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The contribution of young professionals

The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme is a United Nations system-wide programme, established in 1961 and adopted by the World Food Programme (WFP).

The JPO Programme provides valuable work experience and training opportunities for young and motivated professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in international development.

JPO Career Journey

WFP JPOs share their experience and talk about how their day-to-day activities in the field provide a motivation to serve the hungry population in the world.

About the programme

Who are JPOs?
WFP’s JPOs are highly talented young professionals. Most will already have significant work experience, either in their home countries or abroad. More than 80 percent have had between three and five years’ international work experience. Around 90 percent have a master’s degree and 2 percent have a Ph.D. In the past six years, 70 percent have been women.
What JPOs do at WFP?
JPOs work in WFP’s country offices, regional bureaux, and at our Headquarters in Rome. They assist us in carrying out WFP’s mandate to combat global hunger – in emergencies through food aid and logistical support, and in recovery and development contexts through nutritional support, food assistance and resilience-building.
Benefits for JPOs
WFP provides all JPOs with intensive training and mentoring. Our programme is managed to ensure that every individual’s potential is maximized. The recruitment process is highly competitive, and candidates who succeed gain unique, hands-on experience in responding to complex emergencies.
Recruitment criteria
Applicants must:
- be under 32-35 years old, depending on the donor country’s selection criteria;
- have a master’s degree in a relevant subject;
- be fluent in English. Intermediate knowledge of one or more of the other official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is highly desirable;
- have 3 to 5 years’ professional working experience relevant to their assignment’s Terms of Reference. International working experience is highly desirable.

How the selection process works

Online application
Technical assessment (if required for the position)
Final selection