Operations Manager (NO-C) Post, Panama City, Panama At Unicef

Closing date: Friday, 21 July 2023

Operations Manager (NO-C) / Panama City, Panama / Post#103410

Job no: 563697

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

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

School/Unit: Panama

Department/Office: Panama City, Panama

Categories: Administration

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, a hero.

The Operations function is a strategic Business Partner role, assuring the best use of UNICEF assets in alignment with sound management practices, office priorities and goals to deliver results for children.

The Operations Manager reports to and receives general direction and guidance from the Representative. In addition to performing the functions of the Operations Manager for the Panama Country Office (PCO) with some 40 staff including 6 International Professionals (IP) and an annual budget of $4-5 million, the incumbent will lead and manage the Share Administrative Service Unit (SAS). The SAS was created in February 2022 by the Regional Office to give administrative support to the LAC Regional Office (over 140 staff, including more than a 110 IP) and Panama Country Office. The objective is to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the administrative areas such as: management of premises, maintenances and all its negotiations with suppliers and landlords, relationship with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to facilitate the visas, customs, drivers’ licenses and all the documents required by international staff to be in the country. On SAS related issues and decisions, the Operations Manager will coordinate closely with the Regional Operations and HR Advisers.

How can you make a difference?

As a Strategic Business Partner, the incumbent will be accountable for operations functions, facilitate change, provide risk informed, solution-focused analysis, advice and services and contribute to programme and management decisions for delivering results for children in both in the context of the work of the Panama CO and the SAS. The Operations Manager will accomplish this by:

  •  Leading the development and implementation of services in the functional areas of operations support: budget, facilities management, administration and safety & security for PCO and SAS, and financial management and reporting, supply and logistics management, information and communications technology, human resources, and safety and security for PCO;
  •  Acting as a member of the PCO Senior Management Team, to analyze and provide advice on organizational risks, governance systems and policies, and results-based management.
  •  Understanding business needs for the PCO and SAS, to propose viable solutions aimed at value for money.
  •  Contributing strategically to the Panama Country Office CPD, CPMP, AMP and support to Results Based Management and implementation using Value for Money (VfM) criteria.
  •  Overseeing the fundamentals of ICT management, information security and controls for the PCO.
  •  Overseeing supply and logistics strategies and interventions to meet programmatic needs while ensuring VfM, including procurement of fit for purpose products and services for PCO.
  •  Providing regular feedback on risks and achievements of operations functions in the Panama Country office;
  •  Supporting the country office during external and internal audit reviews, contributing with audit observations and monitoring implementation of recommendations.
  •  Facilitating business transactions processed by GSSC from a perspective of Efficiency, Performance, Risk Management and Fraud prevention for PCO and SAS/RO.
  •  Supporting the management of PSFR operations from an operational perspective in the PCO.
  •  Supporting line managers to implement career development and opportunities for staff in the PCO;
  •  Leading the relationship with the Foreign Affairs Ministry on operational issues on behalf of PCO and LACRO to facilitate the documentation process of international staff of Panama and LAC Regional office in the country.
  •  Overseeing the administration of the building/office premises and facilities with a specific focus on inclusive accessibility, eco sustainability and common premises where PCO has half floor and LAC Regional Office has 3 ½ floors;
  •  Representing UNICEF and participating actively in the country UN OMTs (United Nations Operations Management Team) and working groups to assure compliance with UN Reform (Business operating systems, Common Premises, Common Back Office). Co-chairing the Panama OMT and leading the Administrative Working Group. for the regional BOS representing LACRO.

The Operations Manager will be entrusted with the following five pillars, the core focus of all operations functions: Valuing People, Valuing Money, Valuing Risk Management, Valuing Systems and Structures, Valuing Partners.Summary of key functions/accountabilities: Management

Financial planning and fiduciary responsibility

Human Resources Management

Administrative services

Information communication technology

Procurement and logistical services

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

Risk Management

Knowledge management, performance improvement and capacity building

Common services organization and management, establishment of partnerships with other UN Agencies

To read the full job description and duties related to this position please click in the following link: Operations Manager NO-C Approved.pdf

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


  •  An Advanced University Degree (Master’s and above) in one of the following areas is required: Business management; Financial management; Accounting; Public Finance; and related operations function (Supply Chain, Human Resources, Information Technology, International Business, Project management, etc.)

Work Experience:

  •  A minimum of 5 years of professional experience, at the national and/or international level, is required, specifically in one or more operations management area including budget; financial management and reporting; facilities management; administration; supply and logistics management; information technology; human resources.
  •  Prior experience in the development sector, UN system/ international NGOs, large private or public company, experience working in a humanitarian/ emergency context is an asset.
  •  Prior experience working with or in the private sector, and supporting private sector fundraising, is an asset.

Additional experience in one or more of the following areas, would be desired:

  •  Audit and investigations
  •  Safety and security
  •  Grant Management
  •  Enterprise Risk Management
  •  Experience in a UN system agency, large private or public company, or experience working in a developing country and/or humanitarian/ emergency context is an asset.
  •  For country offices with a significant private sector fundraising operation, prior experience working with or in the private sector, and supporting private sector fundraising, is desirable
  •  Experience in working with corporate ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) and IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) is highly desirable.
  •  Knowledge of Results Based Management is a requirement.
  •  Experience in supporting successful client-oriented work units is an asset.
  •  Familiarity with Microsoft Office applications is required

Language Proficiency

  •  Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, or Russian) is an asset.

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…

  •  Builds and maintains partnerships
  •  Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  •  Drive to achieve results for impact
  •  Innovates and embraces change
  •  Manages ambiguity and complexity
  •  Thinks and acts strategically
  •  Works collaboratively with others.
  •  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. 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 professionals are encouraged to apply.

Only National participants would be considered for this position.

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: Jul 05 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Application close: Jul 20 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

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  •  Closes Jul 20 2023Operations Manager (NO-C) / Panama City, Panama / Post#103410 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 Operations function is a strategic Business Partner role, assuring the best use of UNICEF assets in alignment with sound management practices, office priorities and goals to deliver results for children.


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