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Social Affairs Ofiicer - P4

UN ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico City, Mexico

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Social Development Unit of the Subregional Headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Mexico. The Social Affairs Officer acts as Chief of the Social Development Unit and reports to the Director.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the five regional Commissions of the United Nations. It was founded in 1948 with the purpose of contributing to the region's economic and social development. Its mission includes the design, monitoring and evaluation of public policies and the provision of advisory services, expertise and training to Governments, as well as support for regional and international cooperation and coordination activities. Please visit our website at www.eclac.org for further information.

Established in 1951, the Subregional Headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Mexico serves 10 countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. It is a centre of excellence in technical assistance and research, advising governments in the region at the highest level on the design, formulation, follow-up and evaluation of public policies, and training public officials.

Responsibilities

Under the general supervision of the Director and in coordination with the Deputy Director and the Research Coordinator of the Subregional Headquarters in Mexico, the incumbent acts as Chief of the Social Development Unit performing the following duties:

Social Analysis

  • Proposes, designs and carries out research projects analyzing key trends and changes in socio-economic structures and related issues (e.g., equality, poverty, cultural diversity, social protection, ageing, gender, territorial development, employment, and human rights) at global, regional, national and subnational levels; assesses implications and develops proposals with respect to socio-economic development and social welfare policies and interventions;
  • Develops new lines of analysis and applied and/or quantitative research methodologies for the diagnosis of main transformations in socio-economic structures;
  • Liaises and partners with other experts in the field (e.g. governments, civil society, research institutes, academia, other international organizations, etc.) to discuss issues related to socio-economic development including latest findings, policy guidelines, models of development, etc.; helps ensure that lessons learned and best practices are disseminated and incorporated into development programmes and other initiatives, including gender-related activities;
  • Plans, organizes and provides support to servicing of intergovernmental processes, ad hoc expert group meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. to include identification and selection of participants, development of background documentation, preparation of reports, documents, policy recommendations and analytical briefs based on the outcome of such meetings;
  • Prepares a variety of studies, reports, background and position papers, etc. on a wide range of social development and related issues;
  • Manages, supervises, coordinates and carries out the work programme of the Unit under his/her responsibility. Conducts programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others; in liaison with other departments of ECLAC and the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.

Technical Cooperation

  • Prepares and participates in missions to provide technical assistance to governments and other bodies in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies, programmes and plans related to socio-economic development;
  • Designs, monitors, evaluates and assesses the implementation of social policy and technical cooperation programmes and projects;
  • Prepares global, regional, national or sectoral analyses that provide a basis for advising national governments as well as regional institutions on social development issues;
  • Conducts or leads training seminars and workshops for government officers and others.

General

  • Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Unit, including planning, programming, and preparation of inputs for results-based budgets, assigning, monitoring and evaluating of performance indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, human resources management, interviews and evaluations of candidates for job openings;
  • Provides leadership and direction to assigned work team, and mentors and supervises the work of lower level staff;
  • Performs other duties as required.

Competencies

  • Professionalism: Proven capacity to propose and carry out empirical research, formulate conclusions and recommendations, give policy advice, and write position papers to assess costs and benefits of programmes and public policies for socioeconomic development, linking social and economic issues is required. Knowledge of and ability to apply principles and concepts of socio-economic development, in relation to government, civil society and international organizations is required. Ability to apply modern techniques of analyzing social phenomena, conduct conceptual and strategic analyses, and articulate the social dimension of complex issues is required. Ability to relate socio-economic issues, trends and perspectives, including inequality and poverty in the sub-region is required. Problem-solving and strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement is required. Strong knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to social affairs is desirable. 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;
  • 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;
  • Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; 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;
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in sociology, economics, political science, public policy or related field is required. Ph.D. is desirable. A first level university degree in sociology is required. A first level university degree in combination with at least two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in socio-economic development, policy formulation, analysis and evaluation, sociological research or related area as evidenced by a record of publications is required. Experience in the analysis of issues and policies for social development in Latin America is required. Experience in the formulation and evaluation of social policies, programmes and plans (including those related to equality, poverty, social protection, and social structure) is required. Experience in the sub-region is desirable. Hands-on experience in modern statistical methods and techniques for socioeconomic analysis is desirable. Experience using statistical/econometric packages relevant to social development, such as SPSS, STATA, NVIVO or similar is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in Spanish and knowledge of English are required. Knowledge of French is desirable.

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