UN Offices

Senior Programme Officer (Law Enforcement and Head of Programme Office)

UN Offices

Job Description

This position is located in the Programme Office in Côte d’Ivoire (POCIV) with duty station in Abidjan, and operates under the Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN), Division for Operations (DO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Regional Representative of the Regional Office for West and Central Africa and the overall guidance of the Deputy Director, Division for Operations on matters related to the African Development Bank. The incumbent will also work in consultation with, and taking technical guidance from, the Chief of the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch (OCB), in close coordination with the Chief of the Regional Section for Africa and the Middle East (RSAME), based at UNODC headquarters in Vienna.

For more information on UNODC, please visit our website: www.unodc.org


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following specific duties: •Develop a strategy for engagement with the African Development Bank (ADB); establish and maintain fruitful relations with key counterparts within the ADB.

•Act as the Head of the UNODC Programme Office in Côte d’Ivoire and undertake inter-agency cooperation including representation in the United Nations Country Team.

•Contribute towards UN-wide strategic planning and cooperation in the field, in particular with the UN Development Coordination Office (UNDCO) and the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG). Ensure that drugs/crime related issues are embedded in key UN programmatic instruments such as the Common Country Analysis and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).

•Advise DO management on dynamics in the region related to or resulting from the UN Development System Reform and 2030 Agenda based on close interaction with other UNODC Field Offices, and HQ divisions. Oversee programme development and resource mobilization by coordinating the development of all new projects under the purview of the Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking team. Direct team members in programme/project implementation, monitoring and assessment. Oversee the review of relevant documents and reports. Identify priorities, problems and issues to be addressed and propose corrective actions. Liaise with relevant parties; identify and initiate follow-up actions.

•Coordinate and create synergies with other UN entities and peace keeping missions present in West and Central Africa for programme/project development under the scope of delivering as One-UN. Maintain permanent liaison on law enforcement issues with international bodies and organizations including the G5, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Central African States (ECCAS), regional offices of the International Criminal Police Organization-ICPO-Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO) and work closely with liaison officers and donor representatives in charge of enforcement matters in Africa.

•Keep abreast of developments regarding drug trafficking, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, piracy, money-laundering, terrorism and organized crime trends. Coordinate policy development within the team and field office on the specific thematic areas.

•Provide assistance to Governments on policies, practices and procedures to strengthen the tackling of transnational organized crime. Provide strategic guidance on analytical assessments of the law enforcement institutions in the region (systems and structures), so as to determine weaknesses and capabilities and to identify reform and restructuring needs.

•Oversee and contribute to the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analyses, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.

•Direct the coordination and organization of consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.

•Lead field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and draft mission reports, etc.

•Support HQ initiatives and global programmes, wherever possible. Build synergies and incorporate global UNODC initiatives when elaborating country assessments or providing technical advice to law enforcement agencies. Incorporate global initiatives in the design and implementation of new projects.

•Serve as an effective spokesperson for UNODC and UNODC ROSEN and establish collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the Organization. When required, represent UNODC and the ROSEN Regional Director, in different events namely, meetings, conferences, international working groups and networks.

•Ensure effective utilization, supervision and development of staff. Guide, evaluate and mentor/coach staff, ensuring opportunity for staff professional Career Development. Participate in the selection process of international and national staff.

•Perform other work-related duties as required.


•Professionalism: Has knowledge and understanding of theories and practices relevant to combating organized crime, illicit drug trafficking, terrorism, money-laundering, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Has knowledge of policies and practices in international Drug Control and Crime Prevention, including substantive and specific technical knowledge relevant to law enforcement practices. Has excellent operational knowledge of all UNODC drug supply reduction and transnational organized crime mandate areas. Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to strategy development, project and staff management, fundraising, and law enforcement. Has conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct needs assessment in the relevant field. Is able to generate and communicate broad and compelling organisational direction. Is able to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development and management of operations. Is able to identify issues, analyse and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Is able to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, to plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; and shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

•Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; and uses time efficiently.

•Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands; provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; and demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

•Judgment/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; and makes tough decisions when necessary.


An advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in economics, law, public Administration, political or social sciences, international relations or similar field is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional work experience in project/programme management in areas related to combating organized crime and illicit trafficking is required.

Working experience in one or several UNODC mandate areas is required.

Experience in leading and managing personnel is required.

Working experience with project management tools within the United Nations system or a similar international organization is desirable.

Working experience in a United Nations or similar organization's field office is desirable.

Working experience in Africa is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. Filling of this position is subject to funding availability and the initial appointment will be for a period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) or geographical requirements as set out in ST/AI/2016/1 to be eligible to apply for this job opening. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Abidjan is classified in the B category (family duty station).

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of International Human Rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

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