United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
New York (United States)
Grade: P-5, Chief and Senior Professional
Occupations: Economic Development, Environment and Natural Resources, General Support, Management and Strategy, Social and Inclusive Development
Job Expired 6 Feb 2021
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Added 1 month ago
Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch. The Division serves as the global secretariat for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provides substantive inputs to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. For more information, please visit our website at The Adviser will work under the overall supervision and guidance of the Chief of the National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch and in close collaboration with other staff of the Branch and Division. Technical support, policy advice, capacity development, training, and research will be the main focus of the Adviser whilst linking the global intergovernmental processes with national policies, strategies and reviews of SDG implementation particularly in the areas of integrating the 2030 Agenda into national plans and strategies, post-VNR follow-up, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, climate change, emerging challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, urbanization, transport and other substantive areas as appropriate. The services of the Adviser aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues, development strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects or programmes.


Within delegated authority, the Interregional Adviser will be responsible for the following:

• Responds to requests for technical assistance on reviews of implementation of national sustainable development strategies, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , other internationally agreed development goals, and
requests for advisory services from Member States on sustainable development issues with an emphasis on African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States, countries in special situations, as well as the specific challenges facing middle-income countries while allowing for regional cross learning from other countries.

• Undertakes technical and policy analysis and generates relevant knowledge and policy briefs relevant to review and reporting of sustainable development commitments, including
the SDGs.

• Organizes training workshops to support countries to prepare their national sustainable development reports and reviews of implementation.

• Provides capacity development support to Member States for reporting to the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on their sustainable development activities, including preparation of national sustainable development reports.

• Contributes to UN common country analysis in cooperation with the respective UN country teams.

• Prepares reviews of best practices and analysis of issues on accountability mechanisms and reporting on sustainable development priorities at the national level.

• Establishes partnerships and undertakes pertinent research, generates brokers and transfers knowledge of accountability mechanisms and reviews of the 2030 Agenda.

• Supports the learning, exchange of expertise and best practices networks and communities of practice on sustainable development reporting and reviews.

• Makes substantive contributions to global, regional, sub-regional and national workshops, seminars, and other training events, including setting programme, selection of participants, preparation of background documents and presentations.

• Drafts project proposals and actively seeks funding from donors for developing country partners in line with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

• Manages and provides advisory services to projects and programmes for the implementation of sustainable development initiatives.

• Works with other UN agencies, UN regional commissions, UN Resident Coordinators, multilateral development banks, donors, governments, civil society, private sector and other agencies on project development, funding and implementation.

• Contributes to the analytical and normative work of the Division by bringing experience from the technical advisory services in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

• Performs other duties as required.


• Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to sustainable development issues; Ability to develop economic, social and environmental policies and make recommendations on their implementation. Knowledge and understanding of sustainable development issues, international policy-making processes and UN intergovernmental process in the area of sustainable development; Knowledge of the UN work in the area of the 2030 Agenda, including the work and outputs of the High-level Political Forum; Knowledge of institutional arrangements, policies and guidelines at the UN system, especially UN-DESA and the Development Coordination Office, pertaining to outreach and capacity development activities; Familiarity with relevant capacity development activities of other Divisions of UN-DESA, Regional Commission, and UN agencies, funds and programmes active in the area of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals; Knowledge and understanding of concepts and approaches, as well as UN processes relevant to results-based budgeting and programme management; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Ability to engage senior leaders representing national governments, civil society, private sector and other organisations to achieve common objectives related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in national contexts; Ability to form strategic partnerships and well-resourced networks at the national and regional level engaging national and international actors to capitalise on synergies and build national capabilities in support of advancing the 2030 Agenda; Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or
overseeing the planning, development, and management of the project activities. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment Shows pride in work and in
achievements; 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.

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

• Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.


Advanced university degree in sustainable development, development economics, social sciences, public policy, governance, institutional development or a related field. 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

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in sustainable development, preferably in the fields of policy formulation and implementation, programme/project management, building strategic alliances and partnerships, resource mobilization, governance, policy, institutions and related capacity development is required.
At least five years of experience in implementing capacity-building projects on sustainable development matters and providing advisory services to developing countries in formulating and implementing a national strategy in sustainable development is required.
A minimum of five years of experience working in an international organization and in supporting intergovernmental processes 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 competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This Job Opening 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 priorities in the area of capacity development, and availability of funds. The functional requirements will be reassessed after five years.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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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