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Economist

Kathmandu (Nepal)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • Grade: NO-D, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-30

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Background

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in about 170 countries and territories, working with national counterparts on solutions to global and national development challenges.

In the programme countries, UNDP supports stabilization, state-building, governance and development priorities in in partnership with the host governments, the United Nations system, the development partners and other partners to help the country to achieve sustainable development by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development and building resilience to crises and shock.

In addition, UNDP now has the mandate to support SDG Integration to ensure faster progress on sustainable development and offers support in four areas, (1) integrated policy and  programming solutions, (2) SDG metrics, data and analysis using state-of-the-art tools for modelling and forecasting, (3) knowledge and innovation and (4) SDG Financing options to help countries identify innovative ways to expand public and private contributions to reach the 2030 agenda. Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted an urgent need to adopt a Systems Approach that is orientated towards building Resilience to future shocks through continuously reviewed scenario analyses. 

UNDP in Nepal prioritizes three broad programmatic engagements identified in its Country Programme Document (2018-2022) in support to the Nepal’s development endeavors.  These are (i) strengthening governance and rule of law, (ii) promoting inclusive growth and livelihood, and (iii) building resilience to disasters and environment management. There are three key elements at play that directly influence UNDP’s Programme direction in Nepal. One is the drive towards federalism, following the federal Constitution of Nepal.  The second is the ambition to graduate from the status of Least Developed Country (LDCs).  And third, the response and recovery strategy to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The latter is captured in the UN’s Socio-Economic Recovery Framework. UNDP’s engagements will focus on green job creation, protecting people, support to enterprise, and green recovery.

As a key member of an integrated policy advisory and programme team, the Economist in Nepal works under the guidance of the Resident Representative/Deputy Resident Representative and s/he will work closely with the team of strategic engagement and thematic advisors, the programme and operations teams in the country office, the Accelerator Lab, and staff in the Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH) and New York in Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific as well as the Global Policy Network (GPN) of UNDP. 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 New York. S/he is also expected to develop and maintain a network of colleagues across development partner agencies, government institutions, the private sector, civil society and the UN agencies at the country level.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Advise the UNDP country office management, strategic/thematic advisors, and programme team to strengthen programme development, design, and implementation.
  • Provision of technical advice to national government counterparts and other partners, especially in support of the 2030 Agenda, the planned graduation from LDC status, and the introduction of sustainable and inclusive economic policies, particularly for green jobs and green recovery.
  • Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate, when directed by the Resident Representative/Deputy Resident Representative.
  • Contribute to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the regional economist network, and to the analysis of priority regional thematic areas.

1. Advise the UNDP country office management, strategic/thematic advisors, and programme team to strengthen programme development, design, and implementation:

  • Advise UNDP country office management with preparation and implementation of country programmes and strategies, including the development of country programme document and related analysis;
  • Support the UNDP Nepal UNDP to develop and manage relevant thematic portfolios, such as activities in support of economic, social and environmental policies to make progress towards the SDGs;
  • Leading UNDP country office efforts to conceptualize and implement the Development Finance Assessment (DFA) and accompanying process and use existing financial resources more effectively and efficiently to achieve the SDGs;
  • Provide analysis and research in priority thematic areas at the country level, including publication of policy briefs or other analytical outputs;
  • Support the preparation of policy briefs, background notes, speeches, talking points, presentation materials, etc. on critical development issues within the SDG framework for senior management at the country and regional levels;
  • Collaborate with the Inclusive Growth Advisor to develop of a National Human Development Report (HDR), and lead on the development of a Regional Human Development Report that adds value in terms of development economic analysis, updated data and information for policy formulation;  
  • Compile and analyze statistical data as required in support of country strategies and activities, including in the context of Nepal’s planned graduation from a Least Developed Country (LDC) status.
  • Collaborate across UNDP teams, especially to ensure linkages to the work emerging from the network of acceleration labs;
  • Support the creation of large-scale development solutions to help address complex development challenges such as providing social protection, urban growth and green recovery;
  • Lead the expansion of country office service offers on financing for development, including innovative financing models and country specific/sector specific studies, in close collaboration and coordination with relevant country office and project personnel (e.g. Effective Development Financing and Cooperation project)

2. Provision of technical advice to national government counterparts and other partners, especially in support of the 2030 Agenda, the planned graduation from LDC status, and the introduction of sustainable and inclusive social economic and environmental policies:

  • Advise and facilitate dialogue on sustainable development, LDC graduation, and green economy 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, including to help strengthen national and local level data collection and statistical capacity; supporting integrated data management systems both at National and sub-national levels
  • Support to leverage UNDP’s regional and global programmes, to provide holistic and effective policy support to the country; 
  • Leverage support and expertise from the UNDP’s global/regional Economist networks to assist in strengthening UNDP’s support on economic analysis and policy development to Government and the UN Country Team. 

 3. Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate:

  • Contribute, in close collaboration with senior management and advisors, to the development and/or strengthening of partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs, bilateral development agencies, private sector entities, and civil society;
  • When delegated, represent UNDP country office in relevant forums, conferences or workshops, including to present research or programmatic results;
  • Actively engage and assist the Resident Representative/Deputy Resident Representative and other thematic advisors in resource mobilization – particularly as regards the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Nepal - and future growth strategies and contribute to the design of large-scale programme and development solutions;
  • Devise and implement a strategy to engage with the IFIs and jointly deliver on Government’s COVID response and recovery plans  
  • Contribute to national, regional, and global knowledge networks and communities of practice.

4. 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, through attending regional meetings (in-person and/or virtual), sharing relevant experiences, and conducting peer reviews;
  • Collaborate and contribute to regional publications, practice notes, and Regional Human Development Reports;
  • 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.

 

Competencies

 

Core

Innovation

Ability to make new and useful ideas work.

Level 5: Creates new and relevant ideas and leads others to implement them

Leadership

Ability to persuade others to follow.

Level 5: Plans and acts transparently, actively works to removes barriers

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.

Level 5: Models high professional standards and motivates excellence in others

Communication

Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.

Level 5: Gains trust of peers, partners, clients by presenting complex concepts in practical terms to others

Delivery

Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.

Level 5:Critically assesses value and relevance of existing policy / practice and contributes to enhanced delivery of products, services, and innovative solutions

Technical/Functional

Economics: Knowledge of economics concepts, principles and policies and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Information Systems & Technology: Knowledge of IST innovations and concepts and ability to apply them to strategic and/or practical situations.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Innovation: Ability to try out / test new ways of engagement and communications. Openness to different and new ways of doing things; willingness to modify one’s preferred way of doing things.

  Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Strategic thinking/Visioning: Ability to analyse the organization’s value proposition and shape visionary/long term plans.  Use insight to identify target audiences and partners and to inform communication objectives, messages and solutions.

Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

Collaboration and Partnership: Ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside (Programmes/projects) or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.  Sets overall direction for the formation and management of strategic relationships contributing to the overall positioning of UNDP.

  Level 5: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise

 

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s Degree in Economics or related fields is required.
  • Ph.D. in Economics will be an advantage.

Experience:

  • Minimum of 7 years, experience at the national or international level in relevant areas of economic research and policy and implementation support.
  • Extensive experience in research and policy-level analysis;
  • Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience;
  • Experience in preparing high quality policy briefs and guidance notes for use by senior policy makers;
  • Experience of strategic visioning with strong technical and highly developed analytical capabilities;
  • Knowledge of the SDGs and their application at the national level, politically astute with demonstrated experience in stakeholder analysis and engagement;
  • Experience in data analysis, handling of web-based management systems and advanced programmes for statistical analysis of data; and
  • Previous work experience in Asia and the Pacific region would be an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in oral and written English is essential;
  • Fluency in the official language of the duty station (Nepali) is a requirement.  

Disclaimer

Important applicant information

All posts in the NO categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
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