Assistant Programme Officer

The United Nations Office at Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th August, 2021

Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located in the Languages Service, Division of Conference Management, Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, United Nations Office at Geneva. In the framework of the DCM speech-to-text project (FAST), the incumbent will report to the Project Manager.


Within delegated authority, the Assistant Programme Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Assists the Project Manager in setting up, maintaining, and optimizing operation for a smooth roll-out and provision of automatically generated transcription service to identified clients (secretariats/focal points).
  • Assists in provision of basic guidance and training to clients on use of the interface, with its search options and other features. Participates in user acceptance testing with clients; manages expectations and facilitates communication. Independently liaises with clients, and coordinates work with other team members and colleagues in LS, PSS, CPCS, CSS.
  • Assists in drafting SOPs and guidelines and prepares contributions to project documentation.
  • Identifies, maps, collects, extracts and matches data sets in French (audio/video recording with corresponding near-verbatim transcription) necessary for re-training an existing speech recognition tool. Edits and cleans the data of noise to adapt to specific requirements of the machine-learning track of the project. Respects the shared work environment, the mapping and agreed naming convention.
  • Using specialized application software, reprocesses audio and corresponding transcription to curate evaluation test sets. Specifically, analyses text and speech, identifies and annotates natural linguistic points, boundaries and other markers, as per transcription instructions provided.
  • Assists in modelling/designing and preparing customized training sets for domains with a lot of specialized terminology (ECE, UNCTAD) where training data is scarce. Performs terminology research, including liaising with the UNOG terminologists, to identify documents/meetings that are most representative of domain jargon for selected committees.
  • Participates in the accessibility track of the FAST project (speech pathologies and impediments; captioning and subtitling; possible link to plain language; to be further defined and developed). Liaises with accessibility focal points within the Division as necessary.
  • Carries out research into accessibility and natural language processing, keeps abreast of the current trends, techniques and developments in the field.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Advanced university degree (Master degree or equivalent) in translation, linguistics or language technologies, public information or business administration. A first-level degree from a university or institution of equivalent status in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • Experience in working with software applications as well as in linguistics is desirable.
  • Experience in drafting SOPs is desirable.
  • Any experience with program/project assistance is an asset.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.


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