The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the development arm of the United Nations system, with offices in 180 countries. Globally, the organization employs 17,000 people and manages a budget of USD 5 billion each year.
The UNDP office in Skopje employs a team of 65 and currently manages a portfolio of projects in environmental protection, good governance and social inclusion worth USD 15 million per year.
UNDP is seeking a Project Manager to coordinate the work of all involved parties in order to ensure smooth operations of the planned project activities.
UNDP in the country provides a continuous support to the Government in preparation and implementation of the Operational Plan for Active Labour Market Measures (ALMMs) since 2007. To address some of the structural challenges that hinder the country’s growth, such as skills shortages at the labour market, in 2010 UNDP also established close cooperation with all national institutions to support ongoing reforms of the education system.
New project funded by the British Government, to be implemented by UNDP, aims to address the paradox of the simultaneous coexistence of high unemployment rates and very low labour-force participation rates, on one side, and, crippling shortages of skilled labour, especially in the textiles and construction industries on the other. In that context, “skills trap” phenomenon, is present and is characterized with few incentives for people to invest in developing a higher level of skills knowing that there are scare job opportunities available at the local labour market. At the same time, employers across a variety of sectors are unlikely to upgrade their production process or service model that use a higher level of skills, knowing that they will be unable to find needed labor force.
The country’s educational system is still not fully adapted to the needs of the private-sector economy. Changing industry needs do not spur changes in the vocational training system in a flexible and timely fashion. Young people have little exposure to the demands of the workplace before graduation, thus making them less attractive to employers. Those who choose to enter the job market have a strong preference to work in the public administration, which is seen as more secure and less demanding than the private sector, even when private-sector salaries are higher.
These challenges are exacerbated by competitive pressures that businesses face to adapt to changing industry trends, new technologies and greater automation. Unless workers can adapt, their jobs are at risk. Yet working adults have few options outside the workplace to learn the new skills, such as IT-driven manufacturing processes, that the market demands. Lifelong learning is at best an emerging concept; there are few certified providers of training that can help unemployed adults improve their employability or assist already-employed workers in “upskilling.”
The management of the project require an experienced Project Manager with a specialization in technical disciplines and understanding of the complexity of the labour market. Her/His tasks include delivering the results specified in the project document within the established timeframe and budget, as well as regular reporting to the donor and the main beneficiaries.
The Project Manager will report to the Head of the UNDP Social Inclusion Portfolio. She/He will manage a project team comprising of Skills/Business Specialist, National Technical Advisor and Project Associate. The Project Manager will be located in Skopje but will frequently travel throughout the country.
The salary for the position is classified as SB 5 and depends on experience and qualifications.
Objective of the assignment
The incumbent’s duties are outlined below and will be fulfilled in line with the prevailing UNDP rules and procedures as well as with due compliance with the UNDP internal control framework.
Summary of key functions:
Description of responsibilities:
1. Ensure effective project management of the assigned projects by maintaining the delivery of appropriate technical, operational, financial and administrative outputs, while tracking the project progress by monitoring, evaluation and reporting;
- Manage and coordinate project activities based on the relevant Project Document, including the supervision and guidance of the project staff, term consultants and experts, with a view to achieving project results;
- Develop comprehensive/detailed Project work-plans including structured dynamics of all Project activities, role and responsibilities and milestones;
- Prepare Project progress reports for the donor and the main project beneficiary (Ministry of Education and Science);
- Ensure timely submission of the Inception Report, Project Implementation Report, Technical reports, quarterly narrative and financial reports, and other reports as may be required by UNDP and/or the donor;
- Monitor Project progress to ensure that it is in accordance with the timetable set out in the Project Document and prepare regular updates and reports to Project Boards on projects’ progress, implementing issues, emerging risks/problems and proposals for necessary remedial actions.
- Secure the goods, services and personnel needed to implement Project activities, including drafting TORs and work specifications;
- Monitor financial resources and ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
- Manage and monitor the project risks initially identified, submit new risks to the Project Board for consideration and decision on possible action if required; update the status of these risks by maintaining a Project Risk Log;
- Provide rigorous quality assurance for the project’s financial, procurement and administrative processes to make sure that they are conducted in line with UNDP rules and regulations as well as in line with the project timelines.
- Maintain regular coordination and quality assurance of expert inputs and products as well as among project partners to ensure coherence and complementarity of project activities;
- Identify opportunities for deepening cooperation and recommending adequate approaches to dealing with different stakeholders based on information gathered during project implementation;
- Maintain regular communication on relevant project issues with local and international counterparties, consultants and experts and ensuring quality and timely delivery of all agreed outputs
2. Provide advisory support on issues relevant for overcoming the skills gap in the two selected industries to the Government and other partners:
- Identify, collect and analyze policy-related, relevant information and data;
- Identify and synthesize best practices and lessons learnt into project goals;
- Support the development of policies that will address challenges and needs in collaboration with the Government and other strategic partners;
- Codify and share best practices and lessons learnt;
3. Build the strategic partnerships needed to achieve results:
- Cultivate relationships with the central and local authorities, private sector, academia and other Project stakeholders, ensuring full understanding, cooperation and an appropriate fit of the project activities with the main needs of the beneficiaries; and
- Establishing effective linkages with other relevant projects and initiatives in the sector with a view to developing substantive partnerships and generating synergies;
- Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders.
4. Align the project with UN values and UNDP priorities:
- Ensure the principles of gender equality, democratic governance, social inclusion and disaster resilience are effectively reflected in project activities;
- Ensure that gender equality is pursued in all project activities and reflected in work plans, budgets, reports, researches, analyses and, where specifically relevant, analyzed in detail;
- Consult regularly with other UNDP projects and programs on related activities where synergies are possible;
- Strive to engage groups and communities in project activities that affect them;
- Communicate project goals and activities clearly to both stakeholders and the wider public;
5. Ensure effective mainstreaming of gender equality.
- Support preparation of gender equality background materials for use in discussion, correspondence and briefing sessions;
- Ensure that all the data, when collecting and compiling inputs relating to the Project, are gender disaggregated to the extend possible;
- Support the reporting on gender mainstreaming as part of the ROAR and other corporate documets
PERFORMANCE INDICATORS FOR EVALUATION OF RESULTS
- Project activities executed in line with UNDP corporate principles;
- Project staff/ team(s) effectively and efficiently guided and backstopped, as needed
- Implementation of the transferred competencies and resources is consolidated and effectively carried out;
- Links with other relevant projects/initiatives established and joint objectives effectuated;
- Delivered funds in accordance to the planned Annual Work Plans;
- imely and qualitative reporting in line with the programme needs and Country Office/national partners’ and donor’s requirements.
- Integrity: Demonstrates commitment to UNDP's mission, vision and values.
- Respect for diversity: Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
- Takes initiative
- Identifies opportunities and challenges and recommends options
- Checks assumptions against facts
- Assumes responsibility for decisions and outcomes
- Analyzes complex technical materials (including data) and makes concise, relevant recommendations
- Knowledgeable in designing innovative approaches and methods
- Contributes reliable production of knowledge services and transactions
- Identiﬁes and addresses potential challenges quickly and develop action plans
- Sees speciﬁc opportunities for immediate improvement within own ﬁeld
- Listens to develop awareness of client needs
- Respects differences of opinion
- Finds common ground to solve problems
- Gains trust of peers, partners, clients
- Presents complex, conceptual ideas in practical terms to others
- Meets goals and timelines for delivery of products or services
- Embraces expanded responsibilities and challenges self to excel
- Takes responsibility for addressing critical situations
- Demonstrates commitment to clients and quality
- Works to agreed goals dealing with challenges constructively
- Takes responsibility for project implementation and/or team deliverables
- Able to manage budgets and deliver results under tight deadlines;
- Has sound knowledge of project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work and assignments.
- Has strong knowledge of the current skills gap in the textile and/or construction industries;
- Knowledge of existing national support schemes for companies, especially in workforce skills building and job creation
- Knowledge of and sensitivity to economic development issues in the country
- Strong research, analytical, reporting and writing abilities
- A university degree in a development-related discipline (engineering, economy or a similar field) is required. A Masters of Science is not mandatory but is a strong asset, as is a background in working closely with private companies working in construction or textile industries.
- At least 5 years (3 years for candidates with master’s degree) is required in the design, implementation, monitoring and/or evaluation of development projects. Experience in the implementation of larger projects run by international organizations and/or large projects dealing with the private sector is also a strong asset.
- Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills are required in both Macedonian and English. Knowledge of Albanian or other languages used in the country is an asset.
Important applicant information
All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.
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Contract Duration: 12 months with possibility for extension