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Programme Assistant, Strategic Programme/Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa (PSA)

United Nations University


Posted over 30 days ago...

Join the UNU's mission to foster sustainability and empower youth through this dynamic Programme Assistant role


icon Salary

£360333 - £398333

icon Location

Tokyo, JP

icon Expires

Expires at anytime

Be part of the prestigious United Nations University, an influential think tank dedicated to resolving global issues through research and capacity development. With over four decades of impactful work and collaborations in over 200 partnerships worldwide, UNU stands at the forefront of progress aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

UNU's Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) in Tokyo is seeking a Programme Assistant to play a pivotal role in administering youth empowerment and sustainable development initiatives. This unique opportunity is a joint appointment between the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) and the Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK), requiring occasional travel to Kanazawa.

  • Assist with daily operations, ensuring compliance with UN financial rules.
  • Provide administrative support for events and project management.
  • Handle financial operations and manage external funds and grants.
  • Manage office resources and documentation.
  • Bachelor's degree in a related field required.
  • At least three years of relevant administrative experience.
  • Fluency in Japanese and English is essential.

UNU offers a competitive salary package, annual leave, and health insurance. The initial contract is for one year, with renewal possibilities. The application deadline is May 14, 2024, with assessments and interviews to follow for qualified candidates.

To apply, fill out the UNU P11 form, provide a motivation statement, and answer specific questions for the role. Apply directly using the link provided by UNU and become a catalyst for change in achieving a sustainable future.

United Nations University (UNU)

UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU's work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals' full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

About Office/Institute

United Nations University, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic and environmental dimensions. Through its postgraduate education programmes UNU-IAS developes future international leaders with interdisciplinary understanding and skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability.UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information, please visit

The post is a joint appointment between Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC) under the Strategic Programme and Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) the two with approximately equal time spent at each. Although the post will be based in the UNU-IAS Headquarters office in Tokyo, occasional travel to OUIK in Kanazawa may be required as needed.

The Strategic Programme (SP) is a flagship programme implemented by the Strategy and Management Office (SMO). Under the UNU-IAS Strategic Plan 2020-2024, the Strategic Programme implements a research project on the governance for sustainable development focusing on synergies between climate change and sustainable development, budgeting and monitoring & evaluation system for SDGs. The SP also promotes outreach activities on the knowledge of UNU-IAS through the channel of Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC). The GEOC was jointly established by the Ministry of Environment of Japan and UNU in 1996; its mission is to foster partnership between various stakeholders, such as international agencies, national governments, local governments, companies, nonprofit organizations and citizens, to create a sustainable society. GEOC's main activities include: (i) international partnership building, (ii) partnership building in Japan, and (iii) information sharing and communication. Under this programme, this position is responsible mainly for administrative tasks related to the newly launched youth empowerment project.

The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) was established in April 2008 with strong support by local governments of Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City in Japan. OUIK has provided local and regional input into UNU’s sustainable development and international cooperation efforts in collaboration with other organizations, including UN agencies, academic institutes and local partners by implementing research on sustainable utilization of biodiversity and ecosystem services. OUIK also aims at developing communication and networks with local stakeholders through public outreach and capacity building, while sharing information about international trends. Under this programme, this position is responsible for overall administrative tasks.


Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and the direct guidance and supervision of the Head of Programme and Administration and Director of UNU-IAS OUIK, the Programme Assistant shall perform the following tasks:

1. Provide day-to-day operational support of the projects: 

  • Assist in day-to-day operations and administrative transactions closely liaising with UNU-IAS Administration to initiate requests, obtain necessary clearances, process and follow-up on administrative actions. 
  • Process transactions (e.g. travel approvals, payment, receipting etc.) as per the UN Financial Rules and Regulations and UNU procedures, ensuring accurate, adequate and relevant supporting documents;
  • Provide general administrative support, including handling email correspondences, answering calls, responding to inquiries, and directing visitors to appropriate contacts;
  • Provide support in creating meeting memo, PPTs, and other documents,
  • Provide administrative and operational support for the organization of events such as symposiums, conferences, and meetings.  

2. Assist financial operations pursuant to UNU policies, regulations and rules:

  • Ensure proper control of the supporting documents for payments and receivables. 
  • Ensure timely accounts closure (requisitions, purchase orders and contracts) at month-end and year-end.  
  • Ensure timely response to UNU IAS/HQ requests related administrative matters. 
  • Maintain database and shared folders up to date for the Project Manager and administrative staff. 

3. Provide administrative support for the management and execution of external funds and grants:

  • Assist in the preparation and submission of grant applications and funding proposals.
  • Provide grant administration support to the Project Manager and donors, including preparing an account summary and financial report. 
  • Assist in preparation of accounting and financial reports and other relevant documents as required. 
  • Assist in monitoring funding disbursement while ensuing adherence to financial and reporting requirements set by donors or external funding bodies.
  • Maintain supporting documents and filing system for the IAS projects and activities.  
  • Assist in communication with stakeholders to gather necessary documentation for fund management and reporting.

4. Manage the office resource and document:

  • Manage office supplies and equipment, ensuring availability and functionality. 
  • Coordinate with vendors and service providers to ensure timely delivery of the office resources
  • Coordinate with procurement team for the maintenance of office supplies and equipment
  • Update and archive documents regularly accordance with organizational guidelines.
  • Utilize online document management system for file sharing and collaboration within the organization.

5.Perform any other duties as may be assigned

Key Performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality administrative support for the teams
  • Timely and accurate communication with team members and stakeholders
  • Quality engagement with international and local project implementation partners including youth
  • Timely and quality support for preparation, organisation, and follow-up of the events
  • Timely and quality delivery of accounting, financial and other administrative reports



  • Inclusion - Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity - Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility - Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity - Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and Collaborate - Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and Plan - Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact - Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and Develop - Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and Innovate - Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

1) Education and certification

Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Environmental Science, International Relations or related field of study

2) Required skills and experience

  • At least three (3) years of work experience in office administration or related duties, preferably in governments, public agencies and/or international environment;
  • Knowledge and working experience of organization of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements is preferable;
  • Work experience in promoting youth engagement is an asset;
  • Related experience and interest in climate change, biodiversity, youth engagement, and OUIK’s research activities is desirable.
  • Ability to prioritize, multitask and to manage own workload to deliver the outcome in timely manner;
  • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office are essential.

3) Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in both Japanese and English is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under an national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary of the range of JPY 360,333 - JPY 398,333, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Starting date

as soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

    You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline

14 May 2024


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special Notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam Warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


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