Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Social Development Division, Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago. The Social Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Social Development Division.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the five regional Commissions of the United Nations. It was founded in 1948 with the purpose of contributing to the region's economic and social development. Its mission includes the design, monitoring and evaluation of public policies and the provision of advisory services, expertise and training to Governments, as well as support for regional and international cooperation and coordination activities.
Under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Social Development Division, the Social Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Participates in the analysis of social development issues in selected areas at the global, regional and national levels; undertakes empirical research and analysis of trends and developments and related policy issues relevant to the unit/departmental mandate, projects and initiatives (e.g., poverty, income distribution and other dimensions of inequality, social protection and social policies with a life cycle approach, gender, and persons with disabilities, among other population groups); recommends proposals for inclusion in reports to intergovernmental bodies, member states, etc.
- Develops indicators and methodologies for review and evaluation of specific topics.
- Liaises with officials of governments, representatives of national, regional and global organizations, organizations of the UN system, etc. on selected social policy issues related to the implementation of specific programmes, action plans or other initiatives, and provides advice on a range of related matters.
- Assists in the planning, organizing and servicing of technical and ad hoc expert group meetings; drafting reports and preparing summaries of meetings, etc.
- Represents the work unit at international and other meetings; organize and participate in working groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on social and economic development related matters.
- Prepares/contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. drafts reports or sections of analytical reports, studies, background papers, parliamentary documents, briefings, correspondence, etc.
- Provides support to intergovernmental processes dealing with social development issues by: preparing inputs for reports to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development) at global and regional level, including the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean; following intergovernmental meetings and preparing summary reports; preparing inputs to statements by members of the bureau and Secretariat staff to such meetings; assisting in the organization of panels, round tables, etc. on social development issues for intergovernmental processes.
- Organizes training seminars for national experts.
- Prepares documentation for technical cooperation programmes and projects.
- Contributes to the preparation of material for the approval of regional, country or sectoral technical cooperation projects.
- Monitors, backstops and assesses the implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects.
- Participates in fact-finding and advisory missions to government and other activities in support of work programme.
- Provides guidance to, and may supervise, new/junior staff.
- Performs other related duties as required, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the final delivery of the work unit’s services.
- Undertakes on-the-job and other training activities, both internally and externally.
- Professionalism: Knowledge and practical application of theories and concepts related to social development and social policy, including ability to use approaches and techniques to address difficult problems. Strong analytical capacity and the ability to identify, analyze and articulate difficult issues/problems. Ability to use sound judgment. Strong research skills, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources using standard methodologies and analytical techniques, draw conclusions and assess impact on the social development and policy issues. Good knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean countries, with respect to political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff. 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.
- 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.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in sociology, economics, other social science or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in socio economic development, policy analysis, sociological research or related area is required.
- Experience in research and policy advise in social policies and social protection issues, poverty and multiple dimensions of inequality, including its gender, racial and ethnic dimensions and people with disabilities, among other population groups are desirable.
- Publications in social development issues and social policies are desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of Portuguese or French is desirable.
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