Programme Officer


New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

Background Information – Job-specific

UN-Water is the United Nations (UN) inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater related issues. It was formally established in 2003 building on a long history of collaboration in the UN family. It currently counts 31 UN agencies and organizations as Members and 38 international Partners. UN-Water complements and adds value to existing UN initiatives by facilitating synergies and joint efforts among the implementing agencies. In doing so, UN-Water seeks to: (a) improve the coherence in UN system actions at all levels, and in particular at the country level; (b) contribute to the global policy debate on water-related issues through active participation in global policy fora and events and the production of assessments and policy briefs; (c) contribute to increased knowledge on water-related issues through relevant monitoring and reporting mechanisms and by serving as an entry point for water-related indicators, data and information; and (d) identify emerging issues related to global water challenges and provide a platform for UN system strategic discussions on how to prepare for and cope with them more effectively.

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The incumbent is part of the UN-Water Management Team and works under the direct supervision of the UN-Water Chief Technical Adviser in providing administrative and technical support to the activities of UN-Water. 

Functional Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Programme Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

1. UN-Water outreach activities

1.1 Liaise with all relevant intergovernmental processes taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York, establishing effective working relations with all relevant Pemanent Representatives and parts of the United Nations system.

1.2 Draft the UN-Water Chair’s speaking points for events related to intergovernmental processes, particularly those taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York.

1.3 Provide substantive input to the organization of UN-Water related side events in relevant international meetings and conferences, particularly those taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York, to raise awareness about UN-Water activities and initiatives.

1.4 Represent UN-Water at relevant meetings.

2. UN-Water reports

2.1 Prepare UN-Water related reports in response to the requirements of the General Assembly, the Secretary General and other governing bodies.

2.2 Coordinate the development of the UN-Water Annual Reports and Progress Monitoring Reports, and provide substantive input to the preparation of UN-Water Work Programmes as well as other documents requested by UN-Water Members and donors to the UN-Water Inter-Agency Trust Fund.

3. UN-Water Meetings

3.1 Lead coordination of organization of the bi-annual UN-Water Meetings, including drafting the agenda, the annotated agenda and the meeting reports, and organising all background documents.

3.2 Provide high level management support to the UN-Water Secretary.

4. Technical support to UN-Water initiatives

4.1 Work as a substantial contributor to the UN-Water Management Team on the implementation of recommendations and decisions made at the UN-Water Meetings.

4.2 Provide specialist technical support to the work of Expert Groups and Task Forces and in monitoring their progress, as well as in ensuring that progress reports are prepared in a timely manner for the the UN-Water Meetings.

5. General

Perform other related duties as required, including a variety of tasks necessary for the final delivery of UN-Water services.

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international affairs, sustainable development, economics, public policy, social sciences, geosciences, hydrology, hydraulic engineering or sanitary engineering, or related fields.

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in water-related fields is required.  Preference will be given to candidates with prior working experience in the UN system. In addition to good networking and facilitation experience, the candidate must have proven experience in organizing inter-agency or multi-stakeholder meetings around complex issues. Experience in managing water-related networks is considered an advantage. 

Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. Knowledge of other UN official languages is desirable.
Functional competencies

Professionalism: Shows solid understanding of water resources, management and use and makes an effort to keep up with developments in the field. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; 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 and, where applicable, human rights issues.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; 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.

Communication: 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.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

  • Writing skills
  • Ability to perform analysis and synthesis
  • Conference and Event management
  • Record Management
  • MicroSoft Office proficiency

Contract type: Fixed Term Staff Contract
Contract level: ICS11 / P4
Contract duration:One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

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Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.


    Background Information – UNOPS

    UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

    Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

    With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

    A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.