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JPO in Information and Media for UN-SPIDER




I. General Information

Title:  JPO in Information and Media for UN-SPIDER

Sector of Assignment: Information and Media

Organization/Office: United Nations / Office for Outer Space Affairs / United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response – UN-SPIDER 

Country and Duty Station: Bonn, Germany

Duration of assignment: 2 years with possibility of extension for another year. The extension of appointment is subject to yearly review concerning priorities, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

Please note that for participants of the JPO-Programme two years work experience are mandatory! Relevant work experience can be counted. In order to assess the eligibility of the candidates, we review the relevant experience acquired after obtaining the first university degree (usually bachelor’s degree).

II. Supervision

Direct Supervision by: Head of UN-SPIDER Bonn Office and overall supervision by the UN-SPIDER Programme Coordinator at UN Office for Outer Space Affairs at Vienna

Title of Supervisor: Programme Officer (Head of Bonn Office)

Content and methodology of supervision: Establishment of a Work Plan: During the first month of the assignment, the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) will work jointly with his/her direct supervisor to finalize an agreed upon work plan. To develop this work plan, the JPO will start with initial introductory briefing on background and work of the Office and of UN-SPIDER; followed by a discussion and direction on assignments.

Final version of Work Plan:The final work plan will be discussed and mutually agreed to by the JPO and his/her supervisor.

Implementation of the work plan: The JPO will implement activities in the workplan.  The supervision will include regular follow-up consultations and feedback (as often as needed); continuing work-related interaction with other professional staff of Office through staff meetings and ad hoc meetings; periodic evaluations with the Head of the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office and with the UN-SPIDER Programme Coordinator.

Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate of the JPO’s performance.

III. Duties, Responsibilities and Output Expectations

The JPO shall be involved directly in the activities of the work being carried out by the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office in the implementation of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). The duties of the Junior Professional Officer would include inter alia:

  • Compiling, managing and disseminating the information content of the UN-SPIDER programme (40%)
    • Compiling and managing the information content of the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, including the technical management of the modules of the Content Management System as needed;
    • Contributing to the development of the Knowledge Portal as prescribed by the plan of activities of the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office and in line with the user requirements/expectations and with the objective of sharing and storing relevant experiences, knowledge and documents;
    • Contributing to the implementation of the content management guidelines, in line with the UN-SPIDER Plan of Work, and support their implementation;
    • Contributing to the drafting and editing of technical documents including Newsletters;
    • Supporting the UN-SPIDER team in the acquisition, analysis and dissemination of information and knowledge-based resources, including the management of the Knowledge Portal communication platform;
    • Acting as an editorial interface between external sources of information and UN-SPIDER;
  • Supporting the UN-SPIDER Bonn Office in the provision of technical advisory support to selected African countries (30%)
    • Contributing to the preparation and implementation of advisory missions to selected African countries;
    • Contributing to facilitate the use of space-based information, services, and products by national disaster management agencies and other government agencies and stakeholders with a focus on African countries;
  • Supporting the organization of in-house conferences, expert meetings, workshops and training on relevant topics related to information compilation and knowledge management (20%);
  • Carrying out other specific activities in support of UNOOSA as required (10%).

IV. Qualifications and Experience


Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, including communications, journalism, public relations, international relations, information/knowledge management, geography, engineering, geographic information systems.

Work experience:

A minimum of two years of relevant professional experience in a related area.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.

Other skills:

  • Knowledge or experience in database management, web design, geographic information systems, remote sensing, or other space-based tools and applications such as satellite telecommunications or global navigation satellite systems;
  • Experience in database administration and content management;
  • Experience in online collaboration and in managing and facilitating online networks, including knowledge networking and Web 2.0 applications;
  • Experience in the provision of technical advisory support to developing countries on the use of communication and information technologies or geospatial information;
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural organization.

UN competencies:

PROFESSIONALISM: 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.

COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: Keeps abreast of available technology; Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office; Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; Shows willingness to learn new technology.

Workforce Diversity

The United Nations believes that an inclusive culture attracts the best talent and encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural or religious backgrounds, to apply.

V. Learning Elements

On completion of the assignment, the JPO would:

  • Have gained a substantive knowledge and understanding of the benefits of the applications of space science and technology for disaster management, as well as the numerous activities undertaken to promote such applications under the auspices of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
  • Have gained a substantial experience in organizing and managing content management systems and communication platforms to support applications of space technology and geoinformatics to disaster risk management and emergency response.
  • Have become familiar with relevant international opportunities that provide space-based solutions to disaster risk management and emergency response.
  • Be able to confidently interact at an international diplomatic level with representatives of Member States, international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and national space-related agencies, associations and industry.
  • Be able to research, draft and edit official United Nations studies, technical reports, conference proceedings, articles and statements relating to activities in outer space.
  • Assess project proposals.
  • Draft project budgets according to UN standards.
  • Formulate job descriptions and project documents to address environmental problems in the region.
  • To monitor progress in solving the industrial pollution problems and to formulate remedial action proposals

VI. Background Information

The General Assembly of the United Nations, in its resolution 61/110, of 14 December 2006, decided to establish a programme within the United Nations to provide universal access to all countries and all relevant international and regional organizations to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management to support the full disaster management cycle. In that same resolution, the Assembly agreed that the programme should be named the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), and be implemented as a programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The General Assembly also indicated that the programme would operate with offices in Bonn and in Beijing.

In June of the year 2019, the Office for Outer Space Affairs began a joint effort with the Centre for Remote Sensing for Land Surfaces of the University of Bonn to facilitate the use of space-based information in disaster management applications through the project entitled Spaceborne Earth Observation Applications for Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Reduction (SPEAR). The 5-year long project envisions the continuous improvement of the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal as a gateway to space-based information, the provision of technical advisory support to national disaster management agencies and other stakeholders in selected African countries, the identification of ways to facilitate the uptake of scientific results in practical applications, and the strengthening of the international network of organizations that contribute to the efforts of UN-SPIDER.

The JPO will have the opportunity of getting involved in the implementation of the SPEAR project and to contribute to the activities being carried out by the UN-SPIDER Office in Bonn, and those conducted by the programme and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Bitte senden Sie Ihre JPO-Bewerbung direkt an das Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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