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Senior Informal Economy Specialist


Grade: P5  

Vacancy no.: RAPS/3/2020/EMPLOYMENT/01
Publication date: 03 November 2020
Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 04 December 2020


Job ID: 4383 
Department: EMPLOYMENT 
Organization Unit: DEVINVEST 
Location: Geneva   
Contract type: Fixed Term 


The following are eligible to apply:

  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.


Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.


Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.


The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to


The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).


Applicants from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here:


In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.


The Senior Informal Economy Specialist position leads the Transition to Formality (T2F) Team located in the Development and Investment Branch (DEVINVEST) within the Employment Policy Department (EMPLOYMENT). In collaboration with the ILO regional offices and other technical units, T2F promotes integrated policy frameworks that facilitate the transition from the informal to the formal economy.   DEVINVEST supports ILO member States with tackling various challenges around informality through:  1) supporting economic diversification and structural transformation for enhancing employment and productivity growth and developing programmes to maximize the employment impact of trade and sectoral policies; 2) supporting employment-centred policies, including for countries in the fragile context affected by conflict and disaster to enable recovery and build resilience;  3) developing approaches for employment and productivity enhancements in rural economy and facilitating transition to formality, including for young people;  4) supporting the planning, implementation and development of exit strategies of employment-intensive investments.

This position will also bring together the work of the various units and teams within the Branch, from the macroeconomic work on impact assessments and structural transformation to the operational work of supporting employment-intensive investments to gather evidence and good practices of the exit strategies to transition from short-term temporary job opportunities to formal employment.  The Informal Economy Specialist will lead policy development contributing to the framework of the new generation of comprehensive employment policies at country level based on social dialogue.  This includes analysis of the informal economy, policies and regulations to support the transition to formality, as well as to develop conceptual and practical guidance on public employment programmes which address economic marginalization and inequality in the informal economy.

The position will report to the Chief of DEVINVEST.

Specific Duties

  1. Lead the work of the T2F team in providing support towards the effective implementation of the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (No. 204), through Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs), within the wider frame of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in support of tripartite constituencies.
  2. Identify needs and assist ILO tripartite constituents in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of national employment policies in the area of transition to formality, focusing on sectoral, employment-intensive and gender- responsive approaches. This includes promoting policy coherence and coordination across key Ministries (Finance, Planning, Labour, Employment, sector ministries, local government) and other public and private agencies and building capacities of social partners to deliver on employment formalization goals. 
  3. Provide policy advice, technical guidelines and methodologies as defined by the Recommendation No. 204. This includes advice on capacity-building for ILO constituents with a particular adherence to the Centenary Declaration and other  relevant international labour standards, i.e., Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation 1964, (No. 122), and the Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation, 2017 (No. 205).  
  4. Contribute to the Department's research, policy and practical work on the informal economy, especially related to structural transformation, employment-intensive investments, fragile context, and participate in the relevant task teams on this subject.   
  5. Establish collaborative arrangements in the field of informality with other ILO departments at headquarters and with field offices, particularly the Regional Specialist on Informal Economy, and other development cooperation and financing agencies in this field in the areas of knowledge development, capacity building and support to implementation of policies.
  6. Provide technical support and assist in the development, coordination and implementation of development cooperation projects and activities, working closely with field specialists to ensure effective communication, cooperation and support.
  7. Develop and organize tripartite employment forums at the country level with the participation of multiple stakeholders.
  8. Monitor and report on the implementation of tasks in relation to the geographic and thematic areas of work.
  9. Perform other relevant duties as assigned

These specific duties are aligned with the relevant ILO generic job description, which includes the following generic duties:

Generic Duties

  1. Lead, organize, plan, supervise and control the work of a technical unit (including managerial functions). 
  2. Design and promote a wide range of special subject-matter-related programmes. This involves analysis of complex or conflicting data, statistics and information or policy guidelines, in a manner requiring the advanced application of principles of a recognised technical specialisation. 
  3. Develop and review an institutional framework, in which social partners can best improve, implement and evaluate efficient and equitable ILO action programmes. 
  4. Assume full responsibility for policy formulation and providing policy advice to ILO’s constituents on institutional strengthening, the application of ILO standards and the promotion of development cooperation activities.  
  5. Develop project design, review proposals, formulate, revise and submit project proposals and negotiate funding. development 
  6. Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the project activities. 
  7. Lead technical advisory missions. 
  8. Conduct seminars, workshops, technical meetings and training courses. 
  9. Prepare draft recommendations and guidelines for discussion and adoption as ILO Recommendations or Conventions on related technical fields.
  10. Write manuals and/or training guides on related topics.
  11. Disseminate information on action programmes through publications and press releases as well as ensuring representation at meetings, international, regional and national fora and advocacy campaigns.
  12. Monitor and coordinate research carried out by junior technical officers and external collaborators. 
  13. Provide technical inputs to office documents (sectoral meetings, technical committees, regional meetings and conference reports).

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree in industrial sociology or development economics.


Ten to fifteen years’ experience of which at least seven years at the international level. Experience working directly with job creation programmes, employment policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation with experience on formulating “graduation” or “exit strategies” would be an advantage.


Excellent command of English and a working knowledge of a second official (French, Spanish) language of the Organization.


In addition to those required at P4 level, job specific competencies include:
Demonstrated and recognized technical and /or managerial leadership in carrying out the
objectives and policies of the related work unit, demonstrated technical expertise to devise new methods, concepts, approaches and techniques, ability to prepare ILO strategy reports in the related field for programme development, the ability to provide policy advice to member states in the field of national employment policy and the ability to manage large projects as well as to coordinate activities among projects.  Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitudes.



Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.

For more information on conditions of employment, please visit:


Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at


Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.


Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.


Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.


Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.