Chief, Policy Section, Policy and Programming Branch

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 18 May 2022
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 31 May 2022
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO) in New York. The Policy Section is one of six teams within the Policy and Programming Branch, and is responsible overall for enabling effective and clear support to the Resident Coordinator System on system-wide policies relating to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), engaging with relevant partners and networks as appropriate.

The Chief of the Policy Section reports to the Chief of the Policy and Programming Branch (PPB). S/he leads initiatives to enable effective knowledge management across DCO, and works with relevant units to strengthen policy capacities of DCO and Resident Coordinator Offices.


Within delegated authority, the Chief of the Policy Section will be responsible for the following:

โ€ข Provides strategic advisory support to the UNDCO senior management on policy matters related to Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals.
โ€ข Forges relationships with EOSG and UNSDG entities and maintains networks on system-wide and interagency policy matters with entities of the UNSDG, with a view to ensure quality and effective SDG-related support to RCs and UNCTs.
โ€ข Working with relevant units, enables analysis, communication and timely and effective support to RCs and DCO offices on high-level UN initiatives and priorities relating to the SDGs, including on the climate agenda, food systems, innovation, etc.
โ€ข Guides review of relevant UN policy documents and reports; prepares briefs for DCO leadership and EOSG as appropriate on priorities, problems and issues to be addressed; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and initiates follow-up actions.
โ€ข Supervises preparation of various written outputs, e.g. background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
โ€ข Manages outreach activities; designs and conducts training workshops, seminars, etc., makes presentations on assigned topics/activities.
โ€ข Leads DCO knowledge management systems, platforms and initiatives in close collaboration with other DCO units and regional teams, especially those relating to SharePoint knowledge portals and the UN Info platform
โ€ข Works collaboratively with other DCO units and regional offices to support an effective organization-wide approach to learning and capacity-building across the RC system, including promotion of best practices in key planning documents including CCAs and UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks
โ€ข Represents DCO and the RC system in a wide array of interdepartmental and inter-agency policy forums and supports the DCO Director or Chief of Branch to prepare for and participate in senior-level forums.
โ€ข Ensures effective facilitation of DCO communities of practice, especially those involving the RCO-based Strategic Planners Data and M&E Officers
โ€ข Works closely with other Branch and DCO sections as well as regional teams to guide the formulation of indicators and enable effective collection, management and utilization of corporate data, including for DCO and system-wide reporting.
โ€ข Works closely with EOSG and UNSDG partners to advance implementation of the SGโ€™s Data Strategy, ensuring effective leadership of the RCO network of data officers
โ€ข Leads the work of DCO on innovation for sustainable development. Coordinates and leads the design of new approaches, tools and systems that incentivize SD innovation and learning in the UNDS, including RCs and UNCTs, and facilitate their scaling up. This includes the use of strategic foresight, futures thinking, scenario building etc.
โ€ข Engages the UNSDG innovation counterparts including UN Global Pulse and the UN Innovation Network to enable scale-up innovation across the UN system and within the Resident Coordinator system
โ€ข Contributes to DCO reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
โ€ข Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Section under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
โ€ข Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance, interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
โ€ข Recruits staff for the Section taking due account of geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
โ€ข Ensures effective staff management; guides, evaluates and mentorsโ€™ staff; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section and across organizational boundaries.
โ€ข Performs other related duties, as required.


Core competencies:

โ€ข Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.

โ€ข Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing othersโ€™ 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.

โ€ข 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.

Managerial Competencies:

โ€ข Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

โ€ข 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.


Advanced university degree (Masterโ€™s degree or equivalent) in international relations, economics, business or public administration, finance, accounting, law or related area. 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 ten years of progressively responsible experience in managing sustainable development policy and programmes is required.

A minimum of two years of experience in SDG-related policy and advocacy in the context of development operations is required.

A minimum of two years of field experience in development cooperation or related area is required.

Experience in the United Nations system or a comparable international organization is desirable.

Experience at the headquarters of a development cooperation organization is desirable.

Experience with inter-agency or inter-organizational collaboration in the development sector is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.

NOTE: "Fluency equals a rating of "fluent" in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and "Knowledge of" equals a rating of "confident" in two of the four areas.


Evaluation of candidates may include other forms of assessments followed by a competency-based interview. All evaluation and assessment related communication will be sent exclusively to your primary email address provided in Inspira. Please ensure that your primary email address is up-to-date and correct. No assessment communications will be sent to your secondary email address.

Special Notice

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

This position is available for an initial period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

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.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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 letter.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 January 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.

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 โ€œsexual exploitationโ€ 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 โ€œsexual abuseโ€ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term โ€œsexual harassmentโ€ 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 perpetratorโ€™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 โ€œManualsโ€ 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


This vacancy is archived.

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