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Resident Coordinator - Lead | Design | Deliver
RC Online - The Online Resource for UN Resident Coordinators

Become an RC/HC/DO

The Resident Coordinator system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level. Resident Coordinators lead UN country teams in 131 countries and are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations.

The Resident Coordinator role is pivotal to the success of the United Nations in reaching our goals in each of the countries the UNSDG serves. The Resident Coordinator leads and strategically positions the United Nations country team in support of national priorities, development strategies, and plans.

  • Resident Coordinator System

The Resident Coordinator (RC) system encompasses all organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development, regardless of their formal presence in the country. The RC system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level.

Resident Coordinators lead UN country teams in more than 163 countries and territories and are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations. Working closely with national governments, Resident Coordinators and country teams advocate the interests and mandates of the UN system while drawing on the support and guidance of the entire UN family.

Coordinating development operations promotes more strategic support for national plans and priorities, makes operations more efficient and reduces transaction costs for governments. This helps the UN to be a more relevant and reliable partner for governments.

  • Selection and Appointment of UN Resident Coordinators

 The RC serves as a representative of the Secretary-General and is usually the most senior level UN official in the country.  The RC is responsible for leading and maximizing the impact of the UN in responding to national priorities, strategies and programmes.

The Resident Coordinator position is in most cases also the Designated Official (DO).   Depending on the specific country context, the RC may also serve as the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC).  In those countries with peacekeeping and/or political missions, the RC is also normally the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary- General (DSRSG). The number of responsibilities that are combined with the RC function depends on the country context and reflects an increasing level of complexity.  The RC post thus requires a level of skills and experience that match the country specific post profile.

The RC position is open to:

  1. Senior UN staff from the Funds, Programmes, Specialized Agencies and the UN Secretariat (P5 and above).
  2. External candidates with relevant experience from recognized international and regional organizations, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions

A prerequisite for determining the suitability of candidates for RC positions is to undergo assessment. The RC Assessment Centre (RCAC) is a competency based assessment for potential candidates and a passing grade is required in order to be considered for any RC positions.  The RCAC is structured around RC competencies, using a variety of testing methods, including interviews, role plays and group exercises over a 3 day period.  Interested candidates must be sponsored by a UN entity in order to undertake the RCAC.

  • RCAC Eligibility Criteria

When considering candidates for the UN Resident Coordinator Assessment Centre (RCAC), it is the responsibility of the nominating entity to ensure that all nominees currently meet the following minimum criteria:

Master’s degree – or equivalent post graduate qualification – in development studies, international relations, political science, economics, social sciences, human rights, law or closely related fields (for otherwise suitably qualified candidates, a first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced post graduate university degree).

Function at a post level of at least P5 for internal nominees with relevant experience; for external nominees, 15 years of relevant experience at the international level; both including five years of cumulative experience in development, rule of law or humanitarian work at country level.

Relevant experience would preferably include:

  • Development of strategies affecting the provision of advisory services, inter‐organisation and international cooperation;
  • Partnership building;
  • Mobilisation of resources;
  • Management and leadership of programmes in development‐related areas, working with national, regional and international entities;
  • Management and coordination of humanitarian assistance operations;
  • Excellent knowledge of the UN System/RC System and of international norms and standards.
  • Political skills and acumen.

Fluency in English is required and a working knowledge of other official UN languages.

Fully meeting performance expectations in the past three years, as well as demonstrating proficiency in the RC competency framework, especially demonstrating a capacity to 
strongly develop team commitment;

Upon completion of the RCAC, be available for at least one assignment, preferably two assignments;

Commitment to serve in any country, at the request of the Secretary‐General.

  • RCAC Nomination Guidance

When nominating entities are considering candidates for the RCAC, it is important to note that the RC application, selection and appointment process is guided by the following principles5:

  • Nominations for RC positions reflect the best and brightest candidates;
  • Representation: to ensure that candidates being considered for RC positions reflect diversity in accordance with the following broad criteria:
    • NorthSouth balance: the composition of candidates is reflective of the principle of 
equitable geographical distribution, in accordance with Article 101, paragraph 3, of 
the Charter of the United Nations;
    • Gender balance: every effort is made to achieve a 50/50 gender distribution, in line 
with A/RES/61/244: XI6;
    • Representative of the UN system: efforts are made to ensure a broad representation 
of candidates from across the UN system;
    • Broadening the RC selection and appointment to external candidates from outside 
the UN System.

Candidates who passed the RCAC are placed in the RC pool and are eligible to apply for RC posts.

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