UN Departments

Inter-regional Advisor (The Organization and Development of National Statistical Systems)

UN Departments

Job Description

The vacancy is in the Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Division is mandated to provide strategic / policy support on the implementation of international statistical standards. The Adviser will be member of DESA’s IRA Network.

The services of the IRA aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues and Development Strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects and programmes.

The services of the IRA need to comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), when appropriate, and with strategies and guidance concerning Capacity Development activities endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by the Capacity Development Office.


Mandatory tasks: •Provides policy advice through short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries upon their request on aspects of the organization and development of National Statistical Systems; •Undertakes a standardized approach to capacity development in developing countries to ensure that the necessary data are available to inform and monitor implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by proposing innovative methodologies in capacity needs assessment, Results-based Management and monitoring and evaluation; •Contributes to the strengthening of DESA’s own capacity in development of national statistical systems; •Provides strategic advice to DESA’s innovative approaches in statistics to create synergies and complementarities with other parts of the UN development system and strengthens DESA’s ability to contribute to the strengthening of operational activities for development of the UN system and promote system-wide coherence; •Monitors, studies and analyzes the trends and best practices on the organization and development of national statistical systems and prepares policy advisory notes to inform governments as well as feed into the intergovernmental process; •Contributes to the Design/redesign of national policies and strategies to support countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems and to contribute to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals and other relevant international norms and standards for statistical activities; •Provides leadership in the design of capacity development programmes, projects, including Development Account projects, and activities at national, regional and global levels and contributes to implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting on these initiatives; •Ensures implementation of gender mainstreaming guidelines by assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels; •Makes substantive contributions to global/ regional/sub-regional/national workshops, seminars, colloquia, other training events, including proposals concerning agenda topics, possible participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.; •Contributes to the Department’s resource mobilization strategies, notably as far as extra-budgetary funding is concerned; •Assumes other tasks in his / her area of expertise and in line with capacity development guidance as requested by the supervisor.

Optional tasks (as appropriate): •Develops and updates training materials for the areas covered in capacity development activities for the use by different stakeholders •Undertakes survey initiatives; guides design of Data Collection instruments; reviews, analyzes and interprets responses, identifies problems/issues and prepares conclusions; •Liaises with relevant professional networks and makes relevant external capacity development resources available to DESA; •Establishes and nurtures close relationships with various stakeholders in view of creating partnerships and an active network on the matters related to the organization of national statistical systems; •Provides inputs for the normative and advocacy functions of the Division based on the capacity development expertise.


•Professionalism. In general: a) Shows pride in work and achievements; b) demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter (as described above); c) is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; d) is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; e) shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; d) remains calm in stressful situations. In particular DESA is looking for staff with the following technical competence: 1) a strong commitment to high-level technical expertise on the organization and development of national statistical systems; 2) proven ability in preparing robust project proposals; 3) familiarity with potential donors’ policies (member states, UN funds and programmes, global funds, International Financial Institutions etc.); 4) familiarity with concepts and approaches related to capacity development and conversant with RBB/RBM approaches and M&E approaches; 5) proven ability to be a broker of knowledge (not only provider of knowledge, brokering issues close to DESA normative analytical mandates; 6) proven ability in building partnerships with national institutions and other organizations involved in the development process; 7) proven ability in mobilizing resources; 8) taking responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•Communication: a) Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; b) listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; c) asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; d) tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; e) demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

•Teamwork: a) Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; b) solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; c) places team agenda before personal agenda; d) supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; e) shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

-Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

· 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 statistics, mathematics, economics, sociology or related field.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience including relevant experience in management of national statistical systems is required.

Experience in development of knowledge-based official statistics in supporting the development of national statistical systems is required.

Familiarity with the concepts of capacity development and conversant with Results-based Management (RBM) and Monitoring and Evaluation approaches is desirable.

Familiarity with project cycle and experience in project management in a relevant field at the national or international level is desirable.

Familiarity with the UN’s mandate, programmes, and operational activities in relating to statistics work is desirable.

Experience in building partnership, donor relations, and resources mobilization is desirable.

Experience in the organisation and management of large statistical programmes in national statistical offices and/or international agencies is required.

Experience in producing written reports on the organization of national statistical systems is required.

Participation in any high level national, regional or international meetings related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development matters is desirable.

Experience in the UN development system and/or operational activity related to UN development work is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required; knowledge of the other is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This JO refers to a specialised interregional adviser position. The initial appointment is for one year. Annual renewal of appointment is subject to endorsement by an internal Departmental Panel on the continued need for the technical specialty depending on updates to DESA's priorities in the area of capacity development, and availability of funds. The functional requirements will be reassessed after five years.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of International Human Rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Apply Now