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UN Volunteer Programme Officer (PO)


1. Type of Assignment: International UN Volunteer

2. Type of Assignment Place: Multiple (family and non-family duty stations)

3. Assignment Title: UN Volunteer Programme Officer (PO)

All POs are currently international UN Volunteers and as such are offered a UN Volunteer contract. While UNV POs are locally administered by the UNDP Country Office, their scope of work and support covers the entire UN system. It is therefore, advised that UNV POs are considered to sit at the UNCT meetings as full members or observers. POs have matrixed supervision; the Portfolio Manager at UNV headquarters is the substantive and technical supervisor while the UNDP Resident Representative, UNDP Country Director or respective Deputy is the administrative and operational supervisor. Due to the expansion of duties indicated above, the PO serves in many cases as the leader in the Field Unit, administering the UN Volunteers serving in humanitarian and development Agencies with overall responsibility for project management and developing programmes to promote and enable the contribution of volunteers to various development efforts. Depending on the structure and support available in each Field Unit, some smaller offices do not have Programme Assistants or Associates. In some countries that have been identified by the UN Secretary-General as integrated missions countries, UNV is considering piloting the concept of UNV Integrated Field Units, where the management of the volunteers across the UN system and the positioning of the UNV programme are no longer under the responsibilities of two separate teams.

4. Duty Station: Multiple Duty Stations worldwide.

5. Duration (in months): An initial two year contract, with possible one year extensions.

6. Expected Starting Date: To be determined

7. Host Agency/Host Institute: UNDP

8. Administrative & operational supervisor: UNDP Resident Representative, Country Director or respective Deputy.

9. Substantive & technical supervisor: Portfolio Manager, UNV HQ Bonn

10. Organizational Context/Project:
The background and main focus areas of the UNV programme in the country of assignment will be provided later based on the available vacant assignments and on the preferable duty station of candidates.

11. Description of tasks:

Reporting Lines:
The Programme Officer has a matrixed reporting line; while the UNDP Resident Representative, UNDP Country Director or respective Deputy is the administrative and operational supervisor, the Portfolio Manager at UNV headquarters is the substantive and technical supervisor. In close collaboration with the UNV Regional team, the Programme Officer is responsible for the following key functions:

Part I: Key Functions

I. Advocacy and Partnership Building

• Lead UNVs’ field efforts as the senior country level out-posted representative of the organization in ensuring key results and delivery of the Strategic Framework
• Encourage national and local actors to establish a framework or volunteer infrastructure that supports volunteerism for peace and development, including the adoption of relevant policies and legislation;
• Establish, foster and maintain effective outreach and relationships, including the formalization of partnerships through MoUs and other exchanges of confidence such as inclusion in UNDAFs, with government, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector and other relevant development agencies;
• Establish, foster and maintain effective outreach and relationships with local civil society organizations, prioritizing those focused on volunteerism, in order to contribute to community-led sustainable development in the country;
• Prepare, disseminate and present country-specific promotional information on the mandate and work of UNV with relevant development partners and the media;
• Strengthen and determine business intelligence related to partnerships and the promotion of volunteerism;
• Coordinate activities and plan events, in collaboration with other agencies, for annual, national and UN-recognized international celebrations, including the International Volunteer Day (IVD).
• Encourage and monitor serving UN Volunteers to embrace the ideals of volunteerism, act as advocates for volunteer action, and document their experiences in promoting volunteerism.

II. Programme Development and Management

• Liaise with government, bilateral donors, civil society organizations and other institutions to strengthen partnerships, develop relevant projects and mobilize sufficient resources to ensure a sustained country presence;
• Participate in UN thematic task forces, UN-led assessments, Programme Management Team (PMT) meetings, post conflict needs assessments, UNDAF planning processes, technical missions and funding appeals to identifying opportunities for volunteerism;
• Contribute substantively to project and programme development aimed at integrating volunteerism, specifically UNV’s array of volunteer modalities and schemes;
• Lead (and/or supervise staff) and monitor project implementation, including field missions, to ensure achievement of results for which UNV is responsible and the accountable use of UNV resources;
• Maintain and act-upon up-dated knowledge on national government and UN-system development plans and policies, to ensure UNV’s strategic engagement in key development processes and activities.

III. Volunteer Mobilization and Management

• Liaise with all UN agencies in the country to ensure an understanding of UNV’s mandate and the nature of UN Volunteer assignments;
• Maintain business intelligence on UN agencies, identifying specific entry points to diversify partnerships with the key result of increased volunteer assignments;
• Act upon and follow-up on requests with partner agencies, and collaborate in the preparation of assignment descriptions;
• Assess and report on the forecast demand for UN Volunteers in the country;
• Ensure that incoming and outgoing UN Volunteers are adequately briefed and debriefed and extend personal support and guidance to UN Volunteers serving in the country;
• Work closely with the Field Security Officer and provide support to the UN Designated Official to ensure a detailed understanding among UN Volunteers on all security-related issues;
• Monitor the well-being and performance of serving UN Volunteers through routine field visits to their duty stations and discussions with their supervisors and counterparts;
• Lead and manage the day-to-day activities of the UNV Field Unit, including the supervision of the UN Volunteer Programme Assistant and/or any UN Volunteer or UNDP staff assigned to the Field Unit;
• Develop and manage an annual work plan, including management and reporting on UNV support funds.
Part II: Competencies and Selection Criteria

1) Core competencies – Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management
Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Ability to get things done

2) Technical competencies (Level 3: Apply & Adapt (Recognized contributor with demonstrated ability)

Project Management
Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Substantive positioning of UNV
Knowledge of global institutions (such as the UN, IFIs), processes (such as G20 and various UN initiatives), good grasp of UNV’s niche, and ability to engage and foster strong networks with those institutions

Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships

Results-based Management
Ability to manage programmes and projects with a strategy aimed at improved performance and demonstrable results

Sustainable Development
Knowledge of sustainable development concepts, principles and issues and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations


Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
Ability to support peace processes to facilitate recovery and development

Recruitment Qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in social sciences, political science, public or business administration, economics or related fields.
Experience: 5 years of relevant professional experience and proven track record in managing and implementing development programmes or in the area of humanitarian relief or in crisis management. Work experience with the United Nations is an asset.
Language: Fluency in English. Working knowledge of another UN language is highly desirable.

12. Living Conditions:

This is a multiple country description of assignment for different duty stations worldwide and specific living conditions and conditions of service will be provided later based on the available vacant assignments and on the preferable duty station of candidates.

13. Conditions of Service:
The duration of the assignment is 24 months with possibility of extension.

A volunteer receives a Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) which is composed of the Monthly Living Allowance (MLA) and a Family Allowance (FA) for those with dependents.

A Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) is paid at the end of each month to cover housing, utilities, transportation, communications and other basic needs. The VLA can be computed by applying the Post-Adjustment Multiplier (PAM) to the VLA base rate of US$ 1,571. The VLA base rate is a global rate, while the PAM is country-specific and fluctuates on a monthly basis according to the cost of living. This method ensures that international UN Volunteers have comparable purchasing power at all duty stations irrespective of varying costs of living. The PAM is established by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and is published at the beginning of every month on the ICSC website ( For example, if the PAM for the current month in the country of assignment is 54.6%, then the VLA for that month and for that country will be US$ 1,571 x 1.546 = US$ 2,429. Moreover, to complete the monthly VLA rate, a Family Allowance (FA) is added in function of the number of recognized dependents (or: in the amount of US$ 250 if the UN Volunteer has 1 recognized dependent, and US$ 450 if the UN Volunteer has 2 or more recognized dependents). In addition, in non-family duty stations that belong to hardship categories D or E, as classified by the ICSC, international UN Volunteers receive a Well-Being Differential (WBD) on a monthly basis. The VLA and WBD taken together form the net core entitlements.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are provided a settling-in-grant (SIG) at the start of the assignment (if the volunteer did not reside in the duty station for at least 6 months prior to taking up the assignment) and, under strict conditions, also in the event of a permanent reassignment to another duty station (duty stations can change in the course of an assignment based on operational necessity; UN Volunteers may be required to work anywhere in the area of operations of the host organization, including in remote locations). Life, health, permanent disability and malicious acts insurances are included, as well as assignment travel, annual leave, full integration in the UN security framework (including residential security reimbursements as per the local MORSS), DSA payment for official travel, periodic home visit, final repatriation travel (except in the event of a resignation within the initial contract period), and resettlement allowance for satisfactory service.

UNV will provide, together with the offer of assignment, a copy of the Conditions of Service, including Code of conduct, to the successful candidate.

14. End of Assignment:

UNV Programme Officers are required to submit proper handover notes as part of their exit checklist according to the format prescribed in the Volunteer Toolkit ‘End-of-Assignment’ Handbook, section 2.11 ‘Handover Note Guidance’ to their respective PM.

15. Application process:
UNV is currently building up a Talent Pool, which includes qualified, pre-assessed and evaluated candidates earmarked to become the next generation of UNV Programme Officers. If you fulfill the requirements and are interested to apply, please follow the instructions:

If you have not yet registered in the UNV database, please apply by registering your profile at Important: Once you have created your UNV account by validating your email address, please complete all sections of your profile. Go to ‘Special Recruitment’ section on the left, click on the ‘Edit’ button and select the advertisement code “16UNVPO_1” from the drop down list. Please do not forget to click the ‘Update’ button.

If you are registered in the UNV database of candidates, please update your profile at: In the “Special Recruitment” section on the left, click on the “Edit” button and select the advertisement code “16UNVPO_1” from the drop-down list.

The application deadline is 29 February 2016. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Selection process

The selection process for the Pool may include the following steps: telephone screening/video interviewing, technical assessments and competency based interviews. Since this process will be for a group of candidates, and not be limited to one assignment, we do expect the entire process to take up to two months.
Once the Pool has been established, the UNV Programme Officer placement exercise will be conducted at least twice per year to select candidates from the pre-assessed Pool to fill vacant UNV Programme Officer positions, without further interview/selection process.
UNV Programme Officers are, after two successful years of service, eligible to apply for the candidate pool for UNV staff positions, in line with the UNV personnel strategy.

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme which welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture.


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