United Nations Office for Project Services

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United Nations Office for Project Services
United Nations Office for Project Services
مكتب الأمم المتحدة لخدمات المشاريع (Arabic)
联合国项目事务署 (Chinese)
Bureau des Nations Unies pour les services d'appui aux projets (French)
Управление Организации Объединенных Наций по обслуживанию проектов (Russian)
Oficina de las Naciones Unidas de Servicios para Proyectos (Spanish)
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
Abbreviation UNOPS
Formation December 1973
Type Independent self-financing member of the United Nations family
Legal status Active
Grete Faremo – Executive Director
Parent organization
United Nations System
Website http://www.unops.org

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is an operational arm of the United Nations, 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 are located within UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark[1] in addition to more than 30 country and partnership offices around the world.

UNOPS implements more than $1 billion worth of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects for its partners every year, operating in more than 80 countries, from managing the construction of schools in Afghanistan, to building shelters in Haiti, and procuring ambulances to support the Ebola response in Liberia.

UNOPS employs around 7,000 personnel and on behalf of its partners creates thousands of work opportunities in local communities.

UNOPS is a member of the United Nations Development Group[2] and works particularly closely with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and The World Bank.


UNOPS was established in 1973 as part of UNDP. It became an independent, self-financing organization in 1995. The UNOPS vision is to "advance sustainable implementation practices in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding contexts" in some of the world’s most challenging environments. UNOPS concentrates its support in areas where it has a clear mandate and expertise: infrastructure, procurement and project management services.


UNOPS is a fully self-financing organization. It covers direct and indirect costs by charging a small fee on each project supported. UNOPS pricing policy outlines how the organization aims to finance its projects.[3] UNOPS is not-for-profit, and meets the highest international standards of accountability and transparency in all its transactions[4][citation needed].

In 2014, UNOPS implemented 1,200 projects worth US$1.2 billion for partners, of which 57% was delivered on behalf of the UN system.


UNOPS mission is to serve people in need, by expanding the capacity of the UN system, governments and other partners to implement peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations in a sustainable and efficient manner.

As part of the UN goal of "delivering as one", UNOPS works in line with other UN organizations towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and will continue to work towards the realization of the new Sustainable Development Goals. 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[5] with more than 20 years experience implementing large-scale, complex efforts throughout the world. UNOPS often works in post-disaster and peacebuilding settings, developing countries and economies in transition. In recognition of its specialized expertise, former UN 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 UN system in procurement and contracts management as well as in civil works and physical infrastructure development, including the related capacity development activities." [6] At the official opening of the UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen in May 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described UNOPS as a member of the UN family with a "critical role in providing management services for our life-saving peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations […] setting countries on course to a more stable future by helping them to build roads, schools and clinics, to remove landmines, to prepare for democratic elections, and much else".[7]


UNOPS customizes its services to individual partner needs, offering everything from one-time, stand-alone solutions to long-term, project management. UNOPS offers implementation, advisory and transactional services in its three core areas of expertise:

  • Infrastructure
  • Procurement
  • Project Management

UNOPS provides specialized services to a range of partners, including: the United Nations, its agencies, funds and programmes; international financial institutions; governments; intergovernmental organizations; non-governmental organizations; foundations; and the private sector.

In 2014, UNOPS supported its partners with the construction, design and/or rehabilitation of 4,577 kilometers of roads, 175 bridges, 30 schools, and 18 hospitals and health clinics, among others. UNOPS also procured and/or distributed more than US$669 million worth of goods and services for its partners.[8]

Transparency and Accountability

UNOPS accountability framework outlines the organization’s commitment to clear and open communication with partners and stakeholders. UNOPS keeps partners informed through timely financial and operational reporting, accessible through an online Partner Centre. This is part of the organization’s commitment to increase its transparency and accountability, in line with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). UNOPS joined the initiative in 2011 and was "the first organization to publish fully geocoded information" in IATI format.[9] UNOPS also publishes details on projects on its public website and the data.unops.org platform.

In 2008, UNOPS adopted an updated governance structure, in line with General Assembly resolutions. Since then, the Executive Director reports directly to the UN 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.

Quality and Operational Excellence

In line with UNOPS strategic plan, the organization strives for external certification of core management functions, processes and personnel - in order to ensure[10] its business practices reflect leading international standards.

This work resulted in UNOPS gaining the ISO 9001 quality management system certification in June 2011, becoming the first UN organization to be certified for its global quality management systems.[11][12] In 2013, UNOPS was awarded ISO 14001 certification for its commitment to protecting the environment, becoming the first global organization to receive the four most prestigious project management certifications available.[13]

UNOPS is also the first UN body to have 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.

External links


  1. "United Nations in Denmark". United Nations. Retrieved 2010-02-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "UNDG Members". UNDG. Retrieved 2014-01-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Pricing policy". www.unops.org. Retrieved 2015-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Information disclosure". www.unops.org. Retrieved 2015-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "United Nations Office for Project Services". United Nations Brussels. Retrieved 2012-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "UN General Assembly Resolution 65/176". UN. Retrieved 2014-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Strategic plan 2010-2013". UNOPS. Retrieved 2014-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Annual report of the Executive Director" (PDF). Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Office for Project Services. Retrieved 2014-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "UNOPS first to publish geocoded project information in the IATI format". International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). Retrieved 2014-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "UNOPS Management Response to the Activity Report for 2011 of IAIG and annexes". DPOPS2012-5. UNDP. Retrieved 6 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "DP/OPS/2015/5-Annex 2". Strategy and Audit Advisory Committee Annual Report 2011. UNDP. Retrieved 6 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Daily Brief". UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Executive Board Second Regular Session 2011 New York, 6 to 9 September. UNFPA. Retrieved 6 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "UNOPS commits to greening its infrastructure projects". UNOPS commits to greening its infrastructure projects. UNOPS. Retrieved 3 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>