1. General Background

Somalia Office:

Somalia is amid major new political and security developments that will offer a greater possibility for peace and security than the country has seen in over 20 years. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), established in 2012, and the international community have driven a process of rebuilding of functioning government institutions and processes through Somalia’s peacebuilding and state-building priorities under the Somali Compact (2013-2016), based on the Busan “New Deal for Engagement in the Fragile States” agreement. The Somalia National Development Plan (2017-2019), builds on this foundation laid by the Compact and sets the priorities for national recovery and development in full collaboration with national and regional governments. A landmark electoral process in late 2016 and early 2017 resulted in a peaceful transfer of power to a new President and government, in place since February and March 2017 respectively. The government has set out an ambitious agenda for its term (the period to 2021). At the London Somalia Conference in May 2017, a Security Pact was agreed by Somalia and the international community, which will allow for sustainable, long-term security based on mutual accountability.

UNOPS has had a solid in country presence in Somalia since 1994 implementing a wide range of projects and has contributed to the above development priorities of the country.

Job Specific

Support from the International Community in strengthening the Somali National Army (SNA) began over a decade ago. Since 2010, the EU contributes through a military Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission to the training of the SNA. It is part of the EU’s long-term strategy to enable Somali forces to assume gradually their security responsibilities and to facilitate AMISOM’s drawdown. The projects seek to address the installation of tented barracks as well as procurement of essential non-lethal military equipment. With the addition of tented barracks, the Somali military will be better equipped to maintain a stable force of soldiers on the ground in acceptable living conditions which decreases the time spent off base and as a result is conducive to creating a safer and more secure environment in the surrounding area. It is also indispensable for expanding the FGS’s control over the Somali territory. For the country as a whole, the transition of security responsibility from AMISOM to the Somali Security Forces (SSF) will be challenging. As AMISOM gradually withdraws its forces from the country, and SNA gains more ground, the establishment of a well-equipped and capacitated SNA will go a long way in meeting the objectives of the Transition Plan”.

Purpose and Scope of Assignment

The purpose of the assignment is to provide strategic direction to European Union (EU), establish relationship and engagement with relevant government counterparts at different levels in Somalia, and create wider connection to the programme for effective implementation.

The Programme Coordinator will be under the direct supervision of the Head of Programme and he/she must be able to work independently to deliver the below duties and responsibilities:

  • Follows-up, jointly with the EU, on the compliance of the benchmarks, laid down in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and related developments;
  • Coordinates and further develop bilateral and trilateral relationships with key partners including the UN, AMISOM, OPM and SNA and relevant government stakeholders.
  • Collaborates with key officials inside and outside UNOPS to foster and strengthen cooperation on major partnership-based operational support initiatives.
  • Consolidates substantive documents and progress reports, assigned to the two projects and coordinates support to consultative and Steering Committee meetings, conferences, etc.
  • Coordinates and monitors the implementation of the two projects and evaluates outputs and analyses information gathered the Project Manager and identifies priorities, problems, issues and initiates follow-up or corrective actions.
  • Leads field missions, provides guidance to external partners, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, also undertakes and performs administrative or other tasks necessary for the functioning of the programme.
  • Supports the coordination of teams established for the implementation of the two projects, addresses strategic issues and contributes to reinforcing the extent to which the two projects complement each other.
  • Acts as an overall coordinator and provides strategic direction, in close coordination with the Project Manager and UNOPS Head of Programme in the implementation of the programme (two projects).
  • Ensure programmatic coherence and synergies among the three projects funded by the EU, as well as ensuring alignment with the agreed upon Logframes, including through leading inter-divisional coordination efforts.
  • Closely liaises with the EU on the compliance of the FGS with the MoU and its conditionalities and proactively informs the EU on progress made and challenges related to the implementation of the two projects.
  • Promote multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral technical cooperation, provide substantive support in strengthening the existing programming.

Stakeholder Management:

  1. Establish productive working relationships with relevant UN entities, EU entities, Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and in particular the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the Somali National Army (SNA), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), development partners and other key security stakeholders;
  2. Participate in strategy development meetings with EU and other stakeholders and implementing partners as agreed
  3. Participate, as appropriate, in meetings of the CAS mechanism, notably of the resource working group within CAS Strand 2A; and
  4. Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Provides substantive inputs and co-ordinates the organization of meetings pertaining to the programme. Propose and circulate draft minutes of these meetings when requested.

Government Institutional Strengthening

  • Whenever requested by the donor, provide high-level technical advisory services to government institutions particularly the OPM, the MoIS, the Ministry of Defence, and SNA related to the activities identified in the programme. This high-level technical advisory will have to be closely articulated with the EU Delegation, under the leadership of the Head of Delegation or the designated focal point, the political and military advisors, and in consultation with the EU Training Mission to Somalia (EUTM-S).
  • Provide technical mentorship in the configuration of processes that help define organizational structures and development of delivery systems of Somali public entities, in close coordination with the EU Delegation and the EUTM mission when relevant.


  • Prepare or adapt the following plans for approval by the Project Board:
  1. Project Initiation Documentation;
  2. Stage/Exception Plans and relevant Product Descriptions
  • Understand the unique structures of the UN and budget appropriately for personnel
  • Supervise the project support officer in the preparation of required reports within agreed upon time frames
  • Ensure that all expenditure complies with UNOPS Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR).
  • Manage budgets, cash flow and obligations to ensure that deliverables are met and payments to contractors/personnel are received on time.
  • Understand and manage UNOPS overheads, allocable charges, and related corporate charges as they apply to the project
  • Manage expenditures and be accountable for expenditures against the budget (based on accurate financial reports);

Knowledge Management:

  • Participate in the relevant Communities of Practice
  • Actively interact with other PMs and the PM community to share case studies, lessons learned and best practice on the Knowledge System.
  • Provide feedback to the Head of Implementation on implementation policy, supporting guidance with an aim towards continuous improvement of UNOPS policies; and
  • Document lessons learned as per UNOPS requirements and incorporate lessons learned from others as per planning format.

Personnel Management:

  • Ensure the safety and security of staff and adhere to safety protocols as defined by UNOPS-Somalia Field Security Officer
  • Ensure that expectations of team members are established and respected;
  • Ensure that performance reviews are conducted;
  • Develop a thorough understanding of UNOPS’s personnel contract modalities;
  • Select, recruit and train team as required by project plans

Impact of Results:

The effective and successful achievement of results by the Programme Coordinator directly influences the strategic management and sustainable impact of Somalia by strengthening the collaboration and coordination with relevant sectors. He/she is also responsible for providing support and advice for the programme to able to produce a result within the specified tolerance of time, cost, quality, scope and risk capable of achieving the benefits defined in the Business case/s contributing to the overall business targets and needs. These promote the credibility of the organization as an effective service provider in project services and management.


  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Political Science and or Social Sciences, Law, International Relations, War/Peace and Conflict Studies or related relevant discipline in an Armed Force is required.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Political Science and or Social Sciences, Law, International Relations, War/Peace and Conflict Studies or related relevant discipline in an Armed Force with a combination of two (2) additional years of relevant professional experience will be considered in lieu of the Master’s Degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant progressive proven experience in security sector reform, especially interacting with armed forces in transition and fragile contexts is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal consultation and communication skills, ability to dialogue with national authorities and institutional structures, interact with high-level government officials and to establish harmonious working relationships and motivate all members of a team is required.
  • Substantial and demonstrated understanding of contextual transition dynamics and processes, and direct experience of engaging in negotiation, facilitation or dialogue processes, preferably with substantive knowledge of Somalia is desirable.
  • Stakeholder management experience is required.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Somalia context and political economy is an asset.
  • Negotiation skills mainly in engagement with government partners is required.
  • Client Management experience and skills is required.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Knowledge of Somali language is an added value.
  • Working knowledge of additional UN or regional languages is considered an asset.

About the Organization

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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