Job Description

The UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery in Somalia (UN JPLG) is a five-year joint programme comprising of ILO, UNCDF, UNDP, UN-HABITAT and UNICEF.

The Programme’s overall goal is “creating an enabling environment for improved service delivery and greater stability, through improved legal, policy and system frameworks – building the knowledge of those working in and with local governments.” JPLG commenced in April 2008 and has now entered its third phase (2018-2023). It expanded geographically with average annual work-plans and budgets of USD 25 - 32M / year. JPLG works with the Federal Government of Somalia, the Governments of Puntland, Somaliland, South West, Jubbaland, HirShabelle, Galmudug, local governments, communities and non-state actors.

The Programme Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Senior Programme Manager (SPM). He/she will also work in close collaboration with programme managers, and programme staff from the participating UN Agencies, Government officials as well as other relevant stakeholders to improve partner understanding of the programme and ensure information is well presented and accurate.

The Programme Officer will analyze political, social and economic trends with particular attention to gender issues and coordinate formulation of JPLG annual work plans, monitoring and evaluation of programme activities and provide Advisory Services. He/she also manages partnerships with national counterparts.

Duties and Responsibilities

  Summary of Functions:

  • Programme interactions with government bodies in work planning and monitoring;
  • Coordination and political liaison;
  • Provide advice and guidance to the UN’s programme management team;
  • Internal reporting and communications to government partners are supportive of the programme.
Facilitate and guide programme interactions with government bodies in work planning and monitoring:

  • Ensure increased understanding of senior government officials (Ministers and DGs) of the UN JPLG’s programme;
  • Help facilitate and manage formal programme interactions with government bodies – annual work planning, policy discussions, etc;
  • Provide support and advice to programme partners (UN agencies and Donors) in government interactions;
  • Provide input into field and other technical missions as required as participate in field assessment missions;
  • Assist and ensure that Somali/land government partners actively reach out to donors for support;
  • Establish and maintain collaborative bilateral relationships and linkages with government, JPLG UN agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
Coordination and political liaison:

  • Represent the programme in workshops, meeting, and conferences relevant to the work of the programme as assigned by the Senior Programme Manager;
  • Organize and facilitate stakeholder meetings (including review and steering committees) and ensure appropriate follow up of action plans by all concerned;
  • Follow and analyze relevant social and political developments in Somalia and Somaliland;
  • Be updated on key political events and relevant programmes such as the constitution, elections and rule of law;
  • Thorough gender sensitive Analysis and research of the political, social and economic situation in the country and preparation of substantive inputs to the programme and other policy documents;
  • Coordinate key programme strategies and results and ensure they are in line with the programme document and other strategic processes;
  • Provide regular written and verbal socio-political updates of relevant events to the programme team and other interested parties;
  • Recommend suitable actions required to respond to changing contexts.
Provide advice and guidance to the UN’s programme management team.

  • Provision of advisory services and recommendations to the JPLG partners and facilitation of knowledge building and management;
  • Provide input into planning and developing of innovative initiatives for the programme.
  • Ensure that work plans are realistic to various Somali contexts;
  • Identify areas of support, interventions and risk management within the Programme Management Unit (PMU);
  • Assess programme impact, effectiveness and environment, including making suggestions for timely readjustment to the portfolio.
Ensure that internal reporting and communications to government partners are supportive of the programme.

  • Assist in the organization of information sessions with target government audiences such on specific topics to increase awareness of the work of UN JPLG;
  • Manage a database of government counterparts / elders / religious leaders and other stakeholders relevant for the programme;
  • Support the Senior Programme Manager in the drafting of Somali press releases and media advisories marking key programme events and milestones;
  • Manage media events and maintain close working relations with media houses to improve relationship between UN JPLG and local media;
  • Contribute content for the UN JPLG website through human interest stories (news items, features) and achievements in local governance by government;
  • Maintain a programme mail lists for information pieces and a data base of Somalia media outlets.


Core Competencies: 

  • Innovation : Ability to make new and useful ideas work ; Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them
  • Leadership :Ability to persuade others to follow ; Plans and acts transparently, actively works to remove barriers
  • People Management : Ability to improve performance and satisfaction ; Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others
  • Communication : Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform ; Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others
  • Delivery : Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement ; Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions
Technical/Functional Competencies:   

  • Building strategic partnerships;
  • Resource Mobilization;
  • Maintaining information and databases;
  • Promoting organizational learning and knowledge sharing;
  • Knowledge of processes, guidelines and procedures;
  • Promoting organizational change and development ;
  • Design and implementation of Management Systems;
  • Client orientation;
  • Promoting accountability and Results-based Management.
* Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Public Administration, Politics, Communication, Social Sciences, International Relations or any related field;
  • A first-level university degree in Public Administration, Politics, Communication, Social Sciences, International Relations or any related field, with additional 2 years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • Specialized certification in programme management is desirable but not a requirement.

  • Minimum relevant experience of 4 years with a masters or 6 years with a Bachelors degree in programme management.
  • Experience in the usage of computers, office packages and handling of web-based management systems.
  • Proven work experience in management, politics, administration, law, representation, communications is a requirement.
  • Experience in leading and managing diverse teams.
  • Experience in report writing and presentation.
  • Experience in resource mobilization
  • Experience in programme planning (work plans) and monitoring.
  • Experience in government relations and networking

  • Knowledge in development issues in general and gender mainstreaming
  • Work experience in a multi sectoral setting.
  • Work experience in local governance
Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in written and oral English and Somali.


Important applicant information All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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