Chief English Translation and Editing Unit

UN ECA , Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
9th October, 2020

Job Description

The Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

The mission will be guided by ECA's five new strategic directions which are:

  • Advancing ECA's position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent's problems and take local solution to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa's position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.
  • This position is located in the Publications, Conference and Knowledge Management Division (PCKMD), Publications and Conference Management Section (PCMS). Under the supervision of the Chief, Publications and Conference Management Section, the incumbent will be in charge of the English Translation and Editing Unit (ETEU).


Within delegated authority, the English Reviser/Chief of the English Translation and Editing Unit will be responsible for the following duties:

  • •Advises the Chief, Publications and Conference Management Section on all issues dealing with English translation and editing at ECA;
  • •Plans medium-term activities of the English Unit and evaluates the temporary staff recruitment needs, in consultation with the Documents Planning and Monitoring Unit (DPMU);
  • •Plans and supervises the day-to-day activities of the English Translation and Editing Unit;
  • •Ensures that deadlines are met for English translation and editing, in consultation and coordination within and outside the Section;
  • •Ensures that the English Unit provides, within specified deadlines, quality, clear, concise, edited documents in conformity with United Nations standards;
  • •At the request of the Documents Planning and Monitoring Unit (DPMU), checks the quality of English translations subcontracted by ECA in order to give an opinion on subcontracted English translations in conformity with United Nations standards;
  • •Takes part in the recruitment of permanent staff for ETEU;
  • •Acts as First Reporting Officer for the staff of the Unit (e-performance);
  • •Supervises, counsels and assists editors/translators/précis-writers and briefs them on the procedures and practices of the service, terminology and a broad range of subjects, as required;
  • •Promotes teamwork and communication among staff members of the English Unit and those of the Section;
  • As the English reviser, the incumbent takes part in the Unit's translation and editing activities. In this regard, he/she:
  • •Revises translations on a broad range of subjects dealt with by the Economic Commission for Africa;
  • •Translates without revision highly specialized or urgent texts.
  • •Within multilingual teams composed of all categories of language staff using several languages, the Chief of the English Translation and Editing Unit contributes to the linguistic servicing of major ECA conferences, by directing, in particular, the work of the Unit at ECA ministerial conferences and other major events held in or outside Addis Ababa;
  • •Carries out linguistic research and contributes to the building of terminology databases;
  • •Serves as officer-in-charge in the absence of the Chief of Section;
  • •Performs other related duties as required.



  • Ability to demonstrate good writing skills; high standard of accuracy, consistency and faithfulness to the spirit, style and nuances of the original text with a good grasp of the subject matter. Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e., political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical. Ability to use all sources of references, consultation and information relevant to text at hand. Ability to work under pressure and maintain adequate speed and volume of output. Ability to show a high level of versatility, judgement and discretion. 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.


Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals-Solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others-Places team agenda before personal agenda-Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position-Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Planning and 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.


Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.


  • Degree from a university or from an institution of equivalent status required. Must have passed the United Nations Language Competitive Examination for English editors or English translators and précis-writers.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five years of experience in editing and/or translation, including three years of experience in editing and/or translation within the United Nations is required.
  • Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical) with a recognized specialization in a particular substantive, technical or administrative area is desirable.


  • A perfect command of English, which must be the candidate's main language, an excellent knowledge of French, and knowledge of another official language of the United Nations, as tested by the relevant United Nations Competitive Examination for English editors or translators and précis-writers, are required.


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