UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP Ethiopia Country Office (CO) has launched a Research Fellowship Programme since 2022 to support the implementation of priorities in its Country Programme Document (CPD: 2020 – 2025). The CPD aims to support Ethiopia to overcome its structural challenges as it strives to become a democratic, peaceful and prosperous middle-income country by focusing on three key thematic areas: i) supporting a successful transition to a democratic polity by addressing the drivers of conflict to consolidate and build peace; ii) fostering the creation of enabling conditions for shared prosperity through financial inclusion, jobs creation and private sector development (especially of micro, small and medium enterprises); and iii) helping to sustain development gains by accelerating the transition to a green economy that is resilient to climate change. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are also central, cross-cutting themes that will be embedded across all three focal areas of the CPD.


To support the implementation of the CPD, UNDP Ethiopia is strengthening the capacity of its development research, analysis, and policy advisory team to provide the evidence base for its programmatic interventions in the key focal areas. To this effect, the Development Policy and Research Hub (DPRH) of the Country Office is overseeing the delivery of a multi-year funded research agenda to ramp up the generation of top-flight knowledge and policy advisory products. The aim of this research agenda is to transform UNDP Ethiopia into a dynamic, learning organization where policy and programmatic decision-making are knowledge-driven and backed by evidence-based research.

The Research Fellowship Programme will contribute to this vision by attracting bright, young, and highly qualified Ethiopian researchers to produce cutting-edge, original development research aligned with the policy interests of the CO’s programmatic work. Selected Fellows will be embedded within the CO’s programmes, working with teams to bring fresh and forward-thinking perspectives to UNDP’s work, grounded in data and evidence. The Programme’s annual research agenda is therefore designed in collaboration with programme teams to ensure that it addresses the most pertinent policy questions and provides solutions that will advance the implementation of the CPD, its contribution to government’s long-term development agendas and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In turn, Fellows will be given the opportunity to: (i) hone their research skills in a world-leading development organization; (ii) gain practical experience in developing actionable policy solutions that can deliver real impact at scale; (iii) work closely and collaboratively with seasoned development professionals; and (iv) develop professional skills such as public speaking, leadership, and teamwork.

This year’s research theme is green energy and sustainable development which requires in-depth understanding of Ethiopia’s green and renewable energy potential. Adequate evidence-based research and knowledge is required to effectively unlock Ethiopia’s green energy potential. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The Fellow will assist in the following duties and responsibilities:


Duties and responsibilities

% of time



  • Conduct a research paper on the theme “ green energy and sustainable development” and present the findings
  • Contribute to the UNDP annual development conference on the theme “Green energy and financing  options for EThiopa”




  • Closely work with the DPRH team




  • Support other/ad hoc activities as seen relevant and needed.



  • Exceptional research, qualitative, and quantitative analytical skills supported by a track record of publications.
  • Highly motivated and self-directed, capable of managing workload effectively deliver required deadlines and quality including whilst working remotely.
  • Effective team player who demonstrates commitment to UNDP values and displays cultural sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate and interact with stakeholders at all levels and to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse setting.

Required Skills and Experience

  • A minimum of a master’s degree or equivalent in economics, development studies, or related disciplines is required. 
  • Preference will be given to recent graduates who completed their degrees within the last six years; three years for candidates with PhDs.
  • Minimum five years of professional work experience conducting research on Ethiopian development issues, preferably related to manufacturing (industry) and the private sector is required.
  • Experience in designing and conducting primary research.
  • Experience in formulating and implementing development policies and strategies is an asset.
  • Strong experience in qualitative and quantitative data analysis using statistical software (e.g. EViews, STATA, R or Python).
  • Experience collaborating and working in teams, exchanging information and ideas with others to reach common goals, and making a substantial contribution to the team's outputs.
  • An established network in an area of research expertise is an asset.
  • Practical experience working on African development issues is an asset.

IT skills:

  • Knowledge and proficient user of Microsoft Office productivity tools
  • Research tools such as STATA, Python,etc

Language skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English.

Other competencies and attitudes:

  • Interest and motivation in working in an international organization;
  • Good analytical skills in gathering and consolidating data and research for practical implementation;
  • Outgoing and initiative-taking person with a goal-oriented mindset;
  • Communicates effectively when working in teams and independently;
  • Good in organizing and structuring various tasks and responsibilities;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Responds positively to feedback and differing points of view;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.