Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Office at Nairobi
Posting Period: 06 July 2020 - 04 August 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Programme Management-UNON-137696-R-Nairobi (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

Business Operations are integral to effective delivery of United Nations development programmes. Business operations strengthen the link between UN programming operations and efforts to enhance programme delivery. The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) and the subsequent Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution on Operational Activities of the United Nations for international development cooperation call for simplification and harmonization of the United Nation system. The UN resolution "urges United Nations system organization to identify and accelerate the implementation of those business processes that promise the highest return from simplification and harmonization" and "encourages United Nations system organizations within their existing planning, budget and evaluation systems to report on their cost savings resulting from improvement of their business operations".

The UNSDG Business Innovation Group (BIG) has subsequently developed the Business Operations Strategy (BOS) and the Common Back Office (CBO) as new business models aimed at improving operational efficiency and effectiveness of the UN System and enhance the quality of service delivery at the country level. Traditionally the UN Secretariat entities have had little exposure to the BOS and the CBO as they were not represented in the BIG. As of 2020, this changed, and the UN Secretariat agreed to engage fully in the BOS and CBO at country level. Given the diversity and number of UN Secretariat entities represented at the country level, the associated workload is significant. The Department of Operational Support (DOS), Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC) and United Nations Office Nairobi (UNON) have agreed to finance and second a staff member to DCO to support the engagement of Secretariat entities at the country level. The position is located in the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) and outposted in Nairobi duty station. The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Country Business Strategy Branch in DCO and the Director, Division of Administrative Services, UNON.


Within delegated authority, the UN Business Strategy Reform Advisor will be responsible for the following duties:

• Support the operationalization of the UN Secretariat’s business strategy reform agenda at global, regional and country level, with particular attention to issues related to Secretariat engagement in the UNSDG BIG initiatives (BOS, CBO and Common Premises etc.).
• Facilitate engagement of UN Secretariat entities to support Business Operations Strategy (BOS), Common Back offices (CBO), Common Premises, including advising on the development system reforms and its implementation.
• Provide advice on the regional operationalization reform agenda as needed.
• Develop and implement guidance based on lessons learned and best practices to UN Secretariat offices, in particular to DOS and DMSPC to further guide UN Secretariat offices globally on BOS, CBO, Common Premises and global shared service centers.
• Provide direct inputs to the development and implementation of BOS, CBO and Common Premises activities in the Nairobi duty-station.
• Share experiences and best practices, support the work of the Nairobi BOS/ CBO working groups, draft terms of reference, monitor and guide local and regional BOS an CBO streams.
• Provide high level policy and programme planning advice to Development Coordination Office (DCO) on the advancement of business operations for the development system through: integration of back offices, optimization of UN presence on the ground through common services and other means, quantifying client satisfaction levels, scaling up the BOS and increasing the proportion of common premises.
• Serve as functional lead for the CBO in the DCO/CBS team for the design and roll-out of the CBO workstream, including representation on the BIG Task Team on CBO.
• Build capacity to develop the UN System to the United Nations Country Teams (UNCT) through guidance, webinars, and training on CBO; ensure alignment and full compliance with UNSDG guidelines at the field level.
• Enable knowledge sharing on business innovations among UNDCO regional desks and UNCTs.
• Coordinate activities related to budget and funding for Business Operations initiatives and ensures preparation of related documents/reports (work programme, programme budget, etc.) in support of the CBS annual work planning and budgetary processes.
• Provide substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, Committee for Programme Coordination, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate.
• Represent the Organization at inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on issues relevant to DCO/CBS and the Secretariat entities.
• Lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
• Organize and prepares written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
• Keep abreast of latest emerging trends and innovative approaches harmonization of business strategies.
• Perform other related duties, as required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Mastery of all aspects of human resource management. In-depth knowledge of United Nations staff regulations and rules, human resource policies and guidelines, and ability to apply them in work situations. Proven conceptual, analytical and communications skills. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Proven efficiency to meet commitments, observe deadlines and achieve results. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.

CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization's strategy and the work unit's goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business administration or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in designing, implementing and/or managing the provision of operational support to development cooperation at the country, regional or global levels is required.
Experience with development and delivering of Training of Trainers workshops in support of change management processes is desirable.
Experience in the United Nations system or a comparable international organization is desirable.
Experience with harmonization and management of inter-agency business processes, including common services and common premises, is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a written assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 November 2019, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral or geographical move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "need Help" link.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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