JPO sitting with indigenous people in a hut


Who can apply

The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) and Specialist Development Programme (SDP) are young talent programmes and have specific application requirements related to: nationality, age, type of diploma and years of experience. Please carefully review the requirements of the current vacancies on our web as well as on the website of your corresponding government to ensure you are eligible.

Normally, minimum requirements to apply are:

  • Usually be under 32 years of age for JPO positions, and 38 for SDP positions;
  • Academic qualifications: Master's degree (or equivalent) in a development-related discipline;
  • A minimum of two years (five years for SDP positions) of paid working experience in a relevant field, preferably in a developing country; 
  • Language skills: written and spoken proficiency in English. Proficiency in French and/or Spanish is a strong asset. Proficiency in Arabic, Russian or Portuguese can be an asset;
  • Excellent information technology skills, including word-processing, database applications, presentation software;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically; to express ideas clearly; to work independently and in teams; to demonstrate a sense of self-assuredness combined with cultural and gender sensitivity;
  • A strong commitment to development; an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments; and a desire to work with people with different language, national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and the participating UN organizations Mission Statements.
  • The JPO and SDP are country-sponsored programmes and as such the call of nominations is open to its own nationals. However, BelgiumItalyThe Netherlands and Sweden also sponsor vacancies for nationals of developing countries.