National Development Economist
UNDP supports countries around the world to formulate strategies, policies, and programme interventions that promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To advance these aims, UNDP provides technical policy advice and programming tools, especially to help address critical sustainable development challenges.
UNDP country offices work closely with government counterparts and other national stakeholders to support the introduction of inclusive and sustainable development policies that are aligned with the national context. National economists based in country offices across the Asia-Pacific region contribute to this work, including through support to policy dialogue with government officials and other partners, assistance in programme development, and production of research and analysis. These colleagues also collaborate and share experiences and practices across countries inside and outside the Asia-Pacific region.
UNDP Timor-Leste is recruiting a Development Economist to help contribute to its overall work programme. The Development Economist will support the country office by providing economic analysis and policy advice to management and government counterparts that favor inclusive development, including the integration of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into national plans and activities. S/he will also work closely with all programme teams and be responsible for helping develop large-scale development solutions and activities aimed at enhancing UNDP’s programmatic support. The Development Economist is expected to contribute to knowledge generation through research and analysis, represent UNDP as required in policy discussions, and work closely with the country programme teams and the regional network on SDG integration, acceleration, and innovation.
The Development Economist will be based full-time in the UNDP country office. Domestic and international travel may be required. S/he will work closely with the programme and operations teams in the country office, UNDP’s national acceleration lab, and colleagues in the Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH). S/he will also collaborate with the Asia-Pacific regional network of country economists. This will include systematic engagement with and oversight from the lead regional economic advisors based in Bangkok and Beijing. S/he is also expected to develop and maintain a network of colleagues across development partner agencies, government institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Resident Representative with matrix reporting to the Regional Economic Advisor in Bangkok Regional Hub, the Development Economist will be primarily responsible for the following work streams:
• Provision of support to UNDP country office management, including to help strengthen programme development and implementation.
• Provision of technical policy advice to national government counterparts, especially in support of the 2030 Agenda and the introduction of sustainable and inclusive economic policies.
· Support development of evidence-based research and data analysis with regard to current and emerging development trends
• Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate.
• Contribution to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the regional economist network and analysis of priority regional thematic areas.
1. Provision of support to UNDP country office management, including to help strengthen programme development and implementation.
• Assist UNDP country office management with preparation and implementation of country programmes and strategies, including the Country Programme Document (CPD);
• Support UNDP country office teams to better understand the needs of Timor-Leste for the country to achieve its development objectives including the 2030 Agenda and relevance of UNDP to respond to these needs;
• Support UNDP country office teams to review their portfolios through an economic lens and support economic-related work that forge and strengthen linkages between UNDP’s social, economic and environmental work;
• Provide analysis and research in priority thematic areas at the country level, including through the publication of policy briefs or other analytical outputs;
• Compile and analyse statistical data as required in support of country strategies and activities;
• Collaborate across UNDP teams, especially to ensure linkages to the work emerging from the network of acceleration labs;
• Support UNDP’s contribution towards leveraging financing for development and the SDGs in Timor-Leste, including in the process of localizing the SDGs at sub-national level, building on UNDP’s ongoing and future programmes (including climate and biodiversity financing);
• Support the creation of large-scale development solutions to help address complex development challenges.
2. Provision of technical advice to national government counterparts and other partners, especially in support of the 2030 Agenda and the introduction of sustainable and inclusive economic policies.
• Support and facilitate dialogue on sustainable development issues with government officials, development partners, civil society, and the private sector;
• Provide policy and programming advice and support for development planning and policy formulation at the national, sub-national and local levels;
• Support the identification and analysis of interventions that can impact multiple development goals and targets at the same time;
• Support monitoring and reporting of progress related to SDGs and other national development frameworks.
3. Support development of evidence-based research and data analysis with regard to current and emerging development trends
• Provide policy-oriented research in the form of short briefs and analyses on economic trends and develop policy positions for UNDP on topical issues including Timor-Leste’s ASEAN economic priorities (including on digital economy, Belt and Road Initiative and circular economy);
• Support the publication of related policy briefs or other analytical outputs;
• Provide analytical insights to the upcoming Timor-Leste National Human Development Report focusing on inequality and leave no one behind as well as support formulation of related programmatic interventions.
4. Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate.
• Develop and/or strengthen partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs, bilateral development agencies, private sector entities, and civil society;
• Represent UNDP country office in relevant forums, conferences, or workshops, including to present research or programmatic results when requested;
• Support UNDP resource mobilization and future growth strategies through project pipeline development and design of large-scale programme and development solutions;
• Contribute to national, regional, and global knowledge networks and communities of practice.
5. Contribution to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the regional economist network and analysis of priority regional thematic areas.
• Participate actively in the UNDP Asia-Pacific regional network of economists, including through attending regional meetings (in-person and/or virtual), sharing relevant experiences, and conducting peer reviews;
• Substantively contribute as possible to UNDP regional knowledge products and development of programming offers in regional priority areas (e.g., inequality, future of work, innovative financing);
• Enhance UNDP’s understanding and design of new approaches to sustainable development across the region by acting as a regional thematic lead where possible.
• Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
• Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
• Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Knowledge Management and Learning:
• Shares knowledge and experience and contributes to UNDP Practice Areas and actively works towards continuing personal learning and development;
• Ability to provide top quality policy advice services on economic issues;
• In-depth practical knowledge of inter-disciplinary development issues.
Development and Operational Effectiveness:
• Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
• Ability to lead formulation and evaluation of development programmes and projects;
• Ability to apply economic theory to the specific country context, carry out high-quality economic research.
Management and Leadership:
• Focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to critical feedback;
• Encourages risk-taking in the pursuit of creativity and innovation;
• Leads teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
• Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
• Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills;
• Builds strong relationships with clients and external actors.
Required Skills and Experience
• Master’s Degree in Economics, Econometrics, Statistics or equivalent.
• 7 years of relevant development experience at the national or international level;
• Extensive experience in research and policy-level analysis;
• Direct experience providing technical advice to government officials;
• Knowledge of Timor-Leste’s development priorities, opportunities and challenges;
• Experience in designing, monitoring and evaluating development projects;
• Knowledge of the SDGs and their application at the national level;
• Experience using computers and office software packages, including programmes for statistical analysis of data
• Fluency in English. Working knowledge of Tetum and Portuguese will be desirable.