NEWS: Apply for the UN Volunteer Programme Officer pool - last application date 15 August

Unv refugees volontaires en action  small

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Now UNV will work together with UNjobfinder in a new campaign to find UNV Programme Officers (UNV PO). To apply you must hold a master's degree, at least 5 years relevant experience and fluency in English + additional languages is an asset. Read this article to learn about the functions of the UNV PO and what makes your application stand out of the crowd.

The application for the UNV Programme is open from July 1 - August 15, 2016. Click here to apply!

The United Nations Volunteer Programme Officers (UNV PO) are the senior country level representatives with the goal to ensure and deliver key results of the UNV Strategic Framework. UNV has approximately 70 Programme Officers in the field.

Now UNV have set up a campaign with the aim to build a pool of Programme Officers (UNV PO).  In this article we describe what a pool/roster is, but in brief words a pool is defined as a list of pre-assessed and endorsed candidates that can be hired for similar positions without a new competitive process. The selection process for the Pool may include:

  • telephone screening/video interviewing,
  • technical assessments and competency based interviews.

Once the UNV Programme Officer pool is established, placement exercises will be conducted at least twice per year to select candidates to fill vacancies.


The role of the UNV PO

While working in close collaboration with a Portfolio Manager at UNV headquarters in Bonn, the UNV PO normally reports to the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative (Programme) at country level. Generally a UNV PO have three main key functions:

  1. Advocacy and Partnership Building
  2. Programme Development and Management
  3. Volunteer Mobilization and Management

More information about these three functions is spelled out in the Description of Assignment (DOA) - (DOA is the UNV acronym for Job Description).

Read more: Former UNV Programme Offiers shares their stories and experiences


What you need to apply?

This campaign is not aiming at get as many applicants as possible, the focus is to get as many qualified and educated applicants as possible. We are looking for applicants having the following profile:

  • Master’s degree in social sciences, political science, public or business administration, economics or related fields
  • 5 years of relevant professional experience and proven track record in managing and implementing programmes in the context of development or in the area of humanitarian relief or in crisis management. Work experience with the United Nations is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Bilingual candidates English/French, English/Spanish, English/Portuguese are specifically encouraged to apply. 


What makes my application succeed?

To succeed you should bring the recruiter's attention to activities in the past that proves your commitment to volunteerism. When applying for a field based organization also hands-on work experience from challenging work environments is advantageous. The recruiter would search for any proof and value signs of resilience. As a recruiter, I know that my colleagues, when an applicant has met the minimum requirements (in this case 5 years’ experience, master’s degree and English), they would quickly go through your background experience and look for;

  • any previous/current volunteer experience;
  • any hands-on hardship experience (previous/current work/volunteer experience in crisis countries, or post-conflict / peacekeeping context);
  • relevant field experience from a development context;
  • bilangual - specifically English/French, English/Spanish, English/Portuguese but also other language combinations such as Arabic/French, Arabic/English, Portuguese, Russian could also be an asset.
  • any UNV experience (as long as the maximum duration of service is not exceeded);
  • any experience from other organizations that serves in similar contexts WFP, UNHCR, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, Save the Children, ICRC, IRC, NRC, DRC, IOM etc;
  • any professional UN staff experience;
  • any other UN experiences as staff, consultants, service contracts or similar;


Are UN Volunteers staff of the United Nations?

As a UNV Programme Officer you serve under the conditions of service of an International Volunteer. You are not a staff member of the UN. UN Volunteers serve for a limited period of time on specific assignments. However, UN Volunteers and UN staff share common goals such as supporting peace and development.

As a UN volunteer you are compensated to cover the cost of living while at assignment. This allowance is called Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA). More about the VLA can be found at the bottom of the DOA.


The application for the UNV Programme is open from July 1 - August 15, 2016. Click here to apply!

Photo: Registration of CAR refugees at the Manjou public school, in the town of Bertoua. National UN volunteer, Mahmoudou Ben Bello, Community Services assistant is registerging new refugees, updating information and assessing their special needs. By Rakotondrazafy A. M. Ny Aina/UNV