts, always with the aim of satisfying or exceeding the expectations of our associates.

The aforementioned also applies to the Republic of Panama, where UNOPS is developing some important projects for the National Government. Among which, we can mention Penitentiary Centers, Hospitals, Educational Centers, among others. Projects developed by UNOPS require the selected professional to develop their knowledge of architecture and engineering, document activities, be proactive, Work as a team and manage your work packages with transparency, efficiency and efficiency.

Functional Responsibilities

The Cost Specialist will join the UNOPS Panama multidisciplinary technical team as a Specialist for the Review of Technical Records of Projects ( plan compendium, technical specifications and other technical information of the project ) in said specialty and advice on the execution of works; In this sense, it will contribute to the project from its branch of specialization, in the following activities: .

  •  Support PAPC in measurements, budgets and costs of the projects assigned to it in order to guarantee documentary coherence, identify shortages or errors, validate costs according to the current market, and suggest opportunities for improvement.
  •  Support cost review of contractor variations and / or claims ( when applicable )
  •  Warn in case there are missing evidence in the Technical File of the project; For this, it must maintain permanent communication with the Technical Coordination and, if applicable, with the authorization of UNOPS, communication with Contractors and / or Counterparts during the review.
  •  Verify that the unit quantities and prices of the technical files do not present deviations in such a way that it may represent a risk of under or overvaluation of the budgets.
  •  Review and evaluate when requested, measurements and / or amounts of work, costs and budgets within the established deadlines.
  •  Absolve the technical consultations that are presented during the review of the other specialties of the review of the technical file.
  •  Issue reports partially or totally on the revision of the Technical File in the specialty as requested by the UNOPS Coordinator.
  •  Regarding its management, it must inform, alert or prevent UNOPS, on the operational, technical, economic and any nature that may affect compliance with the object of the projects.
  •  Support to the PAPC technical team in attending meetings with the counterpart.

To access the full job description, please download the attached Terms of Reference.

Education / Experience / Language requirements


  •  Title at the Bachelor of Preference level in Civil Engineering, Architecture or related careers .
  •  Master’s degree of preference in mentioned or related careers, is desirable and can replace some of the required years.
  •  Good operating software management ( MS Word, Excel, Outlook, Project, etc. ) and Google Workspace is required.
  •  AUTOCAD domain is required.

***Please upload your academic diplomas to your application***

Work experience

  •  4 years of experience ( or less according to academic level ) in budgeting and / or estimates of public or private infrastructure work, such as educational centers / schools, hospitals, penitentiary centers, buildings or road infrastructure.
  •  Desirable experience in supervision and / or construction of infrastructure projects in general.
  •  Experience in economic proposals for bidding for public infrastructure works will be considered an advantage.
  •  Specialized software domain for cost estimates is desirable ( Revit or tools associated with Revit ).


  •  Spanish Language Domain.
  •  Desirable intermediate command of the English language

UNOPS is an inclusive employer, so we invite women and men to apply regardless of ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We are committed to promoting equitable representation. We appreciate that people who self-determine as Afro-descendants, indigenous people, as well as people with disabilities, members of the LGTBIQ + communities and / or other underrepresented groups in national contexts, Please indicate this voluntarily in the motivation letter when applying for this vacancy.

ES Competencies

It shows understanding the impact its role has on all partners and always puts the beneficiary first. Develops and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others ( if it enters its functions ).

Evaluates the data and procedures to be followed to achieve logical and pragmatic decisions. Take an impartial and rational approach with calculated risks. Apply innovation and creativity to the problem-solving process.

Effectively establishes your own and / or others’ line of action with the aim of achieving a goal. The actions lead to the correct achievement of the task with special attention to quality in all areas. Identify opportunities and take the initiative to act. Understand that the responsible use of resources maximizes the impact that we can have on our beneficiaries.

Treat all individuals with respect, respond tactfully to differences, and encourage others to do the same. Defend ethical and organizational standards. Maintains high standards of trust. It is a model for diversity and inclusion.

It is open to change and flexible in an environment with a high work rate. Adapt your perspective to changing circumstances or requirements. Reflect on past experiences and modify your own behavior. Performance is constant, even under pressure. Always pursue continuous improvement.

Express ideas or facts clearly, concisely and openly. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listen and proactively share knowledge. Manage conflicts effectively by overcoming differences of opinion and finding a common denominator.

It acts as a positive model that contributes to team spirit. Collaborate and support the development of others. For Personnel Administrators Only: By using appropriate leadership styles, it acts as a model of positive leadership, motivates, directs, and inspires others to succeed.

Contract type, level and duration

  •  Type of Contract: LICA – Local Independent Contractor Agreement
  •  Contract Level: Contract level LICA-9
  • Contract Duration: 12 months, with possibilities of extension according to performance and financial availability.
  • Service retention contract ( Retainer ): This type of contract establishes an estimated number of days to work during the period. The Supervisor will call the contractor to work only on the days necessary and will be paid only for the days workedThe contractor must have his own portable computer / equipment.
  • Work and personal life balance: UNOPS values its staff and recognizes the importance of maintaining a balance between professional and personal responsibilities. We have a work-personal balance policy and offer several flexible schedule possibilities.

UNOPS is an inclusive employer, so we invite women and men to apply regardless of ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We are committed to promoting equitable representation. Upon request, UNOPS seeks the possibility of accommodating candidates with special needs. For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional information

  •  Unsolicited applications will not be accepted.
  •  Nominations received after the deadline will not be considered.
  •  Only selected candidates will be contacted, who will be invited to the next phase of the selection process, which consists of several evaluations.
  •  UNOPS celebrates diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunities. UNOPS workforce is made up of people of diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. UNOPS aims to maintain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities, as well as an inclusive work environment for its entire workforce.
  •  UNOPS encourages qualified candidates, as well as qualified candidates from underrepresented groups in the UNOPS staff, to apply. These groups include people from racialized or indigenous groups, members of gender identities and minority sexual orientations, as well as people with disabilities.
  •  UNOPS would like to ensure that all candidates can perform to the best of their ability during the evaluation process. If you are selected and need additional assistance to complete an evaluation test, such as reasonable adjustments, please inform the person responsible for human resources when you receive the invitation.

Terms and conditions

  •  For civil service positions, UNOPS reserves the right to designate a candidate for a lower level than that published in the vacancy announcement.
  •  Holders of container modality contracts must complete a series of compulsory courses before starting to provide services to UNOPS. These courses must be completed outside the hours worked for UNOPS and the total approximate duration is about four hours. For more information on container modality contracts, see this page.
  •  All UNOPS staff have a responsibility to carry out their tasks in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the policies and instructions of UNOPS, as well as with the corresponding accountability frameworks. Furthermore, all staff must demonstrate that they understand the Sustainable Development Goals in line with the core values of the United Nations and Our Common Agenda.
  •  Within its policies, UNOPS conducts background checks on all potential candidates. Recruitment at UNOPS is contingent on the results of such verifications.

Additional information TDRS – Cost specialist 2023 _ final .docx.pdf ( 191 KB ) How to apply_ES.pdf ( 2.4 MB )


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