United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Policy Specialist (Economist)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan. Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP's development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts. Embedded in the GPN/BPPS, the Strategic Policy Engagement Unit (SPE) sits at the intersection of the organisation’s expertise on economic and finance issues, global policy making and international cooperation, and SDG implementation. This perspective enables horizon-scanning and the identification and analysis of emerging opportunities and challenges. Accordingly, it allows for cutting-edge research, for contributing and facilitating development debates – thus advancing UNDP’s thought leadership, strategic partnerships and strengthening policy coherence in line with the 2030 Agenda. SPE works in close collaboration with all the technical teams in BPPS, providing integrated programme guidance and support, as well as with the Global Policy Centers and CB, forging coherence around UNDP's work on cross-cutting issues and to ensure that policy development remains relevant to challenges being faced on the ground. SPE within BPPS is responsible for the following:
  • Analysing future-oriented macro and micro trends that shape sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs (scenarios, disruptions, horizon scanning, emerging challenges) to advance UNDP’s contribution to global policy debates and the implementation of UNDP’s Strategic Plan.

  • Applying strategic foresight and assessing lessons learnt on finance and means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda (fiscal space, finance for development, trade, international cooperation, digital, science and technology, multilateralism and multi-stakeholder approaches) to inform UNDP’s service offer as “integrator” and “arrowhead” of the UN development system.

  • Leveraging GPN network, advancing UNDP’s thought leadership, build academic/policy partnerships, launch GPN policy briefs.

  • Fostering strategic engagement with the IMF, World Bank, G20, UN Sustainable Development Group including DESA, World Economic Forum, Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development and other key financial and economic counterparts to advance UNDP’s positioning in key global development processes and fora.

The Policy Specialist, Economist, based in SPE and in collaboration with the Finance Sector Hub (FSH) as well as other policy teams across GPN, is responsible for:
  • Policy Research and Advice

  • Representation, Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation

  • Knowledge Management

Duties and Responsibilities Policy Research and Advice
  • Advance the team’s work on economic research and data analysis relating to global economic trends, finance for development (both public and international) and horizon-scanning on emerging macro and micro trends;

  • Translate relevant findings and lessons learnt, including perspectives and knowledge from country offices and the regions, into policy innovation and the corporate offer on these topics, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development;

  • Develop according strategic guidance, UNDP tools and services, adapting them to different contexts and outlooks;

  • Provide high-quality and timely policy advisory and programme development services to regional and country offices;

  • Critically assess opportunities and emerging risks arising from implementing new and innovative private and public finance interventions to support the SDGs, in line with the concept of Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs);

  • Prepare briefings and speeches for senior management.

Representation, Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation
  • Represent UNDP in relevant discussion fora on economic and development processes and trends, positioning the organisation as thought leader on related aspects;

  • Mobilise, foster and strengthen partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs, government institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, research entities, and other relevant partners in support of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda;

  • Lead the submission of substantive inputs to the work in related UN interagency and other multi-stakeholder processes and task forces;

  • Identify and pursue opportunities for related resource mobilisation in line with corporate guidelines and strategies.

Knowledge Management
  • Lead the creation of an up-to-date library of knowledge on economic and finance trends at global, regional or country levels; promote knowledge sharing, and ensure timely response to requests for information, in line with corporate guidelines;

  • Author and review reports and other knowledge products related to economic and finance issues and their impact on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda;

  • Proactively contribute to knowledge networks, communities of practice, events and meetings related to these areas to help advance policy dialogues and programme delivery;

  • Catalyse innovative approaches to advance learning on related issues and integrated ways to achieve the SDGs.

Competencies Core Innovation Ability to make new and useful ideas work Leadership Ability to persuade others to follow People Management Ability to improve performance and satisfaction Communication Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform Delivery Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement Technical/Functional Primary Research and Data Analysis Knowledge of analytical tools, market research and methods for undertaking substantive research on various policy related issues. Also, ability to evaluate, transform and model data to derive relevant findings- undertake and provide analysis of data to assess organizational performance and/or global trends Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Knowledge of the Sustainable Development Goals and the ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations Report and Brief Writing Ability to prepare quality reports and briefs Substantive Positioning of UNDP and Networking Knowledge of global institutions (such as the UN, IFIs), processes (such as G20 and various UN initiatives), good grasp of UNDP’s niche, and ability to engage and foster strong networks with those institutions. Also, ability to substantively engage and foster networks with academia, research institutions, and think tanks. Partnerships Ability to engage with other agencies, donors, and other development stakeholders and forge productive working relationships Secondary Global macroeconomics Knowledge of global macroeconomic trends, risk management and ability to apply in strategic and/or practical situations. Trends and emerging areas analytics Ability to scan the horizon and identify approaches and initiatives to bring into policy and programme design Resource Mobilization Ability to identify and organize programmes and projects to implement solutions and generate resources Coordination Ability to manage complex relationships through pathways of knowledge exchange, capacity development, funding relationships and strategic engagement Knowledge Management Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge Required Skills and Experience Education:
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in economics, finance or related field.

  • A minimum of 7 years of professional relevant work experience, including policy advice, in applied research on global development and sustainable development issues in different development contexts;

  • Experience working in developing country settings is an asset;

  • Proven track record in fields related to development economics, international finance, global policy making, incl. knowledge of related UN processes;

  • Experience working in and/or with World Bank, IMF and other international financial institutions, and knowledge of G20 processes is an asset;

  • Excellent negotiating and communication skills and ability to mobilise support from a wide range of partners (public, private, academic, civil society, etc.);

  • Demonstrated familiarity with integrated or SDG programming, and ability to work across a broad range of thematic areas;

  • Advanced knowledge of statistical programmes (STATA, SAS, etc) is an asset;

  • Team player and ability to work within tight deadlines and under pressure.

Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English, both written and oral. Working knowledge of another UN language is an asset.

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