Programme Officer (Livelihoods and Environmental Crime)

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Vienna, Austria 🇦🇹

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Vienna is classified an H and a family duty station.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit (SLU), Drug Prevention and Health Branch (DHB), Division for Operations (DO) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna. The incumbent will report to the Chief of SLU.

For more information on UNODC, please visit our website:


The focus of this position is to plan, organize, coordinate, manage and/or provide substantive input and backstopping to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UNODC sustainable livelihoods, alternative development, environmental crime and conservation strategies, policies and programmes.

The incumbent will perform the following specific duties:

•Coordinate sustainable livelihoods and alternative development programmes and projects, including designing strategies, setting standards and controlling quality of assigned programmes and projects.

•Coordinate and support the implementation of project activities to combat wildlife, fisheries and forest crime/environmental crime. Provide input to the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of related projects.

•Provide substantive and technical advice in the area of sustainable livelihoods, alternative development, environmental conservation, wildlife, fisheries and forest crime/environmental crime to Member States, UNODC Field Offices, other United Nations offices and agencies and other development oriented drug and crime prevention related programme stakeholders.

•Plan, organize, coordinate and carry out the ongoing review, monitoring and analysis of social, economic and political developments and trends in the assigned sustainable livelihoods/alternative development, drug, health and environmental crime related areas at the national, regional and/or global levels.

•Plan, organize, coordinate and deliver a variety of specialized technical cooperation services for governments, e.g. expert advisory services, expert group meetings, training seminars, etc., in order to assist them in drafting and implementing policy guidelines, projects and programmes. Prepare and deliver presentations and facilitate meetings, workshops, seminars.

•Review and appraise best practices and programmes in sustainable livelihoods, alternative development, including related to the prevention of illicit drug use, HIV and crime and to treatment and care of drug dependence; promote them among Member States, non-governmental organizations and civil society in general; pilot-test promising practices through the design and implementation of special programmes and projects; summarize experience from pilot projects.

•Organize, coordinate and prepare reports to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), General Assembly (GA) and other legislative and technical bodies; and prepare a variety of written outputs, such as background papers, correspondence with governments, working papers, mission reports, analyses, briefings, presentations, enforcement strategies, policy proposals and documents, studies, summary reports, manuals, tool kits, guides, etc.

•Participate in and contribute to the substantive servicing of the meetings of those bodies.

•Lead and/or participate in large, complex programming, needs assessment and other technical missions, where necessary, to evaluate and elaborate assistance proposals with cooperating governments, international funding institutions (IFIs), UN agencies and non-governmental and civil society organizations (NGOs/CSOs).

•Attend policy-making and expert group meetings to monitor, analyze and advise on events and discussions; when requested, representing the Branch/Section/Unit at those meetings.

•Monitor and/or certify the expenditures and utilization of funds in the assigned areas of responsibility; maintain files on major subjects and special files on countries; coordinate the preparation of and/or prepare the necessary programme or project documents and reports, such as progress reports, work plans, programme budget, programme performance reports, etc.

•As required, supervise other professional and support staff members.

•Perform other work-related duties as assigned/required.


•Professionalism: Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to crime and drug related issues. Has knowledge of policies and practices in international drug control and crime prevention, specifically as relates to sustainable livelihoods, alternative development, environmental conservation, wildlife, fisheries and forest crime/environmental crime, and has knowledge of the mandates of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Has knowledge of and specialization in substantive and functional areas with very good research and analytical skills. Has professional competence in technical assistance issues, programme development and execution. Demonstrates ability to provide effective specialized advice in a broad range of development assistance issues and to negotiate and resolve issues/problems with counterparts and cooperating institutions. Has ability to ensure adequate preparation of reports and papers on technical issues as well as rationale with respect to key technical assistance decisions. Has sound programme management skills including knowledge of relevant United Nations rules and regulations. 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.

•Planning & 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.

•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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, public administration, international development, economics, social science, international relations, law, or related field is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in areas relevant to UNODC’s mandates, such as sustainable livelihoods, alternative development, drug control, crime prevention, criminal justice, security sector, rule of law, governance, international development, public administration, social development (with at least three of those years managing environmental crime programmes) is required. Experience in managing sustainable livelihoods/ alternative development programmes at the policy or field level with the United Nations or equivalent international organizations is highly desirable. Relevant experience with regard to environmental crime is also highly desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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 internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.