Associate Programme Officer

United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Geneva, , CH

Deadline for submission of applications
Number of vacancies
Organizational Unit
Strategic Implementation of Agenda 2030

In accordance with the UN rules and regulations, depending on professional background and experience, the Executive Director reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level lower than the advertised level of the post.

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships

The position is located at the UNITAR headquarters. The Associate Programme Officer works under the direct supervision of Senior Specialist of the Strategic Implementation of Agenda 2030 Unit, and in close coordination with other personnel within the Unit.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will:

  • Support programme development and implementation aimed at reaching Unit’s programmatic objectives by aassisting with the preparation of project proposals, project budgets, agreements, project reports, taking part in meetings with donors and partners when necessary and taking meeting notes;
  • Maintain Unit’s databases, incl. Unit’s sections of institutional databases, to contribute to effective monitoring and evaluation of the Unit’s results in accordance with UNITAR’s Monitoring and Evaluation Policy Framework, by inputting monitoring data and results from evaluation results for specific events and projects which he/she is supporting and liaising with other team members to ensure data and information are entered properly and on time for remaining projects and learning events;
  • Assist with the recruitment of fellows, consultants, individual contractors and trainees aimed at ensuring effective and high quality contributions by recruited personnel to program objectives by taking part in the organization of the recruitment process and in the interviews and selection, preparing contract requests to be submitted to the Human Resources section, ensuring the conformity of recruitment processes with existing guidelines and providing guidance to more junior personnel such as individual contractors, trainees;
  • Support the delivery of online courses and face-to-face training and outreach events representing the core of the Unit’ programmatic work by administering the implementation of various online courses, microlearning and platforms; providing support to the design and delivery of face-to-face learning events and more complex training programmes, participating in field missions, making presentations and delivering training on selected topics; ensuring learning events are aligned with UNITAR’s Quality Assurance Framework and international quality standards and certification criteria; carrying out needs assessments, monitoring and evaluations activities, and reporting, ensuring communication and follow-up with participants of learning events;
  • Contribute to the administration of online platforms and related partnership initiatives to make learning on SDGs easier accessible and promote Unit’s work to traditional and new target audiences by keeping the online platforms up to date and liaising with partners to update content, coordinating communication with partners on specific initiatives, supporting the preparation of agenda for meetings, writing meeting reports and supporting follow-up on meeting decisions, following up with partners on specific requests from partners and learners, contributing to the development of new features of the platforms and platform content, incl. social media feeds and other as may be required;
  • Support the development of learning content and the design of learning products to ensure high quality of instructional design and substantive accuracy for final products by conceptualizing learning products, working with experts, instructional designers and multimedia developers to e-learning courses, microlearning, integrated learning toolkits and learning materials for training events, undertaking research on policy and technical guidance on SDG implementation to develop new substantive content for learning on selected topics, coordinating the translation of selected learning products to different languages; ensuring regular review of existing products, organizing internal pilot-testing of new products, exploring opportunities for pedagogy related methodological innovations; and proposing substantive partnerships in selected areas related to the implementation of the SDGs;
  • Support Unit’s communication activities to increase Unit’s outreach to various target audiences by contributing to the design of Unit’s brochures and other communication products, ensuring Unit’s presence on UNITAR’s and other relevant social media, drafting articles about Unit’s events or products, supporting the development of impact stories and reflecting results-based orientation in Unit’s communication;
  • Support Unit’s administration for improved information flows and effective team work, including supporting internal communications, logistics, resource planning and team meetings.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following

Within UNITAR: Senior Specialist, Strategic Implementation of Agenda 2030 Unit, members of the Unit and other relevant UNITAR Divisions and Units. 

Outside UNITAR: Officers and technical staff in relevant UN Secretariat units and in UN funds, programmes and other UN specialized agencies, as well as representatives and officials in other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, consultants, and other areas of civil society. Representatives and officials in Ministries, national and local governments.

Results Expected

The work of the incumbent will produce results that have direct impact on the Programme in several areas, among which the following are of primary importance for this position: (a) program and project development, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the Unit’s activities; (b) the effective and timely delivery of e-learning services, and training and capacity development activities and coordination of learning platforms; (c) communication; and d) Unit’s operations.

  • Professionalism Solid knowledge in the field of sustainable development and public policy design, implementation, M&E and data and statistics for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); good understanding of adult learning, training methodologies, the instructional design process, technology-enhanced learning solutions and the use of collaborative tools and techniques to support learning activities; practical experience in project management and project evaluation; analytical and problem-solving skills. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning & organizingBased on the supervision received from the Senior Specialist, develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments with minimal supervision; 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. Delivers results and quality work, including when working under pressure.
  • Accountability: Acts in full consultation and in compliance with instructions from the supervisor and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; is accountable and trustworthy on administrative and financial matters requiring professional discretion and restraint; honors commitments by delivering outputs within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports colleagues and takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and shares successes with the team where applicable.
  • Commitment to continuous learning Willingness to keep abreast of new developments in the field of public policies and SDGs, training and distance-learning.
  • CommunicationsGood communication skills (spoken, written and presentational), including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written documents, such as training modules, reports, project proposals and other communication materials; articulating ideas in a clear and concise style. Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Team workStrong interpersonal skills; ability to deal effectively with multiple constituencies and to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; is able to coordinate effectively teams composed of various colleagues working on a specific task; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda.
  • Technological awareness Sound knowledge of learning management systems (such as Moodle) and familiarity with website back end solutions at the administrator level.
Minimum experience
Minimum requirements

Education: Master’s degree in Economics, Public Policy, Development or related field or a discipline related to these areas.

Experience: A minimum of 2 years of professional experience in the development of and delivery of training and e-learning in the area of sustainable development at the international level.

Languages: Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.

Desired requirements

Experience of working with developing countries and supporting the delivery of executive training for senior public officials is an asset. The knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.

Special Notice

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

English and French are the two working languages of UNITAR. Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

UNITAR staff members are subject to the authority of the UNITAR Executive Director and their appointments are limited to service with the Institute.


According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. UNITAR is a non-smoking environment.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules and UNITAR administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

No Fee


How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

A letter of motivation as well as the P11 form are to be sent at: [email protected] with the following subject line: “S/P/2020/005: Associate Programme Officer – P2, Strategic Implementation of Agenda 2030 Unit”, plus full name of candidate.

UN staff members must submit copies of their latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) report at the time of application.