Head, ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia, D1

  • Location
    New Delhi, India
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 23

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The mandate of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is to promote inclusive economic, social and environmental development and support regional cooperation and integration in the Asian and Pacific region. ESCAP's role as a regional development arm of the United Nations Secretariat is to support its membership, through its analytical, normative and technical cooperation, to respond to the development priorities and changing needs of the Asian and Pacific region.

The ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia (ESCAP-SSWA) is the subregional platform to promote regional cooperation for inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in South and South-West Asia. The SSWA Office bridges the developing and developed countries in the sub-region and works with ten member states in the sub-region, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The Head of ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia reports directly to Executive Secretary or their designate.


Under the leadership of the Executive Secretary or their designate, the Head of ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia will be responsible for the following:

  • Acts as the representative of ESCAP in the South and South-West Asian subregion, including promoting the active participation of member governments in the subregion in the work of ESCAP, while promoting subregional development cooperation and connectivity among the SSWA clients.
  • Leads, supervises, and carries out the work programme of the Subregional Office in close collaboration with ESCAP divisions and related subprogrammes;
  • Formulates and implements, in consultation with the concerned entities at ESCAP Headquarters, the programme of work of the Subregional Office by determining subregional priorities and utilizing resources effectively for the timely delivery of mandated outputs. Further, ensures that subregional activities and initiatives are in sync with and reinforce the overall ESCAP strategic framework and serves to reinforce the ESCAP core mandate, in particular on the subregional connectivity agenda.
  • Advises the Executive Secretary on emerging issues and concerns in the subregion, including those gathered from consultations/discussions with government officials and representatives of other key intergovernmental organizations, institutions and stakeholders, and provides advice toward developing ESCAP policies, programmes and courses of action, taking into consideration the socio-economic and political context of the subregion.
  • Provides inputs to ESCAP Headquarters entities, including the concerned substantive divisions on the development, formulation and implementation of the ESCAP work programme related to the countries of the subregion through:
    • Coordinating with concerned government officials, UN entities, UN Country Teams, subregional organizations and other stakeholders, to identify needs and priorities for technical assistance and cooperation and to facilitate the implementation of those programmes;
    • Providing support for missions, intergovernmental meetings, workshops, ESCAP flagship publications,training and other relevant activities held in the subregion; and
    • Acting as knowledge sharing centre in the subregion for ESCAP matters and activities.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Subregional Office maintain high-quality standards and are consistent with ESCAP work programme; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data.
  • Ensures that all outputs produced by the Office under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides policy advice and technical assistance in economic and social development policies and programmes to governments in the subregion in coordination with other existing entities, including those within the UN system.
  • Promotes partnership and knowledge sharing among member countries, private sector, civil society and other relevant development partners, including other ESCAP Subregional Offices and Regional Institutes, in addressing key priority areas of the subregion.
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic, administrative, and managerial tasks necessary for the functioning of the Subregional Office, including preparation of budgets, and inputs for results-based budgeting, reporting on budget/programme performance, recruitment/selection of candidates (taking due account of geographical balance), evaluation of staff performance, and development/guidance of staff under his/her supervision.
  • Performs other duties as necessary in accordance with the UN rules and regulations.


  • Professionalism: Demonstrated in-depth understanding of political, social and economic sustainable development issues in Asia and the Pacific. Strong analytical skills combined with good judgment. Ability to produce analytical reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.
  • 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.

Managerial Competencies

  • Leadership: 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in economics, social sciences, or related areas is required. Ph.D in any of the above fields is desirable. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in economic affairs, social affairs, environment or sustainable development is required. Experience in leading and managing a sizable work unit, including a budget and 8 to10 people is desirable. Research and analysis in the above fields as demonstrated through authored publications is desirable. Working experience in the Asia-Pacific region is highly desirable. Experience in advocacy fundraising and establishing public and private sector partnerships is desirable. Experience with UN staff rules and regulation is highly desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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