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National Post: Programme Associate, Johannesburg, South Africa, GS7



This post is non-rotational.

Duty Station:   East & Southern Africa Regional Office, Johannesburg, South Africa

Closing Date:  2 December 2020 (5pm, Johannesburg time)

Duration:         One year (*)

Post Type:       Fixed Term Appointment

Please note that this vacancy is open to nationals of South Africa, Non-Nationals with Permanent Residents or Holders of Valid Work Permits for South Africa.

*No expectancy of renewal in accordance with UN Staff Regulation 4.5 

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Organizational Setting


The Position:

Under the supervision of the Regional Programme Specialist, and in collaboration with the Head, Middle Income Country Technical Hub, the Programme Associate position provides strategic support to evidence-based planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of regional interventions undertaken by the two teams.

The Programme Associate will work closely with team members within the Programme Coordination and Quality Assurance Unit (PCU) and Middle Income Country (MIC) Technical Hub, which provide integrated programme and technical support through a systems strengthening approach, that is fundamental to UNFPA’s corporate strategy. The Programme Associate will also work in close collaboration with the Operations Unit and other units in the Regional office as may be applicable.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on laying the foundation for the pathway towards achieving three transformative results by 2030, namely: ending preventable maternal deaths; ending unmet need for family planning; and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices. Transition into the next Strategic Plan cycle (2022-2025) within the SDG Decade of Action is critical, as UNFPA and its partners seek to consolidate gains achieved and accelerate actions towards 2030.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The Programme Associate contributes to effective development, implementation, monitoring and reporting of regional and country programmes in the East and Southern Africa region by providing support in the following areas:

  • Evidence-based design and planning;
  • Performance management and oversight
  • Knowledge Management
  • Financial, administrative and other operational support.

The Programme Associate will establish and maintain conducive working relations with Programme Assistants and Associates, as well as staff within the East and Southern Africa Regional Office, ESA Country Office colleagues, officers at Headquarters, and other Regional Offices, and partners involved in the regional programme implementation. Promote achievement of common goals and shared objectives, and demonstrate personal commitment to UNFPA’s mandate and organizational vision. The incumbent may be required to respond to non-routine queries and provide explanations on matters which may be complex requiring thorough knowledge of corporate policies and procedures of the organization.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities


The Programme Associate will be required to undertake the following:

Evidence-based design and planning

  • Assist in the evidence-based planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting of interventions supported by the PCU and MIC Technical Hub towards achieving measurable results;
  • Establish programme planning information and schedules of country and regional programme cycles to guide responsive actions by the two teams;
  • Compile basic data to support preparation of periodic progress reports of the aforementioned processes.

Programme Management and Oversight

  • Contribute to oversight functions of the Regional Office by maintaining schedules of programme and management audits within the region;
  • Contribute to ensuring compliance of programmes/projects with organizational guidelines;
  • Contribute to the analysis of programme portfolio reviews guided by corporate tools and dashboard across management oversight related topics/themes;
  • Prepare relevant reports, on regional and country programme implementation, as well as support consolidated reporting on complementary  operational issues for management attention (e.g. security, audits, human resources, donor reporting);
  • Support annual and quarterly workplanning and monitoring processes;
  • Assist with revisions of UNFPA programmes with key parties and business units as may be required.
  • Ensure adherence of any other programme management related functions to established corporate procedures pertaining to the functions of the two teams;
  • Support capacity building of staff to improve knowledge and skills in programme management

Knowledge Management Support

  • Regularly update the PCU and MIC Hub knowledge platforms with relevant products; including country programme profiles, regional and country programme documents, mission documentation and reports, among others;
  • Collaborate with the PCU and MIC Hub teams in preparing knowledge products reflecting emerging issues, best practices, lessons learned, etc from UNFPA-supported interventions;
  • Assist with information gathering on the development situation of respective countries and contribute to the preparation of strategic documents, including environmental scans.
  • Facilitate south-south cooperation related actions undertaken by both teams

Financial, administrative and other operational support

  • Review and analyze past and current expenditures of business units within the region in accordance with UNFPA’s global resource allocation system and annual guidelines, including trends in patterns of resource allocation and utilization to guide recommendations and proposals for distribution of resources provided to country and regional programmes;
  • Collaborate with team members in the Operations Unit, including the ROSSC on administrative and financial management tasks, including preparation of meetings, strategic events, travel, procurement and other related functions;
  • Collaborate with Programme Assistants and Associates across all Units to support the implementation of the Regional Interventions Action Plan (RIAP);


  • Perform any other functions as may be assigned.
Qualifications and Experience



Completion of secondary school is required. A degree in Public Administration, Finance, Economics or another relevant subject is desirable.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • 7 years of relevant experience in effective and efficient management of development programmes in the United Nations System, private and public sectors, of which at least 3 years relevant experience in the United Nations system will be an advantage.
  • Ability to use analytical tools and logic to gather and define information on development situations, problems, and draw logical conclusions guided by data
  • Capacity to facilitate and make timely and appropriate decisions, taking into consideration, prevailing issues and evidence
  • Possess strong organizational management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment and within multiple diversity contexts
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills


  • Fluency in English demonstrated by strong proficiencies in written and verbal English.
  • Working knowledge of French and/or Portuguese, will be an asset.
Required Competencies


  • Exemplifying integrity
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
  • Embracing diversity in all its forms
  • Embracing change

Core Competencies:

  • Achieving Results  
  • Being Accountable
  • Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/Business Acumen
  • Thinking analytically and Strategically
  • Working in Teams/Managing Ourselves and our Relationships
  • Communicating for Impact

Other competencies:

  • Knowledge sharing and continuous learning
  • Conflict and self-management
  • Performance management
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Appropriate and transparent decision-making.

Functional Competencies:

  • Business acumen
  • Effective logistical support
  • Planning, prioritizing, organizing and multi-tasking
  • Gathering, analyzing and managing data and information;
  • Managing documents, correspondence and reports
  • Managing information and workflow
  • Effective management of deadlines
  • Establish effective relations with internal and external parties in a diplomatic manner
  • Managing financial, administrative and operational processes
  • Proficiency in current office software applications; good basic knowledge of financial systems and mastery of a series of financial and spreadsheet software.


UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, Embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.


Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.




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