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GSS > Vacancies > Head of Official Development Assistance (ODA)

Head of Official Development Assistance (ODA)

Reference number
Grade 7
Closing date
9 Jul 2018
£48,500 - £51,500
East Kilbride Scotland, London
Department for International Development

Are you a statistician interested in a post with global impact? Do you have statistics or analytical experience?

The Department for International Development (DFID)’s mission is to end extreme poverty. It is a department full of people with a passion for working on the international development agenda. The programmes we fund make a real difference in developing countries and we have an international reputation for the work we do.

The UK has committed to spending 0.7% of its GNI on aid and we are looking for people with statistics experience together with strong transferable skills to join us in delivering this. Statisticians in DFID aren’t just on the side-lines working on the numbers. They are closely involved in supporting evidence-based decisions and in designing and monitoring aid programmes. So a post in DFID is a fantastic opportunity to develop beyond your technical skills. In addition, every advisor spends 10% of their time supporting a DFID project or need outside their day job, which could take you all over the world.

We are recruiting to fill vacancies in our growing statistics cadre. Successful candidates will become part of the DFID statistics cadre and also the Government Statistical Service (GSS). While this recruitment is for a specific vacancy, if we have more successful candidates than we have live vacancies, we may hold suitable applicants as pipeline for up to 12 months. Any future vacancies arising within this timeframe that require the same skills and experience could be offered to our pipeline candidates without a new competition. On these occasions we may share your application details with relevant hiring managers within the Department.

This role plays a key part in both the delivery of the 0.7 aid target, which is now a legal commitment in the UK, and the quality of our international reporting of Official Development Assistance (ODA) spend. No prior experience of the ODA system is necessary for the role; the most important thing is that you have the strong analytical skills and competencies to apply to the role.

The purpose of this job is to: lead on providing technical advice on the ODA definitions across government on high profile issues and ministerial priorities; build capacity in government departments that administer ODA through technical advice, guidance and training for use by policy makers, senior officials and ministers across government; represent the UK at the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on discussions related to ODA eligibility.

This post sits in a small team of technical advisers, which leads on:
i. providing advice and guidance on what activity constitutes ODA based on the OECD guidelines;
ii. monitoring all UK ODA spend in order to meet the 0.7 commitment;
iii. reporting of UK ODA to the OECD and through production of two National Statistics publications.

The Finance and Performance Department (FPD) is the hub of management and financial information, results and development effectiveness for DFID’s senior leadership. FPD is comprised of five teams reporting to the Head of Department:
(1) ODA eligibility, monitoring and reporting;
(2) Management Information;
(3) Management Accounting;
(4) Resources and Results; and
(5) the Management Support Team.

The department works very closely and regularly with ministers (particularly the Secretary of State), the Permanent Secretary. Executive Committee and Management Board.

The post holder will:

1. Manage a number of technical requests, reviewing whether activity is consistent with the statistical definitions for ODA spend. These will require working closely with officials across DFID, Treasury and other parts of government, as well as with the OECD statisticians. These projects will be a mixture of:
a) Reactive projects such as providing briefing on ODA definitions in response to ministerial queries;
b) Proactive reviews in key areas of UK government activity to ensure the ODA guidelines are followed and to uphold the UK’s Code of Practice for Statistics (for example, the current review of refugee support). Please see further details on these in the roles profile.

2. Work closely with a number of government departments and cross departmental funds to build capacity and understanding of the ODA classifications.

3. Engage with colleagues beyond your immediate work area to ensure a proactive, consistent approach is taken to ODA issues. This means working collaboratively with other statisticians in the ODA team to advise on impacts of eligibility issues; providing a technical perspective on the implementation of the Manifesto commitment to reform the ODA definitions; and representing the UK on eligibility discussions at the OECD DAC’s technical working group.

4. Contribute to two UK National Statistics, through quality assuring the underlying data and the publications themselves; analysis of this ODA spend data; and briefing senior officials/ministers on key headlines.

5. Work closely with the rest of FPD to delivery high quality corporate support, including:
a) respond to PQ’s and other ad-hoc requests for data and information on ODA spend;
b) analysis of ODA data;
c) support Communications Division to prepare clear, accurate media lines on ODA spend.

For  further details on the job description and an application form, please refer to Ref.15877664 on the Civil Service Jobs Portal.