Presentation of the JPO Programme
The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme provides young professionals pursuing a career in development with hands-on experience in multi-lateral technical co-operation.
The JPO Programme is administered by the JPO Service Centre (JPOSC) for the following organizations:
* On occasional cases.
As of 1st February 2014, 224 JPOs are participating in the Programme with 44% of them directly working with UNDP.
JPOs are an important and valuable workforce for the participating organizations, as they represent depending on the organization 10-13% of their professional staff.
JPOs are sponsored by their respective governments.
The following partner countries currently sponsor JPOs administered by the UNDP JPO Service Centre:
The following partner countries have sponsored JPO positions in the past, but are currently inactive:
In very limited circumstances, a JPO Programme-participating government may also sponsor a small number of developing country nationals.
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JPOs serve primarily in one of the country offices of the participating organizations in the developing countries. Under the supervision of a senior staff member, JPOs work with international and national staff and are involved in the identification, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UN organizations-supported programmes. Purposes of assignments vary and may have a country-specific, regional, sector-based or thematic focus. The UN organizations participating in the Programme make every effort to match individual's qualifications and interests with the requirements of the country office.
Candidates for the JPO Programme are selected on a highly competitive basis. The qualifications below are required for consideration:
For more information on eligibility criteria, please consult How to become a JPO?
Training is a key component of the JPO Programme. In addition to the on-the-job guidance and training, the JPO Programme provides the following training/learning opportunities:
To know more, please consult our Training and learning page.
JPOs are offered one year fixed term contracts which are normally renewed for a second year (two years being the usual length of assignment), subject to satisfactory performance. In exceptional circumstances, several partner countries sponsor assignments of up to four years. Salaries correspond with those of entry-level UN professional staff (P1 - P2).
For more information, please consult our FAQ page.
The overall goal of the JPO Programme is to enhance the development and aid coordination work of UNDP Country Offices and other UN partner organizations.
The JPO Programme aims at meeting the following objectives:
More generally, the JPO Programme contributes also to the promotion of cultural exchanges and a better understanding of diverse cultures and societies, while increasing the pool of "internationalists" who learn the complexities of international matters for the vantage of the less rich countries.
In September 2000, the participants of the Millennium Summit have agreed upon a set of development targets to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Through their expertise and commitment to the UN organizations' programmes of action, and thanks to the support of the partner countries, the Junior Professional Officers contribute undoubtedly to the achievement of the Millennium Declaration Targets.
The JPO Service Centre is an outpost of the UNDP's Office of Human Resources, which is part of the Bureau of Management. The JPO Service Centre was relocated to Copenhagen in July 2001.
The JPO Service Centre is at the hub of the UNDP and other organizations' JPO Programmes. It acts as the focal point with partner countries on day-to-day human resources matters, including JPO recruitment, selection, placement and reassignment as well as on a variety of financial and administrative issues. The JPOSC works closely in these areas with the UNDP regional bureaux and managers of other participating organizations and funds, providing advice and developing new tools to improve the JPO Programme.
The JPO recruitment is an annual exercise. It is based on the financial cycle of the partner countries, which for most of them follows the calendar year. Decisions on sponsorship are made at the beginning of each year and the number of JPOs selected will vary according to the partner countries' financial resources allocated to overseas development and to their development priorities.
In accordance with the JPO Programme policy, JPOs are placed in country offices in response to specific requirements and are not recruited for established job vacancies. JPO assignments are not filled on a "replacement" basis and are not considered an entitlement.