Programme Associate, Strategic Programme/Innovation And Education (Psa)


Job description

About United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU's work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals' full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information please visit

Strategic Programme

Strategic Programme is a flagship programme implemented by the Strategy and Management Office (SMO) in collaboration with Units of Thematic Programmes of the Institute as well as multi-stakeholders such as international organisations, local governments and the private sector under its Strategic Period 2020-2024. The Strategic Programme implements a research project on the governance for sustainable development, including synergies between climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financing, and the monitoring and evaluation system related to SDGs. The Strategic Programme promotes outreach and knowledge management related to the UN global agenda such as climate change, just transition, digital technologies and the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development through the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) and EU-Japan AI project.

The Innovation and Education Programme

Innovation and Education (IVE) Programme aims to promote research and practices on innovative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for sustainable development at all ages. It reinforces evidence-based policy advice to translate global goals into local actions with a close alignment with the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 Roadmap. One of the main activities is to strengthen the capacity of UNU-IAS regional and global networks, namely the Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs: and ProSPER.Net (, and collaborate with the networks to facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships.


Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and the direct guidance and supervision of the Head of Programme and Administration, the Programme Associate will assist in implementing academic and administrative activities of the Strategic Programme, and RCEs activities focusing on those in Japan under the IVE Programme. Specific responsibilities include the following duties:

Supports formulation, implementation and monitoring of the Strategic Programme and Japan RCEs activities, focusing on achievement of the following results;

  • Supports in collection, analysis and presentation of background information related to the Strategic Programme such as governance for sustainable development, climate change and relevant social agenda, and digital transformation;
  • Supports in implementing outreach and knowledge management activities related to the Governance for Sustainable Development, GEOC, EU-Japan.AI projects and other UNU-IAS Programmes;
  • Supports in facilitation of the Japan RCEs activities including meeting arrangement, knowledge sharing and coordination activities;

Supports development and maintenance of the strategic partnerships with key stakeholders to facilitate implementation of the Strategic Programme, focusing on the achievement of the following results;

  • Supports in development of the partnerships with national and local governments, other UN agencies and international organizations through event organization, meeting arrangement, information sharing, etc;
  • Support in resource mobilization through collection and analysis of background information and preparation of presentation materials;

Provide administrative support to Strategic Programme and Japan RCEs activities, focusing on achievement of the following results;

  • Collects, maintains and provides information to meet internal and external reporting requirements;
  • Supports in formulation of the work plans, budgets, proposals and reports submitted to the donors;
  • Monitors timely and proper completion of project closure actions;
  • Collaborates with Administrative Assistants of the Strategic Programme and Administration Unit to facilitate administrative procedures related to the Strategic Programme; and

Perform other duties assigned by the supervisors on the topic.



  • Inclusion - Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity - Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility - Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity - Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and Collaborate - Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyze and Plan - Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact - Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and Develop - Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and Innovate - Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


Required qualifications and experience include:

Secondary Education with specialized certification; Bachelor’s Degree OR Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Environmental Science, International Relations, or other relevant field.

  • Secondary education with 6 years, Bachelor’s degree with 4 years OR Master’s degree with 2 years of relevant working experience in office administration or related duties, preferably in international environment is required.
  • Knowledge and working experience of organization of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements is preferable. Work experience in international organizations or promoting major international initiatives is an asset;
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, to complete them within a limited time frame and to handle multiple concurrent activities;
  • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; 
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office are essential.
  • Excellent communication skills with proficiency in both oral and written English and Japanese; and
  • Advanced communication skills in other languages are an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under a local PSA contract and no relocation allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary of JPY5,665,000 commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

PSA holders are required to enroll in Japan’s national social health care and pension insurance systems.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA is 65 years.

Expected start date: 

1st April 2022

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the link below;
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline: 

4th February 2022


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

PSA holders may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning

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