The UNDP JPO Programme

Piedad Martin en MexicoJPO Piedad Martin in Mexico. Photo: UNDP.

Established in 1963,  the JPO Programme provides young professionals pursuing a career in development with hands-on experience in multilateral technical cooperation. 

The JPO Programme represents a form of development aid through the United Nations System, especially targeted at benefitting the Least Developed Countries. The programme may also support specific goals of the donor in promoting and advancing priority areas in targeted countries.

At UNDP, the JPO Programme allows a partner country to build own national capacity in international cooperation, strengthen its national development cooperation programme and partnerships, as well as the presence of its nationals with UNDP.

It provides a flexible mechanism for delivering development assistance by:

• Providing a framework for supporting UNDP and development programmes in specific countries of interest to the partner country.

• Offering the opportunity to strengthen the partner country’s own national capacity in the field of international cooperation and development management, and building a national resource base in the field of development cooperation.

• Offering young professionals from the partner country the opportunity to gain a unique exposure to UNDP’s work and to multilateral development cooperation.


JPO assigments with UNDP

UNDP JPOs serve primarily in the field, either in a Country Office or in a Regional Hub. Around 35% of the UNDP JPOs are posted in a Headquarters location. 

Under the supervision of a senior staff member, JPOs work with international and national staff and are involved in the identification, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UNDP-supported programmes. Purposes of assignments vary and may have a country-specific, regional, sector-based or thematic focus.

As such, the UNDP JPO Programme represents a continuous flow of technical cooperation personnel from various partner countries and provides room for privileged relationships with the partner countries because of the continuity and history of their programmes. It also allows for opportunities for national counterpart colleagues and beneficiaries to experience cross-cultural relationships in many specialized areas of professional work.