Associate Programme Officer

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United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification




Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention seeks to support countries to address Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought (DLDD). 

The Global Mechanism is an institution of the UNCCD, mandated to assist countries in the mobilization of financial resources from the public and private sector for activities that prevent, control or reverse desertification, land degradation and drought. As the operational arm of the convention, the Global Mechanism (GM) supports countries to translate the Convention into action including the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).

The Peace Forest Initiative (PFI), launched during the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties of the UNCCD in 2019, aims to promote joint actions and cross-border cooperation on ecosystem (land, forest, water) restoration under the LDN approach while building confidence and peace in fragile and conflict affected areas. The UNCCD secretariat will play a central role in promoting and operationalizing the PFI through partnership building, noting its potential contribution to increasing cooperation on LDN, including land restoration and reforestation in trans-border areas in participating countries.

LDN (SDG 15.3) can be effectively linked to the SDG 16 (peace and security) through PFI. The GM will provide PFI participating countries with assistance in formulating transformative projects and programmes to realize the vision of PFI to promote building confidence and peace


Under the overall supervision of the Managing Director of the GM and the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer, the incumbent will be responsible for supporting the operationalization of the PFI, including the design of impactful large-scale PFI programmes and projects in priority geographic areas. Specifically, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Works with the Parties and partners to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned PFI programmes/projects; monitors and analyzes specific aspects of programme/project development and implementation with a view to the linkages between land, security and peace; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and recommends corrective actions; liaises with relevant stakeholders; identifies and tracks follow-up actions.
  • Carries out research on selected aspects of programmes, operations and other activities, including the collection, analysis and presentation of statistical data and other information gathered from diverse sources.
  • Organizes and prepares Terms of Reference for: feasibility studies; environmental and social impacts assessments; conflict analysis, risk assessments and other project preparation activities, and provides inputs and analytical guidance during their elaboration.
  • Assists in performing consulting assignments, in collaboration with the partners, by planning and facilitating workshops and trainings, through other interactive sessions and assisting in developing the action plan that stakeholders will use to manage the change. • Contributes to the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications and other documentations.
  • Provides administrative and substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, by proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of background documents and presentations, handling logistics.
  • Undertakes outreach activities; participates in the development of training workshops and seminars; participates in and makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Participates in missions, including provision of substantive and administrative support, and data collection.
  • Coordinates activities related to budget/funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and preparation of related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget);
  • Performs any other job-related activity required to achieve the goals and objectives of the Global Mechanism/UNCCD.


  • An advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental science, management, socioeconomics or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of two (2) years of progressively responsible work experience in project/programme management, administration or a related is required. A minimum of one-year experience at the international level working with multi-stakeholders is required. Proven experience in the area of peace and security and related activities (cross-border cooperation, confidence building) is desirable. Proven experience in supporting the organization of international land focused events with multi-stakeholder partnerships is desirable. Experience in monitoring, reporting, evaluation and data analysis is desirable.


  • For this position, fluency in English language is required. Knowledge of another UN official language would be an advantage.





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