The Junior Professional Officer programme or Associate Expert Programme is a multilateral technical cooperation initiative intended for young people, interested in acquiring experience in the development field, sponsored by their respective governments. At the same time, the programme assists the international organizations in their technical cooperation activities by providing JPO services in development initiatives.
For more information on eligibility criteria, how to apply, donor countries contact information, minimum requirements, vacancies please consult http://www.jposc.org/ or http://esa.un.org/techcoop/associate_experts.asp.
At UNITAR, the JPO Programme may be administered jointly with the UNDP JPO Service Centre in Copenhagen or UNDESA. In cases when UNITAR has signed specific agreements with the donor countries, the Programme is administered directly by the Human Resources section of UNITAR.
The usual length of assignment at UNITAR is two years. JPOs are initially offered one-year fixed-term contracts which are normally renewed for a second year subject to satisfactory performance. In some cases, donors agree to prolong their sponsoring for more than two years based on a cost sharing with UNITAR.
During the last 20 years, JPO positions at UNITAR were sponsored by the following governments: Germany (8), Austria (2), France (2), Japan (2), Spain (2), Italy (1), Agence de la Francophonie (1). The retention rate was 85%.
As a training Institute, UNITAR put special emphasis on the Training component of the JPO Programme. In addition to the on-the-job training throughout the two or three year assignment at UNITAR, JPOs are given the opportunity to take part in the collective internal training courses and seminars organized for all UNITAR staff depending on the learning objectives decided upon with their supervisors at the time when the work plan and development plans are established.