Associate Programme Officer [Temporary] At United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)


Org. Setting and ReportingThis position is located in the UNODC Programme Office in Ghana (POGHA), with duty station in Accra, Ghana, Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN), Division for Operations (DO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The Associate Programme Officer will work under the overall guidance of the UNODC Regional Representative, ROSEN, and the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator in POGHA.

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ResponsibilitiesAs part of the UNODC Strategy, the Programme Office in Ghana (POGHA) is implementing various projects in West Africa, including on promoting comprehensive and gender-responsive penal and prison reforms to reduce the overuse of imprisonment, prison overcrowding and other prison challenges, including radicalization and violent extremism in prisons. The technical assistance in Ghana mainly focuses on strengthening the capacity of relevant state bodies to bring legislation and practices in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. In this context the Associate Programme Officer will assist in providing substantive and technical support for the implementation of technical assistance in Ghana. Within limits of assigned authority, the Associate Programme Officer will be responsible for the following specific duties:

• Assist in coordinating the day-to-day implementation of programme activities from substantive, administrative and financial points of view resulting in holistic and cross-practiced programme implementation.

• Provide substantive and technical support to the implementation and assessment of the programme including collection and compilation of relevant background information and statistic data.

• Undertake all necessary measures for planning and implementation of the strategies and activities as outlined in the technical assistance documents.

• Assist in monitoring all aspects of programme implementation and identify challenges and propose corrective actions to expedite implementation.

• Draft detailed work plans, accompanying budgets and budget revisions for all activities.

• Prepare monthly/semi-annual/annual progress reports on programme implementation, as well as summary of achievements report and donor reports.

• Prepare required documentation and inputs including background information, briefing notes, welcoming remarks, presentations, as well as provide inputs for relevant documents as required.

• Provide general administrative, financial and procurement support for the delivery of technical assistance and manage all financial and administrative processes to ensure timely completion and compliance with UN rules and regulations.

• Undertake associated desk research, field / monitoring missions within the framework of programme implementation.

• Procure goods and services to initiate activities, including drafting TORs and work specifications jointly with programme support unit / operations to ensure qualitative and objective procurement of services.

• Support the exchange of knowledge and promising practices in the practical application of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules) and other documents.

• Ensure effective liaison with stakeholders and counterparts (national government agencies, civil society organizations, research institutes, donor community, etc.) actively engaged in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice at the national and regional levels.

• Together with the Project Coordinator in POGHA, contribute to the development of funding proposals and other relevant programme-related documents, including contribution to substantive correspondence for a) resource mobilization, b) partnership building, c) reporting.

• Coordinate thematic activities with UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN) and UNODC Headquarters.

• Increase creative and innovative communication on promoting comprehensive and gender responsive penal and prison reforms as a tool to showcase the impact of UNODC technical assistance and increase visibility, accountability, programmatic success and internal coherence.

• Contribute to the collection and analysis of data and identification of trends or patterns and provide draft insights through graphs, charts, tables and reports using data visualization methods for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Document requirements and background information used for data analysis.

• Perform other work-related duties, as required. Competencies

• Professionalism: Has knowledge of, and ability to apply financial rules, regulations and procedures in the United Nations environment. Has knowledge of internal policies, processes and procedures generally and in particular those related to programme/project administration, implementation and evaluation, technical cooperation, programming and budgeting. Is able to identify and resolve a range of issues/problems and to work well with figures, undertake basic research and gather information from standard sources. Demonstrates ability to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given. Has ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. 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.
• Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
• Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others; ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. Education

Advanced university degree in political science, social science, economics, international relations, law, or related field is required. A first-level university in similar fields with additional two years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Work Experience

A minimum of two (2) years of progressively responsible professional experience in project management and implementation in the field of crime prevention, criminal justice and/or law enforcement is required.

Work experience at the national and/or regional levels in the field of crime prevention, criminal justice and/or law enforcement is desirable.

Experience in prison and offender management is desirable.

Work experience within the United Nations system and/or another international organization is desirable.

Work experience in delivering workshops/training courses for criminal justice officials (e.g. prison and/or probation officers), is desirable.

Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This temporary position is available for six months. Actual filling of this position and actual duration of the assignment is subject to availability of funding. If the selected candidate is an internal staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection may be administered as a temporary assignment.

While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Candidates for the National Professional Officer category shall be of the nationality of the country where this position is located.


United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.

By accepting a letter of appointment, staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). Further, staff members in the Professional and higher category up to and including the D-2 level and the Field Service category are normally required to move periodically to discharge functions in different duty stations under conditions established in ST/AI/2023/3 on Mobility, as may be amended or revised. This condition of service applies to all position specific job openings and does not apply to temporary positions.

Applicants are urged to carefully follow all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira, and to refer to the Applicant Guide by clicking on “Manuals” in the “Help” tile of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

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July 2024