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Programme Assistant

Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Grade: GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-20

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The Programme Assistant will work under the direct supervision of the Programme Officer and the general direction and supervision of the Programme Coordinator of the Indian Ocean for GMCP.      
The UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) continues to support the criminal justice systems of states in the Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean region prosecuting suspected pirates arrested by their own law enforcement authorities or transferred from the authorities of other states. This is in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and customary international law allowing every state to arrest pirates on the high seas and prosecute them. Recently, GMCP expanded their programming activities to the Western Indian Ocean and opened an office in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The programme assistant will support the GMCP team in Colombo with administrative tasks in order for the team to deliver programme activities in the region. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  1. Provides reliable administrative coordination and support of programme/project planning and preparation activities and general office support services and prepares reports;  
  2. Processes work and requisite follow-up accomplished under some supervision, seeks advice from and/or reporting to supervisor as needed; 
  3. Provides support in procurement processes including vendor and hotel relation management;
  4. Consistently applies appropriate policies, guidelines and procedures; 
  5. Effectively and in a timely manner, liaises and interacts with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally.
Provides reliable administrative coordination and support of programme/project planning and preparation activities and general office support services and prepares reports;  
  • Provides assistance in support of the planning and implementation of the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) activities; 
  • Researches, compiles, analyses, summarizes, and presents basic information/data on specific programme/project related topics;
  • Assists in the preparation and analysis of budget proposals; provides assistance in the interpretation of budget guidelines; reviews and coordinates submissions of programme proposals and budget estimates, ensuring that requisite information is included and justified in terms of proposed activities; prepares reports and ensures that outputs/services are properly categorized; proposes adjustments as necessary. 
  • Assists in the recruitment process and monitoring of contracts of long- and short-term staff, as well as technical assistance personnel.
  • Performs other work-related duties as assigned.
Processes work and requisite follow-up accomplished under some supervision, seeks advice from and/or reporting to supervisor as needed; 
  • Reviews delivery timelines and donor reporting requirements, assists in compiling information for preparing donor reports. 
  • Compiles, summarizes and enters data on project delivery; develops related status reports, identifying shortfalls in delivery, budget overruns, etc., and brings to the attention of management.
Provides support in procurement processes including vendor and hotel relation management;
  • Preparation of non-PO vouchers for development projects.
  • Maintenance of the internal expenditures control system including timely corrective actions on unposted vouchers, including the vouchers with budget check errors, match exceptions, unapproved vouchers. 
  • Creation of requisitions in Atlas for development projects, register of goods receipt in Atlas.
  • Making budget check for requisitions, POs and vouchers. 
  • Provides support and assistance when planning and organising events, retreats and conferences and serves as a focal point for external partners and guests during such events;
Consistently applies appropriate policies, guidelines and procedures; 
  • Review of contributions agreement, managing contributions in Umoja.
  • Drafts correspondence on budget-related issues and prepares and updates periodic reports, graphic and statistical summaries, spreadsheets, etc.
  • Provides general office assistance; responds to complex information requests and inquiries; reviews, logs and routes incoming correspondence; sets up and maintain files/records; organizes meetings, workshops, handles routine administrative tasks, such as maintaining attendance records, assessing telephone billing, etc.
Effectively and in a timely manner, liaises and interacts with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally.
  • Serves as focal point for administrative coordination of programme/project implementation activities, involving extensive liaison with diverse organizational units to initiate requests, obtain necessary clearances, process and follow-up on administrative actions, e.g. travel arrangements, trainings, authorization of payments, disbursement of funds, procurement of equipment and services, etc; carries out relevant functions in Umoja in relation to Programme operations.
  • Provides guidance/training to new/junior staff.
Accurate data entry and financial information have an impact on the quality and implementation of the UNODC GMCP programme.  A client-oriented and efficient approach impact on the image of UNODC GMCP in the country.



Functional Competencies:   
Level 1.1: Support the preparation of information for advocacy
  • Identifies relevant information for advocacy for a variety of audiences
Results-Based Programme Development and Management
Level 1.1: Contributing to results through provision of information
  • Provides information and documentation on specific stages of projects/programme implementation
Building Strategic Partnerships 
Level 1.1: Maintaining information and databases
  • Analyzes general information and selects materials in support of partnership building initiatives
Innovation and Marketing New Approaches
Level 1.1: Implementing processes and uses products
  • Documents and tracks innovative strategies/best practices/new approaches
Resource Mobilization (Field Duty Stations)
Level 1.1: Providing information for resource mobilization strategies
  • Maintains information/databases on potential and actual donors
  • Maintains database of project files
  • Provides data and information needed for preparation of project documents
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing
Level 1.1: Basic research and analysis
  • Researches best practices and poses new, more effective ways of doing things
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise
Level 1.1: Fundamental knowledge of processes, methods and procedures
  • Understands the main processes and methods of work regarding to the position
  • Possesses basic knowledge of organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks
  • Demonstrates good knowledge of information technology and applies it in work assignments
Global Leadership and Advocacy for UNDP’s Goals
Level 1.1: Research and analysis
  • Identifies relevant information for advocacy for UNDP’s goals for a variety of audiences
Client Orientation
Level 1.1:  Maintains effective client relationships
  • Reports to internal and external clients in a timely and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients
  • Responds to client needs promptly
Core Competencies:
  • Knowledge of internal policies, processes and procedures generally and in particular those related to programme/project administration, implementation, programming, monitoring and budgeting. Ability to work well with figures, undertake basic research and gather information from standard sources. Demonstrated ability to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given. Shows pride in work and in achievements; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.
Planning and Organizing: 
  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others; ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity  
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment 
  • Self-development, initiative-taking 
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating team work 
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively 
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others. Promoting learning and knowledge management/sharing is the responsibility of each staff member.
  • Informed and transparent decision making


Required Skills and Experience

  • Secondary Education or Bachelors’ degree in business administration, international relations, accounting and finance, project management or other relevant fields is an advantage.
  • A minimum of five years of experience with Secondary Education or two years’ experience with Bachelor’s degree in finance, budget, accounting, administrative services or related area is required. Experience in working on technical cooperation projects is desirable. Work experience in and knowledge of SAP is required. Experience in running and completing procurements is desirable. Experience in spreadsheet and word processing applications is required. Experience in grants, project and fund management related modules in Umoja is highly desirable. Exposure to international maritime affairs, international security policy, criminal justice and/or law enforcement issues is desirable.


Important applicant information

All posts in the GS categories are subject to local recruitment.

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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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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