Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development, P5

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Capacity Development and Partnership Coordination Section of the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Inter-Regional Advisor (IRA) is supervised by the Director of the Division for Inclusive Social Development and reports on a daily basis to the Chief of the Section. The Division is mandated to provide strategic and policy support to governments with the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well key internationally agreed norms and standards relating to social development. These include the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the World Plan of Action on Youth as well as the follow-up to the International Year of the Family. The services of the IRA aim to ensure the provision of high level technical expertise to Governments, civil society and other stakeholders on developing methodologies and tools for policy formulation and evaluation in the areas of social inclusion and reduction of inequalities and their impact on poverty eradication and vulnerable groups of the society. The IRA supports the Director in the work of the Division on capacity building and technical cooperation activities on social groups. The IRA will comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), when appropriate and will operate within the strategic framework for capacity development endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by the Capacity Development Office. The Interregional Advisor is also expected to lead and support, where applicable, resource mobilization efforts at the Division and Department level. The Adviser will be member of DESA's IRA Network.


Within delegated authority, the IRA:

  • Provides policy advice through short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries and countries in transition upon their request on aspects of the social dimension of sustainable development with a specific focus on the Division's mandates related social policies and social groups;
  • Monitors, studies and analyzes the trends and best practices on the social dimensions of the SDGs and prepares policy advisory notes that feed into the intergovernmental process;
  • Contributes to the design/redesign of national social policies and strategies upon requests from developing countries and countries in transition for the achievement of social inclusion and inequalities to eradicate poverty;
  • Makes substantive contributions to global/regional/sub-regional/national workshops, seminars, colloquia, other training events, including proposals concerning agenda topics, possible participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.;
  • Contributes to the Department's resource mobilization strategies, notably as far as extra-budgetary funding is concerned;
  • Develops and updates training materials, methodologies and tools for the areas covered in capacity development activities for the use by different stakeholders;
  • Establishes and nurtures close relationships with various stakeholders in view of creating partnerships and an active network on the social dimensions of sustainable development);
  • Assumes other tasks in his/her area of expertise and in line with capacity development guidance as requested by the supervisor.


  • Professionalism. In general: a) Shows pride in work and achievements; b) demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter (as described above); c) is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; d) is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; e) shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; d) remains calm in stressful situations. In particular DESA is looking for staff with the following technical competence: 1) knowledge of and experience with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related SDGs and a strong commitment to high-level technical expertise in capacity building related to sustainable social development (particularly in ageing and youth); 2) proven knowledge of participatory and qualitative methodologies; 3) familiarity with potential donors' policies (member states, UN funds and programmes, global funds, International Financial Institutions etc.); 4) familiarity with concepts and approaches related to capacity development and conversant with RBB/RBM approaches and M&E approaches; 5) proven ability to be a broker of knowledge (not only provider of knowledge, brokering issues close to DESA normative analytical mandates with a particular focus on the social dimension of sustainable development; 6) proven ability in mobilizing resources; 7) taking responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning and Organizing: a) Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; b) identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; c) allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; d) foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; e) monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; f) uses time efficiently.
  • 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.


  • Advanced University degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in sociology, economics, other social science or related area.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in international development system with a focus on the social dimension of sustainable development; b) at least five years of the professional experience should be advisory work in developing countries (including transition countries), preferably in more than one region is required. c) experience in preparing technical papers and proposals is required; d) experience with training and capacity building of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations is required; e) experience in organizing seminars and training workshops, preferably in a multi-linguistic context is required f) experience in mobilizing financial resources and creating partnerships to advance capacity development programmes is desirable; g) experience in building and maintaining partnerships with national institutions and other organizations involved in the development process is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the UN secretariat. For this position, fluency in English and another UN Official language are required. Knowledge of an additional UN Official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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