Programme Management Officer

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Org. Setting and Reporting


Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is the designated focal point in the United Nations system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries.. Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG/ASG), UNISDR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and in regional offices. Specifically, UNISDR guides, monitors, analyses and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, supports regional and national implementation of the Framework and catalyses action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians and the science and technology community. 

The position is located in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and manages the front office of the SRSG.


Under the overall supervision of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, the incumbent carries out the following duties and responsibilities:

– Participates in the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects, etc.; monitors and analyses programme/project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports before bringing them to the attention of the SRSG; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and tracks follow-up actions.

– Assists in review and analysis of issues and trends. Researches, analyses and presents information gathered from diverse sources on specific topics, as assigned by the SRSG. Prepares various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, briefing notes, talking points, etc. 

– Provides substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc. In particular, contributes to internal communication and the coordination within the Department by planning and facilitating workshops, meetings and retreats for the senior leadership team, the senior management team and UNISDR staff at large. Coordinate/undertakes the drafting of minutes or action plans and ensures the follow up on actions points and decisions taken. 

– Prepares and participates, as needed, in field missions, including through the provision of quality background documents and reports, the provision of guidance to staff and other parties, and drafting mission summaries.

– Contributes to the work plan of UNISDR at his/her level; ensures that outputs under his/her responsibility maintain high-quality standards; that documents, reports, learning programmes, resources and materials are clear, objective, state-of-the-art and comply with the mandates of UNISDR. Contributes to activities related to work plan, budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.). May be requested to manage or guide junior staff under his/her supervision and/or recruit and supervise consultants/external service providers as appropriate.

– Carries out other duties at required.


– PROFESSIONALISM: – Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and other risk management topics; – Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems;- Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases; – Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given;- Demonstrates professional competence and the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviors;- Treats all people with dignity and respect, demonstrating an understanding for diverse points of view and an ability to work inclusively;- Is pro-active and effective in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;- Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;- 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. 

– 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 the audience;- Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

– 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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in business or public administration, project management, development, environment, social sciences, economics, or related field. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in programme/project management or related area is required. Experience in coordination and facilitation roles within and between groups and in collaborating with geographically dispersed teams is desirable. At least two years of experience in disaster risk reduction is desirable. A minimum of one year of experience at the international level is desirable. Experience working in the front office of a senior manager is desirable.


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


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

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

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.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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. 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. 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 Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

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 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 according to the instructions provided in inspira 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.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee