Senior Sustainable Development Officer, P-5

Senior Sustainable Development Officer, P-5

United Nations Resident Coordinator System

New York, United States

Org. Setting and Reporting

The UN Secretary-General launched on 1 January 2019 a bold and new global reform which repositioned the UN Development System to deliver more effectively and efficiently with the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. As part of this reform, UN Resident Coordinator Offices (UN RCO), under the leadership of an empowered and independent UN Resident Coordinator - the highest-ranking official of the UN Development System and Representative of the UN Secretary-General at country level - support countries in the achievement of their development priorities and the attainment of the SDGs. In its Resolution A/RES/72/279, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the transformation of the Development Coordination Office (DCO) as a stand-alone coordination office within the United Nations Secretariat. The new DCO assumes managerial and oversight functions of the resident coordinator system under the collective ownership of the members of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG). The position is located in the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO), New York and reports to the ASG of DCO, under the day-to-day guidance of the Deputy Director.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Adviser, United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) Secretariat will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Leads the development, implementation and effective functioning of the UN Sustainable Development Group and work planning, particularly the UNSDG Principals and core group.
  • Enables effective DCO support to the UNSDG Chair and UNSDG Principals in the preparation of key meetings of the UNSDG, supporting the substantive planning and preparation of relevant background materials, coordinating effectively with relevant offices of member entities in this process.
  • Working closely with relevant teams in DCO, ensures monitoring and effective implementation of decisions of UNSDG Principals, including coordinating the timely delivery of guidance, tools and other products decided by the UNSDG and their effective utilization by UNSDG entities.
  • Provides substantive support to UNSDG-related interagency and intergovernmental processes, including overseeing UNDCO substantive engagement in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review, and the Operational Activities Segment of the Economic and Social Council and other related intergovernmental and interagency discussions
  • Supervises preparation of various written output such as speeches, briefing notes, analyses and other inputs for the UNSDG Chair, Vice-Chair and DCO senior management on matters pertaining to UNSDG strategic priorities
  • Advises UNDCO Director and Senior Management on the positioning of UNSDG strategic priorities in interagency and intergovernmental bodies, including the Economic and Social Council, and the General Assembly
  • Conducts regular outreach, information sharing, consultations, and coordination activities with UNSDG focal points in UN agencies, funds and programmes, and other relevant colleagues within UNSDG entities to improve understanding of, and alignment with, UNSDG priorities.
  • In coordination with relevant UNDCO units, ensure timely monitoring and follow-up of UNSDG entities’ cost-sharing commitments for funding of the Resident Coordinator system.
  • Ensures effective utilization, supervision and development of staff; Guides, evaluates and mentors staff.
  • Keeps abreast of latest emerging trends and innovative approaches related to the UNSDG.
  • Working effective as a member of the DCO Front Office team, monitors and provides quality assurance of relevant inputs from across the Resident Coordinator system and UNSDG member entities, ensuring consistency of message, current topics and rapid response to stakeholder inquiries and information requests.
  • Leads team members efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches to the work of the UNSDG. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic resources on the internet, intranet, and other databases. Ability to coordinate and convene complex processes with multiple stakeholders. 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.
  • 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.
  • PLANNING & 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (Master's degree or equivalent) in sustainable development, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is an advantage.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, policy-oriented work in a broad range of sustainable development issues or related area is required.
  • A minimum of three (3) years of experience in providing policy support/advice to UN entities and/or Member States, regarding the RC System at the country, regional and global levels is required.
  • Experience in UN inter-agency policy-making, programming and/or strategy development is desirable.
  • Experience in the design and/or roll-out of UN development system reform efforts is desirable.
  • Field experience in development cooperation is desirable.
  • Experience working at the headquarters of a development cooperation agency is desirable.
  • Experience in managing large multicultural teams at the country, regional or global levels is desirable.
  • Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required; Knowledge of another UN official 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.

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