Senior Sustainable Development Officer, P5

  • Location
    Beirut, Lebanon
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 10

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) forms part of the United Nations Secretariat and, like the other regional commissions, operates under the supervision of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ESCWA comprises 20 Arab countries in Western Asia and North Africa. ESCWA provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries, a platform for congress and coordination, a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. ESCWA activities are coordinated with the divisions and main offices of the Headquarters of the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations serving Arab States.

This position is located in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in the Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability Cluster and supports the work of the Arab Centre for Climate Change Policies at ESCWA. The Senior Sustainable Development Officer reports directly to the Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability Cluster Leader.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Sustainable Development Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Overseas the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects on climate change impact assessment, vulnerability assessment, adaptation, water security, climate finance and related sustainable development issues; provides substantive inputs and technical advice during programme/project development, implementation, monitoring and assessment;
  • Guides, drafts and finalizes the review of relevant documents and reports; identifies priorities, problems and issues to be addressed at the country and regional levels and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions;
  • Leads research on the identification of new and emerging climate change, water resources management and related sustainable development issues within the context of informing integrated national and sectoral development planning, implementation and finance, and presents analysis of information gathered and reviewed from diverse sources with plausible recommendations relevant for Arab States;
  • Coordinates policy development; reviews the assessments of climate change, water security and related transboundary sustainable development issues and trends, prepares proposals for incorporating findings into policies, plans, projects and budgets;
  • Guides the design of data collection instruments; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses; draws findings from geospatial analysis related to water and climate change; identifies problems/issues, formulates integrated solutions and prepares conclusions;
  • Supervises and substantively contributes to the preparation and finalization of various written outputs, including background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, and inputs to publications on climate change, water and water-related sectors as they relate to the coordination, development, implementation and finance of sectoral, national and regional policies, plans and projects;
  • Provides direct substantive support to consultative, intergovernmental and inter-agency meetings, including conferences, by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus, including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations on sustainable development issues;
  • Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on climate change, water security and sustainable development issues at various forums of intergovernmental, governmental, inter-agency, expert or multi-stakeholder nature;
  • Designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, etc., gives lectures or presentations on water, climate change, and related sustainable development issues;
  • Oversees web contents and structure for the areas of his/her responsibilities;
  • Leads field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties, including drafting mission summaries on water and climate change for sustainable development;
  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and ensures a response to request for advice and/or capacity development on sustainable development issues and policies, including leading capacity development missions;
  • Provides technical advice and coordinates activities related to project preparation and submissions, progress reports, and the finalization of related documents/reports on water, climate change, and related sustainable development issues;
  • Serves as an effective spokesperson and establishes collaboration and partnerships with key officials at all levels inside and outside the organization;
  • Guides, supervises, evaluates and mentors staff;
  • Takes the lead in task forces, working groups, inter-agency groups, as needed on water, climate change and related sustainable development issues;
  • Encourages gender mainstreaming, including in legislation, policies or programmes;
  • Represents the cluster and provides substantive interventions at international, regional or national meetings on climate change assessment, adaptation, water security and sustainable development issues relevant to Arab States;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Proven knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to climate change assessment, adaptation, water security, natural resource management that support integrated sustainable development policies and plans in the Arab region. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling findings and recommendations based on complex analysis, including analysis drawn from geospatial sources. Ability to communicate clearly links between global, regional and national goals. Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and coordinating with others to ensure the integrated planning, development, implementation and financing of policies and projects. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment. Proven ability to analyze complex data on climate change and water security and produce reports leading to sound policy recommendations for achieving sustainable development; Solid understanding of the political environment and the programmes and activities of the UN system and of Arab States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change within the context of national and sectoral development planning; Ability to think strategically, to identify key emerging climate change, water security and sustainable development issues and related policy implications. 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;
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • 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;
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. 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;
  • 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 sustainable development, economics, public policy, finance, climate change, water resources management, or related field is required;
  • A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Job - Specific Qualification

  • A Ph.D. is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in policy-oriented work in the fields of water and/or climate change is required;
  • Demonstrated experience writing reports, policies or plans on water and climate change is required;
  • Experience working with intergovernmental or inter-agency mechanisms is desirable;
  • Experience working in the area of climate finance is desirable;
  • A minimum of two years of experience working with Arab States 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;
  • Knowledge of French is desirable.

Application instructions

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