The Position:

The Programme Adviser post is located in Dakar Regional Office and reports directly to the Deputy Regional Director who provides overall leadership. S/He is the principal programme adviser in the Regional Office, providing country offices with guidance, assistance and support on all programming and policy issues. The Programme Adviser is part of a team, accountable for integrated programme and technical support within a system-strengthening approach which is fundamental to UNFPA’s overall strategy.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The Programme Adviser/Coordinator provides strategic programming and policy support to ensure that the Fund’s programmes policies and external relations in the region are firmly placed in the context of: the ICPD Programme of Action; national development processes and frameworks; the continental agenda, the global development agenda; the achievement of the MDGs; and the process of UN reform.

You would be responsible for:

Key results of Programme Adviser include: Establishment and Coordination of key networks. Policy dialogue Focal point with HQ on UN affairs, policy external relations and resource mobilization related matters Region-wide advisory services

The Programme Advisor is the focal point for specific aspects of UNFPA’s policy, advocacy   issues as well as has his/her own portfolio in liaison with the RO/SROs. The Programme Adviser also provides management advice, as related to the job’s activities.

Primary Responsibilities:

I.    Strategic Programming Support/Environment Scanning: Analyze economic, political, security, social and humanitarian trends and perspectives in the region, and provide strategic advice on their implications for the work of the Regional and Sub Regional Offices and in the region, and for the formulation and implementation of corporate policies and organizational strategies. Provide continuous input, reflecting the analysis and monitoring of country and regional sub- regional experience, to the development of the UNFPA strategic plan, positioning, and reflecting programme related policies, procedures and tools. Provide support to the alignment of Regional and Country Programmes with UNFPA’s Strategic Plan and analyze constraints to attainment of programming goals and objectives in the region. Advise the Deputy Regional Director and Regional Director on all programme related matters, including high level policy dialogue. Ensure that strategic and accurate programme-related information and analysis is provided to RO activities in advocacy, communications, policy dialogue, resource mobilization, etc., including in collaboration with the Regional Media and Communication Specialist. Determine programming needs in the region in terms of core and non-core resources and advocate for appropriate funding and resource distribution targets. Ensure that integrated strategic support and guidance is provided to UNFPA Country Offices/RO/SROs, and, with inputs from the Programme Specialist, oversee Country programme management to ensure relevance, quality and timeliness. Provide advice and strategic support to RO/SROs on UN system initiatives, including joint programming, coordination of country programmes; UNCTs; quality assurance for CCA/UNDAFs; PRSPs, SWAp, CHAP, etc.; and inter-agency regional collaborations within the framework of UN reform; and Assist in developing a regional strategy for humanitarian response, and in collaboration with HRB ensure that emergency preparedness, humanitarian assistance, and recovery are mainstreamed and integrated within UNFPA work in the region and that timely support is provided to COs.

II.    Capacity Development and Networking: Ensure the integration of sound programme principles with technical activities, in partnership with the Regional Technical Advisers, to enhance the development and implementation of a capacity development strategy for the Region; Oversight of RO and SRO work to strengthen, and manage networks, partnerships and collaborations with regional institutions and with other UN agencies on programming matters in partnership with the RO/COs/SROs; Contribute to capacity development of RO/SROs, COs, and UNCTs in UN Reform processes;

III.    Evidence and Knowledge Management: Analyze programme interventions in the region to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of country programmes. Document programme results, lessons learned and, in collaboration with the M&E Adviser, programme evaluation results in the region and ensure that these are incorporated into the UNFPA knowledge sharing system and in evidence-based policy dialogue. In partnership with the Technical Advisers, ensure that state-of-the-art technical and programming knowledge and lessons learned are available for use in countries to improve the effectiveness of UNFPA programmes Act as Focal Point for specific thematic areas of programmatic expertise in the regional office; in such capacity, share knowledge and provide support to the country offices in developing programme interventions in the area of expertise.

IV.     Advocacy/Representation: Represent UNFPA on regional programming issues, including in the context of Regional Programme Advisers’ Team, Deputy Regional Directors’ Team, and Regional Directors’ Teams, inter-agency and UN reform related activities and initiatives, ensuring the incorporation of UNFPA and ICPD issues.

V.   Programme Management Support: Provide support to and oversight of assigned Country Offices and programme operations/SROs’ work in policy, UN affairs, resource mobilization and external relations; as such, guide and support the operations of the COs under his/her responsibility, including on human resource management, advocacy, resource mobilization, capacity building and administration, as well as participation in monitoring field missions; and Provide input to the Regional Director in preparation of the performance appraisal of the UNFPA Representatives, Country Directors and UN Resident Coordinators/UNDP Resident Representatives and programme staff in countries under his/her responsibility.

VI.   Policy Support including UN Affairs: Initiate policy dialogue, develop policy briefs and position papers, and support assigned COs in their policy dialogue, and at the regional level with key regional partners; and Act as a Focal Point for UN affairs and the UN reform process, including oversight of and support to UN common programming processes in coordination with UNDG.

VII.   Partnerships and South-South and Triangular Collaboration: Establish and nurture collaborative relationships with counterparts in regional inter-government bodies, UN system, academia, private sector and civil society to address emerging issues, and effectively influence diverse stakeholders to contribute to achieving UNFPA’s mandate. Identify opportunities to strengthen south-south and triangular collaboration among countries in the West and Central Africa Region, and between WCA countries and other regions, drawing on UNFPA Regional and global intelligence in implementing the ICPD Programme of Action. Identify opportunities for innovative partnerships to leverage political, technical and financial support for implementation of the ICPD Programme of action. Provide leadership and strategic directions on identifying strategic partnerships to invest in and modalities for partnerships to be pursued across a wide range of fundraising, innovation, advocacy, and leveraging voices and support for UNFPA’s mandate in WCA. Takes a lead and active role in negotiating relationships with key public, non-governmental and private sector partners including influencers and business. Ensure the provision of technical guidance and support to Country Offices to strengthen capacity for advocacy, high level policy engagement and management of public and private partnerships. Builds and supports a culture of innovation.

VIII.   People Management & Leadership: Promote a learning environment and systematic information sharing within the regional programme unit and across teams. Ensure effective knowledge management strategies are implemented, capturing lessons learned and best practices for future planning; address training needs of CO personnel on critical programme issues. Supervise and guide the Regional Programme staff and ensure high standard of staff management within the team using a participatory and constructive style Foster a culture of open communication and transparency, and maintain a motivated workforce. Identify talent and mentor and/or coach staff for career development.

IX.    Work Relations: External partners include UN agencies, donor and programme countries, regional organizations and institutions including Economic Commissions in order to: maintain and foster networks and partnerships; build capacity; and, promote South-South cooperation. Internal partners include Regional and sub-regional programme and technical staff; UNFPA country office Representatives and programme and technical staff; Programme Division; TD, and IERD, to ensure integrated programme and technical support in line with the needs of countries; applying guidelines; sharing knowledge; and mobilizing resources. In all activities, s/he fosters collaboration within the Regional Office, particularly with the team providing integrated programme and technical support; with programme and technical staff in Sub-Regional and Country Offices; with the Programme Division, including Humanitarian Response Branch, Knowledge Management and the Regional Desk Adviser; and, with other HQ Divisions, ensuring the timeliness, adequacy, relevance and quality of programming support to countries.   Promote, provide guidance, and build capacity on result-based management in programming; Organize programme-related skill capacity building activities with country office staff, regional and national partners and counterparts, and civil society partners; Coach and supervise professional staff and associates, direct expert consultants and facilitate working groups and task teams; and Co-ordinate, in partnership with the RO and SROs, an integrated, regional resource mobilization plan.

Qualifications and Experience: 


Advanced University Degree or equivalent in public health, medicine, sociology, demography, gender, economics, international relations, international development, public administration, management or other related field.

Knowledge and Experience: 

10 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in development programmes, of which seven years at the international level. 10 years progressively responsible national and international professional experience in sexual and reproductive health, population and development, gender, advocacy, management and evaluation. Strong track record of leadership, and proven ability to produce demonstrable results Substantive knowledge and practical experience in population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender; Extensive network within the development community Experience in programme and/or technical assistance with the UN System UN inter-agency experience in a strong asset Familiarity with ICT/ERP and other management and monitoring tools is an asset; Field experience is required


Fluency in English required. French language skills an advantage

Required Competencies: 


Exemplifying integrity, 

Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system, 

Embracing cultural diversity, 

Embracing change

Core Competencies: 

Achieving results,

Being accountable,

Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen,

Thinking analytically and strategically,

Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships,

Functional Competencies:

Advocacy / advancing a policy-oriented agenda - influencing the public policy agenda; demonstrates political/cultural acumen in proposing sound/evidence-based approaches/solutions. Results-based programme development and management - makes use of a variety of resources within UNFPA to achieve results, such as cross-functional teams, secondments, and development assignments, and collaborative funding approaches.    Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/building strategic alliances and partnerships – promotes a consistency of messages, common platform and inter-agency collaboration regarding population and development, reproductive health and gender issues Innovation and marketing of new approaches – creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking. Job knowledge/technical expertise – keeps abreast of new developments in the area of professional discipline and job knowledge and seeks to develop him/herself professionally.

Compensation and Benefits:

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.


UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline

In accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.


This vacancy is archived.

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