United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Infrastructure and Project Management Intern

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

Background information - Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) Within UNOPS, Implementation Practices and Standards (IPS) is responsible for the UNOPS delivery practices. IPS provides thought leadership, standards and oversight as support to the successful delivery of programmes and projects within UNOPS service lines (infrastructure, procurement, project management, human resources and financial management services). IPS is comprised of the Infrastructure and Project Management Group and the Procurement Group which aims to reduce organizational risks, improve project performance, and promote excellence across UNOPS projects through the Standards Management Framework; and provides organisational oversight on the application of standards. These Groups also support the positioning of UNOPS in the UN system and development sector in Infrastructure, Project Management and Procurement. In addition, the Portfolio Support unit aims at building up and managing the organisational readiness of UNOPS and therefore support the implementation of the UNOPS global portfolio. It also provides support services to the Implementation Practices and Standards function. Last, the IPS is hosting the corporate Knowledge Management initiative. Background information - IPMG UNOPS strategic focus places increased emphasis on national capacity development and sustainable approaches to project management, procurement and infrastructure services.  A key objective is to be recognized as an organization that delivers world-class infrastructure and project management, which is both economically and socially sustainable, even in the most challenging environments. To achieve this goal, UNOPS has established the Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG). Within UNOPS, it is IPMG’s objective to serve the organization’s personnel and partners by broadening their infrastructure and project management capabilities, while disseminating best practices in both of these areas. Through this work, the group helps facilitate the successful delivery of programs and projects around the world. To achieve its objectives, IPMG has established three interrelated and interdependent work streams, namely, Strategic Initiatives, Standards, and Engagement Acceptance. IPMG is managed overall by the Director of IPMG and supported by a Programme Support Unit. The Standards Team is overall led by the Head of Standards and managed by the Manager of Standards. The Manager of Standards reports directly to the Head of Standards who reports in turn to the Director of IPMG. The IPMG Standards Intern will report directly to the Manager of Standards.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance and supervision of Management of Standards, the successful candidate will be responsible for supporting a variety of tasks and work packages as a part of her/his internship period. We are seeking qualified applicants who may have a background in infrastructure (engineering and architecture) and/or project management; and who are  structured, organized and detail-oriented, as well as have the ability to communicate complex ideas well. The main support areas will be in (but not limited to) research, technical content development, coordination, technical review, as well as in communication and Administration tasks. At the end of this internship, the successful candidate will have gained:
  • Experience through exposure to UNOPS project management (transactional, advisory and implementation) and infrastructure corporate policies, standards, best practices, activities, systems and tools;

  • Experience in linking Infrastructure and Project Management impacts to corporate and group strategies as well as practical applications to achieve high level goals such as sustainable development (specifically gender equality and social inclusion);

  • Experience in learning and training initiatives to enhance the understanding and maturity of the organisation in infrastructure and project management;

  • Understanding of the key role Infrastructure in sustainable development through linkages in Humanitarian, Development and Peace keeping sectors;

  • Exposure to international personnel in Headquarters Office and through interaction with field offices.

The internship is expected to start in March 2020 and last for 6 months. It can be extended up to 12 months, subject to fund availability and satisfactory performance. The successful candidate may be required to work on the following: Research and Analysis coordination support
  • Support research and review in project/programme management international standards and best practices as well as in infrastructure project management ;

  • Support in analysis of the UNOPS project data from the corporate database.

Technical Support
  • Support in content development either through research, coordination or review  of the various manuals and guidance as outlined and assigned in the annual work plan for the standards.

Administrative and Communication Support
  • Support in communicating Standards initiatives to different stakeholders;

  • Contribute to maintenance and updating of the intranet site;

  • Support all training/event initiatives within IPMG as required, this includes but not limited to training/events set up, administrative support, and logistics.


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.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Completion of secondary school or equivalent is required.

  • Candidate must be currently enrolled in, or have recently completed (within three years prior to the application date of the internship) a Bachelor/Master’s Degree in Project Management, Engineering, Architecture and Planning, or Construction Management.

Language Skills
  • Fluency in English is required;

  • Knowledge of French and/or Spanish would be considered an asset.

Internship-related experiences While no prior work experience is required the following experience is highly desirable:
  • Knowledge and experience with Google Suite and other publishing software's

  • Knowledge of database software is an asset

  • The ideal candidate would have experience in one or several of the following areas in the order of priorities:
    • Infrastructure project development and management;

    • Project management best practices;

    • Humanitarian and Development settings;

    • Academic research;

    • Publication development;

    • Data analysis;

    • Website and intranet development;

    • Database development.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Internship Contract level: N/A Contract duration: 6 months This internship is not designed to lead to a staff position with UNOPS. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of the internship. Interns may be eligible for a monthly stipend of USD $1,100 from UNOPS provided that they do not receive funds from other institutions. Further, UNOPS may provide a one time travel lumpsum of USD $500. However, they must make their own arrangements for accommodation, travel and necessary visa arrangements. For more details about UNOPS internships please follow this link: https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Internships-and-volunteering.aspx

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

  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.

  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post

  • 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.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ 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. Diversity 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 — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ 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.
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