Director, Sub-regional Office - West Africa (SRO-WA), D1

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • Location
    Niamey, Niger
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 31

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The mandate of the Sub-Regional Office is to strengthen the capacity of member States to formulate evidence-based plans and policies in support of economic and social transformation in West Africa. To implement its mandate, SRO-WA contributes ECA's policy-oriented research, promotes its results of and facilitates linkages and information exchange between development actors in the region. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of economic and social development, with a focus on employment issues particularly on gender and youth; macro-economic policies and governance, regional integration dynamics; sustainable development and sustainable management of natural resources; food security; and innovation, data collection and knowledge management. The Sub-Regional Office for West Africa serves the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Serra Leone and Togo.

This post is located in the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Sub -Regional Office for West Africa (SROWA) in Niamey, Niger. The Director SROWA reports to the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Programmes.


Within delegated authority, the Director will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Formulates and implements the substantive work programme of the SROWA. Oversees the management of activities undertaken by the SROWA, ensures that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinates work in the different areas both within the SRO and Headquarters, and with other organizations of the United Nations System, as appropriate.
  • Provides intellectual, technical and managerial vision and leadership for the SROWA.
  • Serves as principal technical and substantive adviser to the Executive Secretary on all matters pertaining to the regional integration and cooperation in the West African sub-region and to the SROs.
  • In the context of the sub-region, assesses economic and social development needs, develops policy, organizes research, designs and executes programme initiatives, and monitors results in close collaboration with ECA Divisions and other SROs.
  • Leads, supervises and carries out the work programme of the SROWA. Co-ordinates the work carried out by different work units under the SROWA and by other agencies and bodies of the United Nations system; provides programmatic/substantive reviews of the drafts prepared by others.
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) as appropriate.
  • Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the SROWA maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Sections under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Leads the preparation of the work programme of the SROWA in determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the SROWA, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting.
  • Recruits staff, taking due account of geographical balance.
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision.
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the SROWA and across organizational boundaries.
  • Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues.
  • Manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars.
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
  • Represents the Division at international, regional or national meetings.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

  • Managers and staff within the Division, Department, Office, Commission and/or Mission.
  • Senior Staff within the UN Secretariat, Missions Heads and other UN offices, funds, programmes and specialized agencies.
  • Representatives of Governments and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
  • Chairs and members of intergovernmental bodies.
  • Representatives of Governments and representatives of non-governmental organizations. Chairs and members of intergovernmental bodies.

Results expected:

Produces high-quality outputs on key issues. Effectively and efficiently manages available human and financial resources to ensure the timely delivery of programmed outputs. Provides solid substantive support in the servicing of various committees and intergovernmental bodies; reports for these bodies are clear and focused on the issue at hand and the meetings or seminars are well-organized meetings or seminars and address the topics covered in a comprehensive manner. Effectively develops staff under his/her supervision, including their on-going learning and development. Effectively assists, guides and supports programme managers in meeting their objectives and outputs.



Expert knowledge in the promotion of economic and social development, including regional integration, trade, and demographic dynamics; proven ability to prepare written materials in a clear, concise and compelling manner and communicate orally in an effective manner; ability to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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 and commits to learning. 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.

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.


Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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.


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 improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

Managing Performance:

Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in economics, public administration, social sciences, development management or related areas is required. A Ph.D. in economics or development economics is highly desirable. A first level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in research, management and analysis of socio-economic development issues is required. Experience in leading a team of specialists in an interdisciplinary effort is required. Experience in handling a multidisciplinary portfolio of tasks and duties is required. Experience of management of development programmes in an international organization is desirable. Experience in facilitating and conducting intergovernmental processes is desirable. Experience of regional integration and social and economic structural transformation in the context of Africa is desirable. Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first-level university degree recognized by the United Nations.


Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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