FCO Economist C4

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Apr 08

Position description

Economics is central to the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. FCO economists aim to ensure the UK’s foreign policy, prosperity agenda and relations with established and emerging powers are grounded in a good understanding of economics. FCO economists also work to raise awareness of economics and build economic capability throughout the FCO. Economists based in London are located either within the Economics Unit (led by the FCO Chief Economist) or embedded across policy teams, such as the Prosperity Fund Department. 

Main Purpose of Job 

As a motivated and high performing Economist, you will carry out analysis to underpin a set of trade-focused aid projects supported by the Prosperity Fund or lead Africa analysis in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Economy team within the Economics Unit. 

The Economics Unit economists are deployed in three teams, each with both geographic and thematic responsibilities, producing timely and impactful analysis on Sub-Saharan Africa and development economics. Particular focus is on the implications for UK foreign policy, UK overseas prosperity and security agendas. The Unit also provides guidance to, and draws on the work of, a network of about 250 economic officers in the UK’s overseas offices and international institutions. 

Economists embedded in policy teams, such as the Prosperity Fund, have strong links back to the Economics Unit as their professional hub and with economists at FCO offices overseas. The Prosperity Fund aims to reduce poverty and gender inequality through inclusive economic growth and development, and also further UK economic diplomacy objectives through the creation of opportunities for international business. Key areas of work include business case development related to the £150m Global Trade Programme (GTP), assessing proposals during procurement, and providing critical value for money analysis to guide programme delivery. 

These interesting and demanding roles offer many opportunities to develop core competencies and gain wide experience in areas of high importance to the FCO. The jobs will particularly suit candidates who are interested in global issues, development economics and/or macroeconomics, with an interest in applying economic theory to real world problems and an ability to communicate economics clearly to non-economists. 

Building strong working relationships and networks will be key to both roles. You will have the opportunity to work with, and influence, Ministers and senior officials in the FCO, other Government Departments and international institutions. You will be encouraged to draw in external views and expertise to inform analysis and promote innovative and diverse discussion. 

Both posts are ideally suited to highly motivated economists who want to be at the heart of policy development and programme activity, whilst building their leadership and communication skills. 

There will be opportunities to travel internationally for both roles. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Key roles and responsibilities for the two jobs include: 

• Undertake timely, value-added economic work that supports FCO/HMG objectives and lead on issues relating to development economics; 
• Produce high quality economic analysis and impact assessments to inform decision making; 
• Contribute to briefings to Ministers and senior officials on economic issues, both written and orally; 
• Develop and build analytical capacity amongst policy colleagues; 
• Ability to change priorities at short notice, for high priority and urgent short-term projects for policy teams. To be flexible in type and length of analysis; 
• Maintain and deepen specialist economic expertise - identify gaps in existing analysis and recommend additional analysis/research to be carried out to build an evidence base; 
• Build and maintain strong relationships with key partners in all relevant Government Departments, overseas offices and external stakeholders; 
• Play an active role in the cadre of economists across the FCO, strengthening links in London and supporting the wider economic network overseas; 
• Participate in wider corporate activities such as organising events, seminars and tasks related to Learning and Development; 
• Manage an economics placement student.


Essential on arrival:  

• A 2.1 degree or above in Economics and/or an MSc/MA in Economics – at least 50% of the modules must be in economics and the candidates should have studied both micro and macroeconomics; 
• Experience of working as an Economist in a fast paced environment; 
• Knowledge of development economics and/or international economics; 
• Knowledge of cost-benefit analysis and assessing value for money; 
• Excellent oral and written communication skills for a variety of different audiences; 
• Strong analytical skills/attention to detail; 
• Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships. 



A 2.1 degree or above in Economics and/or an MSc/MA in Economics – at least 50% of the modules must be in economics and the candidates should have studied both micro and macroeconomics


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Technical knowledge presentation question at interview

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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