Junior Professional Officer Programme
A unique opportunity for talented young professionals for hands-on experience in development
The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme provides young professionals interested in pursuing a career in international development with an exceptional opportunity to acquire hands-on experience at UNICEF. The programme offers its participants a unique professional development experience and brings fresh energy and ideas into the organization.
How it works
Through the JPO Programme, UNICEF supports the development of young professionals interested in growing in the organization and making important contributions to our future and work. On average, one in two JPOs continue at UNICEF as regular staff members, upon completing their assignment.
The programme is sponsored by donor governments. Usually, these governments only sponsor citizens of their countries, but in some cases nationals from developing countries are eligible to apply.
What we offer
Online learning courses
Career Transition programme
JPOs are fixed-term UNICEF staff members and are therefore entitled to compensation, benefits and allowances comparable to International Professional staff. In addition, UNICEF has designed a number of tailored resources to improve their overall career development and learning journey:
Living the life of a JPO
Sponsor Country: Netherlands
Duty station: Nairobi, Kenya
Job Title: WASH Officer
What drew you to a career as a JPO with UNICEF?
Growing up for the most part of my childhood, with my country, Liberia, at war, I was exposed very early on to the disparities of unequal access to basic services, including safe drinking water. Watching a young mother prepare her baby’s porridge with highly turbid water from a nearby stream was the epiphany that drove my career path towards water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). With a newfound purpose, I set out to help change the narrative.
"UNICEF JPO Programme brings new, fresh perspective
from young people to the organisation On the other
hand, UNICEF provides unique learning and career
development opportunities because of its mandate and
diverse areas of work it attracts the most interesting
people, so it gives JPOs exposure to some of the most
dedicated and experienced professionals and an
opportunity to work in emergency and in a development
“Working as a JPO at UNICEF Kenya provides me with great opportunities to develop my skills and at the
same time contribute to the organization's mandate to realize the rights of every child.
Implementing programmes to enable children's access to equitable, quality education at scale is a huge
responsibility and I am glad to be part of a great team working towards this important goal.”
How to apply?
Vacancies are published throughout the year on both the UNICEF vacancies page as well as the donor government’s website. Click on the icons below to visit their respective websites.
> Current JPO vacancies at UNICEF
> Learn more about the specific requirements for each donor country.
How to partner with us
Do you want to sponsor nationals of your country or other countries to become JPOs with UNICEF? We have two types of agreements – full-service and standard.
- Full Service Agreement: UNICEF manages the entire JPO process including recruitment and selection, on-boarding, contract administration and separation.
- Standard Agreement: The donor manages the JPO recruitment process, and UNICEF manages the final selection, on-boarding, contract administration and separation.
JPOs receive the same entitlements as other International Professional staff, except where specified in the JPO Agreement with each specific donor and in UNICEF's JPO policy (e.g. additional training budgets and reduced travel and shipment entitlements).