Org. Setting and Reporting
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 1 ‘Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability Cluster of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA – unescwa.org). The incumbent will be under the overall supervision of the Cluster Leader.
Within delegated authority, the Research Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
•Assists in identifying and monitoring substantive aspect of the work on sustainable development issues in the regions/countries. Selects and evaluates a variety of documents, summarize pertinent material, collects and analyses data and prepares background materials for assessment papers, studies, briefs and reports in the field of sustainable development in the areas of water, energy and food security as they relate to climate change.
•Systematically follows through and retrieves, highlights and compiles information from a wide variety of information sources; prepares input for the electronic database and the internet and co-operate with research institutes and organizations in the collection of data.
Assembles and examines original statistical material to ensure accuracy, clarity and validity; makes appropriate adjustments.
•Prepares a variety of reports, presentations, tables, lists, charts, data sets, and/or diagrams for information in order to facilitate the in-depth analysis of the retrieved information by the supervisor and other users.
•Participates in the substantive and policy discussions of the Cluster.
•Maintains and expands contacts with other departments in the Secretariat, as well as the UN agencies and programmes and other organizations relevant to the region, and co-ordinate the input of other departments in the collection of data for assignments received.
•Prepares, maintains and updates files (electronic and paper) and internal databases; designs and generates a variety of periodic and ad hoc reports, statistical tables, charts, graphs, and other background materials/notes to facilitate inspection and other reviews.
•Drafts programme/project summaries, co-ordinates review and clearance process and co-ordinates with editor, translation services, etc., on finalization and publication of reports in multiple languages.
•Identifies the organizational requirements for conferences and meetings and assists in the preparation of documentation and reports for these meetings.
•Supports the organization of meetings and webinars, and attends a variety of meetings to follow discussions, takes notes and prepares summary report, notes for the file, correspondence, etc.
•Provides guidance and training to new/junior staff
•Performs other related work as required.
•PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of research methodologies, data collection and maintenance. Ability to identify, extract, analyse and format data from a wide variety of standard and non-standard sources. 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.
High school diploma or equivalent is required.
A minimum of seven years of experience in collecting and researching data across various areas of sustainable development is required.
at least one year of experience in water, energy and food security issues related to climate change is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is also a working language of ESCWA. For this position, fluency in English and Arabic is required. 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.
Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test when they are short-listed for a job opening. Having passed the Administrative Support Assessment Test (ASAT) in English at the United Nations Headquarters, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations Office at Geneva, United Nations Office at Vienna, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia may be accepted in lieu of the GGST per applicable eligibility guidelines.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include assessment(s) and a competency-based interview.
• This position is temporarily available until 31 July 2022. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
•This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.
• 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.
• 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.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.