United Nations Office for Project Services
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
United Nations Office for Project Services
مكتب الأمم المتحدة لخدمات المشاريع (Arabic)
Bureau des Nations Unies pour les services d'appui aux projets (French)
Управление Организации Объединенных Наций по обслуживанию проектов (Russian)
Oficina de Naciones Unidas de Servicios para Proyectos (Spanish)
|Org type||Independent self-financing member of the United Nations family|
|Head||Jan Mattsson – Executive Director|
|Parent org||United Nations System|
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is dedicated to implementing projects for the United Nations System, international financial institutions, governments and other partners in the aid world. The organization's global headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark and it has five regional offices and more than 20 country offices around the world.
UNOPS implements more than $1 billion worth of projects for its partners every year, operating in more than 80 countries, providing management services that range from managing the construction of schools in Afghanistan, to building shelters in Haiti, and procuring educational computers in Argentina.
UNOPS employs close to 6,000 personnel annually and on behalf of its partners creates thousands more work opportunities in local communities.
UNOPS was established in 1974 as part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and became an independent, self-financing organization in 1995. The UNOPS mission is "to expand the capacity of the United Nations System to implement its peace building, humanitarian and development operations".
UNOPS is self-financing, prompting efficiency and financial discipline. It covers administration costs by charging a small fee on each project supported. UNOPS is not-for-profit, and meets the highest international standards of accountability and transparency in all its transactions.
In 2010, UNOPS implemented $1.27 billion worth of projects for partners, up 16 percent from 2009. Over the same period, administration costs dropped by $200,000 to $64.2 million.
UNOPS mission is to expand the capacity of the United Nations system and its partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need.
While partners may need a public profile for fundraising or advocacy, UNOPS does not and takes a low-key position as a project implementer with no other agenda.
As part of the United Nations goal of “delivering as one”, UNOPS does not challenge the role of any United Nations organization in the political or policy areas. UNOPS aims to offer implementation expertise that permits others to reduce risks; improve speed, quality or cost-effectiveness, and focus on their policy-oriented mandates and core competencies.
UNOPS is a proven service provider with more than 30 years experience implementing large-scale, complex efforts throughout the world. UNOPS often works in post-disaster and peace building settings, developing countries and economies in transition. In recognition of its specialized expertise, Secretary-General Kofi Annan designated UNOPS as the lead United Nations entity for complex infrastructure projects in peacekeeping settings.
In December 2010 the United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed UNOPS mandate “as a central resource for the United Nations system in procurement and contracts management as well as in civil works and physical infrastructure development, including the related capacity development activities.”
The range of partners to which UNOPS may provide services was also endorsed, including the United Nations, its agencies, funds and programmes, international financial institutions, governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, foundations and the private sector.
UNOPS customizes its services to individual partner needs, offering everything from one-time, stand alone solutions to long-term, project management.
Core services include:
- Project management
- Procurement and supply chain management
- Human resources management
- Fund management
- United Nations common services
Focus areas 
UNOPS has considerable capacity and operational experience in five core sectors including:
- Physical infrastructure
- Justice and security sector reform
- Census and elections
The organization also provides specialist operational expertise in areas where UNOPS has a proven track record, such as infrastructure, justice, health, elections and the environment.
A comprehensive information disclosure policy keeps stakeholders informed about their activities, through a public website, Partner Centre and up-to-date project feed which lists project expenditures.
In line with General Assembly resolutions UNOPS has an updated governance structure. Since 2008 the Executive Director reports directly to the United Nations Secretary-General and the Executive Board, and has the authority to apply United Nations staff rules and regulations to UNOPS staff. Since 2009 the Executive Director has been able to sign host country agreements with governments, and direct service agreements in consultation with a Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator, as well as having the authority to directly appoint UNOPS representatives in the field.
In line with UNOPS strategic plan the organization strives for external certification of core management functions, processes and personnel - in order to ensure its business practices reflect leading international standards.
This work resulted in UNOPS gaining the prestigious ISO 9001 quality management system certification in June 2011. UNOPS is the first UN organization to have its global quality management systems certified to ISO 9001.
UNOPS has also been awarded the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply’s Certification in Procurement Policies and Procedures. The CIPS certification demonstrates that UNOPS has sound procurement policies, processes and procedures, verified and monitored by an independent body.
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- "United Nations Office for Project Services". United Nations Brussels. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
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- "Daily Brief". UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Executive Board Second Regular Session 2011 New York, 6 to 9 September. UNFPA. Retrieved 6 September 2012.