Civil Engineer

  • Added Date: Monday, 10 May 2021
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021

** Background Information - Job-specific

Kenya Multi-Country Office (KEMC) and Zambia Country Office

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenya Multi Country Office manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The KEMC/East and Southern Africa sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in Nairobi/Kenya which manages a portfolio of engagements in multiple countries in East and Southern Africa. This includes transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies, UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple โ€˜operationalโ€™ projects in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and several island states.

In 2020 KEMC established an Office in Lusaka, Zambia. The Government of Zambia (GoZ) has prepared the Irrigation Development Support Project (IDSP, P102459, IDA Credit #48740) in the amount of SDR74.70 million (US$115 million), approved in April 2011 by the World Bank. The Projectโ€™s original objective was to increase yields per hectare and value of diverse products marketed by smallholders benefiting from investments in irrigation in selected sites served by the project. Originally the project had four components (i) Irrigated Agriculture Support Services, (ii) Public Infrastructure; (iii) Private and Cooperative Investment; and (iv) Management and Coordination.

In March 2020, the government requested Additional Funding of US$ 30 million and a time extension of 24 months to allow: (i) the completion of the ongoing works under IDSP and cost replenishment (US$ 14 million); (ii) the implementation of Phase 2 of the remedial works for ten dams (US$ 15 million) and (iii) Drought Emergency Response (USD 1 million).

Ten dams have been built on selected rivers in Zambia as a part of the Zambia Water Resources Development Project (WRDP). These are all earth fill dams, with walls varying in height from 8 m and 10.7 m. Four of the dams were pre-existing and were rehabilitated while the remainder were new dams. Most of the construction was completed between 2016 and 2018. In late 2018, work was stopped due to persistently poor performance by the contractors. A performance review of dam safety and safeguard concerns, including a review of all safeguard instruments, was undertaken for each dam site to guide the requirements for completion of remedial work under the Additional Financing.

The dams now present risks to the local communities and the Government and the World Bank (โ€œFunderโ€) want to have these dams secured and retrofitted. The remediation works will be financed by the WB through the IDSP. IDSP engaged UNOPS as implementing partner in a Phase 1 to provide services including planning (support of surveillance and emergency preparedness) for 10 dams and design, updating of environmental and social safeguards documentation to comply with WB social and environmental policies for 10 dams and tendering of the works for 10 dams.

In Phase 2, UNOPS will be implementing the identified solutions and lead on the remedial and rehabilitation works on the 10 dams.

** Functional Responsibilities

UNOPS is looking to engage Civil Engineers based at each of the sites. The Civil Engineers will lead the monitoring of contractorsโ€™ work at each of the 10 dams sites: Ngolongozya, Nachibanga, Ndondi, Makaba, Kanyika, Kawiko, Nabowa, Katembula, Chibalashi, Chikowa. The Civil Engineers will work under the supervision of the Lead Civil Engineers responsible for each site.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  1. Construction management

  2. Quality management

  3. Health and safety

  4. Project closure

  5. Knowledge management

Construction management

  • Carry out construction supervision as set out in the physical works contract.
  • Identify and report on potential delays and or cost overruns that can be avoided.
  • Prepare weekly and monthly reports that cover supervision activities.
  • Prepare, manage and monitor performance tracking management systems to enable work plans to be followed at the field level with personnel being accountable for their outputs.
  • Assist the Lead Civil Engineer to ensure that the planned activities are conducted safely, on time, within budget and scope.
  • Identify risks, develop mitigation solutions and escalate to the Lead Civil Engineer.
  • Ensure that the implementation of works is in accordance with UNOPS operational directives, instructions and guidelines.
  • Manage the utilization of Operational Advances (cash advances) in the field and their correct utilisation according to UNOPS operational directives, instructions and manuals.
  • Manage the implementation of construction as per the design approved by the Design Review Team and manage the interaction for any potential design changes in accordance with UNOPS standards, manuals and guidelines.
  • Represent the Project Manager and UNOPS at coordination, community group and other stakeholder meetings, as delegated, especially in relation to the progress of works implementation.
  • Support the Lead Civil Engineer with the valuation of construction work for interim progress payment certificates; the valuation of variations and the assessment of claims.
  • Support the DNP manager with site visits and reporting during the DNP period.

Health, safety and environmental management

  • Manage and monitor the implementation of the works to ensure strict compliance with all UNOPS Health Safety Social & Environment (HSSE) policies, Management Plan and act as the lead resource in the field.
  • Manage the implementation of the health, safety and environmental management requirements contained in the design documentation or provided by a third party such as the donor (Environmental and social impact assessment or Environmental and social safeguards).
  • Adopt sustainable, โ€˜green buildingโ€™, construction approaches and techniques, including environmental sustainability, throughout the construction stage.
  • Identify, assess and mitigate health, safety and environment risks during construction.

Quality management

  • Conduct quality assurance procedures to ensure that the requirements of the contract quality plan are being complied with.
  • Conduct site and material inspections, oversee site tests and prepare reports to support the Lead Civil Engineer.
  • Monitor all project activities in relation to the respective project work package plans and take corrective action, when necessary, to ensure the timely and cost effective delivery of project outputs.
  • Maintain and contribute to the project communication system to facilitate the dissemination of information and reports to all key stakeholders.
  • Participate in the preparation and monitoring of project progress and other reports (including risk logs, issues log, lessons learned, etc.).
  • Manage the daily labour contract in accordance with UNOPS operational directives, instructions and manuals.
  • Assist the contractor, using UNOPS HSSE guidelines, to implement adequate health and safety training for their personnel.
  • Manage the preparation of; site instructions; contract administration documentation: progress reports; contractor and stakeholder meeting minutes; site monitoring reports.
  • Examine the contractorโ€™s progress payment claims for accuracy and compliance with the conditions of contract.
  • Prepare and check for accuracy the database covering the available materials shipped to the project; the schedules of labour and monitoring of quality during the physical works progress.
  • Liaise with local contractors and material suppliers to monitor current market conditions and trends.

Project closure

  • Assist the Lead Civil Engineer by acting as witness during the commissioning process.
  • Manage the collection of field data, H & S compliance documentation and preparation of As-built drawings by the contractor.
  • Carry out file archiving of all construction monitoring and contract administration documentation in line with UNOPS archiving procedures.
  • Support the Project Manager with the preparation of the final payment certificate.

Knowledge management

  • Take personal responsibility for engaging in continued professional development (CPD).
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for development planning and knowledge building.
  • Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice, actively interact with other Engineers and the Engineering community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System.
  • Collaborate with technical team members including but not limited to architects, engineers, project managers and quantity surveyors.

** Education

  • Bachelorโ€™s degree in Civil Engineering or related field from an accredited university is required.
  • Advanced/Masters degree in Civil Engineering, Construction Management or related built environment field is an asset.

** Experience

  • A minimum of two (2) years' of relevant engineering experience is required.
  • A minimum of two (2) years' experience of supervising construction activities is required.
  • Experience in water capture and storage, disaster risk management, quality management systems is desirable.
  • Experience in dams construction or rehabilitation is an asset.

** Certifications

  • Experience in using relevant construction management or scheduling software; Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is desirable.

** Languages

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of local dialects is an asset.

** Competencies

Integrity and Inclusion - Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Partnering - Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).

Results Orientation - Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.

Agility - Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.

Solution Focused - Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.

Effective Communication - Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

** Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

*It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks. *

  • This is a local post. As such, it is only open to Zambian Nationals or persons with valid residence permits
  • This position is not based in a family duty station.

** Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: ICA

Contract level: Local ICA Specialist 8

Contract duration: Up to one year

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

** Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partnersโ€™ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce โ€” a strength that helps us better understand and address our partnersโ€™ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

This vacancy is archived.

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