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Public Partnerships Specialist


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Public, Private Partnership
  • Closing Date: 2024-05-03


Post Number : BSP 059 and BSP 984

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 03-MAY-2024


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




The Division for Partnerships, within the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP), is responsible for coordinating UNESCO’s public and private partners including key interlocutors from bilateral donors, United Nations and multilateral organizations, regional institutions such as the European Union (EU) and regional banks, civil society, philanthropy, foundations and corporations. It works to diversify and expand UNESCO’s donor base and provide backstopping and guidance to UNESCO Programme Sectors, Field Offices, and Category 1 Institutes in support of their efforts to engage with partners and mobilize resources. The Division for Partnerships is responsible for the elaboration of strategies for partnership and resource mobilization, in line with UN reform and best practices in these areas. 


The post is situated in the Bilateral Partnership Engagement Unit within the Division for Partnerships. The Public Partnerships Specialist works under the direct supervision of the Head of the Bilateral Engagement Unit and the overall responsibility of the Director of the Division for Partnerships. 


The Bilateral Partner Engagement Unit is responsible for managing and building collaborative relationships with key government partners, maintaining excellent communication channels and developing extensive knowledge and familiarity with current and prospective bilateral partners. It drives partnership development and resource mobilization with this group of partners through long term productive engagements and contributes to growing and enhancing the quality of UNESCO’s voluntary funding. It proactively coordinates and manages funding portfolios, liaising with Programme Sectors, Field Offices and specialized institutes, including by advising them on partnership modalities with bilateral partners and liaising with other parts of BSP and relevant central services. With a view to fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships around UNESCO priorities, including ‘Team Europe’ approaches, it coordinates closely with the Unit for private sector and philanthropy and the Unit for Multilateral Institutions.  


The core results for which the Public Partnerships Specialist is accountable include for their portfolio of partners : the development of  donor intelligence to enable strong positioning of UNESCO vis à vis those partners, enabling Programme Sectors and Field Offices to engage with those partners through advice and technical support on approaches, partnership offerings and donor requirements, developing and implementing partnership engagement strategies, as well as overall portfolio management.

Partner intelligence and strategic positioning

  • Keep track of political and economic developments in assigned partner countries that have an impact on existing and potential partnerships with UNESCO, and proactively share developments with senior management, Field Offices and relevant units across UNESCO. 
  • Keep track of thematic priorities with partnership potential in assigned countries and identify and pursue opportunities for outreach, engagement, policy influence, and partnership development, including by anticipating and responding to partners’ concerns and priorities. 
  • Identify opportunities to strategically position UNESCO with assigned government counterparts including in national and international events and processes, in close coordination with Programme Sectors, Field Offices and specialized institutes. 
  • Prepare specific donor-related materials such as briefing notes, intelligence, and contact reports, and provide inputs to broader corporate intelligence products and analysis developed by the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) as needed; prepare comprehensive and substantive briefs, reports, statistics, income projections and requirements for senior management for assigned countries.

Partner engagement and relationship management

  • Develop and maintain excellent channels of communication and strong working relationships with donor counterparts in Permanent Delegations and capitals, contributing to a database of key contacts.
  • Keep track of key high-level counterparts in assigned countries and proactively facilitate high-level contacts with senior UNESCO officials. 
  • Develop and implement partner engagement strategies, proactively coordinating outreach from UNESCO’s senior management in order to promote cooperation with UNESCO and attainment of UNESCO’s strategic objectives. 
  • Coordinate closely with the relevant UNESCO services to ensure that appropriate visibility is afforded to key partnerships and their results. 
  • Coordinate, facilitate and support regular strategic dialogues, review meetings and other consultations with assigned government partners, ensuring appropriate level of engagement of UNESCO’s senior management.

Portfolio management and advisory support

  • Keep track of the portfolio of agreements with assigned partners, contributing to risk analysis, anticipating possible issues and troubleshooting as required in close collaboration with Programme Sectors, Field Offices and specialized institutes; raise potential issues with senior management as required. 
  • Support Programme Sectors, Field Offices, specialized institutes and other relevant units in framing new proposals in line with the donor priorities with a focus on quality, long term, flexible funding. 
  • Provide advice and feedback to UNESCO Programme Sectors, Field Offices and specialized institutes to ensure that donor expectations relating to overall partner engagement, results focus, donor visibility and recognition, funds management modalities, accountability, quality reporting and transparency are met.
  • Provide, in close collaboration with the Grants Management Section, upstream advice on the strategic framing of agreements, and keep track of agreements under negotiation and ensure timely responses; raise issues regarding the appropriate management of negotiated contributions as needed.
  • Guide and support UNESCO units, including Field Offices, in their engagement with partner/donor countries, advise them on proposal development, and coordinate closely with the Grants Management Section, the BSP Unit for Field support and other Headquarters' services as required. 
  • Contribute to the design and roll out of specific thematic or geographic partner engagement strategies as required and to the provision of capacity development to colleagues on resource mobilization and partner engagement. 
  • Perform any other related duties and tasks as assigned by the Head of the Bilateral Partnership Engagement Unit, and/or the Director of the Division for Partnerships.


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) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in social and political sciences, international relations, development studies, business administration, public policy or related fields.


Work experience:

  • At least 4 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the fields of partnership development and resource mobilization and programme management, or related field, of which preferably 2 years acquired at international level. 

Skills /Competencies

  • Demonstrated analytical and technical skills in partnership development and resource mobilization.  
  • Demonstrated political acumen, judgment, technical knowledge, and interpersonal skills in representing the Organization effectively to advocate and to promote organizational priorities, initiatives and a better understanding of the organizational strategic agenda.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the current international development landscape and of UNESCO’s mandate and impact.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a strong attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to establish, maintain, and enhance broad strategic networks and partnerships with international partners in order to build alliances to advance organizational interests and competencies.
  • Proven ability to introduce new approaches and strategic innovations.
  • Knowledge of Results Based Management principles and approaches.
  • Ability to work in a team and to maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural environment.



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




Work Experience

  • Experience in partnership development and resource mobilization in one or more of UNESCO’s fields of competence.
  • Professional experience gained in multicultural working environments.


Skills /Competencies

  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the UN System.
  • Familiarity with UNESCO’s programmes and programme management cycles, governance mechanisms.
  • Familiarity with the UN reform process.



  • 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 104 581 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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.