Administrative Assistant

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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs




Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Human Resources Management, Capacity Development Programme Management Office (CDPMO) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). CDPMO supports the Under-Secretary-General and DESA’s divisions in the implementation of the Department’s capacity development approach and promotes coherence as well as integrated delivery of the Department’s capacity development activities. In addition, CDPMO provides full financial and administrative support with respect to the management of DESA’s capacity development programmes and projects, including the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation, the Development Account and all extra-budgetary funding. CDPMO also provides financial and administrative support to the Junior Professional Officers Programme and the Training and Fellowship Programme of the UN Secretariat. The incumbent reports directly to the Programme Management Officer and under the overall supervision of the Chief of Human Resources Management.


Within delegated authority, the Administrative Assistant, under the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer and the overall guidance of the Chief of Human Resources Management, will be responsible for the following duties:


  • Initiates, processes, monitors, reviews and follows-up on actions related to the administration of the Department’s capacity development training activities including conferences, workshops, seminars, and symposia; Incumbent will also handle the administration of fellows, as requested by the workload of the office. Collects from the Department’s Substantive Divisions the time and attendance records of all trainees participating in DESA’s capacity development conferences, workshops, and seminars; Takes retroactive action, if necessary, to make appropriate travel adjustments.
  • Calculates and determines the entitlements of trainees and reflects them in financial authorizations to UNDP country offices and offices away from Headquarters;
  • Reviews and processes the Expense Reports of the trainees;
  • Provides advice and guidance to trainees and other stakeholders with respect to the United Nations policies, procedures, processes and practices governing the administration of fellowships, study tours and group training events;.
  • Uploads, maintains and updates training event files and trainee files in the newly established platform UniteDoc.


  • With a relative degree of independence, the incumbent monitors the actual status of expenditure and allotments for each participant against obligated amounts and adjusts obligations accordingly in line with IPSAS requirements; Reviews and determines the closing of obligations provided by Finance on a quarterly basis in accordance with IPSAS actual and prospected deadlines;
  • Seeks clarification from UNDP field offices on all charges which exceed authorized amounts, and adjusts obligations as necessary; Plays a crucial and direct role in cost recovery cases when participants obtain the DSA and do not travel or travel for a shorter duration. Incumbent must calculate the amount to be recovered, prepare a cost-recovery plans and makes every effort to recover the money in accordance with the UN financial and personnel rules and regulations;
  • Reviews invoices submitted by vendors for goods and services provided for training events to ensure that expenditures have been correctly charged and the funds are available. Processes the payment of vendor invoices and monitors payments;
  • Prepares shopping carts and Service entry Sheets for approval by Approving Officer;
  • Certifies travel requests and Expense report on behalf of trainees;
  • Prepares financial authorizations to UNDP country offices and to Offices away from Headquarters and adjusts financial authorizations as necessary;
  • Prepares statistical tables for each training event and shares them with the respective Substantive Divisions.


  • Prepares, processes and follows-up on administrative arrangements and forms related to the official travel of trainees and participants in capacity development events; With transparency and fairness, reviews the documentation and identifies trainees who may not be eligible for participation in training activities due to frequency of nominations (one nomination within six months for group meeting participants and once a year for study tour participants.)
  • Drafts routine correspondence, particularly to trainees and UNDP country offices;
  • Maintains files of rules, regulations, administrative instructions and other related documentation;
  • Maintains up-to-date work unit electronic files in Unite Docs;
  • Coordinates extensively with staff from substantive divisions and liaises frequently with counterparts in the Travel Unit, Accounts Divisions and UNDP field offices.
  • Performs other related administrative duties, as required.


  • High school diploma or equivalent is required.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five years of experience in administrative services, finance, accounting, audit, human resources or related area is required. Experience in reviewing and processing travel documents including visa applications in line with host country regulations is required. Experience in using the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system such as Umoja for travel administration is required. Experience in building personnel data in an integrated information management system including banking information is desirable.


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





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