Job Opening

Posting Title: SOCIAL AFFAIRS OFFICER (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development), P4
Department/Office: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Duty Station: BEIRUT
Posting Period: 14 September 2020 - 13 October 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Social Affairs-ESCWA-139463-R-Beirut (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is in Cluster 5: ‘2030 Agenda and SDG coordination’ of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA - Cluster 5 provides regional leadership on SDG policy advice, support, assistance and knowledge production to ensure the implementation and follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda in the Arab region; and acts as a platform for multi-stakeholder regional deliberation, consensus-building and peer learning to strengthen cooperation and coordination on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs with international and regional intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, especially the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Social Affairs Officer reports to the Cluster Lead.


The Social Affairs Officer will be responsible for carrying out the following duties:

•Monitors developments on issues relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related global and regional frameworks at the global, regional and national levels with a view to identifying emerging issues, patterns and areas for research and policy support;
•Independently conceptualizes, designs and carries out research projects on key regional sustainable development issues;
•Formulates survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions and policy recommendations;
•Organizes and prepares written outputs on sustainable development issues, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.;
•Identifies areas requiring external expertise and prepares substantive terms of reference for consultants and experts, and develops and implements quality assurance tools to assess and validate deliverables;
•Develops tools to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arab region and identifies trends and emerging issues, and develops policy analysis tools;
•Formulates proposals for integrated development planning, SDG-related policies and measures to enhance coherence;
•Leads and/or participates in small or large missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries and follow-up action plans;
•Organizes expert group meetings, seminars, and workshops on sustainable development issues, including awareness raising and capacity building activities and assists in developing action plans clients will use to manage change;
•Coordinates substantive tasks and provides substantive backstopping to intergovernmental bodies and multi-stakeholder forums, such as the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the ECOSOC Youth Forum, and others, as deemed relevant;
•Liaises with counterparts in DESA, UN Regional Commissions, regional intergovernmental bodies such as the League of Arab States, and UN entities working in the region, and participates in or take the lead in specific inter-agency or expert task forces or working groups either internally or with outside parties;
•Coordinates responses to ESCWA and HQ requests related to the 2030 Agenda, consolidates input and solicits feedback, ensures effective and timely information sharing;
•Prepares speeches, talking points, and inputs to presentations and other deliverables as required by management;
•Participates in and contributes to project design, budget and work-planning exercises and monitors progress and delivery including through preparation and submission of progress reports and financial statements;
•Initiates and coordinates outreach activities and represents ESCWA at international, regional, and national events and activities;
•Supports supervisees and junior staff, reviews their work and provides guidance and feedback;
•Performs other related duties as required, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the final delivery of the work unit's outputs and services.


•Professionalism: Ability to conceptualize and carry out independent research in sustainable development and related areas, and to determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data and analysis provided by different sources; knowledge of the Arab region and key sustainable development opportunities and challenges; ability to conceptualize and coordinate/implement projects applying results-based management principles and tools. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

•Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

•Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in one or more of the following disciplines: social development, sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field is required. A first- level university degree (Bachelor's degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A PhD in a relevant field is desirable.

Work Experience

1.A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in policy-oriented work in a broad range of sustainable development issues is required.
2.Experience with the 2030 Agenda and development goals is required.
3.A minimum of three years of experience in project or programme management is desirable.
4.Experience in the provision of capacity building and advisory services to government or private sector/non-governmental organizations is desirable.
5.A minimum of three years of experience in drafting (inputs to) reports, studies or communication materials is desirable.
6.A minimum of two years experience in conceptualizing, designing and carrying out research projects on key sustainable development issues is desirable.
7. Experience in assessing survey results and preparing conclusions and policy recommendations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is a working language at ESCWA.

For this position, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable.

Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.


Evaluation of qualified candidates will include assessment(s) and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

•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.
•The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
•For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 May 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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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