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Junior Professional Officer


Grade: P2 

Vacancy no.: JPO/COLOMBO/P2/2023/01
Publication date: 17 March 2023
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 13 April 2023


Job ID: 10568 
Department: RO-Asia and the Pacific 
Organization Unit: CO-Colombo 
Location: Colombo   
Contract type: Junior Professional Officer 

Contract duration: 12 months, renewable up to 48 months 

This post is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of Norway and is addressed exclusively to Norway Citizens ONLY, at the early stage of their career.


The position is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka for up to 2 years, with a possible relocation to the ILO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the third year of the assignment. For the fourth year, opportunities for cost-sharing will be explored on an equal basis (the first six months being paid by Norway and the last six months being paid by ILO).





The position will cover key areas of the ILO’s work in Sri Lanka, including, but not limited to, promoting the advancement of vulnerable persons and enterprises project (PAVE). These priorities are outlined in the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) aimed at promoting sustainable, inclusive and decent employment for people in and beyond conflict affected areas in the country. 


The Jobs for Peace and Reconciliation (JPR) programme within the DWCP Pillar I has a portfolio of projects on promotion of entrepreneurship amongst youth, and employment for vulnerable groups, especially female headed households, and people with disabilities in the post conflict areas. The PAVE project within the JPR portfolio looks at addressing the underlying causes of poor economic performance in the Northern Province by targeting poverty and achieving sustained economic growth. The project envisages contributing towards the creation of a vibrant and an inclusive economy in the North that reaches vulnerable groups through promotion of promising value chains and enterprises. The JPR programme also promotes entrepreneurship, both at local and national level, as a desirable career option for youth, discarding the traditional ambitions of young graduates of public sector employment.

Training Components and Learning Elements


Training components:

Upon completion of assignment, the JPO will have:


  • An in-depth understanding of the role of the ILO, and the UN, in supporting the economic development in a post conflict environment;
  • A solid knowledge of enterprise promotion issues in a developing country context, including the role of the private sector in promoting development;
  • A solid knowledge of employment promotion including in a post conflict environment;
  • Experience in project implementation, including administrative procedures and budget development;
  • Insight into UN coordination mechanisms and the organisations contribution towards the achievement of the SDGs in Sri Lanka;
  • Acquired experience from working in developing country.


Learning elements:


  • Become familiar with ILO’s mandate and the positioning of ILO’s Technical Cooperation work;
  • Interact with a variety of stakeholders including ILO colleagues, constituents and private sector partners at national and international levels; 
  • Get acquainted with the work of an interdisciplinary and intercultural team;
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge on enterprise promotion and decent work;
  • By the end of the first year, have accompanied colleagues on at least one joint mission.

Content and methodology of supervision


Direct supervision by: 

CTA, JPR Programme, Country Office, Sri Lanka.

Secondary Supervisor:

Director Country Office, Sri Lanka. 

Content and methodology of supervision: 

The JPO will be in close daily contact with supervisor on issues relating to project implementation and the ILO Decent work Country programmes’ overall work plans and deliverables as well as to the significance to the Office’s Strategic Policy Framework. Work will be conducted independently but with guidance and support on an as needed basis from supervisor. A work plan will be elaborated between the JPO and the supervisor in the first month of the assignment and regular meetings between the JPO and both supervisors will be scheduled as part thereof to monitor accomplishment of agreed milestones.


As necessary, the supervisor will provide detailed instructions, guidance and coaching for carrying out each assignment. Besides bilateral dialogue, feedback to draft documents and regular programme/unit meetings, the JPO will accompany and assist the supervisor in joint missions, workshops and other relevant meetings.


Performance management will be reviewed in accordance with ILO’s Performance Management Framework, as applicable to Junior Professional Officers.

Duties and Responsabilities


The JPO will perform the following duties and responsibilities: 


  • Work closely with the CTA for the JPR programme on engaging with stakeholders and implementing partners including providing guidance and quality assurance of project work and participating in designing activities. 
  • Work closely with the National Programme Coordinator (NPC) for PAVE, engaging with stakeholders and implementing partners including providing guidance and quality assurance of project work.
  • Provide capacity building support, together with the CTA/NPC, to implementing partners and stakeholders. 
  • Contribute to the formulation of concept notes and project proposals within the areas of Pillar I of the DWCP for Sri Lanka.  
  • Undertake field trips and missions as required to monitor implementation of project activities and quality assurance.    
  • Assist in the organization of consultation events with ILO constituents, other ILO programmes and field offices, the international cooperatives movement, and development partners focusing on enterprise promotion. Contribute to generate and disseminate knowledge and evidence on promotion of enterprises, and safe migration, including through research and drafting of policy papers, reports and notes; 
  • Assist in liaising with ILO constituents, other ILO programmes and field offices, and development partners focusing on enterprises;
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned.



Advanced university degree (equivalent to Master degree) in Development Economics, Enterprise Development, Business Management or development studies.

Work experience


Two years of working experience in a related field, preferably some experience related to developmental issues in low-income countries. 


Only paid internship is considered.



Excellent command of English. 

Skills required for the assignment


Strong research and analytical skills. Good drafting, editing and proofreading skills. Good computer skills. Excellent social and communication skills.  The incumbent will benefit from previous exposure to teamwork in a multicultural environment.

ILO Competencies


The candidate is expected to demonstrate and be guided by ILO competencies, specifically:

•    Ability to communicate effectively, both in written and oral form.
•    Proven ability to take initiative and work independently as well as cooperate as an effective team member.
•    Ability to identify and meet internal and external client needs and build productive relationships.
•    Ability to work in a multicultural environment, and gender-sensitive behaviour and attitudes are also required.

Conditions of employment

For general information on conditions of employment, please visit:


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit ILO JOBS. The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Interviews for shortlisted candidates will tentatively take place during the 2 to 3 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.



Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.