Research Associate

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15 Min Read
  • Contract
  • Beirut

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme


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UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Lebanon is still going through one of the worst economic crises in its modern history. Since October 2019, the economy has shrunk by more than 39.9%, with GDP dropping from US$54.9 billion in 2018 to an estimated US$23 billion in 2022. This has led to a significant decrease in GDP per capita, falling from $9,225 in 2018 to an estimated $3,303 in 2022[1]

The brutal economic collapse has had severe social and humanitarian consequences, disproportionally affecting vulnerable groups especially women and youth. Vulnerable groups including women, youth among others have been bearing the brunt of the crisis: women unemployment rates reached as high as 32%[2], exacerbating the existing gender gap. 

UNDP Lebanon is implementing a comprehensive approach that would foster women equal access to resources, tools and economic opportunities (markets) that would enable them to do business better, while making sure that institutions (public and private) are more responsive to women’s needs and are able to provide them with the needed tools, systems and opportunities to be the main drivers of their economic success and empowerment. Emphasis will be put on supporting the most vulnerable women to improve their economic opportunities and their access to and control over productive assets and income.

By supporting women access to economic opportunities, the project will be supporting job stabilization as well as job creation directly and indirectly, thus contributing to poverty reduction. More specifically, by providing women with the tools to compete nationally and internationally, and by ensuring they are prepared i.e. their products and services have the needed quality to enter markets and generate opportunities, the project will ensure that women-led businesses can continuously generate the needed income to grow and sustain livelihood, thus contributing to poverty reduction. Furthermore, the various skills trainings provided for women in will also bridge the gap between the supply and the demand sides of the job market, thus directly supporting target beneficiaries in accessing employment. 

[1] World Bank Data 

[2] ILO and Central Administration of Statistics, Lebanon follow-up Labour Force Survey January 2022. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance and supervision of the Project Manager and the Economist, the Research Associate will support the effective implementation of Women’s Economic Empowerment Through Advancing Women-Led Enterprises in Lebanon project through focusing on the below work streams:

Support in conducting Socio-Economic Research 

  • Contribute to background research relevant for the project mainly the collection of socio-economic data as well as productive sectors indicators which will be relevant for the short-listing of economic sectors that will form the basis of the intervention. 
  • Gather relevant and corresponding socio-economic gender related data. 
  • Support the gender specialist in collecting and gathering the relevant data needed for the elaboration of the gender strategy. 
  • Support in mapping and identifying relevant stakeholders involved in key trade processes. 
  • Review and proofread all information posted on the various platforms that will be developed by the project including the Help Desk platform, the Market reports, the Business Matchmaking Platform, the Lebanon Export Academy, the newly Automated procedure among others. 
  • Closely follow up with external consultants involved in drafting the market reports. 
  • Conduct benchmark analysis of export training programs in services related sectors. 
  • Review all content provided by the implementing partner on training curricula. 

Support in performing Data Collection and Analysis 

  • Identify potential list of host institutions for the Trade Help desk and gather corresponding data that will support in the short listing and selection of the host institution. 
  • Populate, develop, and maintain database of SMEs supported by UNDP, leveraging existing data from various projects and the newly populated data. 
  • Populate, develop, and maintain database of women-led SMEs supported by UNDP, leveraging existing data from various project and the newly populated data.
  • Continuously monitor and collect all economic related indicators relevant to the project. 
  • Populate, develop, and maintain database of all potential private sector partners across all of Lebanon and across relevant productive sectors.  
  • Support in drafting and developing surveys that will be launched by the project, in addition to generating relevant data, chats and reports for analysis and policy making. 

Support knowledge building, knowledge sharing and capacity building relevant to the assigned project.

  • Provide support to other capacity building activities, including to the design and delivery of tools, materials for workshops, or platforms that tap into the collective intelligence of communities and mobilize action. 
  • Provide support in the dissemination and sharing of relevant data and lessons learned within the CO and regionally. 
  • Keep pulse on emerging best practices nationally, regionally, and internationally that relate to the work of the assigned project. 
  • Make sound contributions to knowledge networks and communities of practice. Support compiling and systematizing project knowledge, products and tools as well as their wide distribution to partners. 

Provide Support and Coordination Work to the Project 

  • Review reports developed by the project and conduct needed edits in English or Arabic 
  • Verify the accuracy and validity of research conducted by external consultants. 
  • Coordinate the organization of workshops and stakeholder consultations and ensure draft of minutes of meetings and relevant follow-ups.
  • Coordinate the implementation of all trainings, including the finalization of training agenda, location identification, etc.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organization.

Institutional Arrangement

The selected incumbent will be working under the overall guidance and under the direct supervision of the Project Manager and the Economist 

Achieve Results: LEVEL 1: Plans and monitors own work, pays attention to details, delivers quality work by deadline
Think Innovatively: LEVEL 1: Open to creative ideas/known risks, is pragmatic problem solver, makes improvements 
Learn Continuously: LEVEL 1: Open minded and curious, shares knowledge, learns from mistakes, asks for feedback
Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 1: Adapts to change, constructively handles ambiguity/uncertainty, is flexible 
Act with Determination:  LEVEL 1: Shows drive and motivation, able to deliver calmly in face of adversity, confident
Engage and Partner: LEVEL 1: Demonstrates compassion/understanding towards others, forms positive relationships
Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 1: Appreciate/respect differences, aware of unconscious bias, confront discrimination 


Cross-Functional & Technical competencies 

Thematic Area Name Definition
Business Management Partnerships Management Ability to build and maintain partnerships, networks of stakeholders, Governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies
Business Management Results-based Management Ability to manage programmes and projects of focus and deliver demonstrable results  
Business Direction and Strategy Negotiation and Influence Ability to reach an understanding, persuade others, resolve points of difference, gain advantage in the outcome of dialogue, negotiates mutually acceptable solutions through compromise and creates win-win situations
2030 Agenda: Partnerships SDG Finance Public Sector Finance (Tax and domestic resource mobilization, public financial management and public expenditure)
Business Management Communication

Ability to communicate in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media and other appropriate channels.


Business Direction & Strategy System Thinking Ability to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
 Business Management Monitoring Ability to provide managers and key stakeholders with regular feedback on the consistency or discrepancy between planned and actual activities and programme performance and results



Required Skills and Experience
Min. Education requirements
  • Completion of Secondary Education is required; or 
  • University Degree in Business Administration, Management, or Economics, International Economics or any related fields will be given due consideration but not a requirement. 
Min. years of relevant work experience  Minimum seven (7) years (with a secondary education) or four (4) years (with a bachelor’s degree) of progressive relevant experience in the field of economics with focus on Lebanon. 
Required skills 
  • Strong record in conducting research, synthetizing information gathered to develop analysis, generating data and charts, extrapolation from available information, and identifying relevant sources to collect information. 
  • Demonstrated exceptional knowledge and use of MS Office Suite particularly Excel and PowerPoint.
Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section
  • Proven understanding and working knowledge within Lebanon’s socio-economic context are an advantage. 
  • Previous experience with the UN, UNV, NGOs or international organization(s) is an asset. 
  • Knowledge and ability to use the various statistical tools (CAS, Customs, etc) related to Lebanon socio-economic situation and ability to carry out analysis (forecasting, etc) is desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop surveys through using various survey tools such as survey monkey and to generate data from it is an asset. 
Required Language(s)  Fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic is required. 


Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

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