Vacancy announcement
Geneva, Switzerland

Training Associate - International Development and Social Sciences

Vacancy type Training/Research Assistant/Associate
Duration of the contract
12 months
Deadline for submission of applications
20 September 2023
Organizational Unit
Social Development Programme Unit (SDPU)
CHF 6200
Number of job positions

Under the supervision of the Specialist, Social Development Programme Unit, the Training Associate will be responsible for the following duties:

Contribute towards the preparation and roll-out of the Division’s activities by:

  • Conduct development and policy research and evaluation activities in a wide range of thematic areas related to social development and inclusion, with a particular focus on international development, humanitarian action, disaster risk management, human geography, including migration, forced displacement and gerontology.
  • Coordinate with different partners and stakeholders to the successful implementation of projects.
  • Monitor and assessing project implementation.
  • Review and implementing feed-back and recommendations.
  • Incorporate detailed research and analysis into reports, project documents and training activities, particularly in areas related to international development and human geography.
  • Prepare key data, such as programme statistics and evaluation reports.
  • Assist in evaluation processes, including the compilation of data and elaboration of reports.
  • Perform other tasks to ensure effective programme development and implementation.

Contribute to the enhancement and expansion of the Division´s portfolio by:

  • Conceptualize, structure and develop projects on international development, humanitarian action, disaster risk management, human geography, including, migration, forced displacement and gerontology.
  • Design the content and script of e-learning courses and initiatives.
  • Support the dissemination and promotion of learning projects.
  • Gather evidence-informed messages to inform development theory and practice.
  • Publication of high-quality working papers in hard copy and made available online through UNITAR’s website and networks.
  • Support financial resource mobilization with partners.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following:
  • Staff in the Division, and other units of the Institute;
  • Diplomatic staff of Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations Offices;
  • Officers and technical staff in all CIFAL Centres;
  • Counterparts working in other international organizations, including those in the United Nations system;
  • Counterparts working in organizations that are Partners and/or Donors of the Division.
Results expected:

Support is provided to the Division, predominantly with the development of key project documents and research papers; efficient and effective support to the implementation of the Division’s training activities, including face-to-face, online, and hybrid,and services as enshrined in its work plan; effective communication with internal and external counterparts to achieve prescribed results.


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. Uses time efficiently.

Commitment to continuous learning – Willingness to keep abreast of new developments in the field of training and knowledge management activities. Shows willingness to learn from others. Seeks feedback to learn and improve

Communication – Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience. Openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Creativity - Actively seeks to improve programmes or services. Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet partners/donors needs. Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things.

Teamwork - Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals.

Client orientation - Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Accountability – Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments, and delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Technological awareness - Fully proficient in computer skills, with ability to use a variety of software and applications relevant to on-line learning. Advanced knowledge of the EMS being an advantage.

Respect for diversity – Works effectively with people from all backgrounds. Treats all people with dignity and respect, including treating mean and women equally. Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making.

Minimum requirements

Education: MSc in International Development and background in Law, PhD degree in Social Sciences with research focus in Africa is desirable.

Experience: Minimum 5 years of professional experience, including at the UN and/or Government.

Research skills: Proven experience in conducting development research with an emphasis in Social Sciences in different contexts from the Global South. This includes collaborative research with different stakeholders.

Management: Experience in managing and designing e-learning materials and courses.

Other skills: Advanced drafting and analytical skills; the ability to work autonomously; sensitivity to ensuring training inclusion for all; gender and disability sensitivity. Desired technical understanding of Moodle platform and the EMS.

Language: Fluency in English and Spanish is required, knowledge of another language is an advantage.


The benefit package includes six weeks of annual leave. It does not include pension and health insurance contribution. Please note that this vacancy is located in Geneva and is a locally recruited position with no international benefits. This is not a regular post but a type of contract specific to UNITAR.

Special Notice:

UNITAR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Qualified women, individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

English and French are the two working languages of UNITAR. Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

UNITAR staff members are subject to the authority of the UNITAR Executive Director and their appointments are limited to service with the Institute.


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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. UNITAR is a non-smoking environment.

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 Staff Regulations and Rules and UNITAR administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications 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.

No Fee:


How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Due to high number of expected applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.