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United Nations University Procurement Assistant (GS-5) Vacancy: APPLY NOW!

Procurement Assistant Job Description

Location: Finland

Application Deadline: 22 May 2023

Host Organization: United Nations University (UNU-WIDER)

About United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

UNU-WIDER is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system.

UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today, it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as freely available original research.

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Duties and responsibilities of Procurement officer (Procurement Assistant)

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Operations Manager, the Procurement Assistant provides procurement services, administers, and executes processes and transactions, ensuring high quality and accuracy of work.

The Procurement Assistant promotes a client-focused, quality and results-oriented approach in the Unit. The Procurement Assistant works in close collaboration with the Operations Support Unit (OSU), programme and projects staff to exchange information and ensure consistent service delivery.

1. Procurement Assistant ensures the implementation of UNU-WIDER operational and procurement strategies focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Compliance of procurement activities with the UN/UNU rules, regulations, policies, and strategies.
  • Assists with the implementation of acquisition and procurement plans and supports procurement process mapping, and the elaboration of internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in consultation with the direct Supervisor.

2. Procurement Assistant ensures the implementation and administration of procurement processes for the organization focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Prepares and implements procurement team results-oriented workplans.
  • Reviews, records and prioritizes purchasing requests and obtains additional information/documentation as required; determines the availability of vendors and funding sources.
  • Provides prompt support to the Requisitioners in preparing technical specifications, to ensure completeness, accuracy, and quality, and identifies optional courses of action for LVA cases.
  • Provide input to Requisitioners on procurement policies and procedures, pricing, product/service availability.
  • Prepares and processes accurate tender documents for low value acquisitions (< USD 10,000), based on the nature of the requirements and cost of procurement involved.
  • Supports the Procurement Team in preparing quality tender documents for higher values (> USD 25,000) (e.g., Requests for Offer and Requests for Quotation).
  • Prepares clear and concise approving documentation for the Approval Authority review for LVA solicitations (Justifications for waiver, Case presentation, Financial Evaluation of offers, Statement of Award).
  • Implements Buyer profile functions in the ERP system, including preparation of Purchase orders and contracts, and timely corrective actions on POs with budget check errors and other issues.
  • Supports the coordination of shipment of goods/commodities/equipment, confirming the receipt of deliverables and prepares the invoice for the Finance team, to facilitate payment.
  • Prepares annual and ad-hoc procurement reports, e.g., procurement case files, contracts, prepayments etc. for Supervisory review. Provides support to address audit queries; and
  • Provides input to vendors on VAT exemption rules and follow-up on VAT related matters, as well as preparation of relevant documents such as customs clearance, VAT certificate.

3. Procurement Assistant supports the sourcing of vendors and implements vendor registration focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Under the Vendor registration focal point role processes vendor registration for Procurement contracts at UNU-WIDER.
  • Conducts detailed market research to identify potential sources of supply and prepare vendor roster list by using internal and external tools; and
  • Prepares and publishes requests for expressions of interest (REOI) and Requests for Information (RFI) and verifies market and supplier information (e.g., vendor registration details, sanctions, UN vendor information).

4. Procurement File management and follow-up on contract implementation focusing on achievement of the following result:

  • Maintain procurement filing system, ensuring proper documentation of all procurement case files, and securing appropriate signatures in line with the UN rules and regulations and audit purpose;
  • Timely updating and implementation of the internal control system, such as procurement planning tool for the procurement implementation monitoring ensuring that purchase orders and contracts are duly prepared and dispatched; and
  • Maintains and keeps track of any contractual agreements, systems contracts, etc. and informs affected users of contractual rights and obligations.

5. Procurement Assistant supports knowledge building and knowledge sharing focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Assists in the preparation of procurement training material for the UNU-WIDER staff;
  • Supports the introductory training of existing and new procurement related systems and software (e.g., ERP) for new users; and
  • Sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice.

6. The Procurement Assistant performs other duties, as requested by the Supervisor.

Requirements worker characteristics:

  • Timely and quality administration and implementation of procurement processes.
  • Timely and accurate management of procurement records in line with procurement policy
  • Effective time management including appropriate identification of priorities and risks
  • Quality and clear communication with internal and external colleagues and stakeholders through collaboration leading to customer satisfaction
  • Timely and accurate support of audit processes

Competencies of the Procurement Assistant


  • Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

Required Qualifications and Experience of Procurement Assistant role

  • A bachelors’ Degree in Business or Public Administration or related field or completion of secondary education with two years of additional experience in lieu of a bachelor’s degree
  • At least three (3) years of experience in procurement, administrative services or related areas
  • Experience in drafting presentations and reports is required
  • Experience in Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is required
  • Experience in public sector procurement processes and procedures is desirable
  • Experience in the use of procurement information systems such as Oracle is desirable.
  • Knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages, experience in handling of web-based management systems preferably PeopleSoft, and knowledge of IPSAS is an advantage
  • Other Desirable Skills: Initiative, strong conceptual abilities, sound judgment, drafting ability, resilience, and an interest in procurement work

Language Requirements for Procurement Assistant role:

  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is required
  • Knowledge of Finnish is an asset, but not a requirement.
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.

Remuneration for Procurement Assistant

UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme.

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.

For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

How to Apply for Procurement Assistant role: 

To apply to UNU for Procurement Assistant role, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you: 

  • Apply via the apply link; 
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations); 
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and 
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position. You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline for Procurement Assistant: 22 May 2023



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