Director, Economic Social and Sustainable Development

Job Description

Job Summary

Reporting to the Director the post holder leads the Section in its work on monitoring and
assessing developments in education, health, youth and gender in the Commonwealth.
He/she provides advice to the Secretary-General, through the Director to governments, and to
stakeholders. The job requires the holder to demonstrate sound political judgement and
effective leadership and management skills.

Key Accountabilities

The post holder will:

 Lead on conceptualisation, design and development of policies and programmes to
implement the Secretariat’s mandate on health, education, youth and gender.
 Ensure the development, management and review of programmes, annual work plans, midterm
reviews and other programming processes are effectively completed on time, in close
collaboration with the Director of the Division. All financial inputs are in line with the
policies and procedures as well as agreed programme strategies.
 Ensure that all programme implementation is regularly monitored and evaluated to ensure
achievement of results.
 Ensure that technical decisions on programme and /or project administration and
implementation are coordinated and facilitated with other Divisions/Sections with the aim
to promote convergence and integration of the sustainable development programme in
Health, Education, Youth and Gender.
 Provide leadership for the Section and be responsible for the overall and day-to-day
management of the activities including preparation of the work programmes and
management of performance.
 Provide advice to the Director on the social political and economic issues relevant to
health, education, youth and gender.
 Lead and manage the establishment of partnerships and building networks within the
Commonwealth Secretariat, member countries, multilateral and donor agencies and other
international stakeholders.
 Participate in the development of wider Secretariat strategies and policies.
 Manage the resources to deliver objectives to time, budget, and agreed quality standards.
 Create an environment for staff in which they can achieve professional and personal goals,
remain engaged and motivated to contribute to the Secretariat and the implementation of
its programmes.
 Provide advice to governments and institutional partners.
 Act as Conference Secretary and co-ordinate preparatory and follow-up work for relevant
Ministerial meetings.
 Represent the Secretariat externally at a senior level.
 Encourage research, development and publication of case studies on good practice.
 Develop partnerships with multilateral and bilateral agencies and Commonwealth
professional associations.
 Perform other duties as assigned by the Director.

Person specification


Essential: A minimum of a post-graduate degree in Social Policy Development or related
field of study.


Essential: A minimum of 8 years’ experience, including at senior management level,
directing a team of professionals, in a governmental or in an inter-governmental
organisation or a Non-Governmental Organisation.
Extensive experience in social science analysis and policy development
particularly in an international context.
Specialist knowledge and experience in at least one of the three following
fields: Health, Education, Youth and Gender with a working knowledge of the
other areas.
Proven record of effective people management and communication skills
All staff appointed to the Secretariat are expected to meet the core requirement of working
effectively and sensitively in a multicultural environment. The person should be able to

Professional and Management Capabilities

 Ability to provide seasoned, effective, specialised advice on policy issues and on the
design, development and management of a broad range of social political and
economic issues relevant to health, education, youth and gender.
 Ability to generate innovative responses to problems facing governments and
instititutions in member countries, including ability to secure commitment of
institutions and governments to new strategic thinking and innovative ideas.
 Strong leadership and management skills.
 Ability to create and deliver practical achievable plans.
 A track record of delivering high quality results.
 Proven ability to motivate staff, manage performance and delegate effectively.


Vision and Strategic Thinking

Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks; ability to identify clients’ needs
and appropriate solutions; ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships.


Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing. Good IT skills.


Ability to lead and gain the assistance and cooperation of others; to foster harmonious and
effective teamwork within the Division and across Divisions in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic
environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity to bring about best results.

Diversity Management

Ability to relate and perform effectively across organisational boundaries; to work sensitively
and inclusively in a diverse multinational and multicultural setting.


Respect for Diversity

Works effectively with people from all backgrounds.
Treats all people with dignity and respect. Treats men and women equally.
Shows respect and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates
understanding in daily work and decision making.
Examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses and does not
discriminate against any individual or group.
Creates an environment where respect for diversity is embedded in behaviours,
systems and processes.


Establishes a culture of constant, consistent, clear and open communication.
Ensures information is communicated to and from the top level and filtered
through the appropriate channels.
Communicates effectively with and gains understanding of top level stakeholders
e.g. Heads of member states.

Planning & Analysis

Organises work programme with full cognizance of Board of Governance
Effectively assesses and advises on major programmes/activities at a divisional
Balances focus in order to deliver both Commonwealth Secretariat and member
states’ goals.
Ability to interpret incomplete and/or ambiguous information.
Effectively analyses and assesses new or uncertain critical situations.

Decision Making

Makes informed decisions that are instrumental to the direction

Makes informed decisions that are instrumental to the direction and profile of the
Commonwealth Secretariat in general.
Is confident of making strategic/critical decisions with limited information in time
pressured situations.
Applies advanced judgement in the approval of corrective action for the resolution
of organisation wide issues.
Creates a culture that values ownership of decisions and leads by example.

Adhering to Principles & Values

Defines Commonwealth Secretariat values.
Sets example and embodies Commonwealth Secretariat principles and values.
Demonstrably protects the reputation of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Interprets and implements Commonwealth Secretariat principles and values.

Leadership & Development (strategic)

Provide vision and overall strategy for the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Creates a vision where the reputation of the Commonwealth Secretariat is upheld
and consistently evolving.
Communicates the Commonwealth Secretariat’s vision, achievements and impact in
a manner that inspires enthusiasm amongst employees, member states and
external parties.
Establishes a culture where the creation and capitalisation of opportunities for
staff development and fulfilment is promoted and valued.
Provide top level professional advice in strategic issues at management committee,
board of governors and ExCo level. Lead on strategic issues.