United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Senior Associate Architect (Multiple Positions)

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Job Description

  The Technical Services Unit (TSU) office is based in Nairobi, and has recently been structured as a standalone ‘project’ within UNOPS.  The TSU engages in multidisciplinary Design, assessments and advisory work, and manages relationships with other technical stakeholders such as specialist design firms for high risk structures.  Recently the team has expanded its offering to include consulting services such as assessments, feasibility studies and Advisory Services on a wide range of infrastructure types.  We want to continue and further expand technical services to our partners and clients at a wider field of operations.

The TSU currently has 15 permanent and 40+ retainer personnel including architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, quantity surveyors, GIS and specialist infrastructure advisors (for dams, ICT and biomedical works) and CAD technicians as well as support personnel.  Current projects are underway / imminent in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, ESwatini, Zambia, Mozambique and Cameroon.  During 2020, upwards of 70 requisitions were signed for work on the African continent.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Lead Architect and under direct supervision of the Project Architect, the Senior Associate Architect will perform the following tasks:
  • Prepare and check Architectural sketches and presentations as instructed by the Project Architect.
  • Prepare and check Construction drawings through application of CAD software principles and practices in all the Architectural and Engineering designs and project documents; Review of drawings under the instructions and supervision of the technical staff and prepare changes, amendments and any other details required.
  • Responsible for the standardization of drawings and the application through CAD software according to standards and specifications of the applicable Architectural and Engineering codes and UNOPS manuals.
  • Assist in checking the engineering drawings of prepared projects before tendering and ensure that they comply with the UNOPS guidelines, and facilitate their use and interpretation during the execution of the project.
  • Provide assistance, as needed, in the preparation and checking of Bill of Quantities (BoQ) and the drawings for Architectural and Engineering works through application of Drawing software (Auto-cad, REVIT as appropriate) whenever required in the TSU’s projects.
  • Assist in managing the TSU office consumables and stationery stock - assist in maintaining a stock list to ensure supplies are available at all times.
  • Assist the TSU manager to maintain a proper filing system for engineering design works both in soft and hard copies.
  • Responsible for compiling, editing and production of the time - lapse video  for the construction projects through various movie making software.
  • Responsible for preparing 3D visualizations when requested by the Project Architect.
  • Inspect the development of the works based on the Agreements, contractual documentation, respective technical specifications and the procedures established by UNOPS
  • Take responsibility as the focal point for smaller projects in TSU when requested by the TSU Manager and or Supervisor, including liaising with other TSU team members; following up on progress and keeping external parties (such as project managers) regularly informed of project status.
Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Completion of sketch proposal and detail drawings within the agreed time / quality with the Lead Architect


  • Completion of Secondary School Diploma with  seven (7) years of experience is required;
  • Diploma Certificate in Architecture or Civil Engineering field and or other relevant disciplines with combination of five (5) years of relevant professional experience may be considered;
  • Bachelor’s Degree in  Architecture or Civil Engineering field and or other relevant disciplines with combination of three (3) years of relevant professional experience may be considered;
  • PRINCE2 Foundation or equivalent project management qualification will be an asset.


  • A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant experience in the Architecture and or other relevant disciplines required;
  • Minimum of two (2) years of UNOPS experience is required;
  • Experience in Architecture planning will be an asset


  • Fluency in written and oral English is  required.


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.

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.

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.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Local Individual Contractor Agreement Contract level: LICA 7 ( Local ICA Support) Contract duration:  Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’
  • Please note this vacancy is only open to personnel on a UNOPS regular contract
  • This is a local post. As such, it is only open to Kenyan Nationals or persons with valid residence permits
  • This position is based in a family duty station

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.

Background Information – Kenya Multi Country Office (KEMC)

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

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