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Programme Associate

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: GS-6, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-20

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UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Job Purpose and Organizational Context

The Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) is UNDP’s largest Regional Bureau covering 46 countries, with almost one third of them in crisis or post-crisis situations. To help the Africa region overcome its development challenges, UNDP’s goal in Africa is to develop the region’s capacity to promote pro-poor growth and accountability (CD-PGA) as a strategy for accelerating its progress towards achieving the MDGs.  Achieving this strategic goal requires a refocusing of UNDP’s resources in the region on capacity development, and strengthening its own internal capacity in required substantive and managerial areas by enhancing its standards of efficiency and accountability.  This includes, among others, innovative region-wide strategic thinking, advocacy and partnerships; translation of corporate and RBA strategies and goals into successful capacity development results on the ground, and more strategic support to UN reform.

The newly-reorganized RBA office structure comprises the following units: Directorate; Strategic  Advisory Team; Country and Support Team (CST); and Management Support Team. The CST works closely with the Strategic Policy Advisory Unit to provide a broad range of support to country offices on emerging policy and developmental issues, and translation of strategies into effective capacity development initiatives for greater development results. The CST provides oversight functions over regional and country programming, keeps COs abreast of HQ-led initiatives as well as discussions/agreements emerging from DPKO- and DPA-led task forces, contributes to the Bureau’s strategic policy analysis and advice, and advocates for UNDP/RBA.  It also maintains a close interaction between RBA and sister UN Agencies at managerial and operational levels to support UN reform, principally through the UNDG’s “delivering as one” policy agenda, and the RDTs for west and central Africa, and east and southern Africa.

The overall purpose of this post is to ensure that Advisers and Specialists in the Country and Support Team (CST) receive the immediate administrative and operational support in their respective advisory and managerial functions. This post provides research and administrative support to the CST in the day-to-day performance of the Team, supporting information gathering, as adherence to administrative rules and regulations in establishing the operational procedures within the CST to support the work of the Advisers and Specialists.

Expected results:

  • CST Advisers/Specialists are able to function properly, benefiting from the support they need to enable them to concentrate on their substantive analytic and advisory functions;
  • Effective and efficient communications between CST and its internal and external clients is promoted.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supports Country Support Team (CST) Advisors and Specialists to enable them to perform their policy analysis and advisory functions properly, linking up with other RBA and UNDP Divisions as well as other external clients of CST.  This will include research, administrative and operational support, in line with corporate guidelines and the Bureau’s policies. Particular attention will be provided to supporting COs;
  • Provides quality communications support to enable the Country and Regional Advisers to respond in a timely manner to requests for support and advice received by the Team;
  • Supports the “one-stop shop” by servicing operational requirements of country and regional offices programme/projects through compilation/research data and coordination with various support units.

1).  Supports CST Country Advisors and Specialists to enable them to perform their functions, linking up with other RBA and UNDP Divisions as well as with other external clients of CST, particularly Country Offices:

  • Seeks out ‘best practices’ with regard to data gathering and information management support systems and makes relevant proposals to the Advisers for the setting up of an appropriate research and administrative support system for the Division;  
  • Liaises with staff of other units as needed, and maintains a system within CRST to ensure timely submission of documents destined for the Executive Board, and provides feedback to the units on related progress;
  • Manages and maintains appointment, missions and leave schedules. Prepares all aspects of travel-related matters and liaises with country offices and support units on logistics and paperwork;
  • Prepares background material/brief for use in bureau discussions, corporate events and briefing sessions. Assumes responsibility for development of PowerPoint presentations. Researches and compiles materials or newsletters, country/regional briefs and presentations. Arranges all logistical requirements thereto;
  • Compiles and catalogues all materials and documentation requested by CST Advisers to perform their policy, analytical and advisory functions;
  • Uses automated office management systems to support the work of the CST Advisers;
  • Creates requisitions and conducts budget checks for requisitions, POs and vouchers in ATLAS in their areas of competence, and for projects managed by CST;
  • Maintains a database of partners collaborating with RBA through CST ;
  • Organizes Project/Programme Appraisal Committee (PAC) meetings (ensures circulation of document, preparation of minutes/circulation to PAC participants). Drafts minutes to PAC meetings for approval by the chairperson of the PAC. Undertakes follow-up actions to PACs. Liaises with the Executive Board Secretariat on timely submission of the draft CPDs. Makes recommendations on project document format, budget structure and availability of funds, including during Bureau reviews of CPD and CPAPs;
  • Facilitates identification and selection of consultants for projects by liaising with institutions, consulting agencies, etc. Presents candidates of consultants to programme managers and CO indicating details, e.g. availability, fees, etc. for selection. Processes all travel and logistical requirements of consultants;
  • Consolidates CO and sub-regional programme audit information and reports and monitor follow-up actions;
  • Maintains and updates filing of both hard copies and electronic files for the concerned country portfolios. Circulates documents for information/action in the unit. Organizes reference materials and archives closed project files;
  • Provides institutional memory on division operations and brief incoming staff as needed. Ensures division’s compliance with corporate guidelines. Participates in backstopping arrangement to ensure continuous coverage of administrative support to the Division;
  • Supports the Cluster’s Country Advisors/Specialists in various programme initiatives (e.g. Strategic Plan reporting and target setting, monitoring of the balanced scorecards, results of the Global Staff Survey and Partner Survey etc.). performs other programme support functions as required;
  • Support Content Management of COs by ensuring (1) prescriptive content within functional area is continuously updated and available (2) best practices are continuously identified, documented and made available to clients and peers, and (3) appropriate and up-to-date information and learning tools are available.

2) Provides quality communications support to the CST Secretariat and enables Policy Advisers/Specialists to respond in a timely manner to requests for support and advice received in CST.

  • Manages daily correspondence/email.  Drafts routine letters, screens and prioritizes incoming mail for appropriate action.  Ensures that response deadlines are met.  Takes necessary action or refer to appropriate party in the absence of supervisor and institute tracking mechanism for incoming/outgoing mail;
  • Ensures effective filing, including through automated filing systems, and ensuring safekeeping of documents and other materials required by CST Advisers/Specialists in their analytical work;
  • Coordinates information flow in the CST Secretariat requiring follow-up by Advisers and Specialists to support their contribution to the implementation of the Bureau’s objectives;
  • Ensures that all information inquiries and correspondence routed to Advisers/Specialsts at CST are properly monitored and responded to in a timely manner.

3). Provide support to Africa Accelerator Labs Network under the overall guidance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab Network Specialist.

  • Assist the AccLAB Teams in Africa on administrative tasks in preparation of reports, records, data collection, and analysis for the Africa region.
  • Provide research, writing and editing support on innovation issues related to developing business impact in achieving the sustainable development goals.
  • Assist the preparation of minutes of meetings and translate short documents from English to French and vice versa and provide interpretation at the workshops when necessary.
  • Assist in the administration and implementation of the LAB activities.
  • Provide administrative and logistical support for the organization of events, workshops, meetings, trainings and conferences.
  • Prepare lists and draft short reports and prepare documentation.
  • Support the preparation of e-Discussions or any other knowledge products.




  • 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 while exercising good judgement.


Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Shares knowledge and experience; Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.
  • Teamwork
  • Excellent ability to work efficiently, independently in a team environment and under pressure; Displays team spirit, demonstrates team-based participation, information sharing, collaboration and cooperation.

Development and Operational Effectiveness

  • Ability to perform a broad range of specialized activities aimed at effective and efficient functioning of a Regional Bureau Headquarters Division, including data/schedule management, maintenance of protocol, information flow; confidentiality; ability to provide input to business processes re-engineering, elaboration and implementation of new data management systems; Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Leadership and Self-Management

  • Focusses on results for the client and responds positively to feedback; Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude; Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure; Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Completion of Secondary Education;
  • Undergraduate University Degree desirable but not required.


  • Minimum 6 years of progressively responsible secretarial, administrative and/or programme support experience is required at the national or international level;
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.), experience in handling of web-based management systems.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in French and English.


Important applicant information

Internally advertised General Service (GS) fixed-term appointment (FTA) positions located in Headquarters are open to GS staff members currently serving in New York/Washington D.C. who hold a UNDP permanent or FTA who are either US Permanent Residents, US citizens or holders of a valid G4 visa at the time of their application and whose G4 visa has been acquired on account of their employment in the UN Systems based in New York or Washington, DC.

Current UNDP GS staff serving outside of HQ must meet the eligibility criteria stated above prior to their application.

Selected candidates who meet the above mentioned eligibility criteria are responsible for their own travel and/or relocation costs

Local recruitment

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.

Scam warning

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.

The United Nations does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web. 
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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