Development Coordination Officer/ Economist
The Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator is looking for a motivated and experienced Economist. This is a senior national professional post. The UN Resident Coordinator is designated by the UN Secretary-General to lead development activities in the country. The UN Resident Coordinator coordinates the work of the UN Country Team (19 UN agencies) in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN Resident Coordinator is supported by a small office comprising staff dealing with strategic management, data, communications, partnerships and economic affairs. The Economist will be responsible for leading analysis of gaps, risks, and opportunities in the Thailand UN Country Team activities and its environment for the UNCT to better respond to sustainable development needs.
Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: This is a national professional post in the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RCO) in Bangkok.
The UN Resident Coordinator (RC) is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General for development activities and the team leader of the UN Country Team (UNCT), which in Thailand is composed of 19 UN agencies, who have projects and programmes in Thailand. The RCO supports the RC in his/her coordination of the UNCT and liaison with national partners.
In July 2017, the UNCT signed with the Royal Thai Government the United Nations Partnership Framework (UNPAF) Thailand for 2017-2021, which responds to national priorities. The UNCT agencies monitor and report on the UN's contributions within the framework of the UNPAF and of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (RCO) in Thailand, currently a team of five staff, provides strategic and secretariat supports to the RC and the UNCT to effectively coordinate the work of the UN agencies to implement the UNPAF and advance the SDGs. The RCO is located within the main UN office in Bangkok. The position is a national professional position and will report to the RC and to the Team Leader of the RCO.
The newly established RCO is part of the reforms of the UN development system worldwide. As such it responds to the UN General Assembly resolution of 72/279 of 1 June 2018, which gave the UN Secretary-General the mandate to implement the repositioning of the UN development system.
 UNPAF is the strategic document that reflects the partnership between the UNCT in Thailand and the Royal Thai Government, in collaboration with other stakeholders. This five-year document is in line with the 12th
National Economic and Social Development Plan for 2017-2021, the SDGs, and the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy pioneered by the late King. Full document of the 2017-2021 UNPAF is available at http://www.un.or.th/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/ENG-UNPAF-2017-2021.pdf
Duties and Responsibilities
This post is part of an exciting new generation of RCOs, with a new skill set and competencies required to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. This is a critical role within the UN. The Economist will be the RCO’s expert on economic issues in Thailand providing detailed economic analysis to influence the direction of both our policy and programmes. A strong understanding of Thailand’s economic situation is central to the UN’s work in Thailand, particularly as we look to accelerate progress to achieve the SDGs.
Summary of Functions
- Plans, facilitates and consolidates evidence-based Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) analysis to contribute to UNCT’s shared understanding of sustainable development trends, challenges, and opportunities in Thailand
- Provides substantive advice and guidance on innovative economic and SDG policies to the Resident Coordinator (RC)/UNCT, as well as to partners
- Coordinates the development by the UNCT of the new generation of SDG programmes with a strong investment orientation and focus on acceleration towards achieving the SDGs
- Guides the planning and direction of SDG knowledge generation and management
Description of Functions:
1. Plans, facilitates and consolidates evidence-based SDG analysis to contribute to UNCT’s shared understanding of sustainable development trends, challenges, and opportunities in Thailand.
- Produces regular reports on the overall economic situation in Thailand focusing on implications for the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Assesses and reports on the sub-national economic situation;
- Incorporates gender perspectives into all report and analysis;
- Identifies and analyzes economic issues that impacts the SDGs in Thailand;
- Leads in research, development, and presentation of policy papers, guidance notes and other knowledge based-tools related to economic analysis for the RC/UNCT;
- Monitors regional and global economic trends and issues and analyzes their implications for the realization of the SDGs at the country level; recommends to the RC/UNCT additional issues for consideration, in collaboration with ESCAP and other regional offices in Bangkok;
- Analyses the UN country-level operations in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, identifies gaps and proposes follow-up actions, in close collaboration with RCO colleagues;
- Coordinates the macro-economic input for RCO reports and for UNCT members reports as requested.
2. Provides substantive advice and guidance on innovative economic and SDG policies to the RC/UNCT, as well as to partners
- Provides substantive support to the RC/UNCT on economic issues related to the SDGs, particularly on policies to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs;
- Supports the RC/UNCT to elicit, assess and consolidate policy options proposed by UNCT members, ensuring an integrated approach to the UN’s policy advice to partners, such as the central and local governments, NGOs and CSOs, the private sector and other partners;
- Proposes recommendations for the UNCT on how the UN country-level operations can be optimized and better coordinated to respond to sustainable development needs and emerging trends in Thailand.
3. Coordinates the development by the UNCT of the new generation of SDG programmes with a strong investment orientation and focus on acceleration towards achieving the SDGs
- Provides an overview as required of investment orientation, innovative financing and partnerships for the SDGs in Thailand;
- Provides substantive support to programme formulation and revision throughout the UNPAF cycle, based on sound SDG analysis;
- Contributes as appropriate to the preparation of UN joint programmes between one or more programming process to strengthen the formulation of a new UN joint programmes that are aligned with the SDGs and oriented towards investment;
- Assists UNCT working groups and results group to better understand underlying economic trends and analysis;
- Proposes recommendations to enhance UN support to governmental and multi-stakeholder processes, including NGOs/CSOs, the private sector, and academia, on SDG policy development and capacity development.
4. Guides the planning and direction of SDG knowledge generation and management
- Provides advice to the RC/UNCT on global/corporate guidelines, tools and other materials related to economic analysis and sustainable development policy;
- Researches, analyzes and presents best practices and lessons learned from the implementation of UNCT projects and programmes from an economic perspective to advise the RC/UNCT on actions to strengthen the policy orientation of the UN;
- Inputs into the analysis of best practices and successful models implemented by the UNCT and suggests options for developing these into bankable national SDG investment policies and programmes;
- Guides planning and supports facilitating local, regional and global communities of practice and knowledge networks in the area of sustainable development in close collaboration with the Data Management and Results Monitoring/Reporting Officer.
- Professionalism: Ability to conduct independent research and analysis on sustainable development topics. Shows skill in economic analysis, data collection using various methods, as well as policy analysis. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men.
- Planning and Organizing: Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates an appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
- Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals.
- Accountability: Delivers outputs within prescribed time and quality standards.
Applicants must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following primary technical competencies:
- Macroeconomic knowledge: Understanding the economy as a whole including; growth measurement, trends, drivers, and diagnostics, fiscal policy, budgeting, taxation and debt, monetary policy and exchange rates and regulation
- International economics: Understanding the interaction with the global economy including; balance of payments, international and regional trade, investment, international finance, aid flows and debt, migration.
- Effective communication for economists: Being able to communicate complex technical ideas and arguments in ways which non-economists can readily understand.
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in economics, sustainable development, public policy, public administration, social sciences, 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.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in economic analysis, sustainable development policy, or project/programme management in the context of development cooperation or related area is required.
Prior experience with national think tanks or research institutes is desirable.
A strong understanding of Thailand’s economic situation and trends is essential.
Knowledge of global and regional economic trends is desirable.
Ability to include gender perspectives in economic analysis is essential.
Ability to present and explain economic analysis and trends to non-specialized audiences is required.
Demonstrated ability to work under minimal supervision, to take initiative, and to build relationships with a wide variety of partners is required.
- Fluency in Thai and English is required. Should have good writing skills in English.
Important applicant information
All posts in the NO categories are subject to local recruitment.
Applicant information about UNDP rosters
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