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  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Economics
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level

H (no hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

Economist Organizational Setting and Work Relationships Framed by the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) and UNHCR¿s mission to find solutions to refugee situations, strengthened cooperation with development and private sector partners is essential. The increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons in protracted displacement situations, together with the increasing scale of irregular migration, large-scale refugee movements, and costs of responding to humanitarian situations, have placed forced displacement high on the global agenda. These elements have further driven the realization that humanitarian support must be complemented by development and private sector actors to lift displaced populations out of poverty, enable solutions, and encourage an area based approach to poverty reduction. Within UNHCR, the Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS) was formed to address these challenges, in part by broadening strategic partnerships with key actors in these areas, including importantly the World Bank and other multilateral development banks and in so doing aligning approaches by Government. To support investments by development actors in area based approaches including both forcibly displaced and their hosts, requires better data and standardized information about refugees and host community households, particularly in relation to their socio-economic status or multidimensional poverty status. Accurate data on welfare conditions is also needed UNHCR and partner operational needs including cash, livelihoods, and education programming, welfare targeting and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, comparable information for both refugees and host community member is a pre-requisite for measuring changes in welfare required to inform medium-term programming with development partners and national governments. DRS together with the World Bank Poverty Global Practice supported by the UNHCR World Bank Joint Data Center manage the partnership and play the global coordination role for the institution in working with National Statistics Offices to include forcibly displaced into National Poverty Assessments. The Economist will contribute to the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) objectives 1 and 2- Ease the pressures on host countries and Enhance refugee self-reliance. Concretely the Economist will contribute to the indicators measuring the success of the Global Compact for Refugees and particularly the Proportion of refugees living below the national poverty line in the host country. Depending on where the Economist is based the reporting lines will differ. If the Economist is based in Headquarters it will map to the DRS Partnership Analytics Research and Knowledge (PARK) section. If the Economist is based in a country or regional office, the Economist will report to either the Representative or Deputy Representative Programme, or in some cases Head of Sub-Office or Senior Operations Officer. In all cases a dotted line will be to DRS PARK for technical functional clearance of candidates and for technical oversight of economics products. The Economist will work closely with Programme and Protection colleagues in addition to Senior Management in the operation as well as Bureaux and technical unit key external stakeholders and development agencies, including the World Bank, government agencies, national statistical agencies, and other operational partners. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties Project Management - Lead the design and implementation of assessments and other data-driven products related to the socio-economic welfare of refugees, forcibly displaced persons and host communities, wherever possible through coordination with the National Bureau of Statistics and World Bank Country Economist in inclusion of forcibly displaced into National Poverty Assessment. - Successfully manage all partnerships and activities in the collection of comparable socio-economic (poverty) data on forcibly displaced - Contribute to defining and promoting a vision for the use of socio-economic data, particularly in planning, programming and advocacy at the country, regional and headquarters levels. - Maintain a strong understanding of the state of literature on poverty analysis for forcibly displaced. - Manage data collection activities, as appropriate. This may take place at all stages of data collection (preparation, survey design, sampling, onsite data collection oversight and supervision and quality assurance, data analysis and report writing). - Conduct data analysis using econometric programs (R, Stata). Data Collection and Analysis - Consolidate raw primary and secondary datasets into final datasets to be used for analysis, as needed. This will involve creating and merging various sources of data and may require programming matching algorithms, linking up with field staff for additional information, and performing manual matching. - Clean all datasets and create all necessary indicators. Work with the research team to design a thorough plan for data analysis and carry out the coding to perform this analysis. Common analytical tasks include production of descriptive statistics and regression analysis for various outputs such as briefs, presentations and academic papers. - For any field survey, assist in programming the instrument and developing protocols to ensure high quality data. - Properly prepare and document relevant datasets for archiving on the UNHCR Microdata Library. - Lead the preparation of research papers including formatting and creating tables, graphs, and related analysis. - Engage with country operation, partners and government, as appropriate, in the design and implementation of data collection and research projects. Coordination - Ensure good communication and coordination among members of the country team, Governments, researchers and partners, serving as a link between these parties. - Lead drafting and writing of presentations, analytical reports and research and policy briefs. - Participate in official missions and deliver capacity building and training activities for partners and governments. - Identify research opportunities and contribute to proposals for research partnerships and funding. - Reflect UNHCR's positions on policy, advocacy and programming issues as they relate to the protection, resilience and solutions of refugees with medium-term economic and social development programmes. - Represent UNHCR in negotiations and meetings relating to socio-economic profiling of forcibly displaced and wider partners research in country. - Represent UNHCR in technical capacity with external actors. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education Economics Statistics (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified. (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential) Relevant Job Experience Essential At least six (6) years of demonstrated experience in economics, analysing data and conducting research. Familiarity with processes of the World Bank, the African Development Bank or other international financial institutions, bilateral development agencies or research institutions. Desirable: Familiarity with displacement and development issues. Experience of working with the private sector. Experience working in applied development economics. Experience in poverty modelling. Experience leading primary data collection effort and data analysis. Experience of working with synergies between the humanitarian-development nexus. Demonstrated skills and experience with measuring welfare through socio-economic profiling. Demonstrated experience with analysis of large datasets. Demonstrated expertise in utilization of relevant statistical software (R, Stata). Ability to work independently with limited supervision and deliver high quality products . Demonstrated ability to think creatively, and to explore, harness and translate innovative concepts into relevant practical approaches for programming, policy, and advocacy purposes. Demonstrated ability to think creatively, and to explore, harness and translate innovative concepts into relevant practical approaches for programming, policy, and advocacy purposes. Functional Skills CO-Drafting and Documentation MG-Project Management EC-Statistical and modelling software IM-Statistics Analysis DM-Data Collection and Analysis (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile

The position requires a high level of technical econometric analytical capacities so as to complete innovative research. The incumbent should have a demonstrated set of publications in peer reviewed economic journals relevant for forced displacement. The position requires close interaction with internal team members, researchers and research institutions, and external partners, including the World Bank and staff of the Joint Data Center. Close coordination and support are provided to country operations. The position requires a moderate amount of travel.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

To view occupational safety and health considerations for this duty station, please visit this link:

Nature of Position:

Working in close cooperation with UNHCR HQ Divisions, Regional Bureaux and Country Offices, the UNHCR Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS) Development Partnerships Analytics and Research Service (DPAR) maintains the following responsibilities: (i) engagement with development partners to pursue positive outcomes refugees, IDPs and stateless people in the areas of resilience and solutions, (ii) the articulation of policies, programmes and projects that make a measurable impact, and (iii) the generation of analytical products that advance resolution of specific country-level displacement situations.

The Analytics and Research Unit, led by a Senior Economist (P4), works closely with internal and external stakeholders to improve the overall quality and consistency of data on the socio-economic conditions of refugee populations. Internally, the Unit works closely with the UNHCR technical teams (e.g. Cash, Health, Education, WASH, Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion, etc.), as well as the Regional Bureaux. Externally, it is connected to the World Bank through the UNHCR-World Bank Joint Data Center (JDC), based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The goals of the JDC are to ensure the systematic collection of socio-economic data on refugees, facilitate open access to this information, promote innovation and strengthen sustainability of the global data collection system.

The Economist (P3) will be based in the DRS DPAR team in Geneva, Switzerland, working alongside the Senior Economist and other team members.

Living and Working Conditions:

Geneva is a HQ duty station offering high standard living conditions with a relatively high cost of living. Switzerland is in general a safe place with very little crime.

Staff members assigned to Geneva have also been granted the opportunity to reside in neighbouring France on the understanding that the preconditions to acquiring a French residency permit are respected.

Medical care is up to international standards. Under the Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act health insurance coverage is compulsory for all persons domiciled in Switzerland within three months of taking up residence or being born in the country. International staff members and their family members holding a Carte de legitimation or an attestation delivered by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs are exempt from this compulsory insurance provided that they are covered by another health insurance scheme (i.e. UNSMIS).

With regard to educational facilities in the Geneva area, international schools (La Grande Boissière, Châtaigneraie and Pregny) have difficulties to find places for new admissions. It is therefore advisable to make requests for admission for children as early as possible. For more information on this subject, staff can contact the Association Genevoise des écoles privées in Geneva (, tel: (+41 22 735 7671).

Additional Qualifications




Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration, Technological awareness

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position requires Functional Clearance
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