Common Back Office Officer Temporary
United Nations Secretariat (UN)
Resident Coordinator System
Closed on 3 Aug 2020
Location: New York (United States)
Grade: P-3, Mid-level Professional
H Hardship
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Added 2 weeks ago
Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

In his December 2017 report, the Secretary-General presented his vision and proposals to reposition the UN development system to better respond to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While the focus was firmly placed on improving the overall effectiveness, accountability and cohesion of the UN development system’s collective results on the ground, the Secretary-General also anticipated that the proposed change measures would have the potential to also achieve cost savings that could be redeployed into development activities. This aspect of the reform – which later came to be known as “the efficiency agenda” - aims to realize cost avoidance and performance improvement by harmonizing, centralizing and consolidating the use of resources to generate efficiencies in financial and quality terms, to be redeployed as part of programmes to better support the 2030 Agenda. The SG report cited six initial but non-exhaustive potential areas for consolidation of business operations:
1. “…establish common back offices for all UN country teams by 2022…”;
2. “…ensure compliance with an improved Business Operations Strategy by 2021…”:
3. “…increase the proportion of UN common premises to 50 per cent by 2021…”;
4. “explore various options, including the possible consolidation of location-independent business operations into six or seven networks of shared service centers”;
5. A new generation of UN Country Teams; and
6. Integrating UN Information Centers into Resident Coordinator’s Offices.
Over the past year, the UNSDG Business Innovations Strategic Results Group has developed additional guidance and business models to advance the SGs efficiency agenda. BOS and Common Back Office are critical instruments to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the UN System through common operations support to the UN programme implementation

The position is located in the Country Business Strategy branch in the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO). The incumbent reports to the CBO Team Leader and works in close coordination with the Business Management Branch and Country Business Strategy Section at DCO HQ and the DCO regional desks. Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Programme Officer (Common Back Office) provides substantive support to Regional Operations Management Team (R-OMT) and UNCTs/OMTs in particular with the scaling of the Business Operations Strategy (BOS) and Common Back Office (CBO).

• Provides substantive support to the Regional Operations Management Teams, UNCTS and OMTs in the development of BOS and CBO;
• Provides capacity development services and advisory support for RCs, UNCTs, RCOs and Operational Management Teams (OMTs) on Business Operations Strategies (BOS) and CBO;
• Provide Quality Assurance of the BOS and CBO frameworks, in close collaboration with UNDCO HQ and the UNSDG BOS TWG;
• Monitors BOS and CBO implementation in countries, identifying bottlenecks and facilitating solutions;
• Facilitates reporting related to BOS and CBO at the global, regional and country and level;
• Contributes to the piloting and scaling-up of innovations aimed to reduce cost or enhance quality of business operations interventions at country-and regional levels;
• Researches and collects best practices; identifies opportunities for scaling-up innovations and assesses capacity development needs for RC/UNCT/OMT/RCOs and regional inter-agency working groups;
• Liaises with UNDCO HQ on issues that need resolution and recommends solutions from reports on best practices;
• Performs regional analysis and modeling; contributes to the development and collection of data at country and regional levels in support of BOS and CBO;
• Takes the lead with respect to the preparation and implementation of the work programme and budget, ensuring that financial resources are utilized to implement activities in accordance with the Programme Budget and allotments issued consistent with UN policy and practice;
• Contributes to other activities as necessary


Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to BOS and CBO. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; observes deadlines and is results focused; 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.
• Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in business administration or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

Exposure to the development and implementation of the CBO and/or BOS and common services, including client centric operational delivery models, is required;
Experience with change management, including the design and implementation of change processes regarding service delivery is a desirable.
Experience with inter-agency or inter-organizational collaboration in the development sector is desirable.
Experience with strategy development and basic RBM and M&E concepts is desirable.
Experience with development and delivering of Training and Capacity Development in support of change management processes is desirable.
Experience in the United Nations system or a comparable international organization is desirable.
Experience and knowledge of UN Systems policies, practices and procedures is desirable.
Experience gathering, analyzing and reporting on business operations data in development cooperation context is desirable.


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


Evaluation of candidates may include other forms of assessments followed by a competency-based interview. All evaluation and assessment related communication will be sent exclusively to your primary email address provided in Inspira. Please ensure that your primary email address is up-to-date and correct. No assessment communications will be sent to your secondary email address

Special Notice

This position is a temporary job opening, and is available till 31 December 2020.

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

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


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Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.

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