Capacity Building Specialist for Integrated Sustainable Territorial Development (ISTD) – retainer position At

Background Information

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.

The UNOPS Republic of Serbia Multi Country Office (RSMCO) is implementing 15 projects in Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Ukraine.

In Serbia, where UNOPS has been active since 2000, and North Macedonia and Montenegro where UNOPS works since 2017, the organisation provides support in demanding socio-economic reforms and facilitating accession to the European Union. The projects focus on sustainable socio-economic development, good governance, social cohesion, environment and emergency response. The projects are implemented with the funding from the European Union (EU), Kingdom of Norway, Governments of Switzerland, Sweden and North Macedonia.

In Ukraine, UNOPS support to the partners in their reform agenda since 2017 spans the rule of law, social protection, demining, emergency response and security. The projects are funded by the EU, UNHCR, the Governments of Japan and Canada.

All projects have gender equality as a transversal theme, and have been contextualised within the broader Sustainable Development Goals frameworks and objectives.

EU PRO Plus Programme background

The European Union for Local Development Programme – EU PRO Plus will contribute to more balanced socio-economic development in Serbia by enhancing territorial development management, supporting economic growth, and improving social infrastructure and social cohesion of 99 local self-governments in two regions: Šumadija and Western Serbia and South and Eastern Serbia. The European Union (EU) has allocated 30 million Euros through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 2020 to fund the Programme which will be led by the Ministry of European Integration and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) over a period of 36 months.

There are three results that the Programme will achieve in targeted municipalities:

  • Result 1: Improved development planning and introduction of the Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) concept
  • Result 2: Enhanced economic growth
  • Result 3: Improved social infrastructure and social cohesion

While building on the momentum created by its three predecessors, the Programme also focuses on four cross cutting aspects: good governance, digitalization and innovations, environmental and climate change aspects and gender equality. In addition, EU PRO Plus will, through its activities, where relevant and feasible, strive to remedy some of the negative COVID-19 effects.

The direct beneficiaries of the EU PRO Plus are the Ministry of European Integration, 99 local self-governments, local administration structures, regional development agencies (RDA), other business support organisations, local SMEs, and civil society organisations (CSOs). The final beneficiaries are the inhabitants of 99 municipalities.

All programme activities will be undertaken in partnership with the Government of Serbia, while respecting the national policies and priorities, in order to ensure national ownership and help develop national capacities. The EU PRO Plus is based on the National Priorities for International Assistance in the Republic of Serbia until 2025 (NAD), crucial for economic and social development and the EU integration process, while particularly contributing to preparation for the fulfilment of the requirements under Chapter 22 of the EU acquis – Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments.

Functional Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Project Manager and close guidance of the Senior Officer for the Capacity Building Sector, the Capacity Building Specialist will undertake the following tasks/duties:

  • Provide subject-matter support to the Programme related to efforts to develop a proposal for the national model for Integrated Sustainable Territorial Development (ISTD) which will include but not be limited to the following:
    • Support the International Capacity Building Advisor for ISTD in development of comparative analysis from selected EU Member States regarding usage of the EU territorial instruments;
    • With guidance from the Senior Officer for the Capacity Building Sector contribute to analysis of Serbian legal, administrative, territorial and institutional framework in relation to the requirements of the EU legal framework for territorial development and usage of territorial instruments under the EU cohesion policy
    • Support development of the Study for introduction of national model for the ISTD which may be limited to development of the Terms of References for a service provider and quality control of the products
  • With guidance from the Senior Officer for the Capacity Building Sector moderate meetings of the inter-sectoral expert group for establishment of national ISTD model and provide advice and support on relevant aspects for ISTD
  • Support development of methodology for formulation of ISTD strategies to be implemented within Call for Provision of technical assistance (TA) for LSGs
  • Support the Senior Officer for the Capacity Building Sector in ensuring common understanding of the developed methodology and overall approach to technical assistance is implemented by other Programme personnel and retainers
  • Participate in development and delivery of introductory ISTD workshops to RDAs and LSGs
  • Contribute to development of criteria for selection of provision of technical assistance (TA) to LSGs for preparation of ISTD strategies
  • Support the Senior Officer for the Capacity Building Sector to localize and adapt national capacity building training set on EU Cohesion Policy and the EU accession process for the purpose of its introduction to the regional and local level and deliver to RDAs and LSGs
  • Support development and delivery of workshop/s on identification and preparation of integrated projects to be derived from the ISTD strategies
  • Contribute to coordination and exchange of best practices among LSGs
  • Contribute to development of technical inputs for recommendations for modification of existing legal framework for ISTD
  • Provide support in preparation and moderation of the national conference on National ISTD model
  • Contribute to identification and sharing of Programme’s lessons learned and best practices in the area of ISTD
  • Perform other duties as may be reasonably required and in line with the incumbent’s scope of services above.

Required Selection Criteria


  • Master’s Degree preferably in Urban/Municipal Planning, Architecture, Social Sciences or related field is required
  • Bachelor’s Degree with additional two years of experience might be accepted in lieu of Master Degree

Work Experience

  • Minimum five years of experience in strengthening of institutional capacities, developing and implementation of policies and strategic planning methodologies is required
  • Knowledge of the EU Cohesion Policy, Integrated Urban Development key documents, policies and relevant national documents and Laws is an asset
  • Direct experience in working with local self-government is an asset

Language Skills

  • Fluency in Serbian and English languages is required

Driving license

  • Driving license and ability to travel independently is an asset

Core Competencies

  • Strategic Perspective – Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization. (for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
  • Integrity & Inclusion – Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
  • Leading Self and Others – Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
  • Partnering – Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
  • Results Orientation – Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
  • Agility – Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behaviour. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
  • Solution Focused – Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
  • Effective Communication – Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

This is a local position, it is therefore open to Nationals of the Republic of Serbia and to individuals who have a valid residence/work permit.

Contract type: Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) – Retainer position
Contract level: Local ICA 10
Contract duration: Up to 100 w/days in period of one year

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization – UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

For more information on UNOPS, please visit the UNOPS website at

How to apply

Qualified candidates may submit their application, including a Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter to UNOPS via UNOPS Jobs.

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