With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at its core, and in response to the General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, the UN Secretary General’s report (December 2017) “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet” puts forward a comprehensive proposal on further improvements to the resident coordinator system to ensure more coherent, accountable and effective support for the 2030 Agenda. This was further reinforced by General Assembly resolution 72/729 of 31 May 2018, which gave the Secretary-General the mandate to implement the repositioning. A reinvigorated resident coordinator system is at the centre of a repositioned United Nations development system, and while the system has been instrumental in driving coherence on the ground over the past four decades, it is now insufficiently robust to respond to the needs of the 2030 Agenda. The report stresses that resident coordinator offices will need to be adequately staffed to ensure sufficient substantive capacities to lead United Nations country teams. The core capacity will include expertise in coordination and strategic planning, economics, tailored policy support, results monitoring and evaluation, and strategic partnerships, plus a robust standing communications capacity within the United Nations country team. This post is part of this new generation of resident coordinator office, with the new skillset and competencies required to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: The position is located in the United Nations Resident Coordination Office (RCO) in Lesotho and typically reports to the Senior Development Coordination Officer, Strategic Planning and RCO Team Leader.
Responsibilities: Within delegated authority, the Development Coordination Officer /Economist will be responsible of the following duties:
Summary of Functions:
- Plans and facilitates evidence-based Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) analysis in support of a shared understanding by the UN Country Team (UNCT) of sustainable development trends, challenges and opportunities in programme countries
- Provides substantive advice on innovative economic and SDG policies to Resident Coordinator (RC) and UNCT, as well as to national counterparts in government and other relevant partners
- Assists the UNCT in the development of a new generation of SDG programmes with a strong investment orientation and focus on acceleration towards achieving the SDGs
- Plans and directs SDG knowledge generation and management.
- Researches, analyzes and presents SDG-related data, as well as information on emerging best practices in sustainable development, paying special attention to gender and capacity development, and proposes policy options to RCs/UNCTs;
- Identifies and analyzes issues that impact multiple SDGs and their targets and proposes ‘accelerator interventions’ that can help unlock and accelerate progress towards sustainable development across multiple areas;
- Assesses sustainable development trade-offs and risk factors, as well as early-warning indicators that may undermine the achievement of SDG targets and impact the UN’s role and programme in the country;
- Collects and analyzes data on UN country level operations in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
- Researches, develops and presents policy papers, guidance notes and other knowledge based-tools for discussion in country-level forums to help influence and advance policy dialogue on achieving the SDGs.;
- Contributes to the preparation of UN flagship reports, including the analysis of data and the provision of evidence to build the case for policies and interventions on SDGs;
- Monitors regional and global economic trends and issues and analyses their implications for the realization of the SDGs at the country level;
- Provides substantive support to the RC/UNCT on SDG-related issues, particularly on policies to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs, including through Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS) and similar processes, and provides advice on potential trade-offs between SDGs;
- Prepares inputs for the UNCT on how UN country-level operations can be optimized and better respond to sustainable development needs and emerging trends in country;
- Together with UNCT members, plans and facilitates an integrated approach to the UN’s policy advice to national counterparts in government and other external partners;
- Plans and directs the work of the in-country UN Joint Policy Team (or equivalent) and drives cross-pillar nexus approaches in country to policy, analysis and assessment.
- Assists in the development and implementation of the UN Development Framework (UNDAF) to ensure that the UN’s country-level operational activities effectively support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in country;
- Provides substantive support to programme formulation and revision throughout the UNDAF cycle, based on sound SDG analysis;
- Contributes to the UN joint programming process to identify and support the formulation of a new generation of UN joint programmes that are aligned with the SDGs, oriented towards investment, and have impact at the national level;
- Assists UNDAF result groups in the implementation of joint workplans to promote SDG-relevant and SDG-responsive UN operational activities for development;
- Plans and facilitates UN support to governmental and multi-stakeholder processes on SDG policy development and capacity development.
- Plans, facilitates and contributes to communities of practice and knowledge networks that promote collaboration, peer support, innovation good practices, lessons learned, needs and opportunities in the area of sustainable development;
- Researches, analyzes and presents best practices and lessons learned from implementation of UNCT projects and programmes, with a view to advising the RC and UNCT on actions to strengthen the policy orientation of the UN;
- Monitors and analyzes best practices and successful models implemented by the UN in country and suggests options for developing these into bankable national SDG investment policies and programmes;
- Contributes to global/corporate guidelines, tools and other materials related to sustainable development policy.
- Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis on sustainable development topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Shows skill in developing sources for data collection. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
- 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.
- 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.
- Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
- Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
Important applicant information
All posts in the NO categories are subject to local recruitment.
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Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension
Closing date: 01 June 2019