Director, D1

UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Org. Setting and Reporting

ECA's mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

The mission is guided by ECA's five strategic directions which are: advancing ECA's position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent's problems and take local solutions to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa's position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.

The Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division (GPSPD) is headed by a Director who reports to the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme). The Division is responsible for contributing towards achieving inclusive and equitable sustainable human and social development in Africa and promoting and supporting member States in their work to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment. It is divided into three main sections: Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment; Social Policy; and Urbanization and Development.

The core functions of the Division are: addressing emerging issues that have impacts on African women and girls; promoting and supporting Member States to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment; supporting the design and implementation of appropriate national and sub-regional policies, programmes and strategies to achieve inclusive and equitable human and social development; generating knowledge, tools and approaches as a think tank to enhance the capacity of member States to develop, implement and monitor policies to reduce poverty and inequality, supporting the design of policies on employment with specific reference to young people and women, adequate social protection and investment; developing monitoring tools to support informed policy decisions by member States; strengthening the capacity of member States to mainstream urbanization into their national development planning by developing evidence, knowledge and consensus on the role of urbanization as a driving force of inclusive growth; supporting member States and the organs of the African Union Commission in their work to design, implement and monitor policies, programmes and strategies to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, tackling poverty and inequality and addressing the urban agenda.


Under the overall direction of the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme), the Director of the Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division will perform the following functions:

  • Leads, supervises and carries out the work programme of the Division under his/her responsibility derived from the commitments agreed upon through relevant United Nations, inter-governmental processes, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and regional mandates, with the aim to promote change at the policy and institutional levels particularly those involved in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of social development policies and programmes;
  • Manages policy-oriented research to support policy making and programming for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development in Africa, and supervises the generation of new knowledge in the fields of poverty and inequality; population dynamics, gender equality and women’s empowerment; migration, employment, social protection, and urbanization;
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports for presentation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports;
  • Ensures that the knowledge outputs produced by the Division maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Sections under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Prepares the work programme of the Division, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery;
  • Oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting;
  • Leads the provision of technical advisory services and training to member States including those in special situations, to build national capacity, including through sharing of policy options, experiences and good practices in the context of the transfer of knowledge and skills on a range of social development, gender equality and urbanization issues;
  • Recruits staff, taking due account of geographical balance;
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision;
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Division and across organizational boundaries;
  • Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars;
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Represents the Division at international, regional or national meetings;
  • Co-ordinates with all relevant ECA Divisions, agencies and bodies of the United Nations system working on areas related to the Division’s programme of work to promote synergies between the ongoing activities and work, make the linkages between global and national actions and maximize impact of work in the region;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and in specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and documents on Gender and Social Development issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to manage the work of a team requiring an in-depth understanding of its strategic direction and integrates the work of the Division into the work programme of ECA. Ability to provide expert advise on substantive issues and to defend and explain difficult issues with respect to key decisions and positions to staff, senior officials and members of the intergovernmental bodies. 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;
  • 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;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, 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 improvement; 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;
  • 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.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in development studies, gender, economics, social science or related fields is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in in socio-economic development with strong focus on development issues is required;
  • Strong policy analysis experience and the management of advocacy campaigns is required;
  • Extensive international experience is desirable;
  • Experience with development issues in Africa is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in either language is required; and knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

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© EuroJobsites 2022

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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