Job Opening

Department/Office: Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 11 January 2020 - 13 February 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Economic Affairs-DESA-129375-R-New York (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The vacancy is in the Development Policy Branch (DPB) of the Economic Analysis and Policy Division (EAPD).

DPB manages all capacity development activities of EAPD, the main development research division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). DPB is also the Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) and undertakes in-depth analysis on sustainable development issues related to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The research and policy analysis of the DPB contributes to the strengthening of international cooperation for the economic and social development of LDCs and supports these countries in the formulation and implementation of UN Development Agenda. One of the core functions of EAPD, as conducted by DPB, is to monitor and analyze the critical development issues of LDCs and formulate advice for policy implementation and coordination related to the structural handicaps of LDCs and to supporting graduating and graduated countries from the LDC category.

Under this organizational setting and supervision of the Chief, Development Policy Branch, the Inter-Regional Adviser (IRA) will be responsible for providing capacity development support and high-level technical advisory services on development policies and national development strategies to the LDCs, with a focus on financing these strategies in the context of the 2030 Agenda. The incumbent will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the research and policy analysis of EAPD/DPB to developing countries for strengthening their capacity in designing, implementing and evaluating sustainable development policies and instruments to realize the Programme of Action for LDCs and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

The Adviser will be a member of DESA’s IRA Network. The services of the IRA need to comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), and with strategies and guidance concerning capacity development activities endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by the Capacity Development Policy Management Office (CDPMO).


The incumbent will carry out the following tasks:

• Formulate and implement capacity development projects funded under the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation, Development Account and Extra-budgetary (XB) resources;
• Contribute to DESA’s capacity for providing development policy advisory services for LDCs and other developing countries, through building two-way linkages between the analytical work of EAPD and the capacity development work in these countries, identifying key capacity constraints and operational bottlenecks in policy analysis, developing analytical and operational framework and working closely with advisors and experts in the Regional Commissions, Resident coordinators, Development Cooperation Office (DCO) as well as in UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies;
• In the context of specific capacity development work, develop advisory notes and guidance materials on development policies including, but not limited to, addressing structural handicaps, improving access to financing, and graduation from the LDC category;
• Strengthen capacities of selected LDCs that indicate interest in developing integrated national financing frameworks (INFFs) to strengthen links between their planning processes and financing policies, as well as to better align financing policies with national sustainable development priorities and graduation strategies;
• Provide policy advice through short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in LDCs and other developing countries upon their request on aspects of overcoming structural handicaps to sustainable development, including handicaps to financing development strategies, and other related policies within the broader context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
• Contribute to the design and implementation of smooth transition strategies for graduating from the LDC category and analysis of continued and coordinated support to graduating countries, with a focus on creating supportive policy frameworks, enabling LDCs to pursue and realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
• Propose innovative approaches to create synergies and complementarities with other parts of the UN development system, which strengthens the Department’s ability to contribute to operational activities for development of the UN system and ensure system-wide coherence;
• Contribute to the analytical work of DPB by sharing experiences related to capacity development, prepare relevant case studies and policy briefs and make appropriate country specific analysis to various outputs of DESA;
• As the senior level advisor, support the Chief, DPB by providing substantive and operational leadership in the design of EAPD’s capacity development programmes, projects and activities at national, regional and global levels and contribute to project formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting on these initiatives. • Ensure implementation of gender mainstreaming guidelines by assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels;
• Make substantive contributions to global/ regional/sub-regional/national workshops, seminars, colloquia, other training events, including expert group meetings and workshops organized by EAPD/DPB;
• Contribute to the Department’s resource mobilization efforts, particularly to support and expand EAPD’s capacity development portfolio;
• Assume other tasks in his/her area of expertise and in line with capacity development guidance as requested by the supervisor;
• Develop and update training materials on various development policy issues and challenges for use by different stakeholders, supporting capacity development activities of the Division;
• Liaises with relevant professional networks and brokers external capacity development knowledge for EAPD’s capacity development work;
• Establish and nurture close relationships with various stakeholders in order to create partnerships and an active network on issues related to development policies of LDCs and other developing countries;
• Provide inputs to the normative, analytical and advocacy functions of the Division based on first-hand experience with capacity development work at the national, regional and global levels. Work implies frequent interaction with the following:
• High-level representatives and officials in national governments and international organizations.
• High-level counterparts, senior officials and technical staff in relevant UN Secretariat entities and in UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies.

Expected Outputs: Organization of training and capacity development workshops, seminars, high-level policy dialogues and development forums at national, regional and inter-regional levels, in partnership with other UN entities, academia and other stakeholders, to facilitate dissemination and understanding of various policy options and recommendations, offered by DESA, among larger group of stakeholders; The advisory services covering a wide range of issues, including designing development strategies for sustainable development on a long-term and large-scale basis, keeping in mind the local national context; Development and disseminaton of policy papers, policy briefs, case studies, technical background notes, mission reports, toolkits, and handbooks of sound, innovative and country-specific policy advice to LDC Governments and other key stakeholders in developing countries, promoting equitable and sustainable development in line with their economic, social and political constraints; Contributions to strengthening EAPD’s capacity and internal approach to undertaking capacity development in LDCs and other developing countries, including incorporating innovative approaches and methodologies in capacity needs assessment, development policy analysis and assessment of various policy options, enhancing monitoring and evaluation, and increasing synergies and complementarities with other parts of the UN development system. Other expected outputs include, as appropriate, policy analysis, preparation of complex papers, project proposals, and, upon request, contributions to various flagship reports, studies and publications of DESA.


The successful incumbent is expected to adhere to and practice the three core values of the UN system (integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity) and in particular possess the following competencies:
• Professionalism: In general, a) Shows pride in work and achievements; b) demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter (as described above); c) is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; d) is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; e) shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; f) remains calm in stressful situations; g) demonstrated intellectual leadership, strategic focus, capacity to identify options and articulate trade-offs and strong analytical thinking; and a track-record of building effective partnerships with stakeholders in pursuit of strategic goals. In particular, 1) a thorough understanding of sustainable development policy issues, particularly those related to LDCs; 2) proven ability in preparing robust project proposals and managing projects; 3) familiarity with potential donors’ policies (member states, UNDP, global funds, International Financial Institutions etc.); 4) familiarity with concepts and approaches related to capacity development; 5) proven ability to be a broker of knowledge (not only provider of knowledge, brokering issues close to DESA normative analytical mandates); 6) proven ability in building partnerships with national institutions and other organizations involved in the development process; 7) proven ability in mobilizing resources; 8) taking responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• Creativity: a) Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; b) offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; c) promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; d) takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; e) thinks “outside the box”; f) takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; g) is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches. •Planning and Organizing: a) Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; b) identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; c) allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; d) foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; e) monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; f) uses time efficiently.

• Planning and Organizing: a) Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; b) identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; c) allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; d) foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; e) monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; f) uses time efficiently.

• Vision: a) Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks, clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; b) generates and communicates broad and compelling organization direction, inspiring others to pursue the same direction, conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.


Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in economics or related field preferably with specialisation in development policy is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience within the UN development system and in national government, dealing with development policy issues and challenges is required. A minimum of 10 years of the professional experience in advisory work in least developed countries is required.
Experience with inter-governmental and regional processes and in mobilising financial resources, including in programme and project management, and creating partnerships to advance capacity development programmes is required.
Experience working with more than one region of the world is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is required.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This JO refers to a specialised interregional adviser position. The initial appointment is for one year. Annual renewal of appointment is subject to endorsement by an internal Departmental Panel on the continued need for the technical speciality depending on updates to DESA's priorities in the area of capacity development, and availability of funds and post. The functional requirements will be reassessed after five years.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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