Joining UNDP:
Junior Professional Officer
CIMO Information Event
Helsinki, September 2011
What is UNDP?
UNDP is the United Nations' global development network:
• Advocating for change
• Connecting countries to knowledge, experience and
• to help people build a better life.
Strong values:
Commitment to working with the world’s most
marginalized peoples,
Professionalism & flexibility
Integrity &respect for diversity
Over 8,000 staff members worldwide
(Headquarters in New York, over 135 Offices in the Field)
UNDP’s overall objective
“The achievements of the MDGs is firmly at
the centre of our agenda. Everything we do
should contribute directly or indirectly to
those objectives.”
Ms Helen Clark, Administrator of UNDP
“All UNDP activities should aim at one end result: real
improvements in people’s lives and in the choices and
opportunities open to them.”
UNDP Strategic Plan 2008 – 2013
UNDP’s field of action
UNDP’s Practice Areas:
• Democratic Governance
• Poverty Reduction
• Crisis Prevention & Recovery
• Environment and Energy
Cross-Cutting Themes:
• Women's Empowerment
• Capacity Development
• The Human Development Report
MDG – reality check
How many children are enrolled in primary education
in the developing world?
o 49 %
o 69 %
o 89 %
89 %
MDG – reality check
How large a proportion of the world population have
access to drinking water?
o 47 %
o 67 %
o 87 %
87 %
MDG – reality check
Which country has the highest and the lowest
child mortality rate?
o Sri Lanka
o Turkey
o Estonia
• Turkey has the highest
child mortality rate – it is
more than the double of
Sri Lanka’s
• 32 out of 1000 children in
Turkey die before their fifth
birthday. In Sri Lanka it is
13 out of 1000.
• The child mortality rates in Estonia and USA are at the
same level – 9 deaths for every 1000 living born
Entry Points into UNDP
Regular short-term or longer-term contracts
Junior Professional Officers (JPOs)
Leadership Development Programme (LEAD): next in mid-2012.
Key element of UNDP’s succession management strategy
(but limited number of posts: 8 for Developed Countries on average)
United Nations Volunteers (UNVs)
About internships:
• Non-remunerated, limited to students who have not finished their
• Decentralized selection process
• An excellent learning opportunity, but not an entry point as such
JPO Programme Objectives
JPOs are young professionals with an academic background
working in the field of development all over the world for a period
of one to three years.
• Financed by donor countries, which usually sponsor their own
• To provide UNDP with talented young professionals to contribute
to the objectives of the organization
• To give exposure and build capacities among young professionals
to work in the area of development cooperation
• To build a network of development practitioners
The UNDP JPO Programme
in a Few Figures
17 active Donor Countries, usually only sponsoring their nationals
168 JPOs (average of 50 new JPOs each year)
43 Special Assistants to the Resident Coordinator (equivalent to senior JPOs)
90 Duty Stations, 21 Nationalities, average age: 31 years
Post-JPO Career Development Support
Career Counselling:
•Pre-departure briefing
•One-to-one / remote advice sessions
•Career Management website:
•JPO thematic Workshops
•Mentoring Activities
•JPO Alumni Association (JAA): 1800 members
•Online discussion groups (JPO-Net, Facebook & LinkedIn groups)
•Directory of current and former JPOs
Job Search:
•Advocacy towards potential internal/external employers
•Weekly Job Ads bulletin
•Online CV Roster on which JPO CVs can be uploaded
JPO Career Paths
• In 2001-2009, 50% of over 700 UNDP JPOs were retained (35%
still work with the UN & 15% now work elsewhere)
• Former JPOs account for at least 15% of the current UNDP
professional staff
• One in four current UN Resident Coordinators are former JPOs
• 25% returned to their home countries to continue work in the
field of international cooperation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
NGOs, consultancy companies, research)
• 10% continued their career in the private sector
• Grasp career opportunities: needs for staff in crisis countries
and in the field in general, needs for specialists, flexibility (in
terms of contracts, moves, lifestyle)
Follow-up Discussion
Questions and comments are welcome
Thank you for your attention!
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