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Large donor funds 3 professional JPO contracts for nationals of developing countries - apply on or before 2 February

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by Henrik Rydén
COO and Co-founder of Impactpool

Published on: 31 January 2020

From time to time donors fund Junior Professional Officer (JPO) positions for non-nationals. Now there are three exciting positions out there. You are eligible to apply if you are 32 years or younger, have 2 years of work experience and a completed master’s degree. Check out the jobs and apply no later than 2 February.    

The Junior Professional Officer program, or the JPO program as it is more often referred to, is a program offering young professionals an opportunity to obtain professional experience and skills in the different sectors of the United Nations – including Specialized agencies and Fund and Programmes. Primarily JPOs serve in a country office location under the supervision of a senior staff member. The purposes of a JPO assignment vary and can have a country-specific, regional, sector-based or thematic focus. JPO’s are recruited under trust fund agreements between the UN organization and the funding donor.



Funding non-nationals


At the moment, one large donor is funding three JPO positions for nationals of program countries. This is a quite rare happening. As a JPO costs the donor approximately $500’000, it is rare they invest that amount in non-nationals.

In the past, the Netherlands has been the most frequent donor in funding non-nationals. However, the number of JPO positions funded for nationals from development country nationals is still very limited.  According to the website of JPOSC (the department in UNDP that recruits JPOs), only 10 nationals from Developing Countries were recruited past year and that equals 4% of all JPOs recruited by UNDP in 2019. 



What are the requirements for being a JPO?


Candidates for the JPO Programme are selected on a highly competitive basis. The qualifications below are the general requirements; in addition, the organizations also have specific technical requirements in the job advertisement. For these three JPO assignments, it is most likely that they are looking for women candidates. 



JPO requirements:


Age requirement: Be under 32 years of age

Academic qualifications: Master's degree (or equivalent) in a development-related discipline;

Work experience: A minimum of two years of paid working experience in a relevant field, preferably in a developing country

Language skills: written and spoken proficiency in at least one (English), but preferably two of the three working languages: English, French and Spanish. Fluency in Arabic, Russian or Portuguese is an asset;

Good to have: Excellent information technology skills, including word-processing, database applications, presentation software, and Internet;

Good to have: Evidence of ability to think strategically; to express ideas clearly; to work independently and in teams; to demonstrate a sense of self-assuredness combined with cultural and gender sensitivity;

Must have: A strong commitment to development; an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments; and a desire to work with people with a different language, national and cultural backgrounds;

Must have: Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the participating UN organizations Mission Statements.


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