Back Common Services Manager/Business Operations Specialist, Green One UN House (GOUNH)

  • Added Date: Thursday, 16 January 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 31 January 2020

The “Delivering as One” (DaO) initiative in Viet Nam started in early 2006 with the objective to achieve a more strategic and more effective contribution to the attainment of national development priorities, under national leadership. The DaO initiative in Viet Nam focuses on six pillars: One Plan, One Budget, One Leader, One Set of Management Practices, One voice and Green One UN House (GOUNH).

As of June 2015, the Green One UN House is operational. It is now the representative office of 15 United Nations entities in Hanoi and houses some 360 staff. For common service delivery and management of the GOUNH, a GOUNH Common Services Unit (CSU) has been established. GOUNH CSU, unlike the traditional agency-lead model, is a shared responsibility of all the participating entities under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator. The GOUNH Common Services Manager (CSM) manages the CSU and reports to the GOUNH Management Board (GMB) consisting of participating UN entities chaired by the Resident Coordinator. CSM manages the CSU according to a management plan and accountability framework with key performance indicators and budget agreed by the GMB. As per the MOU signed by all GMB members, the CSM is accountable to the RC and GMB for overall management of the GOUNH for the benefit of all the Agencies and directly to UNDP on matters of contracts and administration. CSM performance objectives and key indicators will be developed in consultation with the GMB.

The CSM is responsible for managing the UN common premises and delivering reliable and cost-effective common services in the areas of ICT; Building and Facilities Management; Green One UN House Security; and General Administrative Services through the CSU consisting of 18 staff and 60+ third party personnel contracted additionally to deliver services. The annual CS budget is approximately $1.6 million.

GOUNH has a single shared IT infrastructure (Cisco based) managed by the CSU IT team that integrates the different IT systems of GOUNH participating agencies under an umbrella system. A Facilities Management team is responsible for the day to day operation and maintenance of the building facilities per prescribed technical standard through advanced technical systems including BMS, HVAC, solar panels and security systems. The Service Desk/Admin team offers a one-stop-shop that receives general service requests from clients. It also manages the registry, building reception and relationships with vendors. The CSM is also responsible for ensuring that the GOUNH is RSM compliant, and that UNDSS advice and GMB directives on security are implemented.

Though CSU has been providing its services since 2015 and is now fully functioningthere is always a need to further improve current services while anticipating the next phase of business operations reform under UNDS Reform, leading to a common back office. Active engagement by the CSM with DCO and the Business Innovations Group (BIG) of the UNSDG globally will be needed to design what the future CBO under UNDS Reform looks like and how common premises fit into future unified service delivery. This will also require exploring new areas where synergies can result in further reduced cost for the agencies. The incumbent is responsible for constantly seeking opportunities for efficiency gains, quality improvement and cost-saving in Common services in GOUNH, as well as the development of a revenue generation strategy to ensure affordability, viability and sustainability of the GOUNH in full and effective support for UN programme and operations in Viet Nam.  

In carrying out her/his duties, the incumbent will work in close collaboration and coordination with the Green One UN House Management Board (GMB), participating UN Agencies’ operations focal points, the UN Country Team’s OMT, and other working groups as applicable.


  • Play a key role in anticipating the key elements of the next phase of business operations reform under UNDS Reform leading to a common back office for the UN in Viet Nam. In this context, ensuring active and regular engagement with the DCO NY and the BIG of the global UNSDG will be a top priority
  • Ensure reliable and effective Common Services for the GOUNH in accordance with management framework and client satisfaction criteria
  • Develop and implement key performance indicators and monitoring framework for each service provided to client entities, containing the four areas mentioned above (amongst other clauses), with details of performance objectives and indicators, frequency and means of results reporting, structural governance to review operative data, continuous improvement with accountability and feedback mechanisms, and impartial service provision to all client entities
  • Ensure transactions follow transparent costing principles which entails value for money and sound financial management reporting as agreed by the agencies
  • Effective leadership and supervision of the GOUNH Common Services Unit 
  • Development of strategies and proposals for further efficiency gains and cost reduction of common services in GOUNH through innovation in business operations 
  • Development of innovative, realistic and financially viable strategies for revenue generation in GOUNH
  • Lead knowledge management and contribute to communication (internally and externally) around the practice of integrated service provision 
  • Other duties relating to supporting the UNCT and OMT with Common Back Office and Business Operation Strategy a, as required.
  • Develop a management plan, SOPs, KPIs and SLAs for Common Services that ensure affordable, top quality, green, client oriented and predictable services in the areas of ICT, facilities management, general administrative services; Ensure that the work is performed in accordance with all relevant rules and regulations and other established guidelines for the respective areas
  • Target and track quantitative key performance indicators on service delivery objectives by means of ticketing or tracking systems, and report these regularly to client entities
  • Target and track qualitative key performance indicators on clients’ satisfaction by means of both instant and periodic surveys, and report these regularly to client entities
  • Commit to continuous improvements in the delivery of services to improve efficiency and enhance quality of services, informed by regular oversight of key performance indicators and client feedback, with clear accountability and feedback mechanisms to act on client inputs
  • Organize regular performance reviews with client entities to discuss results in performance, complaints management, client satisfaction and continuous service improvements 
  • Ensure transparency, value for money for all transactions and detailed reporting on revenues, budgets, cost recovery, cost sharing, performance against service level standards, and other measures as may be agreed
  • Maintain an up-to-date GOUNH Business Continuity Plan (BCP) including annual BCP testing working closely and in coordination with BCP focal points of GOUNH UN agencies
  • Maintain a secure, reliable infrastructure environment for ICT and adequately plan for disasters and recoveries 
  • Maintain Lotus Certification of the GOUNH through managing green operations of the facilities, regular monitoring the metrics, adjusting operations, reporting and bringing critical issues to the attention of GMB
  • Manage joint assets of GOUNH in close coordination with the administrative agency
  • Effective implementation of UNDSS guidelines for SRM compliance of the GOUNH
  • Formulate annual GOUNH Common Services budget, act as Certifying Officer (Requesting Authority) for all accounts of the Common Services, and manage financial resources in line with rules and regulations of the administrative agency  
  • Ensure timely delivery of goods and services through working in close coordination with the administrative agency on procurement, oversee effective management of contracts and continuous evaluation of service providers
  • Ensure readiness for joint UN and agency mandated specific audits
  • Maintain effective relationships at multiple levels (e.g. GOUNH Agencies, GMB, OMT, service users, suppliers, Staff Associations, Headquarters, Inter-Agency units such as DOCO, etc), including working relationships with Government at multiple levels (e.g. local authorities, department of transportation, etc)
  • Ensure inclusiveness of all GOUNH participating agencies in critical matters relating to management of CS
  • Constant monitoring and analysis of the operating environment, risk assessment and quick readjustments to the operations, while bringing critical information to the attention of GMB
  • Prepare regular management reports on performance based on KPIs and expenditures of common services and CS Unit for review by OMT and GMB.


  • Establish adequate supervisory relationships, learning support and allocation of resources to ensure adequate capacity in key functions 
  • Timely preparation of unit workplans, annual performance plans and reviews for both UN staff and contracted personnel
  • Ensure compliance with staff rules, Code of Conduct and GOUNH Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) to achieve performance
  • Leadership and teambuilding to support excellence, accountability, motivation, and a high-performance working environment 
  • Build capacity of local staff to enable them to take on increasingly higher levels of responsibility.
  • Keep track of the key elements of the next phase of business operations reform under UNDS Reform, especially with respect to the common back office and share cutting-edge, up-to-date policies and information in this new area and its implications with UN agencies in Viet Nam 
  • Ensure active and regular engagement with both the DCO in New York and the global UNSDG’s Business Innovation Group (BIG)
  • Actively network with CBO staff and common UN premises managers in other countries to exchange knowledge and lessons learned, share Viet Nam’s experience and introduce best practices in Viet Nam
  • Support the development of BOS 2.0 for Viet Nam and capacity building for the OMT in this area.
  • Identification of structural opportunities for further cost-cutting to ensure affordability and sustainability through undertaking financial and operational analysis of current functions under the guidance of GMB 
  • Business development analysis with a view to expand the scope of services and coverage beyond GOUNH and/or increase revenue in the GOUNH through cost-recovery.
  • Support OMT in developing the joint Business Operation Strategy 2.0 for further harmonisation of operations across UN agencies 
  • Foster a culture of innovation and continuing critical review of cost vs performance parameters
  • Develop strategic partnerships with potential external clients for common services and potential service providers.
  • Knowledge building and sharing with regards to management and operations of the GOUNH, synthesis of lessons learnt/best practices, and sound contributions to UNSDG governance and other systems, knowledge networks and communities of practices.
  • Support UN Communication on development of external communications products on GOUNH 
  • Engage with regional and HQ UNDCO offices on CS issues pertaining to the UN in Viet Nam’s offer of services, best practices and potential for growth and adaption.

The key results will have an impact both on keeping GOUNH at the forefront of global UN experience of Common Premises and CBOs, as well as streamlining the management of GOUNH common services in Viet Nam in terms of the overall economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the ONE UN operations as it relates to the use of corporate resources in the following areas:

  • Financial services
  • Human Resources
  • ICT
  • Security
  • Implementation of the UNDS Reform agenda on common premises and facilities, services and joint procurement.
  • Contributes to the elaboration of advocacy strategies by identifying and prioritizing audiences and communication means
  • Performs analysis of relevant operational situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses
  • Effectively networks with key UNDCO and other CBO staff at global, regional and country level as well as with other external partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to the UN’s mandate and strategic agenda in this area
  • Sensitizes UN Partners, donors and other international organizations to the UN’s strategic agenda, identifying areas for joint efforts
  • Develops positive ties with civil society to build/strengthen the UN’s mandate 
  • Identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of counterparts, clients and potential partners
  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments.
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms
  • Develops and/or participates in the development of tools and mechanisms, including identifying new approaches to promote individual and organizational learning and knowledge sharing using formal and informal methodologies.
  • Is familiar with the latest global, regional and national level cutting-edge cost saving and revenue generating innovations related to business operations strategy and common back offices 
  • Understands more advanced aspects of the primary area of specialization as well as the fundamental concepts of related disciplines
  • Serves as internal consultant in the area of expertise and shares knowledge with staff
  • Continues to seek new and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work of the unit
  • Keeps abreast of new developments in area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally
  • Demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the current guidelines and project management tools and utilizes these regularly in work assignments
  • Identifies and develops activities to enhance the visibility of the UN
  • Develops promotional activities based on monitoring/evaluation information identifying areas requiring higher visibility
  • Reviews documents and materials intended for use within and outside the organization in order to ensure consistency and validity of messages
  • Creates and cultivates networks of partners to promote the UN’s image
  • Conducts assessments of activities to improve impact and effectiveness
  • Performs analysis of relevant situations and scenarios, and contributes to the formulation of institutional responses
  • Uses the opportunity to bring forward and disseminate materials for global advocacy work and adapt it for use at country level
  • Leverages different experiences and expertise of team members to achieve better and more innovative outcomes
  • Leverages multi-disciplinary, institutional knowledge and experience of other countries and regions to promote the UN’s development reform agenda in the area of business operations and common back offices
  • Participates in dialogue about conceptual innovation at the country, regional and global levels
  • Anticipates client needs and the next phase of UN business operations and common back office reform
  • Works towards creating an enabling environment for a smooth relationship between the clients and service provider
  • Demonstrates understanding of client’s perspectives
  • Promoting ethics and integrity, creating organizational precedents
  • Building support and political acumen 
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation 
  • Building and promoting effective teams
  • Creating and promoting an enabling environment for open communications
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of UN & setting standards 
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning 
  • Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member
  • Fair and transparent decision making; calculated risk-taking

Education: At least Master’s Degree or equivalent in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, Economics or other relevant fields.



  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience at the international level with human resources management and/or administrative policies, and/or experience in premises management, establishment of related services and contract management.
  • Leadership experience and in handling complex issues and multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience managing a service operation and supervising staff


  • Experience with the UN in the areas of operations, procurement or the management of UN common premises
  • Experience with business process reengineering, business innovation strategies, or entrepreneurial activities
  • Experience in client and communication management
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare high-quality managment information and reports 

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English
  • Strong English writing skills
  • Knowledge of Vietnamese an asset

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Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension

This vacancy is archived.

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