United Nations

The post is located in the Capacity Development and Partnerships Coordination Section (CDPCS) of the Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Under the overall guidance of the Director of DISD, the Inter-Regional Advisor (IRA) reports to the Chief of CDPCS. The Division is mandated to provide strategic and policy support to governments with the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as key internationally agreed norms and standards relating to social development. These include the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the World Plan of Action on Youth, the Kazan Action Plan as well as the follow-up to the International Year of the Family. The services of the IRA aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise to Governments, civil society and other stakeholders on developing methodologies and tools for policy formulation and evaluation in the areas of social inclusion and reduction of inequalities and their impact on poverty eradication and vulnerable groups of the society. The IRA supports the Director in the work of the Division on capacity building and technical cooperation activities on social policy development, social groups and sports for all, as defined by the Kazan Action Plan. The IRA will comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC) when appropriate and will operate within the strategic framework for capacity development endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by DESA Capacity Development and Project Management Office. The Inter-Regional Adviser is also expected to lead and support, where applicable, resource mobilization efforts at the Division and Department level.


Within delegated authority, the IRA:

  • Provides policy advice through short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries and low and middle-income countries upon their request on aspects of the social dimension of sustainable development with a specific focus on the Division’s mandates related social policies and sustainability, social groups and sport for all;
  • Monitors, studies and analyzes the trends and best practices on the social dimensions of the SDGs and prepares policy advisory notes that feed into the intergovernmental process;
  • Contributes to the design/redesign of national social policies and strategies that promote sustainability upon request; from developing countries and countries in transition for the achievement of social inclusion and inequalities to eradicate poverty;
  • 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 extrabudgetary funding is concerned;
  • Develops and updates training materials, methodologies and tools for the areas covered in capacity development activities for the use by different stakeholders;
  • Establishes and nurtures close relationships with various stakeholders in view of creating partnerships and an active network on the social dimensions of sustainable development);
  • Assumes other tasks in his / her area of expertise and in line with capacity development guidance as requested by the supervisor.


  • 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) knowledge of and experience with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the related SDGs and a strong commitment to high-level technical expertise in capacity building related to sustainable social development and social groups; 2) proven knowledge of participatory and qualitative methodologies; 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 with a particular focus on the social dimension of sustainable development; 6) proven ability in mobilizing resources; 7) taking responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

  • Planning and Organizing: a) Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; b) identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; c) allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; d) foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; e) monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; f) uses time efficiently.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.


Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in sociology, economics, other social science or related area is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in international development

system with a focus on the social dimension of sustainable development is required.

At least five years of the professional experience should be advisory work in developing

countries (including transition countries), preferably in more than one region is required.

Experience in preparing technical papers and proposals is required.

Experience with training and capacity building of governmental institutions and nongovernmental organizations is required.

Experience in organizing seminars and training workshops, including online and virtual events, preferably in a multi-linguistic context is required.

Experience in mobilizing financial resources and creating partnerships to advance capacity

development programmes is desirable.

Experience in building and maintaining partnerships with national institutions and other

organizations involved in the development process is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN secretariat. For this position, fluency in English and another UN Official language are required. Knowledge of an additional 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 a specialized project position as Inter-regional Adviser. The initial appointment is for one year, subject to availability of funds. 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 and the satisfactory performance of the incumbent. The functional requirements will be reassessed after five years. 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 their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note. The United Nations as a Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.