Programme Management Officer

Geneva, , CH

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), 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 U.N. 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 UNISDR Headquarters in Geneva. The incumbent reports to the Head of Unit for Inter-Agency Cooperation under overall guidance of the Chief, Intergovernmental Processes, Inter-agency Cooperation and Partnerships Branch.


Under the supervision of the head of the unit, the incumbent undertakes the following:

Contributes to the planning and carries out the work plan under his/her responsibility, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery; ensures that the outputs produced by the Unit meet high-quality standards and support relevant UNISDR mandates. 

Actively contributes to the implementation and monitoring of the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience, including coordination with the members of the UN system at global, regional and national levels to advance integration of disaster risk reduction in the strategic plans and programmes throughout the UN system. Contributes to the integration of disaster risk reduction policies through cooperation with the UN resident coordinator system and UN country teams, in particular in relation to preparation and review of UNDAFs and other key planning instruments. Enhances coordination and collaboration among disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (CCA) players.

Contributes to reports to intergovernmental bodies and UN system-wide coordination offices on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports. Under the guidance of the head of Unit, provides analysis and reports on relevant inter-governmental and inter-agency discussions bearing relevance to advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and UNISDR mandate. Contributes to the drafting of the Secretary General’s report on the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and provides inputs to other relevant reports and documents, as requested. When requested, represents UNISDR in inter-governmental and inter-agency processes and meetings, provides substantive backstopping and policy advice on disaster risk reduction issues to Member States and ensures that disaster risk reduction is reflected in the outcome of these processes and meetings. 

Coordinates the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Provides substantive inputs and support to the organization of meetings of the UN Senior Leaders Group, chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction. Contributes, upon request, to the coordination of the work of the UN Focal Points for Disaster Risk Reduction to implement the UN Plan of Action and to monitor the progress in achieving the results outlined in the results framework. Contributes to the organization of advocacy events, side events and briefings on disaster risk reduction in collaboration with Member States, civil society organisations and UN agencies by proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparing documents and presentations. Identifies opportunities for advancing the disaster risk reduction agenda and promoting UNISDR work.

Carries out any other duties requested by the head of Unit and the Chief of Branch


– 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. 
– Ability to establish and foster successful partnerships and collaborations;
– Ability to identify strategic opportunities for achieving the agenda of the Department;
– Well developed political acumen and analysis;
– Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities; 
– 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

– 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.

-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

-Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments
-Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards
-Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules
-Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments
-Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, management, economics, social sciences, law or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with at least two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of relevant progressively responsible experience in project or programme management or related area. Experience in building strategic alliances and partnerships and in disaster risk reduction is required. Experience working in international organizations. Experience working in inter-governmental and/or inter-agency processes is required. Experience in representation functions in international organizations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position 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 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