Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, you are eligible and will be considered as an Italian applicant.
It depends on your nationality/nationalities. You are eligible if you hold the passport of one of the following UN Member States or non-Member Observer States: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, State of Palestine, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.
No, candidates holding only a Laurea triennale are not eligible for the Programme. They must also hold a Laurea Magistrale/Specialistica or a University Master’s Degree awarded by a University before the application deadline.
No, candidates holding only a Bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the Programme. They must also hold a Laurea Magistrale/Specialistica or a Univeristy Master’s Degree 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. An announcement is published every year on the UN/DESA Office website providing information on application launch dates and deadline for submission, as well as instructions on how to apply.
Candidates must submit copy of the relevant university certificate attesting eligibility to the JPO Programme. These certificates do not need to be translated from their original language.
As an alternative to a degree certificate, Italian candidates and candidates from eligible developing countries residing in Italy may upload a signed self-certification document (autocertificazione) provided that the degree has been awarded by an Italian university. This self-certification must include: given name and family name, date and place of birth, university degree obtained, date of award, name of the Italian university, final grade and credits obtained. In order to be valid, this self-certification must be dated and signed (N.B. handwritten signature only). Self-certification documents which have a computer keyboard-generated signature, are unsigned or otherwise incomplete, will not be accepted. Candidates who have graduated from non-Italian universities cannot submit a self-certification document and must submit a copy of the degree awarded.
The Programme has run on a regular basis since the late 1970s. It is sponsored by 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 JPO positions for consideration. By the end of January, these positions and relative job descriptions are transmitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for review, selection and funding approval.

In addition to the contents of this website, 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]

To be eligible for the 2020/2021 edition of the Programme, candidates must be born on or after 1 January 1990 (1 January 1989 for graduates in Medicine; 1 January 1987 for graduates in Medicine who have already been awarded a post-graduate medical specialization degree).
Italian candidates must have an excellent knowledge of English and Italian. Candidates from developing countries must have an excellent knowledge of English. Knowledge of Italian is considered an asset.

Below an example of qualifications, experience and languages required by an International Organization for a JPO position on Youth Employment Policies and Programmes:

Education: Economics, international development, labour market studies, political sciences, sociology, development studies.

Experience: At least two years’ working experience in employment-related areas. Prior experience in project/programme management and monitoring and evaluation, particularly in developing countries, would be an advantage. In addition, experience and/or exposure to the work of the United Nations in development would be an asset.

Skills: YEP is looking for a highly motivated individual with strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Good communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial as well as ability to work in teams, take initiative and meet deadlines. Proficiency with Excel and other database software is a valued asset.

Languages: Proficiency and ability to communicate and draft concisely in the English language and knowledge of another official language of the United Nations.

The following table shows the number of candidates who were preselected between edition 2008/2009 and 2017/2018.


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 JPOs recruited between edition 2006/2007 and 2018/2019 and their average age.





Yes, you should. The graph below shows that only 18.6% of pre-selected candidates in the last three editions were successful at their first attempt. By way of background information, only 25.6% of selected candidates in the last three editions were successful at their first attempt.

Number of applications submitted


The large volume of applications makes it extremely difficult for the office to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful candidates. 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 by the organization which has selected you through the interview process (the usual length of assignment is two years). The second-year extension is subject to a performance review during the first year. 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 and takes into account factors such as motivation, language skills, academic background, professional and volunteering experience, as well as 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 also responsible for identifying the final selected candidate.
Only pre-selected candidates will be interviewed by representatives of the various international organizations. These candidates will be interviewed remotely via web-based video conference facilities. In general, interviews take place in June and July. Once the interview process is finalized, international organizations notify UN/DESA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. All candidates will be informed by UN/DESA of their interview outcome.
Prior to official recruitment, all selected candidates must participate in a mandatory two-week induction course organized by the United Nations System Staff College. They will be joined by selected candidates from the JPO Programmes funded by other donor countries. All expenditures related to the induction course attendance will be borne by the donor Government through UN/DESA. The course will train participants on a variety of topics including 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 results-based management.