Sustainable Development Officer (Climate Change), P-4

UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
  • Location
    Beirut, Lebanon
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 21

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 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 21 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, specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations, including the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. 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. The Sustainable Development Officer works under the overall supervision of the Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability Cluster Lead and reports directly to a Senior Sustainable Development Officer.


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

  • Monitors and analyzes project development and implementation; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and sustainable development issues to be addressed and initiates corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties and project counterparts; ensures follow-up actions.
  • Performs, designs and oversees consulting assignments, in collaboration with clients, (e.g. Member States), by planning and facilitating workshops on sustainable natural resources management and climate resilience, through interactive sessions and assisting in developing action plans clients will use to manage change.
  • Researches, analyzes and maps sustainable natural resources management and climate resilience and presents information gathered from diverse sources through narrative and geospatial tools.
  • Develops draft policy recommendations on sustainable development issues, and particularly on climate change as it relates to water, land and biodiversity resources, including the review and analysis of climate-related indicators, issues and trends, preparation of impact assessments and vulnerability assessments, or other climate-related research activities and studies.
  • Designs geospatial data collection tools; reviews, analyzes and interprets climate projections, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions.
  • Organizes and prepares written outputs on climate change issues, e.g. draft background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
  • Provides substantive backstopping to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., including proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations on sustainable natural resources management and climate change issues.
  • Provides substantive support on climate change issues to regional and global intergovernmental bodies and expert groups.
  • Participates in or takes the lead in specific inter-agency or expert task forces or working groups either internally or with outside parties, including providing technical guidance and support to team members and junior staff.
  • Initiates and coordinates outreach activities; conducts training workshops, seminars, etc.; makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
  • Leads and/or participates in large, complex field missions, including provision of guidance to external consultants, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries, etc.
  • Coordinates activities related to the updating and monitoring of digital knowledge platforms and contributes to project submissions, progress reports, and prepares related documents.
  • Prepares speeches and other inputs for presentations by senior staff on climate change trends and impacts.
  • Designs, manages and monitors the implementation of capacity building and technical assistance activities on the geospatial analysis of climate change issues.
  • Performs other duties as required.
  • Collects and analyzes data to identify trends or patterns and provide insights through graphs, charts, tables, maps reports and data portals using data visualization methods to enable data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting.


  • Professionalism: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches as they relate to sustainable natural resources management and climate change, and particularly related to water, land and biodiversity resources. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct geospatial data collection and climate change assessments using various methods and data formats. 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 geospatial databases. Ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management and member States, including through the maintenance and monitoring of digital geospatial data portals. 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.
  • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in climate change, sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences 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.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, policy-oriented work in a broad range of sustainable natural resources management issues related to climate change is required. A minimum of two (2) years of experience in geospatial data analytics is required. A minimum of three (3) years of experience working in the Arab region on climate change is required. Demonstrated experience applying geospatial tools (ArcGIS or QGIS) and extensions/plugins, as well as the use of netCDF data formats, is required.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Arabic is also a working language of ESCWA. For this position, fluency in English is required, and knowledge of Arabic is desirable. Note: "Fluency" equals a rating of 'fluent' in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and "Knowledge of" equals a rating of 'confident' in two of the four areas.


Application instructions

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