Programme Coordinator (Violent Extremism in Prisons), P4

Programme Coordinator (Violent Extremism in Prisons), P4

UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Vienna, Austria

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Justice Section (JS), Division for Operations (DO) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna. The incumbent will report to the Justice Section’s focal point on prison reform and the Chief of the Justice Section.


The focus of this position is to assume overall responsibility and coordination for the implementation of the UN project on “Strengthening the management of violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) and the prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons” (2018-21), which will be co-implemented by UNODC and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), in consultation with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).

The incumbent will plan, organize, coordinate, manage and provide substantive input and backstopping to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the project, in particular with regards to UNODC’s component, which forms a distinct part of the Justice Section’s Global Programme on Addressing Prison Challenges (GLOZ85).

Within assigned authority, the incumbent will perform the following specific duties:

  • Serve as the overall focal point for the implementation of the project referred to above and, in this capacity, provide overall guidance, coordination and planning for the implementation of project activities, thereby facilitating timely, coherent and high-quality implementation of project activities;
  • Undertake, backstop and/or assist in the implementation of field-based project activities, including conferences and training courses for prison staff/other relevant stakeholders; the design of tailored management strategies/tools; and infrastructural/procurement-related support in beneficiary countries;
  • Coordinate the work of project staff in UNODC Headquarters and Field Offices, mentor and guide project personnel, closely coordinate with co-implementing/associated project partners, maintain transparent contacts with project donors and other relevant stakeholders, as appropriate;
  • Prepare and maintain work and monitoring plan with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) indicators, and draft related reports on project achievements at the levels of activities, output and objectives, in coordination with co-implementing and associated partners as well as field-based project staff;
  • Monitor financial expenditure and the utilization of project funds and ensure compliance with UN financial rules and regulations as well as donor-specific reporting requirements, preparing financial reports and initiate project and/or budget revisions;
  • Provide substantive and technical advice on addressing violent extremism in prisons, in line with UNODC’s Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons, to UNODC Field Offices and other UN agencies, Member States and other relevant stakeholders, including by undertaking needs assessments and other technical missions, as required;
  • Perform other work-related duties, as required, such as in the area of prison reform in the context of UNODC’s Global Programme on Addressing Prison Challenges, with a focus on VEP-related programming and corresponding field-based projects, with a view to generate synergies, to promote coherent policies and programming as well as to facilitate information-sharing.


  • Professionalism: Has knowledge of the mandates of UNODC and of the work of the UN in crime prevention and criminal justice. Has good knowledge and understanding of concepts, practices and approaches relevant to crime prevention and criminal justice reform, in particular prison management and penal reform and corresponding practical challenges, preferably including the management of high-risk prisoners and VEPs and/or issues surrounding radicalization to violence and current approaches for disengaging individuals from violence. Is familiar with the UN standards and norms related to the treatment of prisoners. Has excellent project management skills, including the management of large-scale, multi-donor and/or multi-country programmes in the context of the UN. Has very solid skills in preparing narrative and financial project documents. Has sound judgment and excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, including the ability to identify and contribute to the solution of problems/issues and to address sensitive issues in a diplomatic manner. Has a broad understanding of the situation in developing, transitional or post-conflict countries. Has good training skills in delivering and/or organizing workshops or training courses. Is able to analyse expeditiously extensive substantive documentation and prepare comprehensive reports, summaries and policy briefs. 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;
  • 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; uses time efficiently;
  • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, economics, international relations, law, or related 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 seven years of progressively responsible professional work experience in areas relevant to UNODC’s crime prevention and criminal justice mandates is required;
  • Several years of national and/or international experience in the field of prison management and/or penal reform and several years of experience in project management and implementation is highly desirable;
  • Experience in managing EU-funded projects is highly desirable. Work experience in the United Nations system and/or in a similar international organization is highly desirable.
  • Experience using UN standards and norms in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, preferably those related to the treatment of prisoners, is highly desirable;
  • Experience in delivering workshops/training courses for criminal justice officials, preferably prison staff, is desirable.


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

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