Sustainable Development Officer, P4

UN Development Coordination Office
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 14

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Development Coordination Office. The Sustainable Development Officer reports to the Chief of the Policy and Innovation Section in the Policy and Programming Branch.


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

  • Reviews relevant documents and reports related to the triple planetary crisis, food systems and related policy priorities; identifies problems and sustainable development issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant partners and forges coalitions; ensures follow-up actions.
  • Performs assignments, in collaboration with clients, (e.g. Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams), including by planning and facilitating workshops, webinars and clinics on sustainable development issues (with a focus on climate/nature/pollution and food systems).
  • Researches, analyzes sustainable development issues related to climate, biodiversity and pollution, and food systems, and presents information gathered from diverse sources, to inform policy dialogue and guidance for RCs/UNCTs.
  • Develops draft policy recommendations to contribute to UN Sustainable Development Group discussions on climate, biodiversity, and pollution, as well as food systems issues, including the review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies.
  • Participates in or take the lead in specific inter-agency or expert task forces or working groups either internally or with outside parties.
  • Initiates and coordinates outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Prepares speeches and other inputs for presentations by senior staff on sustainable development issues.
  • Designs, manages, and monitors the implementation of capacity-building projects for UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

Staff within work unit and technical staff and counterparts in other relevant Secretariat units, regional commissions, UN funds, programmes and other UN specialized agencies; senior representatives and officials in national governments, academia, research institutions, and relevant organizations.

Results Expected:

Develops, implements, and evaluates workstreams on sustainable development issues linked to the triple planetary crisis and food systems; demonstrates timely delivery of outputs in accordance with overall objectives and policies. Provides substantive support to the UN Sustainable Development Group and other inter-agency processes. Facilitates and promotes exchange of information and interaction with all entities involved in the implementation of the above-mentioned sustainable development agreements.


  • Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic resources on the internet, intranet, and other databases. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 that 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, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in programme management and/or policy-oriented work in a broad range of sustainable development issues is required.
  • Three years of policy experience with a specific focus on climate action and/or biodiversity/pollution issues is required.
  • Two years of experience within the UN system is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position(s) advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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