Country Programme Manager

Monrovia, Liberia
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Country Programme Manager

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Application closing date: 31 December 2018

Background information- Cities Alliance

Cities Alliance, which is legally hosted and administered by UNOPS, is a global partnership for the promotion of the role of cities in poverty reduction and sustainable development. Headquartered in Brussels and supported by a Secretariat, it is a unique partnership with a diverse membership including – global organisations of local authorities, national governments, international non-governmental organisations, foundations, knowledge networks and multilateral organisations – which have come together to strengthen both impacts and coherence in urban development. Cities Alliance is a global leader, with a strong track record in grant making, that supports strategic city planning, slum upgrading strategies and national policies designed to make cities more inclusive and sustainable. Members promote longer-term and integrated work programmes, while actively promoting gender equality throughout all activities.

Background Information – Job-specific

Cities Alliance is managing a six-year programme in Liberia (2016-2021) to support local authorities in Greater Monrovia by strengthening their capacities to make the city and the metropolitan region work for the urban poor, through an enabling national environment and empowered citizenship. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (Department of Urban Affairs) and the two cities (Monrovia City Corporation and Paynesville City Corporation) act as the lead partner agencies for the Programme while working directly with civil society. The Liberia Country Programme is now in its second year of implementation and has an established Monrovia-based Project Office located within the Monrovia City Corporation. The Project Office has two staff members – the Project Manager (International specialist) and a Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst (local specialist). The Country Programme Manager is accountable to the Head of Programme via an appointed Task Manager in the Cities Alliance Secretariat.

Cities Alliance is seeking a highly motivated, experienced and skilled professional to lead and manage the implementation of its Liberia Country Programme. This will require a deep understanding of urban issues across multiple dimensions and strong project management, negotiation, and relationship building skills.

The Country Programme Manager will work under the guidance of the Cities Alliance Head of Programmes and will be the key in-country focal point for both the Cities Alliance and for the Liberia Country Programme in Liberia. S/he will work in partnership with Cities Alliance members and partners in Monrovia to drive the effective and efficient functioning of the Programme.

Functional Responsibilities

Programme Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Partnership Building

In consultation with the Cities Alliance Secretariat and under the overall guidance of the Programme Steering Committee, the Country Programme Manager will guide and support the implementation and management of the Programme:

  • Lead, manage and motivate a team of international consultants and long term national personnel.
  • Prepare annual work plans with activities, performance targets, human resource allocations and budgets, ensuring alignment with programme goals and objectives.
  • Provide management support for all aspects of programme implementation according to the Programme grant agreement and annual work plan ensuring timely delivery of activities and outputs.
  • Ensure the Programme’s Steering Committee has a functioning Terms of Reference and meets regularly to assess progress and risks.
  • Represent the Cities Alliance and its Programme within the country and engage with a wide range of national, local government, international development, private sector and civil society actors. Most specifically, ensure that the Programme is fully integrated with the programming of Cities Alliance members and partners in Liberia.
  • Analyse and map in-country donor funding patterns and practices and identify opportunities to leverage additional funding. Oversee the preparation of funding proposals, donor briefings and presentations in support of the programme’s goals and more broadly Cities Alliance’s mission and vision.
  • Actively engage the Development Banks and private sector linking them to the activities planned in the programme with the view of promoting follow-up investment in the projects identified during the programme planning processes.
  • Develop a network of contacts and scope out potential opportunities for a Country Programme or other related CA activities within countries immediately contiguous to Liberia.

Technical and specialist services

Advisory and Oversight Services to International Country Programme Grants

  • Oversee and provide support to international grant funded projects made between the Cities Alliance Secretariat and implementing partners in Liberia according to the Country Programme Framework Document.
  • These would include technical assistance investments in slum profiling, capacity development of urban poor associations and of civil services, national urban policy development, affordable housing and slum upgrading activities.

Community Upgrading Fund (CUF)

  • Set up a specialized CUF Committee for the governance of the small grants facility.
  • Support the design and delivery of comprehensive small grant guidelines in Year 1
  • Oversee the appraisal, implementation, monitoring and reporting of at least 100 small community driven infrastructure investments in slums of Greater Monrovia adhering to these guidelines.
  • Organise and report on CUF grant project quality assurance site visits in Greater Monrovia.
  • Ensure gender-responsiveness in the implementation of small grants.

City Development Strategy (CDS)

  • Working through procurement of local and international expert partners from the Cities Alliance Secretariat, design and deliver a comprehensive City Development Strategy (CDS) which addresses economic and environmental considerations within a long term implementable urban planning framework for the Monrovia metropolitan area. The CDS should actively build on the outputs of housing value chain assessments, slum profiling, upgrading, national urban policy development, capacity development and participatory urban forum processes also being supported by the Programme.

Capacity Development

  • Lead the development and implementation, with local and international partners, of a targeted capacity development training strategy to support at least 100 local government officials in key Programme thematic areas such as strategic urban planning, land management, resilience, pro-poor housing and slum upgrading, urban management, finance and participatory local governance. Ensure the inclusion of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment considerations throughout the different aspects of the capacity development strategy.

Overall management of the Cities Alliance Country Programme and Liberia Office

  • Manage the activities and performance assessments of a small country team of national personnel.
  • Organize all Programme related meetings and events, including but not limited to Steering Committee meetings and workshops.
  • Working with the Monitoring and Evaluation analyst ensure that all data is collected in accordance with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan.
  • Ensure that all project reporting is undertaken in accordance with the Quality Management Strategy and the requirements of the funder.
  • Oversee implementation of the Communications and Advocacy plan.
  • Ensure that the Task Manager at the Cities Alliance Secretariat is constantly appraised of progress and that appropriate mitigation strategies are in place to ensure effective delivery of outputs and provide detailed reports, at least twice a year, to Cities Alliance senior management.
  • Ensure the delivery or a Monthly Report that is shared within the Secretariat and with main stakeholders.
  • Liaise with the UNOPS Liberia Country Office to support oversight and implementation of the Programme as appropriate.
  • Ensure accurate and up-to-date record keeping of asset inventory, the petty cash account, and other office records.
  • Comply with UNOPS/UNDSS security procedures.
  • Ensure fiduciary management aligns with UNOPS policies and procedures: a) Procurement of goods and services with assistance from the Cities Alliance Portfolio Management Team and the Secretariat – drafting
  • TORs, contract management and ensuring service providers deliver on-time and to quality standards; b) Budgeting, reporting against budgets and using UNOPS ERP systems to track, monitor and produce reports; c)
  • Monitoring fiduciary risks and advising the Secretariat and the Portfolio Management Team of potential issues
  • Identify, together with the Secretariat and the Portfolio Management Team, solutions for operational and programmatic challenges and lead the implementation of solutions which ensure accountability, compliance and efficiency.

Gender mainstreaming

  • Ensure that gender considerations are actively promoted and adequately mainsteamed through production, implementation and monitoring of a gender mainstreaming strategy for the Programme.
  • Promote a gender friendly institutional environment for the office in accordance with the Cities Alliance Gender Equality Strategy.

Education/Experience/Language requirements


Advanced university degree required preferably in management, urban planning, international development or environmental studies; economics; social sciences; or related disciplines.

PRINCE2 Foundation or a similar project management certification (i.e. PMBOK, PMP, PMI) is required. If you do not have it at time of application, the selected candidate will have to acquire it within 6 months of joining duty.


  • Minimum seven (7) years of professional programme management and reporting experience is required, including work experience acquired in Sub-Saharan Africa (minimum one year), on sustainable and inclusive urban development.
  • Experience in leading and managing complex multi-partner technical assistance grant processes and projects. Previous field experience working in-country with UN agencies and/or other multilateral development banks and institutions desirable.


  • Fluency in written and oral English required. Working knowledge of French is an asset.


  • Willingness to travel both within Liberia and internationally as required.
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