Management Specialist / Team Leader, Management Support Unit (MSU), Syria At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Closing date: Saturday, 22 July 2023

Job Identification : 11991

Locations : Syrian Arab Republic

Posting Date : 07/14/2023, 03:44 PM

Apply Before : 07/22/2023, 03:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Grade : P4

Vacancy Type : Fixed Term

Practice Area : Crisis management / Country Management Support

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Arab States

Contract Duration : 2 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Master’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience

Required Languages : Fluency in oral and written English

Desired Languages : Arabic

Vacancy Timeline

1 Week

Mobility required/no mobility

mobility required

Job Description

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.


The priorities of UNDP Syria, as stipulated in the Country Programme Document 2022-2024, is to enhance the resilience and socio-economic stabilization of individuals and communities through local governance and service delivery, local socioeconomic recovery and social cohesion, and climate change mitigation and adaptation and natural resource management pathways. UNDP Syria prioritizes its “resilience” signature solution, which is in line with its leadership of the resilience pillar of the Humanitarian Response Plan, which includes coordinating the early recovery and livelihoods sector. UNDP has rolled out a context-sensitive, area-based approach to address complex and interlinked development challenges and their root causes, all while strengthening social cohesion. This entails the design, implementation and monitoring of resilience programmes through an inclusive, rights-based and participatory approach that promotes community ownership and sustainability in defined geographic areas aiming to build resilience to shocks, including the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, while addressing gender equality and respecting the principle of “do no harm”. UNDP delivers substantive results on the ground through its field offices and programme presences, covering 14 governorates.

Position Purpose:

The Management Support Unit (MSU) provides strategic programme planning support and advisory services to Senior Management and leads on 1) field coordination and management support; 2) strengthening programme and project quality assurance, results-based management and information management (IM) systems, and monitoring and evaluation; and 3) programme finance management in the country office.

Under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative and direct supervision of the Deputy Resident Representative, the position leads and coordinates the work of MSU for overall improvement of the country office performance in the areas of results, resources and field coordination and management while ensuring compliance with UNDP’s Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures (POPP) and leading on preparation of CO response to HQ compliance and reporting requirements. S/he will have responsibility and accountability for providing guidance and advice on programme planning and management leading to a more coherent programme and effective and efficient implication of projects on the ground.

The Team Leader, MSU supervises the staff of the unit and area managers and will be responsible for fostering collaboration between programme teams, area offices, and for working in close collaboration with the Programme and Operations units and as needed with other UN sister agencies.


Management of field team staff and Area Offices including communication flow, monitoring and oversight:

  •  Ensures necessary resources are provided for smooth running of the area offices, builds synergies between area offices, promotes teamwork and an environment that is conducive to delivering results;
  •  Strategically assesses and advises the expansion and capacity needs of area offices in collaboration with senior management, operations teams and respective area managers;
  •  Approves Atlas transactions (manager level 2) under written delegated authority from the Resident Representative.
  •  Maximizes internal communication between the area offices and with the Damascus office and ensures smooth flow of information between area office and respective programme and operations teams.
  •  In collaboration with programme teams, ensures that key local results in the respective area offices are effectively communicated in collaboration with relevant units in the country office.
  •  Increasingly engages area offices in developing new projects, concept notes and annual work planning exercises;
  •  Advises on mainstreaming business processes between Damascus Office and Area Offices to eliminate bottlenecks in project implementation;
  •  In collaboration with programme teams, regularly monitors implementation performance of fields and relevant partners on the ground through field visits, requests for progress updates and through third party monitoring.
  •  Prepares area offices for expected programmatic expansion ensuring readiness of necessary capacities, established processes and deployed tools to take an additional workload;
  •  Ensures area office staff have requisite knowledge of programme priorities, rules, regulations and processes that will allow for more efficient planning and implementation of projects;
  •  Establish mechanisms for systematic monitoring of project implementation in concerned area offices through close monitoring of results;
  •  Advises programme teams on engagement of area offices in the development of new programmatic interventions requiring inputs of area offices;

Ensures effective programme management, accountability and oversight mechanisms are in place:

  •  Support Senior Management to ensure that programme activities respond to the needs of the country and in accordance with the national priorities as articulated in the Country Programme Document (CPD)
  •  Support Senior Management to ensure accountability of the Country Programme to donors and counterparts through the delivery of outcome-level results and management of programme resources.
  •  CO business processes mapping and establish internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in Results and Resources Management, control of the workflows in the Programme;
  •  Ensures strict and consistent application of UNDP rules and regulations and ensuring the implementation of clear accountability mechanisms throughout the programmes and in full compliance with quality standards and rules;
  •  Provides quality assurance for the programme, project boards/oversight reviews by carrying out objective and independent programme oversight and monitoring functions;
  •  Supports the Programme team and Project Managers to elaborate coherent work plans and budgets for all activities in the Programme portfolio and support the continuous monitoring of project work plans;
  •  Coordinates preparation of CO Integrated Work Plan (IWP) in consultation with relevant programme and support teams;
  •  Ensure timely and adequate reporting against the Country Office’s annual plans in consultation with Senior Management, including providing timely and articulate progress reports such as the Results Oriented Annual Report (ROAR);
  •  Support preparation of high-quality project documents and proposals, and encouraging adequate peer review of the same through established mechanisms (LPAC);
  •  Supports programme pillars to establish systems which allows the efficient and effective collection of outcome-level data including disaggregated data so that programme monitoring, and evaluation can take place and progress can be measured;
  •  Supports the implementation of programme evaluation plan for the Country Office.
  •  Oversees the implementation of the CO monitoring and evaluation plan as it relates to programme;
  •  Guided by the Resident Representative and in coordination with the Deputy Resident Representative, facilitates country office resources allocation processes and support resources planning and monitoring
  •  Ensures the effective monitoring of resources allocation and delivery, raises delivery gaps and proposes adequate and sound solutions.
  •  Supports providing strategic oversight of planning, budgeting, implementing and monitoring of the programme, tracking use of financial resources in accordance with UNDP rules and regulations.
  •  Ensures a functioning information management system for results reporting at activity, output and outcome levels supporting evidence-based reporting and accountability for achieved results.

Provision of high-quality advisory services and technical expertise:

  •  Provides guidance and technical advice on project planning, implementation and monitoring to ensure compliance with UN/UNDP rules, regulations, and policies of financial activities, financial recording/reporting system;
  •  Advises on training needs, develop training programmes and materials, and conduct workshops on appropriate programme and operations policies and procedures with respect to improving the programme performance and management of activities;
  •  Develops and/or revises uniform and harmonized standard operating procedures (SOPs) on key programme business processes, procedures and templates across all implementation modalities, including in area offices and project offices;
  •  Identifies new ideas and opportunities for the development of new interventions for the Programme.
  •  Designs with the relevant UNDP units and the donors, tools and methodologies to ensure the proper monitoring of activities and the evaluation of the impact of the CO Programme/Projects;
  •  Coordinates with Programme Leads and Project Managers on site evaluations and provide recommendations of improvements from a quality assurance perspective;
  •  Advises on the status of the delivery and financial status of the projects;
  •  Monitor Corporate data quality dashboards and follow up with relevant units to ensure that all requirements are met;
  •  Supports Senior Management in assessing country office programme performance;
  •  Coordinates inputs for corporate queries on performance-related issues;
  •  Monitors, reviews and contribute to redesign business processes to enhance performance and streamline procedures.
  •  Advise on the preparation and clearance of agreements with partners (donors, government, CSOs, UN agencies and other partners);
  •  Supports the Communications Unit to communicate results to partners, both Government and donor partners
  •  Support to implement the CO partnerships and resources mobilization strategies to achieve programme outcomes;
  •  Develops mechanisms and instruments for selection of appropriate government and civil society partners in the implementation of the programme;
  •  Advises on the design and implementation of coherent institutional capacity development strategies by the Programme Pillars ensuring these strategies contribute to the national development plan and SDG achievements;
  •  Proactively identifies risks and challenges to the on-going operations of the country programme and provides project teams on mitigation strategies;

Facilitation of knowledge building, knowledge sharing and management:

  •  Ensures that lessons learned, and best practices are captured and documented to inform wider policies and programmes and facilitate replication elsewhere;
  •  Guides the identification of new areas for performance monitoring as required, and defines / improves indicators used in the performance monitoring system;
  •  Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the CO.
  •  Identifies sources of information related to policy-driven issues.
  •  Identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learned directly linked to programme country policy goals;
  •  Makes sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  •  Organizes trainings for programme and project staff on aspects required to strengthen Results-based Management and quality assurance;
  •  Promotes national staff skills and technical knowledge development through coaching, mentoring and encouraging staff learning and participation in specialized knowledge networks.
  •  Supports capacity- and knowledge building of national counterparts;

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

  •  This position will supervise the positions in the Management Support Unit, including at a minimum a RBM/M&E Analyst, Field Monitoring and Coordination Support and Programme Support Officers, and Area Managers heading area offices.
  •  This position will be responsible for timely conduct of Performance Reviews, and supporting learning, career and professional growth of the Unit members.



  •  Master or equivalent in Economics, Political Science, Business Administration, Public Administration, Law, Development Sciences, Social Sciences or related field is required.


  •  Minimum 7 years of relevant work experience at the national or international level in providing management advisory services, hands-on experience in design, implementation, operations, monitoring and evaluation of development/cooperation projects and establishing inter-relationships among international organizations and national governments is required.
  •  Practical experience in development cooperation/humanitarian response in crisis affected, middle income and/or developing countries is required.
  •  Proven experience in partnership building and networking is a big asset.
  •  Demonstrated knowledge of and experience applying RBM methodologies and tools (i.e. project and programme management, design and implementing monitoring systems, managing evaluations and analytical report writing) is highly desirable.
  •  Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems is an asset.
  •  Thorough knowledge of UNDP Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures is essential.
  •  Experience and Knowledge in UNDP’s corporate planning and reporting requirements is an asset.
  •  Knowledge and experience in Programme Finance is an asset.
  •  Demonstrated knowledge and experience applying risk management systems, including the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) Framework, particularly within a UNDP Direct Implementation Modality (DIM) context is required.
  •  Experience in management of field offices and teams including communication flow, planning, monitoring and oversight is a great advantage.
  •  Demonstrated experience managing and leading teams is a big asset.

Language Requirements

  •  Proficiency in oral and written English language.
  •  Knowledge of Arabic will be an asset.


Core Competencies

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 on the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies:

Business Direction and Strategy – Business Acumen: Ability to understand and deal with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome

Knowledge and understanding of the operational frameworks in the organization and ability to make good judgments and quick decisions within such frameworks

Business Management – Partnerships Management: Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies

Business Management – Results-based Management: Ability to manage programmes and projects with a focus at improved performance and demonstrable results

Digital & Innovation – Co-creation: Ability to design and facilitate a process that enables a diverse group of stakeholders to solve a common problem, develop a practice, or create knowledge together. Ability to embrace diversity, work with a diverse group of stakeholders understand their interests, perspectives and views and tap into to them as a source for creativity. Ability to facilitate processes and create conditions that are open for diverse inputs, stimulate collaboration and sharing.

Finance – Financial planning and budgeting: Ability to create and manage processes to achieve UNDP’s long and short-term financial goals, including through planning, budgeting, forecasting, analyzing and reporting.

Business Direction and Strategy – Systems 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 Management – Portfolio Management: Ability to select, prioritize 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 optimizing return on investment.


Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

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