Programme Officer, P3, Intergovernmental Policy Services Unit, Geneva, Temporary Job Opening (TJO)

DATORE: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) - LUOGO: Switzerland (Geneva) -30 Jun 2015

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 disaster reduction and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the United Nations and regional organizations and activities in socio-economic and humanitarian fields. 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 5 regional offices and other field presences. Specifically, UNISDR coordinates international efforts in disaster risk reduction, and supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan; campaigns to create global awareness of disaster risk reduction benefits and empowers people to reduce their vulnerability and exposure to hazards; advocates for risk-informed investments in disaster risk reduction to protect people's lives and assets, and for increased and informed participation of men and women in reducing disaster risk; and informs and connects people by providing practical services and tools such as PreventionWeb, publications on good practices, and by leading the preparation of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction and the organisation of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.

This position is located in the Intergovernmental Policy Services Unit of the UNISDR Secretariat in Geneva. The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Unit.

Summary of Main Duties

Within delegated authority, the Programme Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

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

  • Researches, analyzes and presents information gathered from diverse sources.

  • Assists in policy development, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies.

  • Undertakes survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.

  • Prepares various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, 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.

  • Undertakes outreach activities; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.

  • Participates in or lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.

  • Coordinates activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.).

  • Performs other duties as required.

Core Competencies:


  • Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to disaster risk reduction.

  • Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems.

  • Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. 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, 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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.

Client Orientation:

  • Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view.

  • Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect.

  • Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions.

  • Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems.

  • Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects.

  • Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, international relations, political science, economics, sustainable development or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience
A minimum of five years of progressively responsible international experience in project or programme management, research, servicing negotiations and decision making bodies or related area. Experience in disaster risk reduction is required; UN experience highly 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. 

Additional Comments
Please indicate the percentage of the working period (e.g. 30%, 70%, etc) if:

  • you worked and studied at the same time,

  • you worked part-time,

  • you had two different jobs at the same time.


No Fee

How to apply

Please email the following documents to to, with a copy to James O’Donnell: and Ms. Li Li:

1. Cover letter, explaining why you consider yourself qualified and motivated for this particular assignment.
2. Personal History Profile (visit to generate a PHP, registration/login required).
3. Your two last completed Performance Appraisal or two Reference Letters for external applicants.
It would be appreciated your stating your full name and the ISDR vacancy notice number (15-96-UNISDR-P-3-GENEVA) as the subject in your e-mail of application.

Please note that applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Applicants will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration

Additional information

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