YPP Exam: Economic Affairs (for external applicants)
Org. Setting and Reporting
Those who are successful in the Young Professionals Programme (YPP) examination process will be placed on a roster used to fill appropriate vacancies. Candidates may be selected from the roster as relevant vacancies become available across the UN Secretariat. The roster is valid and used to fill positions, for a period of three years. It is important to understand that placement on the roster does not guarantee an offer of employment.
Candidates selected from the roster will be offered a two-year fixed term contract at the start of their Professional career with the UN. After two years, and subject to satisfactory performance, they may be granted a continuing contract. YPP placements are at either a P-1/P-2 level (entry level professional). Positions may become available at various UN Secretariat offices, including, but not limited to: Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Geneva, Nairobi, New York, Santiago, Vienna. Successful candidates must be willing to be placed in a position at any UN duty station or field operation.
Please be sure to carefully read the Special Notice section below and visit careers.un.org/ypp for more information.
YPP Economic Affairs positions are located in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Regional Commissions and, occasionally, other Departments in the United Nations Secretariat. These entities are a vital interface between global policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. The work is guided by the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets adopted by the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2015. Each position is usually focused on a sub-specialty such as macroeconomics, development economics, international economics (trade, finance and investment), public economics, environmental economics, gender economics or a specific economic sector or sectors. Incumbents typically reports to the Head of a Branch or Section or to a Senior Economic Affairs Officer.
The Young Professionals Programme examination in Economic Affairs covers a wide range of topics in the areas of fundamental concepts from microeconomics, macroeconomics, economics of growth and sustainable development, climate and ocean economics, economics of international trade and finance, quantitative economic analysis and econometrics, resources and environmental economics, and other areas of the economic discipline covered economic affairs arms of the United Nations. Those successful in the examination could be assigned to a job that covers any or a combination of these areas.
Some of the key responsibilities of an Associate Economic Affairs Officer include (These duties are generic and may not be carried out by all Associate Officers.):
Economic and/or sector analysis:
• Collects, evaluates, interprets, and analyses qualitative and quantitative socio-economic information obtained from a variety of sources and pertaining to particular sectors, countries, regions, or sustainable development topics.
• Prepares or helps to prepare drafts of analytical studies of economic and sustainable development issues pertaining to sector, country, region, and the world as a whole, and of policies necessary to deal with these issues (e.g., analysis of economic growth, resource efficiency, resilience to economic and environmental shocks, trends in implementation of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs).
• Prepares briefing notes, inputs to speeches, and other such material on topical economic and sustainable development issues in a form that is readily accessible by non-specialists.
• Maintains databases covering both quantitative and qualitative information and programmes necessary for management and organization of such databases.
• Assists in designing, testing, using, and carrying out necessary modification of econometric models and other sustainable development policy support tools.
• Assists in organizing and servicing expert group meetings, seminars, etc. on topical economic and sustainable development issues.
• Prepares inputs for reports to intergovernmental bodies.
• Follows intergovernmental meetings and prepares their summary reports and other relevant output.
• Prepares inputs to statements by members of the Bureau and Secretariat staff to various economic and sustainable development issue related meetings.
• Assists in organizing panels, round tables, etc. necessary for inter-governmental processes pertaining to economic and sustainable development issues.
• Compiles and analyses data and other information necessary for preparing relevant technical cooperation project proposals in the area of economic and sustainable development. Uses systems analysis for integrated planning and development scenarios.
• Participates in drafting of technical cooperation programmes and projects.
• Prepares material necessary for approval of regional, country or sector specific technical cooperation projects.
• Monitors, backstops, supports the implementation of and assesses the implementation of approved technical cooperation programmes and projects.
• Conducts data analysis for a variety of reasons; and keeps abreast of latest tools and techniques to do so.
• Performs other related duties as required, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the final delivery of the work unit’s services.
• Undertakes on-the-job and other training activities, both internally and externally.
• Shows pride in work and in achievements
• Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter
• Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results
• Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns
• Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges
• Remains calm in stressful situations
• Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work
• Keeps abreast of available technology
• Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the Office
• Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks
• Shows willingness to learn new technology
Planning & Organizing:
• Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies
• Identifies priority activities and assignments
• Adjusts priorities as required
• Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work
• Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning
• Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary
• Uses time efficiently
At least a first-level university degree (i.e., Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree of at least three years) in an area of study relevant to Economics. Candidates with an advanced degree are encouraged to apply. Degrees accepted must be in Economics or a related field, in one of the following areas (to be selected from the “Main Course of Study” dropdown menu):
Social & Behavioural Science; Mathematics & Statistics; Business & Administration; Environmental Protection; Agriculture, Forestry & Fishery
Important: when preparing your application in Inspira, if you do not see your exact degree listed, please choose the field of study that is closest to your degree, from the “Field of Study” and “Main Course of Study” dropdown menus; then type the exact title in original language as well as its translation in English or French in the additional comment boxes. Do NOT select “other” for main course of study or field of study (or you will be automatically disqualified).¿
No work experience is required. Relevant work experience may be taken into consideration as an additional screening criteria when more than 60 candidates from the same country apply to the same exam area.Languages
Fluency (speaking, reading, writing, understanding fluently) in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.Assessment
The assessment process is divided into 3 stages:
1.Screening of applications,
2.Written examination taken online,
Knowledge of UN languages may be tested at any of these stages.
• Applications will be screened based on the eligibility criteria in this Job Opening.
• The written examination will be conducted via an online testing platform. Candidates convoked for the written examination will be responsible for identifying and securing a location suitable for them to complete the examination (i.e., a computer with a reliable internet connection). Further information regarding the online testing platform and exam preparation guidance will be provided to those convoked for the examination.
o The written examination is planned to be offered in two parts, with the following tentative timeframe (exact dates to be announced):
o Part I (likely in August / September 2023) consists of 1) the General Paper, which assesses competencies and abilities critical to success in working in an international affairs context, and 2) first part of the Specialized Paper, multiple choice questions which assess knowledge and attributes relevant to the exam area.
o Part II (1-2 months after stage 1) consists of the second part of the Specialized Paper, constructed response items (i.e., open-ended questions) which assess knowledge and attributes relevant to the exam area. Only examinees successful in part one of the online exam will be invited to participate in the second part.
• Only examinees who are successful in the overall written examination will be invited to the oral examination. The oral examination will be conducted via online video conference. The oral examination will assess the key competencies for the job family, as described in the Job Opening. Part of the final assessment stage, either before, during or after the oral examination may include an element to verify the candidate’s answers given in the Specialized Paper as well as the information in the Personal History Profile submitted. The anticipated timeframe for the oral examinations is early 2024.
The purpose of the present Job Opening is to invite applications from external candidates who wish to take the Young Professionals Programme (YPP) examination in Economic Affairs. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the YPP Careers Page to learn more: careers.un.org/ypp. UN Secretariat General Service (or equivalent) staff members who are eligible to apply through the “G to P” or “G to N” track must not apply through this Job Opening. All others should apply via this external opening (including UNV, JPO, National Officers, interns).
• Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
1. Have at least a first level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or at least a three-year equivalent) in the fields of study listed in the Education Section of this Job Opening;
2. Be 32 years old or younger by the end of this year (born on or after 1 January 1991);
3. Be fluent in either English or French; and
4. Have the nationality of a participating Member State. The participating Member States for this YPP are:
Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
If more than 60 applicants from the same country apply for the same exam area, those applicants will be further screened and ranked according to points given for the following additional qualifications: highest level of education completed, knowledge of official UN languages, and relevant work experience. The “top 60” applicants per country per exam area will be convoked to the first stage of the online exam. A maximum of 40 applicants per country per exam area will move forward from the first stage of the online exam to the second stage, based on exam performance.
• APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT SCANNED COPIES OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS, AS ATTACHMENTS IN THEIR APPLICATIONS, TO BE CONSIDERED.
o Passport or a valid identification document issued by a state authority, showing your name, birth date and nationality, with a photograph;
o Documentation of University degree(s) (e.g., diploma, transcript or similar official document), reflecting the main course of study selected.
• Candidates must apply to only one YPP exam area in a given year (e.g., cannot apply to both the Economic Affairs and the Information Systems & Technology exam).
• Those who are successful in the YPP examination process will be placed on a roster used to fill appropriate entry-level (P1/P2) vacancies. Candidates may be selected from the roster as relevant vacancies become available across the UN Secretariat, at various offices globally. The roster is valid and used to fill positions, for a period of three years. It is important to understand that placement on the roster does not guarantee an offer of employment.
• To learn more about YPP, including the examination process, roster management and recruitment, visit the YPP page on the UN Careers Portal: https://careers.un.org/ypp.
Click “apply” to activate the Virtual Assistant or Chatbot, Alba, in Inspira. Alba will answer questions about the YPP.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
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