Junior Professional Officer (JPO) for Public Information and Disaster Risk Reduction at P2 level, Geneva, Switzerland (Re-Solicitation)

US Agency for International Development

I. Overview

Through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), the United States sponsors qualified U.S. citizens for employment in the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program.

These fully funded JPO positions strengthen the capacity of UNDRR, and further encourage U.S. citizens to become active members of the international community. After completing their JPO assignments, a number of JPOs successfully compete for positions at UNDRR and in other international and non-governmental organizations.

II. General Information

Title: Program Management Officer

Organization: UNDRR Communication, Advocacy and Knowledge Management Section

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Date Required: As soon as possible

Duration: One year (with possible extension for another year)

III. Duties, Responsibilities, and Output Expectations

Within delegated authority, the Program Management Officer:

  • Supports the Head of Campaigns and Community in implementing global communications campaigns on key topics such as climate change and central corporate activities such as the Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience.
  • Drafts/compiles information communications and corporate products for target audiences, to include press releases, media packets and reports, brochures, briefings, video clips, newsletters, and websites.
  • Organizes the clearance, production, and distribution of information material, and conducts photo and graphic research.
  • Prepares, on the basis of official United Nations (UN) documentation and other sources, initial drafts of articles or chapters for inclusion in UN newsletters, periodicals, reports, and books.
  • In consultation with others, identifies and proposes information opportunities, activities and approaches, taking into account the situation/topic and target audience.
  • Identifies key contacts/constituencies and opportunities for strategic partnerships to facilitate communication efforts and maintains working relationships with the same.
  • Organizes or participates in the organization of conferences, seminars, press briefings, and interviews, and prepares briefing materials for senior officials prior to their participation in such events.
  • Responds to a variety of inquiries and information requests internally and externally.
  • Supports the five UNDRR Regional Offices in the implementation of regional communications strategies.
  • Working closely with the Content and Channels Unit, promotes regional and global events on UNDRR’s media and social channels.
  • Keeps regular contact and liaises with UN Headquarters and other UN agencies, funds, and programmes and UNDRR partners on global communication campaigns.
  • Identifies, manages and assesses the work of consultants and other vendors working on campaigns and corporate initiatives.
  • Performs other duties as required.

IV. Supervision

The JPO will report to the Head of Campaigns and Community.

Content and methodology of supervision:

  • Establishment of a Work Plan: During the first month of the assignment, the JPO will work jointly with his/her direct supervisor to finalize an agreed upon work plan.
  • Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate the JPO’s performance. In addition, the JPO will meet periodically (weekly preferred/or on mutual availability of the JPO and the supervisor) with the supervisor to keep him/her updated on the progress.

V. Qualifications and Experience


Advanced university degree in communication, journalism, international relations, public administration, or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience:

A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in communication campaigns or managing public information output for an international organization or similar is required. Experience in the field of disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action, climate change, or sustainable development is desirable. Experience in writing, journalism, media relations, marketing, or public relations is desirable.


Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a second UN official language is desirable.

Other Skills:

Experience in the use of computers and proficiency in office software and packages, as well as good knowledge of and experience in handling web-based management systems.

United Nations (UN) Competencies:

Professionalism: Ability to plan, execute and monitor public communication campaigns, e.g. campaign management, market research, message targeting, impact evaluation. Ability to research and analyze issues and topics related to current events. Ability to draft and compile a variety of written communication products in a clear, concise style. Ability to interact with the public to build and maintain effective business connections. 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

Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.

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.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.

Workforce Diversity:

The United Nations believes that an inclusive culture attracts the best talent and encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural or religious backgrounds, to apply.

VI. Learning Elements

On completion of the assignment, the JPO will have/be able to:

  • Develop and implement communication strategies and campaigns on a range of disaster risk reduction issues;
  • Develop strategic partnerships within multiple sectors and maintain effective networks;
  • Write a range of public information products such as press releases, book forewords, key messages, and media advisories;
  • Track, research, and analyze information on assigned topics/issues;
  • Gather information from diverse sources and help to evaluate the effectiveness of information campaigns;
  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of social media data analysis;
  • Understand the strategic impact that communications can make towards achieving organizational objectives;
  • Demonstrate strong knowledge of the UN system and multilateral collaboration, with exposure to senior UN officials and across multiple offices within UNDRR;
  • Liaise and interact with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally;
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of UN and other intergovernmental work processes in sustainable development, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and preparedness for response;
  • Draft strategy papers;
  • Draft project proposals.

VII. Background Information

Created in December 1999, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is the designated focal point in the UN system for the coordination of efforts to reduce disasters and to ensure synergies among the disaster reduction activities of the UN and regional organizations and activities in both developed and less developed countries.

Led by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (SRSG), UNDRR has over 100 staff located in its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and in its regional offices. UNDRR has five regional offices—in Asia (Bangkok), Africa (Nairobi), Europe (Brussels), Arab States (Cairo), and Americas and the Caribbean (Panama City). UNDRR also maintains a UN Headquarters liaison office in New York, a liaison office in Bonn, and field presence in Kobe, Suva, and Incheon.

Specifically, UNDRR guides, monitors, analyses, and reports on progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and supports regional and national implementation of the Framework. UNDRR catalyzes action and increases global awareness to reduce disaster risk working with UN Member States and a broad range of partners and stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians, and the science and technology community.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. It was adopted on March 18, 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan. The Sendai Framework established a clear mandate for building resilience to disasters as a common denominator across the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In line with the Sendai Framework, UNDRR seeks to achieve the following four key results, as set out in its Strategic Framework 2022-2025:

  • Countries use quality risk information and analysis to reduce risk and inform development decisions;
  • Disaster risk reduction governance strengthened at global, regional, national, and local levels;
  • Catalyze investment and action in disaster risk reduction through partnership and engagement; and
  • Support Member States and mobilize stakeholders through advocacy and knowledge sharing to make disaster risk reduction central to sustainable development.

How to apply

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Applicants must be no older than 32 years of age as of December 31 of the year of application.

The JPO Program selection process is carried out jointly by USAID/BHA and UNDRR.

To apply please send the following to [email protected]:

  1. completed UN Personal History Statement (P11) (see link below);
  2. resume (CV) and;
  3. cover letter to explain your interest in this position.

Please state which position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. If you wish to apply for multiple USAID/BHA-sponsored JPO positions, please complete a Personal History Statement (P11) for each position and submit these to us in separate emails with the appropriate subject heading.

Application Details:

Please complete the UN Personal History Statement (P11) thoroughly. The P11 provides the opportunity to include all required information in one document, including your professional work experience and references. Please attach a cover letter to explain your interest in the position and interest in working with the UN, along with a general resume. The P11 has instructions on how to complete the profile; however, please be sure to also follow the additional instructions below:

  • The P11 must be completed in English only. You can find the P11 form on the USAID/BHA Jobs website.
  • You may leave the signature/date sections blank at this time. If selected for a JPO position, you will then need to submit a signed version.
  • Do not submit a photograph.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 29, 2024, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

For more information please consult the USAID/BHA Jobs website.

Deadline: 29 Feb 2024

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