United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Ethics Specialist (Retainers, Multiple Positions)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

  UNOPS is committed to fostering an organisational culture of ethics and a harmonious and inclusive work environment, anchored in the values of integrity, accountability, transparency, respect and professionalism. The Ethics and Compliance Office (ECO) is integral to this effort, and it has an overall mandate to act as an independent organ pursuant to SGB (2007/11). The role of the ECO is to strengthen and nurture the culture of ethics, integrity and accountability at UNOPS. The office is working under the leadership of the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer who  reports to the Executive Office.

The organisation requires the services of Ethics Specialists that shall be on retainer contracts to carry out short term work packages when required.  Please note that the selected candidates who will successfully undergo the assessments will be offered a home-based contract for 1 year (renewable) but proposed a work package only when a specific opportunity arises.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, the Ethics Specialist will provide ethics support on an ad-hoc basis and carry out short term work packages when required to UNOPS on all programme aspects, including in relation to the following areas: 1. Ethics Risk Assessment Programme

  • Support the implementation and management of the global ethics risk assessment programme to identify and track key ethical compliance issues facing UNOPS operations - including project managing individual assessments (or parts of it), facilitating meetings and interviews with key stakeholders and preparing reports on findings.
  • Assess organizational risk of non-compliance within the scope of the Ethics and Compliance Office and make recommendations on action plans.
  • Conduct targeted risk assessments into specific ethical risk areas and/or existing risk control measures, or parts of it, and make recommendations on actions required to meet globally recongised best practice.
  • Support the development of reporting and monitoring tools, including dashboards and other digital diagnostics.
2. Training and Communications

  • Support the development and implementation of the ECO’s communications strategy to raise awareness on the ethics  programme on topics including core values, ethical standards and expected professional conduct within UNOPS.
  • Assess learning and development gaps and identify solutions to address those gaps.
  • Support the development and implementation of the ECO’s training programmes raising awareness and understanding of the key ethical issues within UNOPS, including project managing the development of both face-to-face and e-learning.
  • Develop stand alone communications campaigns, or parts of it, and associated information materials for use internally and externally, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.
3. Policy and Guidance 

  • Support the ECO in developing policies and guidance (or parts of it) on ethics matters for UNOPS.
  • Review specific ethics policy areas - conducting gap analyses and developing plans to address identified gaps, including drafting recommendations to the ECO on updates required for existing policies and guidance or new ones.
  • Support the ECO in advising internal stakeholders (such as Procurement) that lead on mitigating specific ethics risks, in particular on creating suitable and relevant policy and guidance documentation and establishing mitigation controls that align to best practice.
4. General Programme development and enhancements

  • Provide guidance within the organization on relevant policies, procedures and practices to reinforce and promote the ethical standards of  the UN Charter, including support the organisation with embedding ethics processes into day to day activities.
  • Assess and advise on opportunities to simplify and automate individual ethics programme activities and/or processes to streamline and increase operational efficiencies, including implementing them as and when required.
  • Support the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer in the development of periodic reports to a variety of internal and external stakeholders.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


  • An Advanced University Degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in law, criminology, relevant social sciences, relevant humanities, business or public Administration, psychology, economics, commerce, corporate ethics or related field is required.
  • A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s Degree) in combination with 2 additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

  • Minimum 5 years of experience in ethics, compliance, regulatory, investigative and/or related work is required.
  • Extensive working experience in organisational ethics and compliance with an international organization (UN system, international development) or the private sector highly desirable.
  • Specific experience in identifying, assessing and managing ethics and compliance risks, in particular anti-bribery & corruption, fraud, conflict of interests, third party and supply chain risks, labour exploitation, discrimination and racism and wider ethics concerns is an asset.
  • Understanding of Google-Suite is an advantage.
  • Experience with presentation Software Applications is an asset.
Language requirements:

  • Fluent in English with proven ability to express well verbally and in writing is required.
  • Knowledge of French and Spanish will be a significant advantage.


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.

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.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contract Agreement  Contract level: IICA 2 Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability Location: Home-based ***Please note that as this is a retainer contract, successful candidates will be offered a home-based contract for 1 year but proposed a work package only when a specific opportunity arises.

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.

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.


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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