Programme Operations Specialist

United Nations Development Programme, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Skill Required:, IT and ICTProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th March, 2020

Job Description


UNDP in Sri Lanka is reorganizing internally and moving to an integrated collaborative business model. Internally, an energetic and innovative team will converge around the planning, design, implementation and quality assurance of an integrated programme in a fast-paced environment. Fostering strategic partnership and alliances with different stakeholders will require a team which consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and has a strong client orientation. Strong UN partnerships are valued for Delivering Together in a true spirit of collaboration and teamwork.

This position is primarily focused on effectively managing the day-to-day Programme Operations support functions required for the smooth and expeditious roll out of project activities implemented under the SDG 16 Portfolio, leading a team of project associates and assistants dedicated to project operations.

The incumbent will be based in Colombo and work under the overall supervision and guidance of the Portfolio Manager, liaising very closely with relevant technical specialists and project counterparts, and in close coordination with the Programme Quality and Design Analyst and Programme Associate for the Governance team. He/she will be fully responsible for coordinating day-to-day assistance required for the operational roll out of all project activities coming under the Portfolio, in accordance with donor and UNDP corporate guidelines. He / She will support the Manager to ensure the SDG 16 Portfolio finances are monitored accurately, information required for donor and corporate reporting is available on time, and that the team of Associates and Assistants working on Programme Operations is well versed in all corporate guidelines and are able to deliver expeditious services to the technical specialists in rolling out planned activities under respective Annual Work Plans. This includes, efficient procurement, strategic financial management, logistical services, and ICT to ensure consistency of operations with UNDP rules and regulations. incumbent sets policies and methods to maximize the Programme performance in operations, demonstrating capacity for innovation and creativity and providing advice to the SDG 16 Portfolio Manager on readjustment of the operations to take into account changes in the operating environment as required.

She / He will also work very closely with all project implementing colleagues, including field-based project staff. The Programme Operations Specialist will help build and maintain strong working relations with project partners including vendors and contractors, government counterparts and private sector and development partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensuring strategic direction of operations
  • Financial resources management
  • Efficient procurement and logistical services
  • Information and communication management
  • Common services organization and management, establishment of partnerships with other UN Agencies
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the supervisor

Ensuring strategic direction of operations focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Compliance of operations with UN/UNDP rules, regulations and policies, implementation of corporate operational strategies, establishment of management targets, and monitoring achievement of results
  • Supervision of staff within the Programme Operations Unit of SDG 16
  • Provision of advice on strategies, policies and plans affecting SDG 16 operations, delivery of practice advisory, knowledge and learning services
  • Establishment of collaborative arrangements with potential partners, a Client Relationship Management System for resource mobilization purposes and appropriate operational partnership arrangements
  • Programme business processes mapping and establishment of internal Standard Operating Procedures in Finance, , Procurement, Logistics and ICT services Results Management
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, quick readjustment of the operations, advice on legal considerations and risk assessment
  • Organization of relevant staff trainings as and when required.

Ensures effective and accurate financial resources management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Proper planning, expenditures tracking and audit of financial resources in accordance with UNDP and donor rules and regulations
  • Accurate planning, forecasting and reporting of Programme income
  • Organization and oversight of risk assessment, timely accounting and reconciliation of all transactions
  • Routinely monitors financial exception reports for unusual activities, transactions, and investigates anomalies or unusual transactions. Informs supervisors and other UNDP staff at Headquarters of the results of the investigation when satisfactory answers are not obtained

Ensures efficient procurement and logistical services management focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Compliance with corporate rules and regulations in the management of SDG 16 procurement strategies including sourcing strategy, supplier selection and evaluation, quality management, customer relationship management, e-procurement promotion and introduction, performance measurement
  • Management of the SDG 16 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.
  • Proper management of UNDP assets, facilities and logistical services

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

  • Maintains a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequately plans for disasters and recoveries
  • 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
  • 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 proper common services organization and management, establishment of partnerships with other UN Agencies focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Elaboration of the strategic approach to implementation of common services in line with the UN reform, the latest developments in common services and the best practices

Required Skills and Experience


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Management, Economics or other Social Sciences from an accredited University is required or Masters Degree preferred.

Working Experience

  • Minimum 3 years’ experience at the national and/or international level in the area of Operations Management, including managing operations functions, or hands-on experience leading Finance, Procurement, ICT or Administration functions would be desirable. Prior experience with UNDP/UN system would be an advantage

Language Requirement

  • Fluency in Sinhala and/or Tamil with strong English communication and presentation skills.


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