Senior Economic Affairs Officer

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, FundraisingProject/ Programme ManagementResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
12th April, 2020

Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva. The Senior Economic Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Research and Policy Analysis Branch of the Division and heads the Africa Section.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Economic Affairs Officer will undertake the following functions as Chief of the Africa Section:

Economic or sectoral analysis

  • Leads the preparation of the Economic Development in Africa Report and organizes the dissemination of the policy recommendations derived from the analysis;
  • Leads or participates in the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic analysis and the formulation of possible economic strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community;
  • Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues of potential concern to the international community, particularly those of a regional or global nature, and designs and develops programmes to address them;
  • Supervises a team of staff economists undertaking this work;
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally;
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the finalization of the work unit’s outputs;
  • Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on economic issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.

Intergovernmental support

  • Provides direct substantive support on development issues to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Economic and Social Council, the Trade and Development Board, the regional commissions and the subsidiary bodies of each) by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus;
  • Contributes to the report on activities in support for Africa, report on Industrial development decade for Africa, and the report for the new economic partnership development;
  • Manages the work unit’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies;
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on development issues.

Technical cooperation

  • Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Section; ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion, coordinating diverse projects, including Development Account projects, in the Section, and, in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations common system, donors and agencies as appropriate;
  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on economic issues and policies;
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects;
  • Organizes and coordinates cooperation among Member States on economic programmes or issues;
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions.

Programme support

  • Functions as the Chief of Section;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participate in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours;
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the Section and as required, of the Division;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in economics or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes is required;
  • Experience dealing with Africa development issues is desirable;
  • A publication record on Economic Development in Africa is desirable;
  • Experience in disseminating policy recommendations of flagship reports, including inter alia, through national workshops and the launching of campaigns is desirable;
  • Experience in designing development projects and/or programmes of technical assistance in Africa is desirable;
  • Experience delivering training in developing countries on economic development issues is desirable;
  • Experience in fundraising is desirable.


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


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