National Economist, Cambodia At UNDP – United Nations Development Programme

Closing date: Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Job Identification : 9163

Locations : Cambodia

Posting Date : 03/14/2023, 02:09 PM

Apply Before : 04/05/2023, 03:59 AM

Job Schedule : Full time

Agency : UNDP

Grade : NOC

Vacancy Type : Fixed Term

Practice Area : Economics

Bureau : Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education & Work Experience : Master’s Degree – 5 year(s) experience OR Bachelor’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience

Required Languages : Proficiency in oral and written English and Khmer

Vacancy Timeline

2 Weeks

Mobility required/no mobility

no mobility required

Job Description


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

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.

Over the past two decades, Cambodia has realized high rates of economic growth (averaging 7.7% between 1995 and 2018). GDP per capita doubled from US$ 785 in 2010 to US$ 1,625 in 2022. This was accompanied by progressive declines in poverty and improvements in human development. Cambodia places 146th out of 191 countries in terms of Human Development; Its Human Development Index (HDI) is lower than ASEAN’s average. The GINI coefficient measuring inequality decreased from 0.67 in 2010 to 0.58 in 2020 (estimated). COVID-19 and other global crises have impacted trade, production and other economic activities, exacerbating multi-dimensional poverty and reducing development in the country. The GDP recovered from -3.1% in 2020 to 4.8% in 2022. UNDP-Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) modelling estimated GDP would return to a positive growth of 5.2% in 2023.

UNDP is supporting the Royal Government of Cambodia to deal with the uncertainties complex associated with the triple planetary crisis, by strengthening socio-economic resilience and social protection, fostering climate resilience and access to clean and affordable energy in isolated areas, and promoting circular economy. The Country Office is also supporting the country to prepare for LDC graduation, including through technical support for fiscal space expansion and alternative financing for SDGs. There is a need to support the diversification of economic growth and tuning the development model for ensuring more inclusive, resilient and green development, but also to strengthen and expand development finance to achieve the Cambodian Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network. In Cambodia, UNDP works to help create sustainable and inclusive growth and prosperity, strengthen environmental protection, adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts, and to improve governance and participation. We work in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia, other UN agencies, civil society, multilateral development agencies, bilateral donors, and the private sector.

The Economist will work under the overall guidance of the Resident Representative (RR), and the day-to-day supervision of the Senior Economist or other senior staff member, as designated by the RR. S/he will work closely with the programme, policy, and RBM, teams in the country office, as well as the UNDP Asia-Pacific regional network of economists The Economist is also expected to develop and maintain a network of colleagues across development partner agencies, government institutions, the private sector, and civil society at the country level.


The Economist is one of the key staff members in the UNDP Country Office (CO) who will play the following duties: Summary of Key Functions:

– Advice for the UNDP Country Office (CO) management and programme team on development finance as accelerator for development;

– Technical advice to national counterparts and other partners on sustainable and inclusive economic policies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP);

– Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate, as directed by the Resident Representative (RR);

– Contribute to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the UNDP regional economist network, Global Policy Network (GPN).

Advice for the UNDP Country Office (CO) management and programme team on development finance as accelerator for development:

  •  Advise UNDP CO management on macroeconomic policies, trends, risks and opportunities in the country;
  •  Support UNDP CO teams to develop and oversee interventions to promote inclusive growth and progress towards the SDGs;
  •  Support UNDP CO efforts to implement the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) and related processes and analytical tools, and identify private and public finance opportunities to achieve the SDGs;
  •  Provide analysis and research on key economic developments in the country, including publication of policy briefs or other analytical products;
  •  Support the preparation of background notes, speeches, talking points, presentation materials, etc. on critical development and SDG-related issues for senior management, as needed;
  •  Lead or contribute to, as applicable, the Human Development Report (HDR) related research and activities and ensure that it provides added value in terms of development economic analysis, updated data and information for policy formulation;
  •  Compile and analyze statistical data as required in support of country strategies and activities;
  •  Collaborate across UNDP teams, especially to ensure linkages to the work emerging from the network of accelerator labs, as applicable;
  •  Lead or contribute to the expansion of CO service offers on financing for development, including innovative financing models and country specific/sector specific studies.

Technical advice to national counterparts and other partners on sustainable and inclusive economic policies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP):

  •  Advise and facilitate dialogue on sustainable development issues with government officials, development partners, civil society, and the private sector;
  •  Provide policy and programming advice and support for development planning and policy formulation at the national, sub-national and local levels;
  •  Support the identification and analysis of interventions that can impact multiple development goals and targets at the same time;
  •  Support monitoring and reporting of progress related to SDGs and other national development frameworks, including to help strengthen national and local level data collection and statistical capacity;
  •  Support to leverage UNDP’s regional and global programmes, to provide holistic and effective support to the country;
  •  Leverage support and expertise from the UNDP’s global/regional economist and policy networks to assist in strengthening UNDP’s support on economic analysis and policy development to Government and the UN Country Team.

Representation, advocacy, and partner engagement to support UNDP’s institutional positioning and advance its mandate, as directed by the Resident Representative (RR):

  •  Contribute, in close collaboration with senior management, to the development and/or strengthening of partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs, bilateral development agencies, private sector entities, and civil society;
  •  When delegated, represent UNDP country office in relevant forums, conferences or workshops, including to present research or programmatic results;
  •  Assist the RR in resource mobilization and future growth strategies and contribute to the design of relevant programme and development solutions;
  •  Contribute to national, regional, and global knowledge networks and communities of practice;
  •  Contribute to UNDP communication by posting on social media and publishing in corporate spaces, media outlets and scientific publications.

Contribution to UNDP’s work across the Asia-Pacific region, including collaboration with the UNDP regional economist network and Global Policy Network (GPN):

  •  Participate actively in the UNDP Asia-Pacific regional network of economists, by attending regional meetings (in-person and/or virtual), sharing relevant experiences, and conducting peer reviews;
  •  Collaborate and contribute to regional publications, practice notes, and Regional Human Development Reports;
  •  Substantively contribute to UNDP regional knowledge products and development of programming offers in regional priority areas (e.g. inequality, future of work, innovative financing);
  •  Enhance UNDP’s understanding and design of new approaches to sustainable development across the region by acting as a regional thematic lead, as applicable.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities: Yes


Core Competencies:

  •  Achieve Results: LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have a lasting impact
  •  Think Innovatively: LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, and develop new ideas to solve complex problems
  •  Learn Continuously: LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
  •  Adapt with Agility: LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands
  •  Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
  •  Engage and Partner: LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate the complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
  •  Enable Diversity and Inclusion: LEVEL 3: Appreciate the benefits of a diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

People Management Competencies:

  •  UNDP People Management Competencies can be found on the dedicated site.

Cross-Functional & Technical Competencies:

Business Direction and Strategy – Strategic thinking:

  •  Ability to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions
  •  Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP

Engagement and Effectiveness – Strategic Policy Engagement

  •  Economic forecasting

Prosperity – Inclusive Growth

  •  Fiscal and SDG financing policy support in view of the socio-economic impact of COVID 19
  •  Economic diversification

Partnership Management – Partnership Management

  •  Ability to build and maintain partnerships with wide networks of stakeholders, governments, civil society and private sector partners, experts, and others in line with UNDP strategy and policies

Digital and Innovation- Data Analysis

  •  Ability to extract, analyze and visualize data (including Real-Time Data) to form meaningful insights and aid effective decision making.

People – Gender

  •  Women’s economic empowerment



  •  Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Economics, Development Economics or related field.
  •  Bachelors degree in above fields with 2 additional relevant years may be considered in lieu of Masters Degree
  •  Ph.D. in Economics is an advantage.

Experience, Knowledge, and Skills

  •  Minimum of 5 years (Master’s degree) or 7 years (Bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience at national level;
  •  Experience at the international level is an advantage;
  •  Demonstrated experience in research and policy analysis involving analysis of complex data sets and critical thinking;
  •  Proven policy, advisory and advocacy experience;
  •  Experience in producing technical and non-technical documents;
  •  Experience of strategic visioning with demonstrated analytical capabilities and data (forecasting, modelling, horizon scanning, etc.) is desirable;
  •  Knowledge of the SDGs and their application at the national level;
  •  Strong numeracy and statistical skills;
  •  General IT skills, with emphasis on specialist economic software packages.


  •  Proficiency in written and spoken English and Khmer.

Please note that continuance of appointment beyond the initial 12 months is contingent upon the successful completion of a probationary period.

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