UNDP - Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme


International Organizations

Location (s):

  • Denmark
  • Lebanon
  • Rwanda
  • Sri Lanka
  • United States of America
  • Worldwide


The Junior Professional Officer Programme is administered by the JPO Service Centre (JPOSC) for the following organizations: UNDP and its affiliated funds/programmes, UNCDF, UNDOCO, UNV, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNIDO (on occasional cases), UNITAR, UNOPS, UNRWA, UNSSC, UNU, UPU, WHO.


JPOs serve primarily in one of the country offices of the participating organizations in the developing countries. Under the supervision of a senior staff member, JPOs work with international and national staff and are involved in the identification, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UN organizations-supported programmes.

Purposes of assignments vary and may have a country-specific, regional, sector-based or thematic focus. The UN organizations participating in the Programme make every effort to match individual's qualifications and interests with the requirements of the country office.

JPOs are offered one year fixed term contracts which are normally renewed for a second year (two years being the usual length of assignment), subject to satisfactory performance. In exceptional circumstances, several partner countries sponsor assignments of up to four years.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Candidates for the JPO Programme are selected on a highly competitive basis. The qualifications below are required for consideration:

    • Usually be under 32 years of age;
    • Academic qualifications: Master's degree (or equivalent) in a development-related discipline;
    • 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 two of the three working languages used by UNDP: English, French and Spanish. Fluency in Arabic, Russian or Portuguese is an asset;
    • Excellent information technology skills, including word-processing, database applications, presentation software and Internet;
    • 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;
    • A strong commitment to development; an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments; and a desire to work with people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the participating UN organizations Mission Statements. 

Since JPOs are sponsored by their respective governments, not all nationalities are eligible to apply to the JPO Programme.

In very limited circumstances, a Partner Country may also sponsor a small number of developing country nationals. As of 1 June 2015, 8 nationals of Developing Countries were taking part in the JPO Programme (4% of all JPOs).

Nationals from the eligible Developing Countries can only submit an online application when a JPO vacancy is advertised.


Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year

Cost/funding for participants:

Salaries correspond with those of entry-level UN professional staff (P1 - P2).

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