By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy



Position Title: Economist

Section/Unit: Division of Programme Support and Management (DPSM) 

Duty Station: UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva

Duration: 1 September - 31 December 2017 with possibility of an extension

Type of Contract: Temporary Appointment

Closing Date: 10 September 2017

Start Date: ASAP


Background Information

UNHCR’s mandated responsibility for finding solutions to refugee situations has long required stronger cooperation with development partners and the inclusion of refugees within national development programmes. Notwithstanding UNHCR’s efforts over many decades, the proportion of refugees and internally displaced persons in protracted displacement situations remains high. Moreover, the diminishing number of people who have found durable solutions constitutes a worrying trend that has persisted in recent years. In addition, the increasing scale of irregular migration, large scale refugee movements and the costs of responding to humanitarian situations have also placed forced displacement high on the global agenda. These elements have further driven the realization that humanitarian support alone is insufficient to lift displaced populations out of poverty, enable solutions to their situations or assist them to realize their development potential.

Among the most significant humanitarian-development cooperation partnerships strengthened has been with the World Bank on the operationalization of a global concessional financing facility in the Middle East. The World Bank’s International Development Association’s (IDA) financing programme for countries receiving large numbers of refugees (IDA18) has been another such initiative. In addition, UNHCR has enhanced cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Broadening strategic partnerships with development and private sector actors requires better data and standardized information about refugees and host community households. Currently, the data that UNHCR holds globally on refugee populations is not comprehensive. The main source of quantitative data is the registration system proGres. It is supplemented by other forms of qualitative data, mostly derived from sectoral assessments generated by programming requirements. However, coverage remains patchy and data collection is insufficiently standardised. Guidance to field operations on how to collect, record and analyse it is inconsistent. There is also an increasing demand for accurate socio-economic data for the purposes of cash based programming, livelihoods, and welfare targeting. The establishment of accurate socio-economic baselines for refugees and local households is also a pre-requisite for measuring changes in welfare required to inform medium term programming with development partners and national governors.

Responsibility for collection of key data and statistics for corporate purposes is presently lodged with the Division of Programme Support and Management (DPSM). It is envisaged that the P3 Economist will contribute to the work of DPSM in improving the overall quality and consistency of data on refugee populations, with a focus on strengthening socio-economic data. The Economist (P3) will also support the Senior Economist with a focus on improving data and information management (including among other areas- program monitoring and evaluation, targeting of program support, and for expanding strategic partnerships with academic, development, and private sector), leading the partnership for DPSM and the World Bank, and providing timely technical support to operations (globally) on socio-economic assessments and data.


Working under the overall supervision of the UNHCR Senior Economist, within the Operational Solutions and Transitions Section of DPSM, the Economist (P3) will:

  1. Support a joint data project between UNHCR and the World Bank through the World Bank IDA Refugee Sub-Window. The joint project will require data analysis skills using Stata, project management, and coordination across units at UNHCR and with the World Bank.

  2. Lead the drafting of UNHCR’s first open data policy supported by the team and based on lessons learned from the WB Microdata library mechanisms and UNHCR’s Data Protection Policy.

  3. Support the Senior Economist in work with the targeting inter-divisional working group in designing methodologies and tools for targeting of Livelihoods programs and assistance.

  4. Support the 2018 scale-up of monitoring of Energy and Livelihoods programs, as well as the development of the Environment monitoring tools.

  5. Support the UNHCR-World Bank partnership through joint missions, strategic meetings, and joint projects.

  6. Contribute to studies and analytical activities that build the conceptual framework and evidence base for comprehensive, development-oriented responses to forced displacement.

  7. Facilitate coordination and collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience sharing between UNHCR and development actors and across UNHCR operations globally by documenting and disseminating good practices.

  8. Lead in the design of a standardized socio-economic assessment for humanitarian organizations through close collaboration with external and internal partners.

  9. Lead in the design of the socio-economic core set of indicators and follow-on project to incorporate systematically into UNHCR’s data collection.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required


Advanced University Degree (Masters) in Development Economics, International Economics, Statistics, or a related field.

Job Experience/Skills

  • At least six (6) years of experience analyzing data, project design and management of international development programs;

  • Strong understanding of processes of the World Bank, the African Development Bank or another international financial institutions;

  • Strong and up-to-date knowledge of development, state-building and peace-building in fragile and conflict-affected situations including innovative financing;

  • Applied data analysis skills of indicators for monitoring;

  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision and deliver high quality products;

  • Strong interest and exposure to development and humanitarian issues, especially in the area of research, monitoring and evaluation, and cost benefit analysis of programme impact;

  • Excellent networking and communications skills;

  • Ability to think creatively, and to explore, harness and translate innovative concepts into practice;

  • Strong analytical skills and report writing;

  • Team player willing to assist where needed;

  • Capable of multi-tasking and managing several programmes/projects at the same time;

  • Attention to detail.



Desirable Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required

  • Experience of working with the private sector;

  • Experience working in applied development economics;

  • Experience leading primary data collection effort and data analysis;

  • Experience of working with synergies between the humanitarian-development nexus.





  • Excellent English language skills, including drafting and research capabilities.

  • French Language skills are desirable.



Interested applicants should submit their application and letter of motivation to the UNHCR Non- Specific Profile 13233 which you will reach by clicking apply below.

Closing date for receipt of applications: Sunday, 10 September 2017.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2017-09-10

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Similar Jobs

Humanitarian Affairs Officer (TJO)

UN-OCHA - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Financial Sector Specialist 180593

WB - World Bank

Chief Portfolio Management Officer - PINS2

AfDB - African Development Bank

HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS OFFICER (Pooled Fund Manager) TJO, P4 (Temporary Job Opening)

UN-OCHA - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Economic Analysis Specialist, TA - NOC, 11 months

UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund