How to become a JPO or a SARC?

How to become a JPO? | How to become a SARC? |

How to become a JPO?

Who can apply?

Not all nationalities are eligible to apply to the JPO Programme. Please read below and/or use the following table to check whether and how you can apply. Potential candidates with double nationality should check both nationalities and choose the most favorable one.

JPOs are sponsored by their respective governments.

The following partner governments currently sponsor JPOs administered by the UNDP JPO Service Centre:

The following partner governments have sponsored JPO positions in the past, but are currently inactive:
  •   Canada
  •   Iceland
  •   Ireland
  •   Liechtenstein
  •   Monaco
  •   Portugal
  •   Saudi Arabia
  •   United Arab Emirates

In very limited circumstances, a JPO Programme-participating government may also sponsor a small number of developing country nationals.

Nationals of Developing Countries (in general)

Some partner countries fund very few JPO assignments of nationals of Developing Countries. As of 1 July 2014, 10 nationals of Developing Countries were taking part in the JPO Programme 4% of all JPOs).

For JPO positions funded by the Netherlands please refer to the list of recognised eligible Developing country and trust territory nationalities.

Nationals from the eligible Developing Countries can only submit an online application when a JPO vacancy is advertised.


Candidates for the JPO Programme are selected on a highly competitive basis. The qualifications below are required for consideration:

  • Usually be under 32 years of age;

  • Academic qualifications: Master's degree (or equivalent) in a development-related discipline;

  • A minimum of two years of paid working experience in a relevant field, preferably in a developing country

  • Language skills: written and spoken proficiency in at least two of the three working languages used by UNDP: English, French and Spanish. Fluency in Arabic, Russian or Portuguese is an asset;

  • Excellent information technology skills, including word-processing, database applications, presentation software and Internet;

  • Evidence of ability to think strategically; to express ideas clearly; to work independently and in teams; to demonstrate a sense of self-assuredness combined with cultural and gender sensitivity;

  • A strong commitment to development; an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments; and a desire to work with people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;

  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the participating UN organizations Mission Statements.

Where to send an application?

Nationals from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and from eligible Developing Countries are requested to submit an online application when applying to a specific vacancy, which are published on our current vacancies throughout the calendar year.

Nationals from other sponsoring countries are requested to contact directly their respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please select a country for contact details.

JPO Programme on Twitter Follow us on Twitter and get notified about new JPO & SARC vacancies.


How to become a Special Assistant to the Resident Coordinator (SARC)?

SARC positions are advertised on the websites of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Norway, Spain and Sweden, as well as in relevant local media. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Norway, Spain and Sweden will shortlist candidates, which are qualified for the positions, and the final selection will be made by UNDP in close collaboration with the Resident Coordinator of the assigned duty station.

JPO Programme on Twitter Follow us on Twitter and get notified about new JPO & SARC vacancies.


UNDP, as a matter of practice, does not charge any application, processing or training fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions as to vacancy announcements you may have received, please refer to this website.

UNDP is currently aware of fictitious vacancy announcements that are being circulated through the internet, the purpose of which is to get people to register for a training and send in a fee. If you believe that you have received such a notice, please forward it, and any other related information you have received, to Since logos, emblems, names and addresses can be easily copied or reproduced, you are advised to take particular care in applying for vacancies, including undertaking all appropriate measures to protect against the unauthorised use of any personal information you may have provided as a result of the scam.

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