Social Affairs Officer, P4

Social Affairs Officer, P4

UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Within delegated authority, and in the context of United Nations (UN) system-wide support to the African Union (AU), its bodies and development frameworks, including NEPAD, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), and Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030, UN-AU cooperation frameworks, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Proposes, designs and carries out substantive research projects analyzing key trends and changes in socio-economic structures and related issues (e.g., poverty, employment, ageing, disability, family, youth, occupational, cultural, educational demographic patterns, gender issues, etc.) at global, regional and national levels; assesses implications and develops proposals with respect to social development and social welfare policies and interventions;
  • Develops new lines of theoretical analysis and research methodologies for the diagnosis of major transformations in socio-economic structures;
  • Plans, organizes and provides substantial servicing of 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.


  • Provides substantive support on social issues to relevant ECA intergovernmental bodies;
  • Represents ECA at international, regional and national meetings; organizes panels, round tables, etc. on social development issues for intergovernmental processes;
  • Liaises with African Union Commission, NEPAD, RECs, IGOs, ECA Subregional Offices, other UN bodies, specialized agencies, relevant national agencies, Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on UN system-wide support to the African Union.


  • Provides technical assistance to the AU, NEPAD, RECs, IGOs, member States and other bodies in relation to UN system-wide support to Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030 and UN-AU cooperation frameworks;
  • • Designs, monitors, backstops and assesses the implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects;
  • Undertakes missions to RECs, IGOs, NEPAD, member States, either alone or as a participant in a diverse team, as part of technical cooperation activities pertaining to UN system-wide support to Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030 and UN-AU cooperation frameworks programme;
  • Prepares global, regional, national or sectoral analyses that provide a basis for advising AU, RECs, IGOs, NEPAD and member States on social development issues;
  • Conducts training seminars and workshops for AU, RECs, IGOs, NEPAD, member States and others;
  • Formulates technical modalities for the evaluation of individual technical cooperation projects;
  • Provides quantitative and qualitative analysis and substantive support to ECA’s advisory work on UN system-wide support to the African Union, including preparing global, regional, national or sector analyses that provide a basis for advising national governments on social development in Africa.


  • Participates in intra- and inter-organizational undertakings of broader concern to represent the views or interests of ECA and its clients;
  • Provides leadership and work direction to assigned work team, and/or mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers;
  • May participate in planning and preparation of unit budget and work program and in the administration of the day-to-day operations of the unit, including personnel responsibilities of the unit; and
  • Undertakes on-the-job and other training activities, both internally and externally.


Delivers high quality empirical research results. Plays a lead role in identifying significant social and economic issues and problems to be addressed. Develops well-reasoned, innovative suggestions and approaches to deal with complex policy/technical issues. Effectively leads and manages major reports, projects and work teams and timely delivers outputs in a timely manner, in accordance with overall objectives and policies. Serves as an effective spokesperson internally and externally and forms strong partnerships with relevant parties to help meet organization’s objectives with respect to overall policy initiatives and coordination of socio-economic activities.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of social development and related fields. Ability to apply principles and concepts of socio-economic development in relation to government, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. Ability to apply modern techniques of analyzing social phenomena relevant to socio-economic development in Africa. Ability to conduct conceptual and strategic analyses. Ability to analyze and articulate the social dimension of complex issues. Problem-solving skills. Ability to use sound judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Very good knowledge of the Africa region, including the political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to relate socio-economic issues, trends and perspectives, including gender issues, to social development initiatives/programmes in Africa. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under pressure. Very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to social affairs. Sound knowledge of the institutions of the UN system and African regional and sub-regional organizations. Excellent research skills and demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. 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;
  • COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • 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.


An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in sociology, other social science or related field is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in the specified fields with two additional years of relevant work 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 research and analysis, sociological research or related area in the context of Africa.


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

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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