Principal Economic Affairs Officer

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Beirut, Lebanon

Skill Required:, Finance and AccountsPolicy/ Advocacy and CampaignResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 15 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
16th December, 2020

Job Description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA forms part of the United Nations Secretariat and, like the other regional commissions, operates under the supervision of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ESCWA comprises 20 Arab countries in Western Asia and North Africa. ESCWA provides a framework for the formulation and harmonization of sectoral policies for member countries, a platform for congress and coordination, a home for expertise and knowledge, and an information observatory. ESCWA activities are coordinated with the divisions and main offices of the Headquarters of the United Nations, specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations, including the League of Arab States and its subsidiary bodies, and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Regional Advisor is expected to enhance ESCWA’s technical assistance and policy support to member States in the area of macroeconomic policy and financing for development. The Regional Advisor is also expected to enhance ESCWA’s visibility in the field of relevant policy research and analysis on macroeconomic and financing challenges and opportunities toward advancing implementation of the SDGs in the Arab region.

The Regional Advisor will report to the Deputy Executive Secretary for Programme.


Within delegated authority, the Regional Advisor will be responsible for the following duties:

Macroeconomic Policy:

  • Leads and formulates country specific macroeconomic policy assessments, including using modelling and forecasting tools, identifying and analysing national priorities for achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth, debt and fiscal pressures, financing challenges, monetary and exchange rate challenges.
  • Leads regional macroeconomic assessments and relevant policy research for key publications and advocacy, including policy briefs and reports related to macroeconomic and financing outlook.
  • Contributes to ensuring internal policy coherence and alignment of internal analytical approaches and methodologies, including use of consistent and reliable sources of data, articulation of key findings, and policy recommendations and communicating these in a clear and compelling manner.
  • Develops & updates training materials on macroeconomic modelling, policy simulations for use by policy makers and officials at national level assisting in policy formulation and implementation.
  • Enhances visibility of ESCWA as a knowledge centre of the region on macroeconomic assessment, modelling and forecasting analysis, fiscal policy, and financing for development analysis.
  • Makes substantive contributions to ESCWA’s regional/sub-regional workshops and policy symposiums on national development planning, financing strategies and other related policies within the broader context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Establishes and nurtures close relationships with stakeholders, especially with interested governments, key think tanks and non-governmental organizations on issues related to national development planning and financing policies of countries in the Arab region.
  • Represents and advocates for effective institutional positioning of ESCWA’s macroeconomic modelling/financing/development planning offer in conferences and meetings.

Technical Cooperation:

  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on issues of macroeconomic and financing strategies.
  • Provides policy advice through short-term technical support missions to respond to requests from member States on macroeconomic policy and financing challenges related to shocks such as the impact of COVID-19.
  • Contributes to on-going ESCWA’s capacity development activities, especially strengthening capacities of selected countries that indicate interest in developing integrated macroeconomic modelling and policy simulations tool for their planning processes and financing for development policies.
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects related to macroeconomic and financing strategies.
  • Organizes and coordinates cooperation among Member States on economic programmes or issues.
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions.
  • Supports overall contribution to RCOs and UNCTs in the area of macro-economic analysis by ensuring good quality and consistency of ESCWA contributions in this connection.

Programme Support:

  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participate in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours.
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the organizational unit or cluster.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. PhD in a relevant field is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in macroeconomic research and policy advice to countries, assessment financing for development challenges and opportunities, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or closely related areas is required.
  • Proven experience in the area of macroeconomic assessments for policy advice is required.
  • Proven experience in financing for development challenges and policy advice is required.
  • Proven experience in application of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting for policy advice is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. In addition, Arabic is a working language at ESCWA.
  • For this position, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable.

Note: "Fluency" equals a rating of 'fluent' in all four areas (speak, read, write, and understand) and "Knowledge of" equals a rating of 'confident' in two of the four areas.


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