Programme Specialist, Adolescents and Youth, P4, WCARO, Dakar

UNFPA / FNUAP - West and Central Africa (Sénégal)

Reference 2582

Issue Date 17/07/2014

Type of Contract International

Education Bac + 5 et Plus

Work Experience Au moins 7 ans

Department: Programme Specialist

Position n° 326

Logo Recruteur


About the employer / working context


This post is non-rotational.

Background Information

The Programme Specialist contributes to the development and implementation of the regional programme as well as the co-ordination and management of quality, timely and integrated technical and programme support to assigned Country Offices, ensuring that country programmes are implemented in the context of the ICPD Programme of Action and UNFPA Strategic Plan and aligned to national development processes, frameworks and UN reform. S/he monitors regional and country level technical support progress and needs, and provides feedback to a team of regional Technical Advisers.

Key results expected of the Adolescents and Youth Programme Specialist include:

•      Effective co-ordination and delivery of regional and country level programme support;

•      Assistance to Regional Programme assessment and support to Common Country programming processes; and

•      Assistance in advocacy and positioning of ICPD in policy dialogue at regional and country levels.

The primary activities of the Programme Specialist are:

  • Support to Policy and Programme Development and Implementation
  • Capacity Development
  • Knowledge Management
  • Programme Management Support 

As focal point on Adolescents and Youth issues in the regional office, the Programme Specialist ensures that programme assistance and capacity development needs are met and technical assistance is delivered and managed effectively through appropriate modalities

Organizational Setting

The Regional Office for West and Central Africa (WCARO) covers 23 French, English, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries.  In this organizational set up, the WCARO operates along broad thematic Units that are designed to stimulate and strengthen inter and intra-Unit coordination, coherence and synergy, facilitating timely and quality management and delivery of holistic population and development activities.

The Adolescent and Youth Programme Specialist post is located in the Adolescents and Youth Advocacy and Policy Unit, and reports directly to Team Leader of the Unit. S/he is part of an inter-disciplinary team, which provides integrated programme and technical support within a systems strengthening approach fundamental to UNFPA’s overall strategy.

Duties and Responsibilities

Main Tasks & Responsibilties


Within the regional context

·        Contribute to active environmental scanning of adolescents and youth issues in the West and Central Africa region in order to identify opportunities and gaps to facilitate timely UNFPA interventions;

·        Contribute inputs into identification and synthesis of substantive trends in order to produce new and cutting edge knowledge for programmes;

·        Assist with analysis of UNFPA adolescent and youth strategy for adaptation to the region, ensuring operational integration into regional programmes;

·        Contribute into proposals for UNFPA interventions in emergency preparedness, humanitarian assistance, recovery and transition and relief efforts as it relates to adolescents and youth;

·        Contribute inputs reflecting lCPD agenda and MDG goals as related to adolescents and youth into regional strategic planning and policy documents of assistance to intergovernmental organizations, highlighting UNFPA comparative advantage;

·        Contribute to maintaining and enhancing a network of regional experts and institutions as part of the larger objective of capacity building and transfer of skills and programme ownership to beneficiaries;

·        Assist in the review of progress for regional programme implementation through regular reporting on technical and financial achievements;

·        Document and disseminate programme delivery experiences, lesson learned for capacity building, policy-making and effective programming related to adolescents and youth;

·        Participate in implementation of regional collaboration schemes with UN agencies, academia, research and training institutions, think tanks, centres of excellence, professional societies in furtherance of UNFPA Strategic Plan and the advancement of ICPD agenda and MDG goals;

·        Participate in UNFPA networks as needed for job performance, providing regional perspectives;

·        Collaborate closely on an intra and inter Thematic Unit basis, to communicate and exchange information and situational analysis with concerned parties and stakeholders, as follow-up and operational response;

·        Contribute regional perspective related to adolescents and youth into the preparation, revision, adaption of training materials, manuals and tools, ensuring their availability and monitored use in order to assess their effectiveness for programme implementation;

·        Contribute to the promotion of technical knowledge, programme evidence, lessons learned and success stories for use in improving programmes, maintaining accessible data bases on best practices on adolescents and youth;

·        Prepare subject matter documents including but not limited to briefing materials, best practices, lessons learned and success stories for policy dialogues at regional and global levels in the area of adolescents and youth;

·        Carry out any other duties as may be requested.

Within the context of an enhanced WCARO support to Country Programmes:

·      In collaboration with country offices, contribute inputs and if assigned, participate in activities to strengthen national capacities, fostering the substantive hands-on involvement of national experts and institutions as integral part of the programming, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes;

·        Contribute inputs into mobilization of social and political actions for national policies and programmes, promoting data for development approaches for policy-making, programming and programme assessment activities;

·        Assist to identify key entry points, partners and approaches for mainstreaming adolescents and youth HIV-AIDS prevention issues;

·        Provide tools and work with country offices to analyze data for anticipating needs for programmatic assistance;

·        Assure familiarization with UNFPA adolescents and youth strategy, ensuring interventions that are integrated into country programmes and United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks which also support a participatory approache;

·        Assure incorporation of adolescents and youth issues into emergency preparedness, response and recovery programmes;

·        Assist with the participation of national experts and institutions, to analyze and improve national programme development, implementation and reporting systems, recommending actions including, but not limited to, schemes to assess the need for and utilization of new skills-set;

·        Assist with review and if needed, undertake in collaboration with country offices, preparation of the country-level proposals to assure expected standards and quality;

·        Contribute to the promotion of technical knowledge, programme evidence, lessons learned and success stories related to adolescents and youth issues for use in improving country programmes;

·        Assist with clarification to existing UNFPA policies as well as in respect of new approaches and techniques where related precedents or guidelines are generally unavailable;

·        Provide support inputs into the adaptation and use of programming, monitoring, evaluation and reporting guidelines and tools.

Job Qualifications & Skills / Selection Criteria

Qualifications and Experience


Advanced degree in public health, medicine, sociology, demography, gender, economics, international relations, international development, public administration, management or other related field.

Knowledge and Experience:

·        Seven (7) years of increasingly responsible professional experience in management and development relevant to population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender, including three at the international level;

·        Substantive knowledge and practical experience in population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender;

·        Experience in programme and/or technical assistance with the UN System;

·        Strong communications and writing skills in French and English;

·        Field experience is required.

Required Competencies

        I.     Values: Integrity, commitment, embracing cultural diversity, embracing change

       II.     Core Competencies: Achieving results, accountability, developing professional expertise, analytical thinking, working in teams, communicating for impact

      III.     Required Skillset:

Knowledge and understanding:

·   Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the social, political, economic, dimensions (milieu, context) of policy making and programme implementation generally and in West and Central Africa region;

·   Knowledge and experience of work in development assistance programming processes;

·   Ability to lead and drive for results with a strong knowledge of results-based management.

Cognitive skills:

·   Ability to identify the relative merits of different policy arguments in the broad or specific thematic area, applying principles and reasoned personal view in a logical and coherent way including presentation of reasoned choice between alternative opinions and solutions;

·   Ability to conceptualize and to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives;

·   Capacity to interact with the public and NGO officials in programme countries and credibly influence their senior decision makers and other international development organizations in regard to ICPD agenda and MDG goals


·   Ability to organize information using appropriate mode of presentation and style and to communicate effectively, illustrating relevance of information to the intended audience;

·   Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality practical advisory reports and knowledge product;

·   Ability to promote knowledge management and a learning environment through leadership and personal example.

Working with others:

·   Demonstrated ability to work with and within inter-disciplinary and multicultural groups to find agreed solutions to set problems and to accept responsibility and accountability for performance on any aspect of a team task;

·   Demonstrated ability to provide constructive coaching and feedback;

·   Ability to reflect critically on own performance up to identifying issues on which assistance is needed and to obtain such assistance;

·   Excellent negotiating and networking skills.

UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, respect for diversity, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life.  We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.

Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package commensurate with the level of the post.   The package includes a competitive net salary plus cost of living adjustment, housing allowance, home leave, health insurance and other benefits.

Closing Statement

Notice: There is no application, processing or other fee at any stage of the application process. UNFPA does not solicit or screen for information in respect of HIV or AIDS and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.

This is a project funded post.


WARNING TO APPLICANTS: UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you have received a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web. Should you feel that you have received a fraudulent notice, letter or offer that makes use of the name or logo of UNFPA, you may submit a report through the UNFPA fraud hotline

Notice to applicants: In accordance with the rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, are required to renounce such status upon their appointment.  Exceptions to this rule are very limited and can be made only for: (a) stateless persons; (b) newly appointed staff members who have applied for citizenship by naturalization, when such citizenship will be granted imminently; (c) acting staff members in the General Service and related categories with permanent residency status, on promotion to the Professional category; (d) staff members appointed under a temporary appointment. Please understand that UNFPA is not in a position to provide advice on or assistance in applying for any citizenship.

Additional Information about the position

Position Type: Temps plein

Working Language: Français

Second Language: Anglais

Other Language(s): Portugais