Programmes Officer

Sunday, October 1, 2023
  • Tonga-based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Polynesia Regional Office will lead on strengthening engagement and relationships with members towards better coordination, planning and delivery of regional programmes and services across the Polynesia sub-region. This includes strengthening integrated programming efforts and development of strategic approaches to country programming in Polynesian countries to increase sustainable development impacts and results for SPC members in particular progressing their Sustainable Development Goals. As part of programming, the work of PRO will also facilitate the harmonisation of approaches and contextualised models for programme execution in Polynesia.

The role – the Programmes Officer will support programme coordination, implementation and delivery in the Polynesia Member Countries (PMCS) of SPC.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

PRO Office operations

  • Support day-to-day operations for PRO in collaboration with the Regional Director.
  • Assist the Regional Director PRO in strategic planning to ensure that the work of PRO meets the needs of SPC’s PMC and other programme stakeholders.
  • Contribute to the development of the annual workplan for the PRO consistent with the PRO Business Plan.
  • Contribute to PRO and corporate publications and reports.

Regional Programme Coordination, Implementation and Monitoring

  • Support coordination of regional programmes and projects for SPC’s 10 members in Polynesia, including American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Wallis and Futuna.
  • Support programme implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning in collaboration with SPL and SPC technical programmes and divisions across Polynesia.
  • Coordinate with SPC programme and technical divisions on delivery to PMC.
  • Provide support to the Regional Director on engagement at annual national development forums/dialogues across PMC.
  • Support the implementation of PMC protocol for engagement as outlined in the Communication and Engagement Strategy.

Country Programming

  • Support the implementation of a country programming model for PMC in collaboration with SPL.
  • Support the development of country programmes for all Polynesian countries in collaboration with SPL, IRMO and SPC technical and scientific divisions and programmes.
  • Support engagement and consultations with PMC on country programming.
  • Support track progress on country programming implementation in collaboration with country focal points and SPC Divisional Directors.

Project Management

  • Support project management for all PRO projects.
  • Support the management of SPC projects implemented in PMC.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.


Key selection criteria


  • Bachelors degree in a relevant discipline (development studies, economic development or a related field)

Technical expertise

  • 4-6 years of relevant experience in the design or management of development programmes and projects, and thorough knowledge of the project management cycle.
  • 4-6 years’ experience working with Pacific Governments and providing advice to Governments and decision makers on development programmes/projects.
  • Demonstrated experience on collaboration with partners and stakeholders on programme delivery in Pacific island countries.
  • Proven ability to design, plan and facilitate meetings, workshops, trainings.
  • Experience in successfully leading and/or collaborating and working with people from different ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds.
  • Willingness to travel and undertake overseas assignments in SPC member countries and territories, sometimes under difficult physical conditions.

Language skills

  • Good communication skills (oral and written) and demonstrated ability to produce written reports for donors, funding proposals, etc.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural and gender-sensitive environment.
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

Remuneration – the Programmes Officer is a band 9 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,681–3,310 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately USD 3,592–4,435 (EUR 3,403–4,201). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in Tonga. Tonga nationals employed by SPC in Tonga will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international staff employees based in Tonga – SPC provides a housing allowance of USD 1,000–2,000 per month and will reimburse excess accompanied luggage of up to two additional bags. Airfares, medical and life insurance are available for eligible employees. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave per year of contract and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals.  If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.


Application procedure

Closing date: 1 October 2023 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: CR000090

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  1. What are the key development priorities for the Pacific?
  2. Describe your experience working in the Pacific.
  3. How do you see the role of the Polynesia Regional Office in supporting the work of your Government?

Position Description

Type: Contract - International

Category: Administration & Office Support

Reference ID: CR000090

Date Posted: 30/08/2023

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