Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Candidates with multiple nationalities are eligible for the Programme provided that one of the nationalities is the Italian one.
No, candidates only holding a Laurea triennale are not eligible for the Programme. They must also hold a Laurea Magistrale/Specialistica or a Master’s Degree awarded by a University before the application deadline.
Applications to the Italian JPO Programme can only be submitted online. It is no longer possible to submit applications by regular mail or personally deliver them to the UN/DESA Office in Rome. Every year an announcement is published on this website with information on the opening of the Programme, application dates and deadline, as well as instructions on how to apply.
Candidates must submit copy of the relevant university certificate attesting eligibility to the JPO Programme. Certificates do not need to be translated from their original language.
Yes. It is possible. The self-certification document must include the following information: given name and family name, date and place of birth, university degree obtained, date of award, name of the University/Institute, final grade and credits obtained. In order to be valid, the document must be dated and signed (handwritten signature only). Documents which have a computer keyboard generated signature, are unsigned or otherwise incomplete will not be accepted and will make the application invalid.
The Programme has run on a regular basis since the late 1970s. It is sponsored by the the Government of Italy and implemented by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). However, as it is subject to availability of funds on a year-to-year basis, the number of posts being sponsored in international organizations may vary each year.
Toward the end of each year, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) requests international organizations to submit vacant AE and JPO positions for consideration. By the end of January positions and related job descriptions are transmitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for its review, selection and decision on funding.
In addition to consulting this web site, information on the Programme can be obtained by contacting the UN/DESA Office in Rome by phone at +39-06-5705.4638, and by e-mail at: jpoinfo[at]
Candidates must be 30 years old or younger (33 years old or younger for graduates in medicine). They must not turn 31 (or 34) during the calendar year of application. To apply to the 2016/2017 edition of the Programme, candidates must be born on or after 1 January 1986 (1 January 1983 for graduates in Medicine).
It is essential to possess an excellent knowledge of English and Italian.

The following graph shows the number of applications for the editions between 2010 and 2014.

The following table shows the number of candidates who were preselected between 2006 and 2014.

JPO Pre-selected

The number of the AEs and JPOs varies according to the level of the funds made available by donor Government in a given year.

The following graph shows the number of Associate Experts and JPOs recruited between 2006 and 2014 and their average age.

JPOs Selected

JPOs Selected-Age

The large volume of applications makes it extremely difficult for the office to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful candidates on their candidature. Only short-listed applicants will be informed by UN/DESA about the positive outcome of the pre-selection process.
Under this Programme, you will be offered a one-year fixed-term contract renewable for a second year (two years being the usual length of assignment) by the organization which has selected you through the interview process. The second year extension is subject to good performance during the first year, as certified by the organization. The entry grade will be at the level P2 step 1 of the professional category for the United Nations System and at the equivalent grade for other International Organizations.
The assessment of candidates’ qualifications is carried out by the UN/DESA Office in Rome taking into account motivations, language skills, academic background, professional and voluntary experiences, and the requests for posts received by the international organizations and approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. A UN Commission will undertake the final assessment and determine the list of pre-selected candidates for interview. Interviews and written tests will be carried out by the international organizations whose positions have been approved for sponsorship. They are responsible to identify the final selected candidate.
Only pre-selected candidates will be interviewed by the representatives of the various international organizations. Pre-selected candidates will be interviewed remotely through web-based video conference facilities. Generally these interviews take place in June and July. Once the interview process is finalized, international organizations notify to UN/DESA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation the final results. All candidates will be informed on the outcome of their interviews by UN/DESA.
Prior to the official recruitment, selected candidates will have to participate in a mandatory two-week induction course at the United Nations System Staff College in Turin. They will be joined by selected candidates from other donor countries. All expenditures related to the induction course attendance are borne by the donor Government through UN/DESA. Among others, the course will train participants on emerging issues in the international agenda, aid coherence and effectiveness, conflict situation and analysis, negotiations, security and safety issues, communication skills, team work and collaboration, knowledge management and result-based management.