Senior Social Affairs Officer, P5

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 05

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Population Unit of the Statistical Division of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) based in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the direct supervision of the Director of the Statistical Division, and the general supervision of the Executive Secretary of ECE, the incumbent is responsible for supervising and managing the Population Unit, notably its activities in: servicing the ECE Standing Working Group on Ageing, developing international policies on population ageing, intergenerational relations and gender, and providing technical cooperation and capacity development to countries in the region.


Under the direct supervision and guidance of the Director of Division, the incumbent is responsible for the substantive planning, direction and management of the Population Unit. Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Manages, supervises, and carries out the work programme of the Unit under his/her responsibility. Provides programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others;
  • Acts as the Secretary of the UNECE Standing Working Group on Ageing (SWGA);
  • Plans and oversees the activities undertaken by the Unit, in particular in the area of population ageing, intergenerational relations and gender;
  • Ensures that substantive work programme and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion are are of the highest quality;
  • Provides substantive support to technical cooperation projects in the area of population and development, coordinates projects in the Unit, and in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors, and agencies as appropriate;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Unit are of high-quality standards and comply with the relevant mandates; that reports and publications are clear, objective and based on comprehensive and reliable source data;
  • Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Unit, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and indicators, reporting to governing bodies on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (e-Performance), and recruitment of staff for the Unit;
  • Provides substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies, as appropriate;
  • Provides policy advice to the Chief of Division on addressing existing and emerging population ageing challenges and management of the implementation of related strategies and intra and inter-divisional/departmental policies and procedures;
  • Represents the Organization at intergovernmental and inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive-related issues. Holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision. Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Unit and Division, as well as across organizational boundaries. Recruits staff for Unit taking due account of geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.


  • Professionalism : In-depth understanding of the substantive issues, main problems and challenges related to population ageing, gender and intergenerational issues, and other aspects of population change relevant to UNECE countries. Very good knowledge of demographic methods used for the measurement of population issues and ability to provide policy advice to national governments, including knowledge of policy-making mechanisms. Ability to prepare policy papers, briefs and related recommendations on population issues. Good understanding of the organization of inter-governmental and expert meetings and technical cooperation activities. 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • Planning and 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;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors 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;
  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities;
  • Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in demography, population studies, political science, economics, or related social sciences fields is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience working on population-related issues and policies at the national or international level is required;
  • Out of the 10 years required experience, at least 3 years of experience in the areas of population ageing, gender and intergenerational issues is required;
  • Experience in providing policy advice to national governments on population issues is required;
  • Work experience with countries of Eastern, South-eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia is desirable;
  • Experience with technical cooperation activities is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat, and Russian is a working language of UNECE. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Russian is desirable.

Application instructions

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