This position is located in the Western Africa Division of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA/DPO). The Research Assistant reports to the Deputy Director for West Africa and the Sahel (political, non-mission and regional work and special political mission backstopping). The Division, which covers West Africa and the Sahel as well as Mali/the United Nations Integrated Mission for the Stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA), is tasked with monitoring and reporting on major developments in the countries under its purview, and recommending actions for addressing the related challenges, risks and threats.
Within delegated authority, the Research Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
- Assists the Deputy Director for West Africa and the Sahel and Desk Officers for West Africa and the Sahel in identifying and monitoring substantive aspect of the work of Western Africa Division in various regions/countries.
- Selects and evaluates a variety of documents, summarize pertinent material, collects and analyses data and prepares background materials for assessment papers, studies, briefs and reports.
- Systematically follows through and retrieves, highlights and compiles information from a wide variety of information sources; prepares input for the electronic database and the internet and co-operate with research institutes and organizations in the collection of data.
- Assembles and examines original material to ensure accuracy, clarity and validity; makes appropriate adjustments.
- Designs, prepares and maintains a country profile for each country assigned to the Western Africa Division.
- Prepares a variety of reports, presentations, tables, lists, charts, data sets, and/or diagrams for information in order to facilitate the in-depth analysis of the retrieved information by the Deputy Director for West Africa and the Sahel and Desk Officers for West Africa and the Sahel.
- Assist in the preparation of research materials for the drafting of background materials for official visits of the Secretary-General and/or other senior officials.
- Participates in the substantive and policy discussions of Western Africa Division.
- Maintains and expands contacts with other departments in the Secretariat, as well as the UN agencies and programmes and other organizations relevant to the region and coordinate the input of other departments in the collection of data for assignments received.
- Prepares, maintains and updates files (electronic and paper) and internal databases; designs and generates a variety of periodic and ad hoc reports, statistical tables, charts, graphs, and other background materials/notes to facilitate inspection and other reviews.
- Drafts programme/project summaries, co-ordinates review and clearance process and coordinates with editor, translation services, etc., on finalization and publication of reports in multiple languages.
- Identifies the organizational requirements for conferences and meetings and assists in the preparation of documentation and reports for these meetings.
- Attends a variety of meetings to follow discussions, takes notes and prepares summary report, notes for the file, correspondence, etc.
- Be focal point for translating routing correspondence, talking points, etc., from English to French.
- Provides guidance and training to new/junior staff.
- Performs other related work as required.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of research methodologies, data collection and maintenance. Ability to identify, extract, analyze and format data from a wide variety of standard and nonstandard sources. 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.
- Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
- 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.
High school diploma or equivalent is required.
A minimum of seven years of experience in collecting and researching data across various areas of social and economic development or related area is required.
Experience using project management tools is required.
Experience providing support to high-level officials is desirable.
Experience providing support to field operations is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and French is required.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits exclusively applicable to international recruitment.
Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat. Applicants who have not passed the GGST at the time of application may be invited for the test after submitting an application. Having passed the Administrative Support Assessment Test in English at the United Nations Headquarters, Economic Commission for Africa, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, United Nations Office at Geneva, United Nations Office at Vienna, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda or International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; or the United Nations Accounting or Statistical Assistant Examination at the United Nations Headquarters may be accepted in lieu of the GGST.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
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.
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