SARC Programme for Swiss nationals

Are you interested in pursuing your career with the United Nations?
The SARC (Special Assistants to the Resident Coordinator) programme has been established to support the UN Coordination agenda. Aimed at mid-level professionals, it is one of the best springboards for career success in multilateral organisations.

Why join the programme

  • To support the UN Coherence agenda and development programmes in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • To contribute to the enhancement of the UN system
  • To strengthen Switzerland’s own national capacity
  • To support Switzerland’s representation in the UN system
  • To progress towards higher professional opportunities in multilateral organisations

Current vacancies

Who are the SARCs

The Special Assistants to the Resident Coordinators (SARCs) are mid-level professionals recruited at the P3 level to provide support to the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team. They are crucial in supporting the coordination capacity of the UN Resident Coordinator's Office and to strengthen UN system-wide coherence at country level. SARCs are usually placed in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, and work under the direct supervision of the UN Resident Coordinator or the head of the UN Resident Coordinator Office.

Working as a SARC is demanding and requires a strong commitment to the sector as well as an interest in coordination, versatility and procedural support to achieve results.

The SARCs support the UN Leadership in a given country in coordinating and delivering on the 2030 Agenda.

Profiles sought-after

  • Swiss nationality
  • Maximum 38 years of age 
  • Master’s degree in a relevant development discipline
  • Minimum 5 years' relevant work experience
  • Fluency in English, proficiency in another UN language 
  • Interest in coordination, multi-tasking and facilitation processes to achieve results
  • A strong commitment to development, an interest in adapting to varied physical and professional environments, and a desire to work in a diverse environment

The Resident Coordinator system ensures the coordination of all organisations of the United Nations dealing with operational activities for development in a given country.

More about SARC and the Resident Coordinator

The Resident Coordinator (RC) is the highest ranking representative of the United Nations development system (UNDS) at the country level, with the responsibility to lead United Nations country teams, and ensure system-wide accountability on the ground for the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and coordinating UN support to countries in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The Resident Coordinator is the designated representative of – and reports to – the UN Secretary-General.

The Resident Coordinator system ensures the coordination of all organisations of the United Nations dealing with operational activities for development at the country level, regardless of the nature of their presence in the country. It encompasses the UN Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team and Resident Coordinator’s Office and is served by the UN Development Coordination Office. The Resident Coordinator system is focused on the advancement of sustainable development, leaving no one behind, and with the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions as an overarching objective, consistent with the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The SARC programme started in 2003. Switzerland joined the programme in 2020. Experience shows that the programme has contributed significantly to the implementation of UN reform at the country level. It has provided experienced and talented young professionals who have been able to contribute to the strengthening of the Resident Coordinator function.

The Donor's and cinfo's role

The Swiss SARC programme is funded by the Swiss Confederation – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD).

For SDCSwiss Agency for Development and Cooperation -funded SARCs, cinfo is in charge of... 

  • promoting the programme, publishing and publicising all vacancies,
  • processing applications, conducting interviews with candidates, pre-selecting and recommending candidates,
  • preparing the selected SARCs for their assignment,
  • offering career advice and follow-up during SARC assignments.