Joint Programme Manager

United Nations Development Programme

Damascus, Syria

The Joint Programme (JP) enables the participating UN organizations to respond to people’s needs in the dynamic Syria context with the required early recovery and resilience programming that supports basic social services provision and livelihoods, while facilitating social cohesion and supporting the resolution of local disputes. 

  • The Joint Programme uses an area-based approach and local planning to bring the combined expertise and capacities of six UN organizations (FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNICEF and WFP), and with the option of additional UN organizations joining in the future – to support four overarching goals:
  • Strengthening the resilience of displaced populations and host communities through an integrated package of services;
  • Promoting local and inclusive social and economic recovery;
  • Supporting local planning approaches that offer the space for community participation and help bridging the divides that caused the conflict or that have been exacerbated by it;
  • Contributing to addressing the social cohesion and community security needs of local communities, strengthening their collective ability to manage grievances, ease tensions and peacefully resolve disputes. This should create an enabling environment for more comprehensive efforts towards sustainable peace and human security in the long term. 

Position Purpose

  • To support the effective implementation of the programme, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office is looking to recruit a Joint Programme Manager (JPM) to be based in Damascus Syria, with regular travel to the field. UNDP is entrusted by the Resident Coordinator, the other participating UN agencies, and the donors to administer the “Joint Programme Management Unit”. The JPM will work under the overall supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator and will report on a day-to-day basis to the Head of the RC Office. Administratively, the JPM will report to UNDP Resident Representative. He/She will directly manage and ensure implementation of the Joint Programme, support the Joint Steering Committee and the Technical Working Group, and work closely with all partner organizations and counterparts:
  • Lead, oversee and coordinate the Joint Programme at the management level; and supervise the Programme Management Unit (PMU); 
  • Preparation and follow up of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings; 
  • Ensure successful implementation of the joint programme, support Participating UN Organizations to plan in an integrated manner and monitor progress, and identify and resolve obstacles and bottle-necks;
  • Monitor local level implementation.
  • Ensure communication of results with key stakeholders and the general public.

 Duties and Responsibilities

Lead, oversee and coordinate the Joint Programme at the management level; and supervise the Programme Management Unit (PMU):

  • Manage the Joint Programme and facilitate the coordination among the UN organizations;
  • Convene and chair the Technical Working Group working closely with Technical Advisor, in all related to programming and operations. The Technical Advisor will convene the TWG during the inception phase. 
  • Lead the inception phase and joint planning and programming.
  • Inform and advocate the joint programme with key national and local stakeholders in partnership with UN organizations.
  • Supervise one national monitoring, evaluation and reporting officer and one national communication and advocacy officer fully dedicated to the joint programme.
  • Ensure quality assurance to reporting and communication of the results to all stakeholders.
  • Foster resources mobilization, if deem fit.

Ensure linkages and close coordination with other Joint Programmes and coordination bodies such as the RRWG, PMT, ISC, etc.

  • Ensure successful implementation of the joint programme, advise Participating UN Organizations to plan in an integrated manner and monitor progress, and identify and resolve obstacles and bottle-necks:
  • Advise Participating UN Organizations in preparing an integrated annual Programme Work Plan;
  • Develop a joint M&E framework including indicators, baselines and targets which serves as the basis for monitoring and evaluation of the Joint Programme;
  • Ensure regular communication on progress between the Participating UN Organizations, allowing activities to be sequenced correctly and adequately reflected in visibility products;
  • Maintain guidance & monitoring for budgets and financial delivery;
  • Ensure implementation of the guidance on Standard Cooperation Agreements Amendments and Addendum;
  • Liaison between JP organizations and MPTFO; focal point for MPTFO providing the requested information and reports;
  • Conduct regular field monitoring visits, and maintain strong communication with key local stakeholders;
  • Consolidate and provide quality assurance Progress Updates/Reports quarterly and Annual and final Progress Reports prepared by the Participating UN Organizations into one single integrated report;
  • Ensure timely submission of consolidated Updates and Reports to the JSC and donors;
  • Review regularly risks analysis and due diligence; and
  • Any other Joint Programme related tasks as directed by the JSC co-chairs.

Building Strong Partnerships and Resource Mobilization:

  • Lead the development of joint programme proposals; ensure coherence, complementarities and coordination among Participating UN Organizations.
  • Ensure adequate visibility and awareness in relation to programme implementation and lead the development of advocacy/communication tools to support the resource mobilization efforts for the joint programme. 
  • Preparation and follow up of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings:
  • Provide secretariat support for the meetings (agenda, minutes, invitations, documentation);
  • Prepare background documents for the JSC and TWG meetings working closely with Participating UN Organizations; 
  • Provide consolidated presentations on programme implementation to JSC and TWG;
  • Ensure follow up to agreed actions; and 
  • Channel and follow-up issues to the correct fora when decisions require implementation.
  • Maintain regular communication with donors and  act as liaison between donors and Participating UN Organizations

Ensure effective monitoring local level implementation

  • Monitor and follow-up on the local implementation through establishing a regular communication and reporting mechanism, through JP TWG support, in collaboration with participating agencies focal points/project managers; 
  • Facilitate community engagement through field visits and community meetings;
  • Ensure information from the local level meetings, either through participation in the meetings or close follow up with UN organizations in the locations of implementation;
  • Ensure follow up to agreed actions; and 
  • Channel and follow up issues to the correct fora when decisions require implementation.

Lead knowledge management and effective communication 

  •  Identify sources of information related to policy-driven issues, identification and synthesis of best practices and lessons learnt directly linked to the implementation of the joint programme.
  • Contribute to UN global knowledge networks and communities of practice in managing joint programmes especially in protracted crisis and post conflict settings. 
  • Ensure communication of results with key stakeholders and the general public:
  • Supervise the national communication and advocacy officer on all communication products and work closely with communication & public information specialist at the RC Office;
  • Review the communication strategy ensuring alignment with UNCT Syria communication strategy; 
  • Liaise closely with donors, ensuring they are informed of activities and events;
  • Prepare press releases and human interest stories for the media; and
  • Promote links with the local media in the target locations.

 The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of  the Office and the Organization. 

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: 

Leads, guides and manages the PU Team:

  • People management of the team including identification of human resource capacity needs of the team and capacity building of the team. 
  • Mentor and coach the team members to facilitate their learning and career growth. 
  • Ensure team coherence by guiding the team members to come up with individual annual performance goals and development plans and follow up with the plan through mentoring

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Economics, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Sciences or related field. Is required. Or 
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in the areas mentioned above, in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • Minimum of 10 years (with master’s degree s) or 12 years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience at the international level in programme management, with hands on experience in design, implementation, financial oversight, monitoring and evaluation of development projects is required. 
  • Strong understanding of and proven experience in the UN system, UN Joint programming initiatives and prior experience working with EU funded or large projects would be a decisive asset. 
  • Working experience in crisis context, such as Syria and/or neighboring countries is an asset.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Proficiency in Arabic is desirable but not essential.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.