Senior Population Affairs Officer, P-5

8 Min Read

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Senior Population Affairs Officer, P-5 2

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Fertility and Population Ageing Section of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The Senior Population Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Population Policies and Development Branch.


Within delegated authority, the duties of the Senior Population Affairs Officer encompass the following.

  • Provides policy guidance to the Chief of Branch and Director of the Division on the conceptual and strategic development and management of the part of the Division’s substantive work programme assigned to the Section;
  • Has major responsibility for the formulation, organization and management of the Section’s substantive work programme on population issues; reports thereon to intergovernmental bodies, such as the Commission on Population and Development, the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and the regional commissions;
  • Leads, supervises and carries out the work required to prepare population estimates and projections. This task includes undertaking the development or improvement of methods for the preparation of population estimates and projections;
  • Leads, supervises and carries out the work required to produce studies on population levels and trends or population policies in relation to social and economic factors. Such studies can focus on specific population issues, such as fertility; family planning; internal or international migration; urbanization; mortality; population structure and composition; population ageing; population policies; population, environment and development; HIV/AIDS; and population trends and economic growth;
  • Leads, supervises and carries out the work involved in undertaking methodological studies concerning the components of population change and their estimation. Develops or adapts methodology as required;
  • Leads and supervises the development and maintenance of databases containing demographic indicators, population and development indicators, population policy information and indicators or information on other population-related issues. Cooperates in the development and design of appropriate software for the efficient use and management of such databases;
  • Carries out the administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, reporting on programme performance, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting;
  • Provides guidance and training for staff under his/her supervision. Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section. Ensures that staff follow appropriate standards in the preparation of reports and other output;
  • Leads and supervises the organization of expert group meetings, seminars, etc., on population-related issues. Is responsible for the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars;
  • Participates in international, regional and national meetings to present the results of research; provides substantive expertise on an issue or holds substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Represents the Population Division at international, regional and national meetings. • Leads, supervises and provides support to technical cooperation projects in the area of population and development;
  • Prepares research proposals for external funding on population issues;
  • Prepares briefing notes on population and development issues for Branch Chief/Director and other senior staff in the United Nations. Prepares press releases and provides information to the press and media, as necessary.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Expert knowledge in the area of specialization of the post. Proven in-depth knowledge of methods of demographic analysis and theories pertaining to demographic change and demographic trends. Proven ability to produce reports and technical papers on population issues, preferably including own-name publications in technical journals or other scientific publications. 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;
  • PLANNING AND 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;
  • COMMITMENT TO CONTINUOUS LEARNING: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve;
  • 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;
  • JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in demography or in sociology, statistics, economics or related field with an emphasis on demography is required. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in population analysis and research or related area is required. Experience leading research in fertility, family planning or population ageing is required. Experience in two or more of these areas is desirable. Experience in coordinating projects involving the preparation, processing or analysis of demographic data is desirable.


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

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on

Apply Now
***Show some love and please mention* in your application***
***We also feel loved when you share it***

Share This Article