Senior Programme Associate

Tokyo, , JP

United Nations University objectives

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training, and the dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. The University functions as a think tank for the United Nations system, contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries, and serves as a platform for new and innovative ideas and dialogue.

UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information please visit

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project contributes to designing and undertaking interdisciplinary, policy-oriented research and capacity development activities through two flagship initiatives: the global multi-stakeholder network of Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD and the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net), an alliance of higher education institutions throughout the Asia–Pacific region.


Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director and under the direct guidance and supervision of the ESD Project Director, the Senior Programme Associate shall perform the following tasks:

  • taking lead in coordinating the overall work of the ESD project, including the day-to-day management and operation of activities such as outreach, event coordination, and budget management
  • taking lead in planning, organising, and participating in workshops, seminars, conferences, and symposiums related to the ESD project
  • ensuring that the work of the ESD project aligns with global SD/ESD agendas and the strategy of the project
  • enhancing communication and public relations, in particular with the Japanese government, UN agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, private sector, and the general public
  • coordinating administrative assistance in travel arrangements, procurement, and payments for the project
  • providing and coordinating logistic support for organisation and follow-up of conferences, workshops, seminars, and other events
  • assisting the ESD Project Director in coordinating activities and in establishing links with other projects
  • contributing to the planning and implementation of capacity development projects and research projects, including the preparation of the research on ESD, which entails data collection and comparative analysis
  • performing other duties as may be assigned

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • master’s degree or equivalent in a field related to Education, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Environment, or Sustainable Development
  • at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in a related area; work experience in office administration or related duties at international organisations is an asset
  • knowledge and experience of working with coordination and organisation of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements, and ideally sustainable development-related issues; knowledge of the UN governance structure will be considered an added advantage
  • research experience or a doctoral degree related to international educational development, ESD, international and comparative education, and/or environmental education are an advantage
  • good computer and organisational skills
  • excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English and Japanese
  • excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multitask and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results
  • a good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


Remuneration will commensurate with qualification and experience, and will range from JPY 350,000 to 380,000 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-IAS. Initial appointment will be for one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

Starting date

Middle/end of March 2017 (negotiable)