Sustainable Development Officer

NEW YORKP-3Economic, Social and DevelopmentSustainable Development




Core Value

Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

General Information

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

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 September 2017, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Viet Nam.


This position is located in the Office of the Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) focuses on supporting countries in improving effective, accountable, inclusive and transparent institutions in public administration at all levels for internationally agreed development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Officer reports to the Programme Management Officer.


Under the overall guidance of the Director of DPADM, the Sustainable Development Officer will assist the Director in guiding, coordinating and overseeing the delivery of the mandates of the Division through the work programme in the areas of public administration and development management and be responsible for the following duties:

•Develops, identifies, follows, analyzes and evaluates programmes/projects of the Division on institutions, public administration and sustainable development issues; monitors and analyzes programme/project development and implementation; prepares relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and initiates corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; ensures follow-up actions.
•Develops sustainable development databases and qualitative information required for recurrent or ad-hoc assignments.
•Assist in the planning and facilitating of workshops, in view of the Divisional work programme Formulates, identifies and analyses project proposals on sustainable development issues.
•Attends international, regional, and national meetings for consultations with colleagues in other institutions dealing with sustainable development, public administration and governance issues.
•Assists in the organization and servicing of expert group meetings, seminars, etc. on sustainable development issues.
•Prepares briefing notes, speeches and other inputs for presentations by senior staff on public administration, governance and sustainable development related issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.
•Prepares and contributes to the preparation of inputs for reports to High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration and other intergovernmental bodies, inter-agency or expert groups on issues relating to sustainable development, governance, institutions, and public administration.
•Follows intergovernmental and meetings, prepares summary reports and provides substantive support, as needed.
•Participates in missions on sustainable development issues, usually as a member of a team.
•Organizes training seminars/ workshops for national experts addressing sustainable development issues.
•Monitors, backstops and assesses the implementation of capacity building projects in sustainable development.
•Performs other duties as required, including administrative tasks.
•Undertakes on-the-job and other training activities both internally and externally.


•Professionalism: Ability to apply public administration, sustainable development, and governance theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis in these areas and determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data and information provided by different sources. Demonstrates skill in developing sources for data collection and in drafting various related documents. 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.

•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.


A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, policy-oriented work in public administration, governance or sustainable development issues is required. A minimum of two years’ experience at international level desirable.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, governance, finance, business administration, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


English and French are the official working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. 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.