About the SARC Programme

What is it?

Women walking in desertPhoto: UNDP.

The Special Assistant to the Resident Coordinator (SARC) Programme is managed by the JPO Service Centre on behalf of the UN System. It 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.

SARCs are experienced young professionals (in many cases former JPOs) recruited at the P3-level to provide support to the UN Resident Coordinator. 

What is a SARC assignment?

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. 

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, Norway in 2012 and Japan in 2014.

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.




"The SARC at the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Indonesia has made a very important contribution to the UN in Indonesia, our joint support to government of SDGs and our efforts to operate as One UN.

He manages four  national staff and one international UNV at the RC office. He has greatly improved the running of the RC office, especially in terms of strategic support to government on SDGs and implementation of the UNDAF partnership framework between UN and Government.

The SARC provides excellent support to the RC, particularly on communications issues: op-eds have been facilitated, Twitter successfully initiated and infographics work coordinated.

The SARC improves the service provided to the UN Country Team by effectively coordinating requests between Heads of Agencies and the Resident Coordinator, and between UN agency expert staff and the RC Office coordination staff. The SARC is able to coordinate a range of complex issues such as our work to advance government financing of UN/government cost-sharing in Indonesia.

As the liaison between UN in Indonesia and UNDG/DOCO, the SARC manages annual reporting and plays an important role facilitating and overseeing joint resource mobilization and project funding applications.

The SARC support RC in relations with donors and international partners."