Social Affairs Officer (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development), P4

UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
  • Location
    Beirut, Lebanon
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 15

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is in Cluster 5: ‘2030 Agenda and SDG coordination’ of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA - Cluster 5 provides regional leadership on SDG policy advice, support, assistance and knowledge production to ensure the implementation and follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda in the Arab region; and acts as a platform for multi-stakeholder regional deliberation, consensus-building and peer learning to strengthen cooperation and coordination on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs with international and regional intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, especially the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Social Affairs Officer reports to the Cluster Lead.


The Social Affairs Officer will be responsible for carrying out the following duties:

  • Monitors developments on issues relating to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related global and regional frameworks at the global, regional and national levels with a view to identifying emerging issues, patterns and areas for research and policy support;
  • Independently conceptualizes, designs and carries out research projects on key regional sustainable development issues;
  • Formulates survey initiatives; designs data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions and policy recommendations;
  • Organizes and prepares written outputs on sustainable development issues, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.;
  • Identifies areas requiring external expertise and prepares substantive terms of reference for consultants and experts, and develops and implements quality assurance tools to assess and validate deliverables;
  • Develops tools to assess progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arab region and identifies trends and emerging issues, and develops policy analysis tools;
  • Formulates proposals for integrated development planning, SDG-related policies and measures to enhance coherence;
  • Leads and/or participates in small or large missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries and follow-up action plans;
  • Organizes expert group meetings, seminars, and workshops on sustainable development issues, including awareness raising and capacity building activities and assists in developing action plans clients will use to manage change;
  • Coordinates substantive tasks and provides substantive backstopping to intergovernmental bodies and multi-stakeholder forums, such as the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the ECOSOC Youth Forum, and others, as deemed relevant;
  • Liaises with counterparts in DESA, UN Regional Commissions, regional intergovernmental bodies such as the League of Arab States, and UN entities working in the region, and participates in or take the lead in specific inter-agency or expert task forces or working groups either internally or with outside parties;
  • Coordinates responses to ESCWA and HQ requests related to the 2030 Agenda, consolidates input and solicits feedback, ensures effective and timely information sharing;
  • Prepares speeches, talking points, and inputs to presentations and other deliverables as required by management;
  • Participates in and contributes to project design, budget and work-planning exercises and monitors progress and delivery including through preparation and submission of progress reports and financial statements;
  • Initiates and coordinates outreach activities and represents ESCWA at international, regional, and national events and activities;
  • Supports supervisees and junior staff, reviews their work and provides guidance and feedback;
  • Performs other related duties as required, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the final delivery of the work unit's outputs and services.


  • Professionalism: Ability to conceptualize and carry out independent research in sustainable development and related areas, and to determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data and analysis provided by different sources; knowledge of the Arab region and key sustainable development opportunities and challenges; ability to conceptualize and coordinate/implement projects applying results-based management principles and tools. 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.
  • 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.
  • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in one or more of the following disciplines: social development, sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field is required. A first- level university degree (Bachelor's degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A PhD in a relevant field is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in policy-oriented work in a broad range of sustainable development issues is required.
  • Experience with the 2030 Agenda and development goals is required.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in project or programme management is desirable.
  • Experience in the provision of capacity building and advisory services to government or private sector/non-governmental organizations is desirable.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in drafting (inputs to) reports, studies or communication materials is desirable.
  • A minimum of two years experience in conceptualizing, designing and carrying out research projects on key sustainable development issues is desirable.
  • Experience in assessing survey results and preparing conclusions and policy recommendations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is a working language at ESCWA.

For this position, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable.

Note: “Fluency” equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and “Knowledge of” equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.


Application instructions

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