UN ESCWA - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
The Senior Social Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
Serves as focal point for collaboration on major social development issues/topics, particularly on social protection, social inclusion and disability; provides authoritative technical and policy advice and assistance to inter-governmental and non-governmental bodies, Member State officials, international and other organizations on planning, evaluating and implementing strategies, policies and programmes which impact the achievement of Agenda 2030/SDGs, the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and other socio-economic development at global, regional or national levels.
Monitors the performance of institutional mandates/actions plans; influences the development and evolution of the UN approach to social protection reform and disability policy/CRPD implementation; makes substantive contributions to the design and implementation of significant policy and programme changes to address relevant country, regional, global challenges, including gender considerations.
Leads the development of a research agenda; conceptualizes and leads substantive research, oversees the development of concepts, formulates and manages major projects/studies and analyzes key trends and changes in relevant socio-economic structures and trends (e.g. in social protection reform and its impact on employment and poverty reduction; financing social protection, social inclusion and participation of vulnerable groups) at global, regional or national levels; assesses implications and develops proposals with respect to social sector reforms, social policies and projects.
Takes the lead in managing and establishing partnerships with other experts and stakeholders (e.g. governments, research institutes, academia, UN system and other international organizations, NGOs, the private sector, etc.) to discuss emerging topics related to social protection reform and exchange views on latest findings, policy guidelines, etc.
Plans and directs, in consultation with Cluster leader, other programme coordinators within ESCWA, and other relevant stakeholders such as UN country teams, cooperation on joint projects to facilitate knowledge sharing and appropriate dissemination of information, etc. and ultimately ensures that the latest thinking is incorporated into relevant policies, programmes and other initiatives.
Conceptualizes, writes and supervises preparation of a variety of studies, reports, etc. on social protection reform and disability policy for publication within the UN system and in academic journals and other publications.
Represents the organization at national and international fora and presents institutional views/policies; coordinates and chairs and/or contributes substantively to sectoral seminars, general training programmes, workshops and expert group meetings.
Provides substantive services to inter-governmental bodies (e.g. the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, ESCWA Executive Committee, the Commission for Social Development, etc); facilitates the negotiation process and promotes constructive dialogue and collaboration; coordinates and facilitates the establishment of and liaison with various groups in civil society; oversees the preparation of analytical reports and other documentation for such bodies.
Advise member countries on good practices and social policies.
Manages the work unit’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies.
Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on social and economic issues, as relevant.
Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and coordinates with the relevant regional Advisors at ESCWA to ensure a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on social issues and policies.
Provides substantive input to the work of the technical assistance related to a variety of issues, including but not limited to social protection, employment, gender equality, disability, social inclusion and social inequality.
Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects.
Organizes and coordinates multidisciplinary cooperation missions among Member States on social programmes or issues.
Designs, monitors, backstops and assesses the implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects.
Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions.
Contributes to the personnel and financial management of the relevant ESCWA projects, to include the development and implementation of work plans and budgets.
Manages the development of multidisciplinary media messages on the relevant areas of work.
Carries out and supervises key programme activities, including key missions and other initiatives; leads and directs a team of staff; may oversee activities for a discrete work section or equivalent; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment, selection and training of new staff and in the development of training programs.
Performs other duties as required.
Professionalism: Ability to advise senior management and senior government officials in Arab countries on challenges, approaches and techniques to reforming social protection systems and disability policy, including highly complex, technical and sensitive issues. Recognized expert in the field with demonstrated capacity for conceptual and intellectual leadership. Ability to conduct complex social research projects in collaboration with government stakeholders and civil society leaders. Ability to undertake conceptual and strategic analysis in the above field, including the ability to thoroughly analyze and evaluate critical challenges. Ability to demonstrate original and creative thinking. Ability to use independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major policy, project and other issues/problems. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. Ability to work under pressure. Excellent knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies and guidelines. Seasoned knowledge of the institutions of the UN system and their policies with regard to social protection and disability. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of the technical details of social protection reform and disability policy; 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 and disability 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.
Planning & 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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent), in political science, sociology, economics, other social science or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in, policy analysis, social research, economic policy, disability policy or related areas out of which four years of experience are in the field of social protection is required.
Demonstrated experience in social protection in the Arab region is desirable.
Experience with international technical cooperation projects is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is a working language at ESCWA. For this position, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. Fluency in French is desirable.