The Special Assistant to the Resident Coordinator (SARC) Programme was initiated to enhance the capacity of coordination of the Office of the Resident Coordinator and strengthening the coherence of the UN System at country level.
The SARC Programme was initiated in 2003 with the support of the Danish Government. The Swedish government decided to join the Programme in 2005, Spain in 2009 and Norway in 2012.
Experience indicates that the Programme has made a significant contribution to the implementation of UN reform at country level. It has been successful in providing experienced and talented young professionals, who each have made a strong contribution towards strengthening of the Resident Coordinator function.
SARCs are experienced young professionals (in many cases former JPOs) recruited at the P3-level to provide support to the UN Resident Coordinator.
SARCs are placed in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, and in most cases work directly under the supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator.
SARCs support a wide range of management and coordination functions of the UN System at country level, including to enhancing interagency coordination, and strengthening the Common Country Programming Processes (CCA/UNDAF/Joint Programmes), advancing harmonisation and simplification efforts, supporting the National Development Plan/Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) processes, and follow-up on the UN Country Team's Annual Work Plan.
Working as a SARC is demanding, and requires a strong commitment to development, as well as interest in coordination, multi-tasking and facilitation of processes to achieve results.