Programme Officer (Planning and Governance)

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)

New York, NY, US

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, safety.

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a global alliance of over 250 national governments, donors, civil society organizations and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively. The ultimate goal of the Partnership is to achieve universal access to water supply and sanitation.

The Secretariat of the SWA global partnership is hosted by UNICEF at its Headquarters in New York and Geneva. The SWA Secretariat is responsible for supporting the Steering Committee, Vice-Chair and Chair, promoting the country-level engagement of partners, and organizing global High-level Meetings of finance and sector ministers.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Chief Executive Officer and working closely with the Chief Operating Officer, the Partnerships Specialist and the SWA team leaders, the staff member will be responsible for project management and coordination as well as support to the various SWA Governance bodies.

Summary of key functions 

Programme Development and Planning:

  • Supports the smooth running of the SWA Secretariat, playing a role in effective planning, coordination and implementation of activities e.g. annual planning, mid-year review and end of year review
  • Supports the development of annual work plans and budgets for the SWA Secretariat to support the achievement of the SWA Strategy
  • Undertakes project management duties to guarantee the implementation of the SWA workplan and strategy 
  • Assesses the needs of each team and streamlines activities across the Secretariat
  • Manages a project management database to track tasks and deadlines for each team
  • Develops in conjunction with SWA team leads an action plan with specific milestones and timelines for the Secretariat’s main activities
  • Ensures that individual team deadlines are met through effective communication, coordination and follow up
  • Collects and analyzes data and proposes action plans

Information management:

  • Strengthens and ensures planning mechanisms within the SWA Secretariat
  • Keep abreast of critical strategic initiatives and priority issues in need of immediate attention
  • Participates in meetings, reports on outcomes and follows up on actions
  • Ensures smooth flow of relevant information to and from the SWA Secretariat to external stakeholders


  • Provides substantive and practical support to the Steering Committee, working groups, sub-committees as well as related planning activities, meetings and events
  • Supports the Partnerships Specialist to set up SC meetings (virtual and face-to-face) and in preparing regular updates to SC members
  • Support the Governance Specialist in preparation of SC papers (agenda, background papers, draft decisions and minutes)
  • Support the Governance Specialist in ensuring regular communication with SC members and in undertaking the necessary due diligence upon receipt of new partner applications

Leadership support, Coordination and Collaboration:

  • Facilitates collaboration with internal and external counterparts including team members, governance bodies and partners
  • Supports the SWA leadership in coordinating processes and activities as needed
  • Works on special projects such as databases and CRM platforms
  • Liaises with a variety of stakeholders and team members across various time zones and geographical locations

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced degree in international relations, political science, economics, public policy, social sciences or related field.
  • At least two years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the UN or other international or national development organization, national government or the private sector.
  • Experience should include working in an ever-changing decentralized environment, coordinating processes, planning events and/ or managing projects.
  • Excellent written and spoken English is required. Fluency in Spanish and French is a strong asset. 

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results

The functional competencies required for this post are…

  • Planning and Organizing
  • Coping with Pressure and Setbacks
  • Deciding and Initiating Action          
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts
  • Analyzing

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time