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Research and Coordination Associate - United Nations, Dubai

Job Description:


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP: we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalised or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

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.

The Knowledge Project is a joint initiative between UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) established in 2008 and aimed at producing high-quality knowledge products and promoting knowledge sharing and dialogue.

2021 marked the beginning of a new phase of the Knowledge Project where main activities consisted of revising the Global Knowledge Index, revamping the knowledge4all portal and mobile application, producing the third and last edition of the Future of Knowledge Foresight Report series, and organising Knowtalks. Among the 2023’s main activities, the Knowledge Project team will start the pilot implementation of its newly launched Regional Skills Initiative. The latter aims at strengthening the transmission mechanism between skills development and poverty reduction by equipping talents in the region with core employability and soft skills, foundational digital skills and technical skills to increase their likelihoods in finding and retaining jobs.

The initial phase of this initiative; i.e. the pilot phase, targets around 5,500 Arab learners from eight Arab countries and is expected to last 16 months, starting in January 2023. This phase consists of conducting workshops to bring together public sector, private sector, and educational institutions representatives in each of the targeted countries to discuss and update the skills gap analysis to tailor the offer to the priorities and challenges. Moreover, the project will start by pinning down the skills gap and planning for the future skills of the targeted groups and translate the identified needs of employers into skills that can be acquired through the proposed curricula. Applying thorough pre-selection and selection surveys, the learning content will be tailored to support the development of the right skills for the right people.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Research and Coordination Associate will work as part of the Knowledge Project team, reporting to the Project and Research Analyst in Dubai. He/she will support in the following tasks and responsibilities:

Programme Coordination:

  • Ensure seamless coordination and execution of these events to facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity-building. Prepare technical content and choreography for consultations and workshops within the Regional Skills Initiative.
  • Strengthen and build existing relationships to ensure smooth implementation of project activities. Assist in liaising and forging partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including government entities, private sector organisations, and other partners.
  • Set up robust tracking and monitoring tools to ensure effective project management and progress tracking. Support the review and monitoring of initiative activities, including the onboarding and engagement of learners.

Research and Knowledge Management:

  • Conduct desk research as needed to gain insights into the skills landscape in the region.
  • Map key stakeholders, existing skills initiatives, and strategies in the Arab region include countries of focus such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Prepare various knowledge products, including background notes, surveys, skills matrix, briefs, fact sheets, written reports, and presentations. Focus on topics related to the labor and job landscapes in the Arab States region to inform decision-making and advocacy efforts.
  • Collect data from national and international sources related to employment, skills, educational mismatch, extent of training, and other relevant aspects.
  • Analyse the data to derive meaningful insights and inform evidence-based interventions.

Reporting and Partnerships:

  • Support the preparation of periodic narrative and financial reports, including donor and UNDP corporate reporting. Ensure timely and accurate reporting to provide stakeholders with updates on project progress and achievements.
  • Assist in the establishment and fostering of partnerships with all relevant stakeholders, including government entities, private sector organisations, and other partners. Strengthen existing relationships to maximise collaboration and support for the project.

Communication and Advocacy:

  • Assist in developing communication materials, including project presentations, short scripts, and invitation letters, as required. Ensure that the materials effectively communicate the objectives and impact of the project.
  • Support advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the project's objectives and achievements. Engage with stakeholders at local, regional, and international levels to garner support and recognition for the initiative.
  • Coordinate with relevant teams to promote public engagement and awareness of the project's activities and outcomes. Utilise various communication channels, including social media and traditional media, to reach a wider audience.

Min. Education requirements:

  • Secondary education or Bachelor’s degree in economics, business administration, education, social sciences or any other related field.

Min. years of relevant work experience:

  • A minimum of seven (07) years (with secondary education).
  • or four (04) years (with Bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience of working at the national and/or regional level, in economic research, upskilling and reskilling initiatives, or in the domain of employment/entrepreneurship, livelihoods and workforce programs and services, or technical education and higher education (or online education), or other relevant programmes.

Required skills.

  • Excellent computer literacy (MS Office; Windows; Internet).
  • Excellent communications, report writing and analytical skills.

Desired skills in addition to the competencies covered in the Competencies section.

  • Extensive experience working in the Arab States region.
  • Experience and knowledge of massive open online courses and/or education.
  • Proven experience in a similar position in UN agencies.

Required Language(s):

  • Fluency in Arabic and English, both oral and written is required.
  • French is an asset.


  • National of the UAE or other nationalities with valid legal work permit and valid residency in the UAE or.
  • Non-residents of the UAE (all costs related to visa/residency will be borne by the selected candidate).

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Schedule: Full time
Vacancy Type: National Personnel Service Agreement
Practice Area: Economics
Bureau: Regional Bureau for Arab States
Contract Duration: 1 Year
Education & Work Experience: Bachelor's Degree - 4 year(s) experience OR High School certificate- 7 year(s) experience
Required Languages: Fluency in Arabic and English, both oral and written is required.
Desired Languages: French is an asset
Mobility required/no mobility: no mobility required


Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organisation, 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:

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.

About Us

Our mission, our goals, our mandate
As the lead United Nations agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnerships and institutional capabilities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is centred around six core development areas, known as our signature solutions: poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, energy and gender equality.

Mission and vision
UNDP’s mandate is to end poverty, build democratic governance, rule of law, and inclusive institutions. We advocate for change, and connect countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

The UN Charter
The Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organisation, and came into force on 24 October 1945. Its purposes and principles are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations based on equal rights and self-determination, and to achieve international co-operation in solving economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian challenges without distinction for race, sex, language, or religion.

UNDP is based on the merging of the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, created in 1949, and the United Nations Special Fund, established in 1958. UNDP, as we know it now, was established in 1966 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.


A partner of choice
Partnership is at the heart of everything UNDP does. We offer a nearly universal presence. Our substantial expertise—both intellectual acumen and practical experience—cuts across diverse development issues and settings. These valuable assets combined with our long legacy of trust have made us a global partner of choice.

At approximately US$5 billion annually, donor and programme country contributions to UNDP represent one-quarter of all contributions to the United Nations development system. Learn more about the contributing countries that make UNDP’s work possible.

United Nations System
The UNDP Administrator is the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites the 40 UN entities that contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the country level and which collectively constitute the UN development system (UNDS). The UNSDG provides strategic direction and oversight to ensure UNDS entities deliver coherent, effective, and efficient support to countries seeking to achieve sustainable development.

International Financial Institutions
International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are an important source of development funding. They account for a substantial portion of the non-core (earmarked, project-specific) funding of UNDP. UNDP has formal agreements with some IFIs (the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank), and is working on additional agreements.

Private Sector
The private sector can make an important contribution to development by fostering innovation, providing funding, and promoting entrepreneurship in developing countries. In many of our programme countries, the preconditions for private sector development and the emergence of inclusive markets (i.e., markets that extend choice and opportunity to the poor as producers, consumers, and wage earners) are not yet in place.

Both global and local foundations are providing strong backing for UNDP's development activities. We recognise the tremendous knowledge that foundations offer, ranging from governance and environment to health and financial inclusion; and work with them at the community level to better address local issues.

Civil Society Organisations
For UNDP, civil society constitutes the full range of formal and informal organisations that are outside the state and market. This includes social movements, volunteer organisations, indigenous peoples' organisations, mass-based membership organisations, non-governmental organisations, and community-based organisations, as well as communities and citizens acting individually and collectively.

Goodwill Ambassadors and Advocates
UNDP has long enlisted the voluntary services and support of prominent figures as Goodwill Ambassadors and Advocates to shine a spotlight on critical issues affecting our planet and its people. These well-known individuals are at the top of their field—whether it is film, television, music, art, or sports — and share a commitment to making the planet a better place.

Our Work

UNDP’s mission is an ambitious one: to lead the United Nations in its fight for a world without poverty, in which women are empowered, inequality is addressed and the planet is protected.

How do we achieve such a grand vision?

  • Thanks to a Diverse workforce.
  • Made of +20k of highly skilled and passionate people with a specific set of values and core competencies and people management competencies.
  • With various contract modalities.
  • Working in 170 countries.
  • In different priority areas.
  • United by a call to action to build successful and sustainable development across the globe.

When you join UNDP, you are lending your time and skills toward building a more prosperous, fair and inclusive world for people in need around the world.

You will have a stake in the People for 2030 Strategy, that reflects our commitment to our own people, to the UN community and to those we serve. This strategy ensures that our promise to our employees are kept through shared accountability measures, by making sure that HR-related issues are addressed at their root and by equipping management with the tools to make all our people feel valued.

You will join a workplace of world-class collaboration, innovative thinking and continuous learning for all employees.

  • Community of Purpose.When you join UNDP, you are joining an organisation that values input from colleagues, stakeholders and partners across the UN family. You are not just choosing a job, you are choosing a community of collaboration and mutual care, of people working together with a shared sense of purpose.
  • Next Gen Thinking.When you join UNDP, you are joining a mission that demands and encourages innovative thinking and provides space for creative input. Working to achieve such ambitious goals across so many countries and communities in a fast-changing world requires room for original thinking and creative contributions from all of our people.
  • Personal Growth.When you join UNDP, you are joining a community that aims to elevate and empower every employee to grow not only professionally, but also personally. UNDP’s core commitment to development therefore extends to our own people who are encouraged to build their career journeys through a multitude of opportunities for continuous learning and improvement, and who know that good work will be recognised and rewarded.
Additional Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree in Economics - MBA
  • Excellent computer literacy
  • Fluency in Arabic and English (French +)
  • Extensive working experience in the Arab States

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