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UNFPA Junior Professional Officer (JPO) - Gender Equality and Girls

Cotonou (Benin)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Cotonou (Benin)
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-11-30

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Information on the Receiving Office
The team of UNFPA Benin is part of the UN family in Benin, with close working relations with UN sister agencies, especially UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, WFP and WHO. The team is composed of around 30 colleagues, including 3 international (among which one JPO) based in Cotonou and 4 Parakou. The JPO will be part of the RH and gender team with a close collaboration with the Gender NPO. Besides, given the crosscutting nature of the gender equality area of work, the JPO will also work with the other units of the office, especially the team dedicated to the SWEDD programme (Sahel Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend).
Living conditions at the Duty Station
Benin is a country located on the Africa west coast. This assignment is based in Cotonou, the capital city of the Republic of Benin (family duty station), with possible travels in the country including to the decentralized office of Parakou, in the North of the Country.
Living conditions are relatively good. Running water and electricity are available. Cost of living is high compared to other countries in the sub-region. Most of foodstuff is imported. Basic food includes meat, fish, cassava and rice. It is easy to find fresh food on the market. There are regular flights from/to Benin. The country has boundaries with Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Burkina Faso. The official language is French.
An entry visa is required for anyone travelling with or without the United Nations laissez-passer and must be obtained before arrival in the country. Furnished or unfurnished houses are available between 300 and 500 USD per month. The national currency is the CFA franc (1 US $ = 577,242 FCFA). Commercial banks exist. VISA credit cards are accepted in some hotels and department stores. Benin is a country with a high incidence of malaria. The use of mosquito nets is strongly recommended. Vaccination against yellow fever is necessary. Other vaccines such as meningitis, hepatitis B... are also recommended. Basic medicines are available in Cotonou / Benin but it is recommended to bring your specialized medicines.
The current situation in Benin is relatively calm and at a minimum security level (SLS 1) of the United Nations. As the economic capital and first city of Benin, Cotonou has all the usual amenities of large cities (electricity, running water, dispensary, hospitals, leisure, etc.).
Benin is a very engaging duty station, with a diverse cultural environment and globally peaceful living conditions. It provides for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.
Content and methodology of supervision
As part of the UNFPA JPO programme overall framework, the JPO will benefit from the following
supervision modalities:
  • Structured guidance provided by the supervisor, especially in the beginning of the assignment,
  • with the purpose of gradually increasing the responsibilities of the JPO.
  • Establishment of a work plan, with clear key results.
  • Effective supervision through knowledge sharing and performance/development feedback
  • throughout the assignment.
  • Easy access to the supervisor.
  • Participation in Unit/Team/Office meetings to ensure integration and operational effectiveness.
  • Guidance and advice in relation to learning and training opportunities within the field of
  • expertise.
  • If more than one supervisor; clear agreement of the roles and responsibilities between the relevant parties.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the general Authority and guidance of the UNFPA Representative in Benin and the direct supervision of the Assistant representative/Reproductive Health, the Junior Professional Officer will assist the UNFPA Country Office in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and knowledge management of the UNFPA Country programme to ensure that the outcomes are in line with UNFPA’s procedures, policies and strategies with regards to gender equality and youth empowerment and protection and are effectively contributing to the United Nations development assistance framework (UNDAF) and relevant national plans.
A specific focus will be also given to the coordination with key international partners, including with UNICEF and UNDP for the effective implementation of the Common Chapter of the Strategic Plans of UNFPA, UNICEF and UNDP and its operational focus on the adolescent girl in Benin.
Specifically, the JPO will:
  • In close coordination with UN sister agencies, especially UNICEF and UNDP, map the ecosystem of stakeholders engaged on gender and girls empowerment in Benin and, in line with the existing gender coordination mechanism of the Technical and Financial Partners, nurture a network of partners geared by a joint vision and culture of shared knowledge  management, aligned with national strategies and with explicit youth and girls participation;
  • Support research and fieldwork on analyzing the efficient and innovative strategies to reach out to the adolescent girls up to the last mile with a comprehensive SRHR package and facilitate the use of these strategies in existing and upcoming UNFPA youth projects;
  • Contribute and/or coordinate joint advocacy efforts to raise the voice of the adolescent girls of Benin, including through the engagement of boys and men and intergenerational dialogue;
  • Act as UNFPA Benin gender and adolescent girls focal point for the national programme of sexual health in schools (UNFPA 2017-2023 project, financially supported by the Netherlands) to ensure that the rights and specific needs of the adolescent girls are properly taken into account and ensure the direct management and oversight of at least one implementing partner of the project;
  • Contribute to the development of capacity building and communication materials, tools and systems targeting key community stakeholders, including boys and men, to support national counterparts;
  • Assist in the collection and analysis of data related Gender equality/Gender Based Violence, including Female Genital Mutilation in close coordination with active partners, such as CUSO and advocate for the effective use and monitoring of gender data for national planning;
  • Actively participate to the efforts of the country office to develop strategic partnerships and mobilize resources for women and girls empowerment, with traditional and nontraditional stakeholders including with the private sector or African networks for women and girls empowerment;
  • Prepare regular briefing note/factsheet for the website and/or regional Office/ donors for public information;
  • Undertake any other duty assigned by the Representative as part of the JPO career development prospect;
  • Any other related tasks as may be required or assigned by the supervisor.


Exemplifying integrity
Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN System
Embracing cultural diversity 
Embracing change
Core Competencies:
Achieving results
Being accountable
Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen
Thinking analytically and strategically
Working in teams
Managing ourselves and our relationships
Communicating for impact.
Functional Skill Set:
Facilitating quality programmatic results
Organizational leadership and direction
Operational effectiveness and accountability for results Management and Leadership competencies.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Postgraduate degree in social sciences or related fields with specialized knowledge in the
  • field of Sociology, Economy, Anthropology, Law or other related social science.
  • At least 2 years of experience in gender and youth programming. Prior experience in
  • developing countries is an asset.
  • Fluency in French and English.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Initiative, sound judgment and demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with staff
  • members from different national and cultural backgrounds.


National of Belgium


No older than 32 years of age as of 31 December 2019.


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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