Programme Analyst (Junior Professional Officer (JPO) - Swiss nationals only


A. General Information

POST TITLE: Programme Analyst (Junior Professional Officer (JPO)

SECTOR: Adolescent and Youth Development with a focus on adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights.

OFFICE: UNFPA country office

DUTY STATION: Pretoria, Republic of South Africa (family duty station)


CONTRACT TYPE: Fixed-term appointment (JPO)

DURATION: One year initially with the possibility to extend for a second year, subject to satisfactory performance (probation period: one year). Extension for a third year (possibly at HQ in New York or in a Regional Office) will depend on availability of financial resources and the candidate’s performance.

The UNFPA Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme is intended to provide on-the-job training for young professionals who wish to obtain practical experience in development assistance. It gives them an opportunity to acquire professional knowledge in population programmes in a developing country.

B. Supervision

Under the overall guidance of the UNFPA Representative, the Technical Specialist (HIV and SRH integration) for technical and programmatic issues, and the JPO Focal Point at the UNFPA Headquarters for career development and administrative issues.

Content and Methodology of Supervision:

  1. Job-related guidance in a timely, constructive and appropriate manner is provided on a continuous basis;
  2. The functions of all staff and what is required of the JPO and how this relates to the overall mandate of UNFPA will be explained;
  3. All necessary information, rules, policies, equipment and other tools required will be provided;
  4. The JPO will have opportunities to use his/her skills and abilities fully and to contribute to the work of the office to the best of his/her abilities;
  5. Supervisors will take an overall interest in the JPO’s development and provide encouragement and advice on how the JPO can realize his/her potential;
  6. There will be opportunities for the JPO to express his/her views and opinions on work- related matters on an ongoing basis.

C. Job purpose:

In line with UNFPA strategic plan, UNFPA Cooperate strategy on Adolescents and Youth, South Africa/UN Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNSCF) and UNFPA Country Programme, related programme guidelines and procedures, the JPO ensures the effective management of UNFPA supported activities in the areas of Adolescent and Youth development in the context of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and gender equality. S/he manages programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, joint programming initiatives in the support of government priorities, while working in an integrated and collaborative manner with the Country Office’s programme and operations staff.

D. Duties and Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with Government counterparts, NGOs and other partners, the JPO manages the formulation and implementation of the Adolescents and Youth development programme component in line with Government priorities and according to UNFPA policies and procedures;
  • Oversees achievement of programme results by ensuring appropriate policies and procedures are applied, and appropriate monitoring and oversight mechanisms and systems are established and implemented. This includes but is not limited to: development of work plans, initiating and monitoring activity implementation (as appropriate) and assuring both narrative and financial reporting by both Implementing Partners and UNFPA country office;
  • Closely monitors programme implementation progress in UNFPA focus districts within KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape provinces and undertakes follow-up actions where necessary. Reports frequently in writing and orally on programme progress, challenges, and bottlenecks and suggests remedial action in a timely manner;
  • Reviews the political, social and economic environment relevant to adolescents and youth development and pursues opportunities for UNFPA assistance and intervention;
  • Provides programmatic and technical assistance to adolescents & youth programme Implementing Partners including ensuring application of relevant policies, and appropriate monitoring and evaluation of programme activities as well as addressing capacity gaps in the area of adolescents and youth Development;
  • Provides substantive inputs into development of partnerships and collaboration with other UN agencies, particularly with implementing partners, independent experts,
  • government counterparts and other UN agencies to facilitate timely and efficient delivery of programme inputs;
  • Ensures the generation and documentation of knowledge (including strategic information on current and emerging sexual and reproductive health issues as it relates to adolescents and youth), .e.g. fact sheets, policy briefs and reports about/on current and emerging adolescent and youth development programmes through the analysis of programmes, projects, information/data on programme priorities, strategies, approaches and ongoing experience, lessons learned, best practices, and uses this knowledge for information sharing and planning future interventions strategies for adolescents and youth health and development and helping inform national and sectoral policy development and/or revisions, advocacy, resource mobilization and accountability;.
  • Actively participates and contributes to resource mobilization efforts of the Country Office by ensuring identification of potential funding sources, donor profiling preparation of funding concept notes, proposals, donor reports and participating in related donor meetings;
  • In liaison with the communication and partnerships programme officer, and other relevant programme staff, prepares relevant thematic background documentation, i.e. programme summaries, briefing notes, talking points, speeches and other communication materials and participates in public information events;
  • Organizes at least one annual high-level event/dialogue/seminar/critical thinking forum/symposium in partnership with government and other partners, on South Africa’s adolescents and youth development agenda (broadly or narrowing in on an aspect like Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender Equality, etc.);
  • Acts at the country office day-to-day focal point and liaison officer with government counterparts, NGOs, UN entities and programme implementing partners in the area of adolescents and youth development, advocating for appropriate focus on this thematic areas, in line with UNFPA cooperate strategy;
  • Works closely with the Technical Specialist and National Programme Officer, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and other programme staff in providing technical assistance and programmatic support to government and NGO partners in relevant youth sectors including social development, health, basic education, in order to improve the quality and accessibility of gender-sensitive, age appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services for in and out-of-school youth.
  • Integrates into on-going and new UNFPA strategic partnerships including with adolescents and young women, youth networks, civil society and faith-based organizations, an adolescent and youth angle thereby continually ensuring the mainstreaming of youth development within UNFPA’s assistance
  • Works collaboratively with other programme colleagues to ensure that adolescents and youth development issues are mainstreamed across thematic areas of UNFPA work.
  • Leads UNFPA efforts in promoting meaningful Adolescents and Youth participation in policy and programme development and implementation, specifically through the Youth Advisory Panel and other appropriate local and regional platforms and mechanisms.
  • Promotes South-South cooperation for the achievement of UNFPA goals in Adolescents and Youth Development and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action
  • Performs any other duties as directed by the Representative to ensure the success of the country programme.

D. Qualifications, Experience and competencies:

  1. Postgraduate degree in health or social sciences or related fields is required. Knowledge in the field of sexual and reproductive health including adolescent and youth development and or programming is desired.
  2. At least 3 years of relevant programme/project management experience, including 2 years of experience in sexual and reproductive health with some exposure to adolescents and youth health and/or development is required. Experience in a developing country is an asset.
  3. Skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis, as well as in monitoring and evaluation methodologies are an asset
  4. Fluency in English is mandatory.
  5. Ability to write clearly and concisely in English is essential.
  6. Proficiency in computer skills, particularly in current office software applications
  7. Innovation and proactivity with sound judgment and demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with different nationalities and cultural backgrounds
  8. Core competencies: Working in teams; Knowledge Sharing; Self and Conflict management; Analytical and Strategic Thinking
  9. Functional competencies: Leveraging the resources of national governments & partners/Building strategic alliances; Results-based programme development and management; Technical knowledge, Innovation and marketing of new approaches;

E. Learning Elements

Upon completion of the two-year assignment, the JPO will be able to:

  • Appraise, prepare and manage projects and multi-sector programmes on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, rights and development including: developing project proposals and implementation work plans, writing progress reports, developing knowledge sharing pieces including good practice case studies, lesson learnt pieces and media related articles.
  • Develop effective monitoring indicators and research agendas around youth development and accountability frameworks for mainstreaming adolescent and youth across a number of key sectors.
  • Prepare and monitor programme budgets.
  • Undertake stakeholder engagement on policy and programme development/review in the context of middle income developing country
  • Undertake desktop reviews, analyse relevant documents, prepare analytic documents, strategic policy and programmatic briefs/messages/talking points around youth development and oral and written presentations.
  • Establish strategic partnerships around youth development and improve skills in working with the UN system
F. Corporate Competencies

Valuing Diversity
Demonstrates an international outlook, appreciates differences in values and learns from cultural diversity. Takes actions appropriate to the religious and cultural context. Continually examines his/her own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses.

Working in Teams
Works collaboratively with colleagues inside UNFPA as well as UNFPA partners and other stakeholders. Supports the decisions of the team even when it is not his/her preferred solution. Proactively pursues solutions to team problems and asks for help when needed. Pursues achievement of common goals.

Integrity/ Commitment to the mandate
Acts in accordance with UN/UNFPA values. Holds himself/herself accountable for actions taken within the given responsibilities and supervision. Does what he/she says he/she will do. Places UNFPA interest first and foremost, including resisting political and personal pressure.

Self and conflict management
Remains calm, collected and patient, regardless of circumstances. Responds effectively to stress and situations of ambiguity or crisis. Adapts flexibly to changing situations or to overcome obstacles. Listens and responds appropriately to criticism.

Communicating information and ideas
Communicates clearly and effectively. Seeks to understand the ideas of others. Helps create an environment for open communication. Delivers oral/written information in a timely, effective and easily understood manner. Prepares written material in a manner that requires little or no corrections or editing by others.

G. Background information

There are over 1.8 billion young people in the world today, 90 per cent of whom live in developing countries. Nearly half live in low-income countries, while another third live in lower middle-income countries. The remaining fifth of youth live in upper middle- and high-income countries. Approximately 238 million youth live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 a day); 462 million youth survive on less than US$2 a day. About 255 million young people live in the 19 countries with the largest poverty gaps; 15 of these 19 countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. Further, it is estimated that, in the 49 countries classified as having a high proportion of undernourished people, 110 million youth live in 

hunger. About 133 million youth in the world are illiterate. And youth comprise 41 percent of the world's unemployed people. While millions of youth lack access to basic services, and are subject to harmful practices, violence, abuse and denial of their human rights and dignity, still they represent a huge untapped potential. Strategic investments in the social protection, health, education, and livelihoods skills of youth not only promotes social justice but is also essential for achieving internationally-agreed development goals, human rights norms and other global commitments.

South Africa’s population is estimated at 54 Million , 55% of the population is below 35 years and of that 28% is aged 10-24 years (Stats SA Mid-year population estimates: 2015). If this large population is educated and healthy and has access to economic opportunities, it has the potential to yield a demographic dividend.

With nine provinces, with 283 municipalities (8 metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities and 231 local municipalities) as administrative units, the country is often called “A World in One Country” because of the contrast between its technologically advanced cities and run-down informal settlements; an advanced economy rivalling that of the developed world co-existing with another that has only the most basic infrastructure; and the variety of people and cultures that make up the South African ‘rainbow’ nation1.

The second leading economy in Sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria, South Africa is classified as an upper middle-income country (MIC). Although only getting itself free from apartheid rule just over 2 decades ago, it has made positive strides in both the private and public sectors. Despite its middle income status, having enacted progressive legislation, and put in place a comprehensive long-term vision and development plan it is still characterized by socio-economic inequities. The social and economic indicators have been significantly better than most in region, and were progressing positively for most, save for the emergence of epidemics such as HIV and AIDs and related sexual and interpersonal violence, which the country is fast moving to reduce new cases while implementing a successful treatment plan and strategy.

South Africa’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress report 2015, notes that while the levels and depth of poverty have been declining, inequality in the country remains high. The Report further highlights that the majority of young people (50.7%) are living in poverty, with the age group 18 to 24 accounting for 15.3% of the poor in 2011. Unemployment among youth is over 60%. Access to good quality sexual and reproductive information and services that recognize the special needs of young people is limited.

South Africa continues to face a quadraple burden of disease: HIV/AIDS and TB; Maternal mortality, Non Communicable diseases (diseases of life style) and Violence & it’s associated injuries. Many young people in South Africa face life-changing challenges (HIV and AIDS, adolescent pregnancy, gender based violence, interpersonal violence, injuries (such as Road Traffic Accidents) drug and alcohol use, suicide and mental ill health, etc.) that can have serious implications for their health and broader development outcomes. These are further fuelled by complex and interconnected socio-economic determinants such poverty, inequality, unemployment, stigma and limited access to quality education and adolescent and youth friendly information and health services. Although the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is relatively low in adolescents, the high prevalence of risk factors in young South Africans, such as health-related 

behaviors and conditions, including over-nutrition and a sedentary life-style, is set to fuel the ongoing increase in prevalence of the diseases of lifestyle during adult life2.
Sexual and gender based violence continues to be a huge concern to both government and communities. In a 2009 survey conducted in Eastern Cape and KZN, 27.6% of men admitted they had raped a woman or girl, whilst 14.3% disclosed raping a current or ex- girlfriend. Furthermore, various studies have highlighted the interface with HIV as positive women experience more abuse than women who do not live with the virus. The Medical Research Council (MRC) reported that Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention efforts are very critical in reversing HIV prevalence, as an estimated 16% of HIV in women could be preventable if there was no intimate partner violence. 

Although the Statistics South Africa Community Survey (2007) indicated a decline in adolescent fertility by 10 per cent between 1996 (78 per 1000); 2001 (65 per 1000) and 2007 (54 per 1000) it remains very high. According to the Statistics South Africa Household survey 2013, about 4.5 percent of adolescent girls between the ages of 13 and 19 were reported pregnant in 2013. Relatedly, adolescents (under 20) and young women (20-24) make up 40.6% of the total general pregnant population, but also constitute the age band with the highest institutional Maternal Mortality Rate (iMMR). The 6th triennial report on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in South Africa (2011 -2013) indicated that adolescent girls, less than 20 years are at increased risk of dying from complications of pregnancy-related hypertension and anesthetic related complications. The evidence from population-based HIV prevalence surveys in South Africa indicates that infection rates in this age group have been consistently declining in the country, from 10.3% in 2005 to 7.3% in 2012, although it remains disproportionately high in girls, compared to boys.

The country has a multiplicity of policies, frameworks and strategies that reflect to a large extent issues of concern to adolescents and youth. The most recent is the National Youth Policy 2016-2020, released by the Presidency in June 2015. However many of the challenges overlap across sectors, and there is often no clear definition of roles, responsibilities and accountability. The main challenges lie in policy implementation with- in and across sectors and at multiple levels of the government system (national, provincial, and local government), and in the monitoring of the policies.

The recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity for policy review, consolidation and alignment in order to effectively respond to the varying needs of young people.

The United Nations youth agenda is based on the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), which was adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 and provides a global policy framework for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people around the world. The WPAY covers fifteen youth priority areas for action:- education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, substance abuse, juvenile justice, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and the full and effective participation of youth in the life of society and in decision-making, as well as globalization, information and communication technologies, HIV and AIDS, armed conflict, and intergenerational issues.

The WPAY focuses in particular on measures to strengthen national capacities in the field of youth and to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to young people for full, effective and constructive participation in society. In July 2011, on the occasion of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Youth, twenty six (26) Principals of UN agencies that make up the UN Inter-agency Network on Youth development (IANYD) signed a joint agreement pledging to make young people a priority of their agency’s work and increase the effectiveness of the United Nations as a collective in advocating for and supporting national effort to accelerate the implementation of international agreements and development goals as they relate to adolescents and youth .

The UNFPA Pretoria Country Office works as part of the UN System in South Africa under a Government/ UN strategic Cooperation framework (SCF). UNFPA specifically ensures that sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to national initiatives to promote social economic development in the context of the Country’s national development plan - Vision 2030 and through the implementation of the UNFPA 4th Country Programe (CP) of cooperation (2013-2017). The UNFPA office is staffed with a team of 21, of which 5 team members are based in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape satellite office.

While the team works as an integrated whole on SRHR, population dynamics, gender equality and the advancement of women and young people, this position will focus especially on adolescent and youth development (including sexual and reproductive health and HIV) and work closely with a team of technical/programme colleagues.

The incumbent is expected to show initiative and work closely with the entire Programme team including those working in other sectors (population and development, HIV and AIDS, integration, knowledge management and M&E, gender equality) and also maintain constructive collaborative partnership with the Operations team.

H. Information about living conditions at the duty station

  • Pretoria is a family duty station and is considered to be fairly safe for a populated urban city, with the exception of frequent cases of petty crime and opportunistic snatch and grab incidents.
  • Accommodation is easy to find and for new staff, support would be provided to identify a housing agent to assist in getting safe and secure housing facilities.
  • Pretoria has pleasant weather with notable rainy, hot and cold seasons.
  • UNFPA has field presence in two Provinces – KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape and the JPO would be required to travel to support these provinces, as needed.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
  • Location: Pretoria
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-10

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