Job Opening

Department/Office: Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 21 December 2017 - 19 January 2018
Job Opening Number: 17-Population Affairs-DESA-89808-R-New York (E)
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 Population Division of DESA. The Population Division was created in 1946 with the mandate of strengthening the capacity of the international community to address current and emerging population issues and to integrate population dimensions into the development agenda at the national and international levels. The Division is mandated to effectively facilitate and provide strategic / policy support to Member States to monitor progress in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Adviser will be a member of DESA’s IRA Network.

The services of the IRA aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues and development strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects and programmes.

The services of the IRA need to comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), when appropriate, and with strategies and guidance concerning capacity development activities endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by the Capacity Development Office.


The incumbent:

•Provides policy advice through short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries upon their request on aspects of sustainable development, in the area of population and development (CPD resolution 2016/1) and on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (A/RES/70/1), including the achievement of population-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
•Monitors, studies and analyzes the trends and best practices for sustainable development, in the area of population and development and prepares policy advisory notes to inform governments as well as to feed into the intergovernmental process;
•Contributes to the design/redesign of national policies and strategies upon requests from developing countries for sustainable development, in the area of population and development, and for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
•Provides leadership in the design of capacity development programmes, projects and activities at national, regional and global levels and contributes to implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting on these initiatives;
•Ensures 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;
•Makes substantive contributions to global/ regional/sub-regional/national workshops, seminars, colloquia, other training events, including proposals concerning agenda topics, possible participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.;
•Contributes to the Department’s resource mobilization strategies, notably as far as extra-budgetary funding is concerned;
•Assumes other tasks in his / her area of expertise and in line with capacity development guidance as requested by the supervisor.
•Develops and updates training materials for the areas covered in capacity development activities for the use by different stakeholders;
•Undertakes survey initiatives; guides design of data collection instruments; reviews, analyses and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions;
•Liaises with relevant professional networks and makes relevant external capacity development resources available to DESA;
•Establishes and nurtures close relationships with various stakeholders in view of creating partnerships and an active network on sustainable development;
•Provides inputs for the normative and advocacy functions of the Division based on the capacity development expertise.


The successful incumbent is expected to adhere to and practice the three main 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; d) remains calm in stressful situations. In particular, DESA is looking for staff with the following technical competence: 1) a strong commitment to high-level technical expertise in the relevant specialty (particularly in sustainable development, in the area of population and development); 2) proven ability in preparing robust project proposals; 3) familiarity with potential donors’ policies (member states, UN funds and programmes, global funds, International Financial Institutions, etc.); 4) familiarity with concepts and approaches related to capacity development and conversant with RBB/RBM approaches and M&E approaches; 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.
•Communication: a) Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; b) listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; c) asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; d) tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; e) demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
•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.


Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in demography, or in a related field such as economics, sociology, geography or statistics with an emphasis in population, is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience related to technical cooperation or other operational activities for development of the UN system in sustainable development, in the area of population and development. At least five years of the professional experience should be advisory work in developing countries (including transition countries), preferably in more than one region.

At least 5 years of experience in applied (policy-oriented) research in population and development is desirable.


An excellent knowledge of English and of at least another UN official language is required.


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

Special Notice

This JO refers to a specialised inter-regional 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. 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. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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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