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Head, Learning and Development Unit


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Post Number : HRM 911

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Human Resources

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 14-DEC-2023


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Under the overall authority of the Director of the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM), the Head of the Learning and Development Unit located in the Talent Development and Performance Management Section, plays a key role in the delivery of UNESCO’s human resources strategic objectives, in particular the promotion of a diverse and inclusive organizational culture through innovative learning, talent development and capacity-building programmes & initiatives across all levels of the Organization.    

Long Description

The incumbent will specifically:


  • Lead and manage a team in the design, development and delivery of corporate and individual learning and talent development programmes that meet the needs of the Organization within the allocated budget.
  • Ensure that new and/or revised learning and development policies, practices, procedures and content are in line with the strategic aims as defined in the HR Strategy and that learning methodologies are fit-for-purpose (using a variety of online, classroom and blended approaches) and impact of the programmes are effective and visible. 
  • Deliver and optimize trainings in-house with subject matter experts/learning focal points; provide expert advice and guidance to Sectors/Bureaux on the selection, design and evaluation of Sector-specific learning and development initiatives and identify potential learning and development synergies between Sectors.
  • In collaboration with the HR Performance Management team, identify with Sectors/Bureaux, individual learning & development needs/gaps and propose career development support plans including personalized coaching and mentoring.
  • Promote the increased use of UNESCO’s Learning Management System enabling the delivery, monitoring and evaluation of learning and development programmes across the Organization.
  • Maintain constructive and proactive relationships with managers, Sector focal points and experts; effectively communicates and promotes upcoming corporate initiatives ensuring they are used to address relevant learning and development needs;
  • Actively participate in HR cross-sectional/cross-thematic initiatives and projects ensuring that the learning and development components are embedded and contribute to building a dynamic, skilled and competent workforce.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of learning & talent development programmes, recommend ways to enhance effectiveness and impact.
  • Represent UNESCO in UN Learning Networks/Forums; keep abreast of developments in the area of learning & talent development, new trends, products, tools and systems. 
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Making quality decisions (M) Managing performance (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in human resources management, organizational development, social sciences, adult learning, psychology or related discipline.


Work Experience

  • Minimum 7 years of relevant professional experience in human resources management of which 3 years in the area of learning and career development in an international context. 
  • Experience in designing, developing, managing and evaluating learning and capacity development programmes/initiatives using a variety of learning methodologies. 
  • Experience in leading, managing and motivating a team of professional and administrative staff.
  • Experience using Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, including learning and development platforms. 
Long Description

Skills and competencies

  • Strong communication, interpersonal, leadership and presentation skills.
  • High degree of organizational and cultural awareness, sensibility and the highest level of discretion, tact and confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of human resources management issues, policies, practices and procedures.
  • Good interpersonal and representational skills and demonstrated ability to advocate and negotiate with staff and a wide range of stakeholders/partners at all levels within and outside the organization.
  • A proactive and solution orientated approach: highlights challenges and offers appropriate solutions.
  • Ability to successfully prioritize and manage multiple tasks in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.
  • Solid project management and IT skills. 



  • Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of either English or French and good knowledge of the other.






  • Successful completion of a Management Learning Programme/Professional Certificate. 


Work Experience

  • Experience in other functional areas of HR: recruitment, on-boarding, personnel administration, talent and performance management. 
  • Experience in the UN system or an international organization, in different locations.


Skills and Competencies

  • Familiarity with the UN Common System or similar international/multilateral systems.
  • Demonstrated interest in creative, innovation and change management.



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 102,414 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This vacancy is now closed.
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