Head of Office (Economic Affairs)

Nagoya, Japan 🇯🇵

Job Opening

Department/Office:Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Duty Station:NAGOYA
Posting Period:05 January 2018 – 03 February 2018
Job Opening Number:18-Economic Affairs-DESA-89812-R-Nagoya (E)
Staffing ExerciseN/A
Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located at the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) in Nagoya, Japan, a Research and Training Centre of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. The Director of UNCRD reports to the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), United Nations through the Chief of the Water, Energy and Capacity Building Branch.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will assume the overall responsibility for the substantive direction and overall management of the Centre, ensuring the implementation of the Centre’s established programme of work. More specifically, the incumbent will: 
Formulate and implement, under the guidance of the Director, Division for Sustainable Development, the substantive work programme of the Centre, with the objective of assisting developing countries to translate the outcomes of major international summits on sustainable development into national policies. Particular thematic focus of the activities of the Centre will be the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals at regional and national level.
Lead the development of the work programme: Within the overall mandate of the Centre, and with an emphasis on implementing national and regional development programmes and conducting capacity building activities to assist developing countries, set out the Centre’s overall vision as well as the concrete outputs, determine priorities and optimal allocation of resources, and establish programmatic timelines and deliverables.
Supervise implementation: Ensure achievement of programmatic targets and timelines and adherence to budgetary provisions; oversee logistical and substantive preparations for training workshops and programmes; seek regular guidance from DSD and provide timely progress reports; and maintain communications with relevant DESA divisions as well as the Centre’s key stakeholders.
Manage the staff of the Centre: Evaluate staff performance (e-Performance), oversee local staff recruitment and participate in international staff recruitment; invest in staff development, provide programmatic as well as substantive guidance to UNCRD staff, foster teamwork and communication among staff, and ensure effective coordination between the work of different units.
Enhance the quality of all the activities and outputs of the Centre: Ensure that training programmes are responsive to needs and requests from beneficiaries; training materials are of high quality and relevance; logistical and support arrangements are provided in line with UN standards; research reports and publications are objective, fact-based, and coherent; resource persons combine high technical expertise with excellent pedagogical skills, and communications are clear and timely.
Fulfil mandated goals: through seeking regular and sustained guidance from the Director, DSD on capacity building needs emanating from the outcomes of sustainable development summits, including the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and provide timely reports on programmatic, administrative, and budgetary performance.
Establish a strong communications profile, including through the Centre’s website, publications, annual reports and web-based and other training programmes; ensure on-going liaison with developing country partners, host country representatives, partner organizations in the United Nations System, interregional bodies, and other policy-making organs, as appropriate. 
Fundraising: Oversee the development of fundraising proposals which will diversify the Centre’s funding base, with a particular emphasis on projects which relate to the follow up on the outcomes of major summits on sustainable development.
Represent the Division for Sustainable Development at international, regional or national meetings by providing substantive expertise-based inputs on issues within the mandate of the Centre.
Advise senior staff in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations on matters within the competence of the Centre.


Professionalism: Knowledge of sustainable development issues and approaches, and their implications for policy making at country level. Knowledge of the UN sustainable development agenda. Ability to deal with senior government officials on matter related to sustainable development and poverty eradication. Knowledge of analytical and capacity building skills, including in relation to policies and planning, conducting policy research, training, capacity building, expert-group meetings and networking, and ability to produce reports and review and edit work of others. Knowledge of the United Nations system; ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Ability to oversee the management of multiple projects. Good knowledge of UN regulations, rules, policies and guidelines, as well as experience and ability to apply these in work situations. Conscientiousness in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results efficiently. Commitment to action, pride in work and achievements, shows persistence in the face of difficult challenges, and calmness in stressful situations. 
Planning and Organizing: Ability to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identify priority activities and assignments; use time efficiently; allocate appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; and to adjust priorities as required by changed circumstances.
Accountability: Ability to accept responsibility, take ownership, and honour commitments, including to operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; deliver outputs of agreed quality within time and cost limitations; support subordinates and provide oversight, and assume ultimate responsibility both for delegated assignments and for one’s own shortcomings, where applicable.
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
Judgment/ Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation; 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 a field relevant to regional development policy, such as economics or international relations, environmental policy and planning, or public administration. A Ph.D. is considered an asset. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in regional development, particularly in the context of sustainable development, At least 10 years experience in leading a core team undertaking relevant policy research and training with successful outputs such as publications and training manuals delivered. Experience working in international organizations, including but not limited to the UN system. Knowledge/experience working with or in developing countries would be highly desirable. Experience in facilitating training and conducting interactive sessions at international setting is highly desirable.


Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; proficiency in Japanese is also required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

This job opening is available for an initial period of one year starting 1 May 2018, with possibility of extension.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in the Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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.

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