Research Assistant on macroeconomic modelling and forecasting (6 months)

Vacancy closed: 15 July 2019 at 23:59 UTC+3

Station: National Treasury, Pretoria, South Africa

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to contribute to the SA-TIED programme.

The Research Assistant will assist with the macroeconomic modelling and forecasting work of the Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme within the National Treasury (NT) of South Africa, based in Pretoria.

The Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) programme, implemented over the period 2017-2020, looks at ways to support policy-making for inclusive growth and economic transformation in the Southern Africa region, through original research conceived and produced in collaboration between United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), National Treasury, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and many other governmental and research organizations in South Africa and the sub-region. A key aspect of the programme is to encourage networking and discussion amongst people involved in policy processes across the participating organizations and civil society aiming to bridge the gap between research and policy-making.

About macroeconomic modelling and forecasting within SA-TIED
NT is central to macroeconomic policy in South Africa and holds a key role in maintaining macroeconomic stability around an achievable path of growing output capacity. SA-TIED Work Stream 3 Macroeconomic modelling for policy formulation is designed to further strengthen the capacity of NT, alongside other actors in the region, and to conduct research relevant for understanding macroeconomic developments and policy options in South Africa and Southern Africa. That includes work on economy-wide and other models alongside separate studies related to macroeconomic stability; e.g. fiscal and monetary policies, exchange rate competitiveness, and exchange rate volatility. Two central policy objectives underlie and run through the work stream: raising South Africa’s sustainable growth rate, and reducing inequality in South Africa.

Duties and responsibilities
Under the supervision of UNU-WIDER research personnel based at NT and Work Stream 3 leads, the research assistant on macroeconomic modelling and forecasting will perform the following activities:

  • Support SA-TIED research projects using CGE, econometric and other models, as well as extending these models when required for specific research projects.
  • Assist with the development and maintenance a suite of CGE models and related databases.
  • Assist with the maintenance of various input-output multiplier analysis models.
  • Assist with modelling inputs into NT’s macroeconomic forecasting process.
  • Assist in other research activities of NT (including analysing existing data, surveys, research reports, technical journals and media).
  • Assist in drafting, reviewing and revising documentation related to the work.
  • Other duties as requested by the leads on SA-TIED Work Stream 3


  • B.Com degree (or equivalent) in economics with mathematical economics and/or econometrics.
  • Currently enrolled or clear intention to enrol for a Master’s degree.
  • Thorough understanding of South African economic trends and sources of data and information.
  • Interest in developing and implementing simulations in large CGE models and input-output multiplier models.
  • Proficiency in statistical analysis software such as Eviews and Stata.
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills.
  • Fluent in oral and written English.
  • Some knowledge of the GAMS software and IFPRI-type CGE models would be an added advantage.

The Research Assistant will be issued a six-month consultancy contract with UNU-WIDER. The Research Assistant will receive a lump sum of US$1,000 per month to supplement living expenses while stationed in Pretoria, South Africa. No extra payments for housing or living expenses will be made. Project-related costs will, however, be covered by the project.

Applications should include

  • short personal statement/description (max. 1 page)
  • curriculum vita (max. 2 pages)
  • degrees and other relevant qualifications

The application must be submitted electronically. Deadline for applications is 15 July 2019 at 23:59 UTC+3. Interviews will be held as quickly as possible thereafter.

The position is available from 1 September 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Apply here

Further questions should be addressed to