Sustainable project management 

UNOPS provides a range of high quality, cost-effective project management and operational services in peacebuilding, humanitarian and development environments.

In Nicaragua, UNOPS has been implementing small urban infrastructure improvements as part of a Spanish-funded project. Photo: UNOPS/Kike Calvo

Better projects, better lives

UNOPS cost/quality ratio is superior...there is value for money compared to other UN agencies.

Jérome Sauvage,
UNDP/UN Resident Coordinator,
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

At UNOPS, our project managers are driven by the firm belief that better projects — those that are better designed, better implemented and
better coordinated — improve the lives of people in need.

We help our partners deliver projects by providing a range of high quality, cost-effective project management services for peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations.

The UNOPS project management methodology incorporates global best practices such as PRINCE2 and the Project Management Institute’s standards.

Our methodology is tailored to the development environment, with an emphasis on:

  • Strong internal controls
  • Systematic stakeholder management
  • Good governance
  • Benefits/impact management

Measuring sustainable success

We ensure local authorities and communities are engaged and all potential outcomes and impacts are considered, to make a real, sustainable and positive difference. This is why UNOPS measures project success beyond time, cost and quality. We focus on incorporating lessons learned from tens of thousands of projects to find the best way to contribute to the development goals of our partners.

Managing project success

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All our work is in line with our core values as a United Nations entity as well as our cross-cutting objectives, which target gender equality and the empowerment of women, national capacity development and environmental sustainability.

By considering the economic and environmental impacts of a project, and by promoting local ownership and building local capacity, we prioritize project sustainability.

In 2011, our ability to manage for consistent quality was recognized with ISO 9001 certification.

Tailored level of support

We offer a menu of project management services, tailoring our approach to the size of each specific need. This can range from providing basic transactional services to full programme management. UNOPS can implement projects from design through to closure, or we can fill specific gaps in capacity.


UNOPS employs a large number of highly qualified project managers with a commitment to professionalism and delivering results that matter. They have experience working in some of the most challenging environments on the globe and offer considerable local knowledge. This wealth of information can help us provide our partners with advice on the best location, the best local partner, the best season, so that a project has the best chance of sustainable success.

The launch of our online recruitment system in 2012 has created a global roster of skilled project managers who can provide on-call support, helping to reduce the time it takes to launch new projects.

UNOPS project teams in the field receive a wide range of support from our central project management practice and other internal specialists. This dedicated team of senior project managers and subject matter experts provide internal consulting services, sustainability guidelines and tips, training and certifications, and more.

Experts in project management training

UNOPS provides top-quality, accredited project management training both within the organization and to partners.

In 2011, UNOPS launched a new internal certification programme to improve project managers’ understanding of key development issues, further strengthening our ability to deliver projects quickly and effectively and achieve sustainable results.

Kaliprasad Pappu, a UNOPS project manager in India, described his training. “The values that I took from the course are national ownership and capacity development combined with accountability for results, as well as the efficient, transparent use of resources.”



Delivering Sustainable Results


UNOPS seminar: Sustainable project management

Held on Thursday 28th of November 2013, this seminar will feature guest speakers from Engineers Without Borders Norway, RedR UK and UNOPS, with outstanding experience in delivering results for some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Register to attend or register the view the entire day online, via webcast.