The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA unescwa.org) 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 20 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 under Cluster 2: 'Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development' of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA - unescwa.org). The Social Affairs Officer (Regional Adviser on Disability) will report directly to the Cluster Leader
Within delegated authority, the Social Affairs Officer (Regional Adviser on Disability) will be responsible for the following duties:
•Proposes, designs and carries out substantive research projects analyzing key trends and changes in socio-economic structures related to disability at global, regional and national levels; assesses implications and develops proposals with respect to social development and social welfare policies and interventions.
•Develops new lines of theoretical analysis and research methodologies for the diagnosis of major transformations in socio-economic structures related to disability in the Arab region.
•Liaises and partners with other experts in the field (e.g. governments, research institutes, academia, other international organizations, etc.) to discuss issues related to social development and disability, exchanges views on latest findings, policy guidelines, new models of development, etc.; helps ensure that lessons learned are disseminated and incorporated into development programmes and other initiatives, including gender-related activities.
•Plans, organizes and provides substantial servicing of ad hoc expert group meetings, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. to include identification and selection of participants, development of background documentation, preparation of reports, documents, policy recommendations and analytical briefs based on the outcome of such meetings.
•Prepares a variety of studies, reports, background papers, papers for government meetings, etc. on a wide range of social development and disability-related issues.
•Coordinates with project coordinators within and outside the cluster to ensure disability mainstreaming within their work and to ensure coherence of wok •Work closely with the social development team to develop proposals for donors and to lead resource mobilization initiatives Intergovernmental Support •Provides substantive support and prepares substantive papers on social issues to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development).
•Represents organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings.
•Organizes panels, round tables, etc. on social development issues for intergovernmental processes.
Technical Cooperation •Provides technical assistance to governments and other bodies in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs related to socio-economic development in the area of social inclusion and disability, in particular the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
•Designs, monitors, backstops, assesses and reports on the implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects.
•Undertakes missions to member states, either alone or as a participant in a diverse team, as part of the Organization's technical cooperation activities and/or in support of the work programme.
•Prepares global, regional, national or sectoral analyses that provide a basis for advising national governments on social development issues related to disability policy, in areas such as disability determination, national coordination mechanisms on the rights of persons with disabilities, and social protection systems for persons with disabilities.
•Conducts training seminars and workshops for government officials and others.
•Formulates technical modalities for the evaluation of individual technical cooperation projects.
General • Support the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, including leading on some of its activities (provision of training to staff; development of internal related policies and procedures to ensure the inclusion of persons with disability…etc.).
• Prepares statements on social and economic issues for the ESCWA Executive Secretary and the Cluster Leader, as required.
•Performs other duties as required.
•PROFESSIONALISM: Proven substantial work experience and expertise in the area of disability policy, including mastery of technical details. Knowledge of social development and related fields. Ability to apply principles and concepts of socio-economic development in relation to government, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. Ability to apply modern techniques of analyzing social phenomena. Ability to conduct conceptual and strategic analyses. Ability to analyze and articulate the social dimension of complex issues. Problem-solving skills. Ability to use sound judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of complex issues/problems. Very good knowledge of the Arab region, including the political, economic and social dimensions. Ability to relate socio-economic issues, trends and perspectives related to disability, including gender issues, to social development initiatives/programmes in the Arab region. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work under pressure. Very good knowledge of institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to social affairs in relation to disability. Sound knowledge of the institutions of the UN system. Excellent quantitative and qualitative research skills and demonstrated ability to complete in-depth studies and to formulate conclusions/recommendations. 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.
•CLIENT ORIENTATION: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in sociology, economics, other social science or related field. 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in socio-economic development, policy analysis, sociological research or related area is required.
Experience with disability policy in the Arab region is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Arabic is also a working language of ESCWA. For this post, fluency in written and spoken English is required.
Fluency in Arabic is desirable.
Knowledge of French 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.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a written assessment and an interview.Special Notice
• This position is temporarily available for 364 days, subject to extension based on the availability of funds/post. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the Career Development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
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.
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