Org. Setting and Reporting
These two posts advertised are located in the Innovation Cell, within the Policy and Mediation Division (PMD) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) at Headquarters in New York. The incumbents will report to the Director of the Policy and Mediation Division.
Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Assesses innovation trends and integrates innovative approaches with a view to enhance the effectiveness of delivering on the mandate of the Department both at Headquarters and the field.
- Analyses political and related events using innovative means, including big data analytics and new technologies, with a view to provide advice to USG/ASGs or Heads of Mission.
- Acts as focal point for collection and analyses of information on innovation that are related to DPPA mandates.
- Prepares analytical reports and papers on innovation, including digital technologies, data analytics and other cross-cutting matters of concern to the General Assembly, Security Council, or other bodies; drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for senior UN officials.
- Meets regularly with operational teams and parts of the wider UN system to plan innovation projects and review project activities.
- Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters, innovation trends, and how they intersect, and makes recommendations on actions to take.
- Maintains contacts with other sectors of the UN, other international organizations and governments, as well as private sector and academia on coordination and policy matters; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations.
- Participates in conferences, seminars and academic fora related to his/her assigned area of expertise.
- Provides input for assessment of staff to be deployed to important innovation posts in the field (e.g. Resident Coordinators, Peace and Development Advisers).
- Carries out, in consultation with the Chief of the Section, administrative functions relating to staff planning and budget.
- Drafts plans for start-up of innovation operations and participates in the activities of implementation.
- Performs other related duties as required.
- PROFESSIONALISM: Advanced knowledge and understanding of UN mandates, work processes and culture, and proven record in promoting and implementing innovation in a similar organizational setting. Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and innovative solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate a range of issues and perspectives to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. 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.
- 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.
- TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution, innovation or related area is required.
- Demonstrated expertise in successfully integrating innovative perspectives into policies and programmes is required.
- Experience in applying innovation to peace and security mandates, including prototyping and scaling of new methods and digital tools, is required.
- Experience conducting training and facilitating learning activities related to innovation is required.
- Experience in engaging with the private sector, civil society and academia in innovation joint ventures is required.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
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