Social Affairs Officer, P4

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 03

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Programme Planning and Coordination Unit (PPCU) in the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The Social Affairs Officer reports to the Director of the Division. The Division seeks to strengthen international cooperation for achieving social inclusion and the reduction of inequalities, by fostering effective policy impact and intensified global dialogue on social development issues.


Within delegated authority, the Social Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

Social Analysis and Strategic Support

  • Coordinates policy development, including proposing, designing and carrying out substantive research projects analyzing key trends and changes in socio-economic structures and related issues (e.g., poverty, employment, ageing, disability, family, youth, occupational, cultural, educational demographic patterns, gender issues, etc.) at global, regional and national levels and identifying significant social and economic issues to be addressed.
  • Identifies complex policy/technical issues for the attention of the Director of the Division and Chiefs of Branches and develops well-reasoned innovative and suggestions and approaches for addressing them.
  • Liaises and partners with other experts in the field (e.g. governments, research institutes, academia, other international organizations, etc.) to discuss issues related to social development, exchanges views on latest findings, policy guidelines, new models of development, etc.; helps ensure that lessons learned are disseminated and incorporated into development programmes and other initiatives, including gender-related activities.
  • Serves as an effective spokesperson and establishes collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the organization.
  • Provides substantive inputs to and develop background documentation and analytical briefs based on the outcomes of meetings of ad hoc expert group meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc., and meetings of intergovernmental and advisory bodies (such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the High-Level Political Forum).
  • Reviews and advises on the preparation of a variety of studies, reports, background papers, parliamentary documentation, etc. on a wide range of social development and related issues, taking into account recommendations of specialized intergovernmental bodies, emerging issues and trend and current research in the field.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Initiates and coordinates outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities
  • Coordinates, facilitates and stimulates participation of NGOs and other civil society organizations in the work of the Division and of the intergovernmental bodies and other bodies that it serves.


  • Undertakes planning and preparation of the unit work program and administers the day-to-day operations of the unit, including personnel responsibilities of the unit.
  • Provides leadership and work direction to staff in the Programme Planning and Coordination Unit, and mentors and supervises the work of new/junior officers.
  • Takes the lead to develop, implement and evaluate the Division’s programme plan and programme performance; directs subordinates in coordinating, monitoring and analyzing programme implementation of the Division in support of the Director; leads review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities problems and issues to be addressed in programme implementation and proposes corrective actions for consideration by the Director of the Division and Chiefs of Branches; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions.
  • Represent the Division at inter and intra-departmental meetings on administrative and substantive matters as needed.
  • Performs other duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of social development and related fields. Ability to apply principles and concepts of socio-economic development in relation to government, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. Ability to apply modern techniques of analyzing social phenomena. Ability to conduct conceptual and strategic analyses. Ability to analyze and articulate the social dimension of complex issues. Problem-solving skills. Ability to use sound judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Ability to relate socio-economic issues, trends and perspectives, including gender issues, to social development initiatives/programmes across the globe. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under pressure. Very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to social affairs. Sound knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Excellent research skills and demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. Knowledge of policies and guidelines related to programme planning, budget and personnel management 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.
  • 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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in sociology, economics, other social science or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in socioeconomic development, policy analysis, sociological research or related area is required.
  • Experience with servicing intergovernmental bodies is required.
  • Experience with budget management, work programme formulation, monitoring and reporting is desirable.

Application instructions

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