Policy Support Officer

United Nations Development Programme, Geneva, Swaziland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
7th April, 2019

Job Description


Launched in September 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement catalyses collective action towards ending malnutrition in all its forms. Led by 60 SUN Countries and the Indian States of Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the SUN Movement is an unprecedented effort to bring together stakeholders – governments, national and international civil society organisations, businesses, the UN system, researchers and scientists across different sectors – to create an enabling environment to improve nutrition.

SUN countries, and all stakeholders in the Movement are committed to scaling up nutrition, by strengthening four strategic processes at country-level as set out in the SUN Movement Strategy and Roadmap 2016-2020:

Expanding and sustaining an enabling political environment;
Prioritising effective actions that contribute to good nutrition;
Implementing actions aligned with national common results frameworks;
Effectively using, and significantly increasing, financial resources for nutrition.
The SUN Movement Secretariat was established in 2012 as a small coordinating mechanism to support SUN countries, helping them connect with each other for support and advice, and ensuring coordinated and coherent support from actors in a series of networks. The Secretariat also maintains momentum across the SUN Movement, catalysing interest and action in new or problematic nutrition issues. Finally, the Secretariat tracks and communicates the progress made by each SUN country, and the Movement as a whole.

The SUN Movement Coordinator, a UN Assistant Secretary General, oversees implementation of the Strategy and Roadmap, leads the SUN Movement Secretariat and represents the SUN Movement globally. Day-to-day management of the Secretariat is the responsibility of the Director.

Training component: Learning elements and expectations:

Upon completion of the assignment the JPO will have/ will be able to:

  • an in-depth understanding of the work of UNOPS in the field of nutrition
  • understanding of the multilateral framework and agenda in relation to nutrition
  • experience in providing policy analysis and advice to SUN senior management team
  • experience in UNOPS and SUN processes and procedures relating to Policy and Project Management
  • a network of colleagues and contacts from the United Nations
  • experience working in and contributing to the work of a multi-cultural and highly motivated professional team.

The JPO training programme includes the following learning elements:

  • Possibility to participate in the orientation programme for Junior Professional Officers in Turin scheduled to take place in fall 2019.
  • Possibility to participate in the Organization’s learning and development programmes for staff at all levels. Programmes are aimed at developing core values, core and managerial competencies and promoting a shared organizational culture and values
  • The JPO position includes a Duty travel and training allowance (DTTA) of $4,000 per year which may be used for learning activities related to the assignment and career development.

Content and methodology of supervision:

  • A work plan will be formulated and agreed with the Director with clearly defined outputs, milestones and reporting requirements.
  • Meeting workplan objectives as reflected within Performance Evaluation Review (annual and mid-term).
  • Setting personal development objectives within Performance Evaluation Review.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The Secretariat is looking for a dynamic Junior Professional Officer (Policy Support Officer) who will provide support to the planning, management and implementation of the office’s workplan. He/she will contribute to the efficient and smooth functioning of the Secretariat through improved internal communication, coordination and management of the workflow. He/she will work in close collaboration with members of the Strategic Management Team (SMT) and will report directly to the Director of the SUN Movement Secretariat.
  • The Policy Support Officer is expected to be proactive, innovative, entrepreneurial, agile and results oriented, demonstrating a high standard of professionalism, confidentiality and integrity. He/She should be able to anticipate the needs of the team and tailor his/her support accordingly. We are looking for a solution finder and quick doer – escalating to the attention of the supervisor those issues requiring specific guidance and/or decision.

He/She will perform the following tasks – but not limited to these:

  • Assist the Director and the SMT in the planning, design, implementation and follow up of specific activities linked to strategic streams of work including the Lead Group, Executive Committee, Support System, SUN Countries, the SUN Movement Pooled Fund, advocacy and communication, partnerships building, etc;
  • Support assessment and keep abreast of political and development trends for nutrition, and identify and propose areas for SUN Movement engagement. This for instance will include, among others, the involvement of the SUN Movement in the Nutrition for Growth 2020 (Tokyo);
  • Assist in the preparation of program documents (including business cases/strategies, project proposals, policy briefs, program plans and risk assessments);
  • Support the project management of events and other projects from design, planning, implementation and follow up, including logistics aspect – involving relevant colleagues across the Secretariat. In particular support the project management of the Nutrition Hubs organised in the margins of the World Health Assembly (May) and the next SUN Movement Global Gathering taking place in a SUN Asian country (November 2019).
  • In response to the Mid-Term Review findings and recommendations, provide support to the framing and executing of future strategic directions of the Movement till 2020 and beyond;
  • Support the process for commissioning and rolling out the evaluation of the SUN Movement taking place in 2019;
  • Support the SMT in scheduling meetings, workshops, retreats and conference calls as well as supporting the flow of communication and workflow management between teams, colleagues and also external partners.
  • Manage sign off processes with relevant SMT managers and/or Director and/or Coordinator ensuring timely delivery for all projects.
  • Support the office in communication, public relation matters as well as donor and government liaison by preparing and disseminating articles, project updates and relevant reports.
  • Support the Coordinator of the Movement, the Director and SMT members in any other matters as required.


Key Competencies:

  • Strong analytical skills: demonstrable success in identifying patterns, causalities and correlations from large amounts of complex information from various sources and synthesizing this analysis into clear statements and summaries
  • Effective Communication: Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.
  • Partnering: Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
  • Results Orientation: Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
  • Solution Focused: Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
  • Leading Self and Others: Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. Comfortable working with individuals across different sectors and organizational levels.


  • Meticulous attention to detail and mastery of information under his/her responsibility.
  • Proven analytic and strategy skills and excellent writing capacities.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate across one or more dispersed and diverse teams and to strengthen team spirit and impact.
  • Proven professional commitment to professionalism, punctuality, accuracy, confidentiality, integrity and flexibility and proven experience in introducing new and more effective ways of working in a very busy office.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Required Skills and Experience:


  • Advanced university degree with minumum 2 and maximum 4 years of relevant work experience - Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in Political Science, Social Sciences, Development, International relations or related fields.
  • A Bachelor degree with minimum 4 and maximum 5 years of relevant experience may be acceptable in lieu of the advanced degree.

Working experience :

  • All paid and relevant work experience since obtaining the Bachelors degree will/can be considered.
  • At least two years of progressively responsible professional experience in an international working environment is required.
  • Experience in multi-sector programmes and policies, in food and nutrition security, food systems, trade, responsible business, gender equity or local government is desirable.
  • Understanding of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is desirable.
  • Hands-on experience in design, monitoring and evaluation of projects is desirable


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN official language is desired.


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