Programme Associate

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Helsinki, Finland
    UTC +3

    Organisational Unit: UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    About the United Nations University (UNU)

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. It is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services including policy advice to governments as well as freely available original research. For more information on UNU-WIDER and its work programme, please visit

    UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to support the Programme Officer, and UNU-WIDER’s senior management, in the planning, monitoring, and implementation of the Institute’s work programme. The incumbent will be a crucial team member of UNU-WIDER’s Programme/Project Support Team, responsible for delivering the Institute’s work programme.


    Under the supervision of the Programme Officer, the Programme Associate will perform the following duties:

    • provide specialised support for the drafting of programme/project proposals and documents as well as programme/project summaries and activity reports
    • research, compile, analyse, and summarise complex information on the Institute’s work programme and projects for internal and external stakeholders
    • liaise on administrative co-ordination of programme/project implementation activities between internal and external stakeholders and administrative/communications personnel, and provide secretarial, administrative, and logistics support as required
    • draft narrative and financial reports on the Institute’s programmes, projects, activities, and outputs for a range of external stakeholders, including the donor group, the UNU-WIDER Advisory Board, UNU, and the UN system
    • provide support in the preparation and analysis of project budget proposals and in carrying out periodic budget implementation reviews for the work programme and projects, identify issues, and suggest follow-up actions
    • contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of the Institute’s work programme and projects; track and analyse data related to established performance indicators
    • ensure that the Institute’s project management system is kept up to date and that outputs/activities are properly categorised in the system
    • support the Institute’s donor relations and the establishment of key institutional partnerships, including the drafting of agreements, contracts, and performance metrics
    • develop, maintain, and update files (both electronic and paper)
    • exercise quality-control functions for outgoing documents and electronic content; proofread and edit texts for format, grammar, punctuation, and style
    • provide back-up for other members of UNU-WIDER’s Programme/Project Support team, if required
    • when requested, represent the Programme Officer in internal meetings related to activities of the Programme/Project Support team
    • during the absence of the Programme Officer, assist in carrying out their duties
    • perform other duties as assigned

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • completion of relevant secondary education with at least six (6) years of relevant work experience, preferably in an international organisation, or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with at least three (3) years of relevant work experience, preferably in an international organisation
    • demonstrated ability to support the planning, monitoring, and implementation of complex, multi-stakeholder projects or programmes
    • understanding of key development issues and demonstrated skills in programme/project management
    • outstanding command of English written language and excellent report writing skills; knowledge of other official UN languages would be an asset
    • working knowledge and experience using MS Office
    • knowledge of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system (preferably Oracle/PeopleSoft) would be an asset
    • knowledge of customer relationship management (CRM) systems and project management tools would be an asset
    • knowledge of the UN system is an advantage; previous experience of working in international development organisations would be an asset
    • ability to work under minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience
    • strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines
    • excellent team player with strong communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications, experience and level of responsibilities within the administration.

    This is a locally-recruited post; no relocation allowance applies. The post is limited to persons living in Finland, including persons holding a valid work permit and persons who can register their right of residence as an EU/EFTA citizen. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil service status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

    UNU has its own medical insurance for employees contracted under a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA).

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-WIDER, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using this form, and must upload the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11); please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • an up-to-date CV
    • a copy of highest educational degree obtained

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    The United Nations shall place 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 (Charter of the United Nations: Chapter 3, article 8).