By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Consultant on Software Heritage CI/MID

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-23

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.


Parent Sector : Communication and Information Sector (CI)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Communication and Information

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 23-SEP-2020

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


Feasibility study for the possible establishment of an independent Software Heritage organization/institution


In the framework of UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector’s efforts to empower societies through media and information literacy programmes, under the authority of the Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information of UNESCO, the Chief of the Media Development and Media and Information Literacy Section, and the Programme Specialist in charge of the project, the consultant will undertake a feasibility study providing options for the establishment of a Software Heritage Organization/institution (hereinafter generically called “organization”), as an independent organization to host the Software Heritage archive, in consultation with possible UNESCO partners (e.g. Inria).

Software is at the heart of our digital society and embodies a growing part of our scientific, technical and organisational knowledge. Software Heritage is an open non-profit initiative of Inria, supported by UNESCO, whose mission is to ensure that this precious software commons will be preserved over time and made available to all, by building, maintaining, and developing a universal archive of software source code and providing persistent identifiers for all the software artefacts.


The main goals of the initiative are: preserving the scientific and technological knowledge embedded in software source code; enabling better software development and reuse for society and industry; and fostering better science, building the infrastructure for preserving, sharing and referencing research software, a stepping stone for reproducibility, and a necessary complement to Open Access. Software Heritage is a long-term oriented initiative, with the ambition to preserve the content of the archive for present and future generations.


In view of establishing an international organization that hosts the Software Heritage initiative and its archive, and supports its long-term mission, the contractor shall produce a study outlining possible options and recommendations to UNESCO and the Software Heritage core partners.

In particular, based on best practices and supported by pertinent examples, and following the guiding principles that will be provided by UNESCO (including on the legal form, scope of activities, membership, governance, and basic administrative structures), the study shall provide information and recommendations on:

Long Description

Vision and mission

  • In consultation with UNESCO and the Software Heritage core partners, further clarify and propose an appropriate formulation of the vision and mission statement for a possible organization.


Legal status

  • Identify and justify, analysing opportunities and threats, appropriate options for the organization to be established as a not for profit, international, independent legal entity, enjoying a financial autonomy. This may include its establishment as an International NGO, foundation, or non-profit association, provided that, as the organization hosts an international archive of software source code, it is desirable that it enjoys the status of archive or library, with respect to the provisions of copyright laws (e.g. exceptions, special cases, as applicable to source code).


  • For carrying out its mandate, the organization needs to find adequate resources for its establishment and for ensuring stable operations of the archive on the long term and its necessary future development, which include:
    • infrastructure and technical personnel
    • administration, communication and outreach
    • research and development activities
  • As a non-profit Organization, the organization should be supported via a multiplicity of funding/revenue streams
  • The study must outline approaches and best practices that may apply to the organization
Long Description

Membership and governance

  • As the organization aims at providing an open infrastructure for research and services to a variety of stakeholders (e.g.  governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical community and individuals), its structure and governance should allow for their participation and contribution.
  • While contributions may be of different nature, e.g. financial or in-kind, the organization’s membership system must guarantee its financial stability in the medium term
  • Different kinds/levels of membership and representation mechanisms shall ensure that decision making is efficient and lean, while providing a means for all member voices to be heard.


The study must provide comparison with appropriate existing entities (such as the ISSN International Centre or the W3C).  


Strategic partnerships

  • The proposed organization will be part of an emerging eco-system of openly accessible software development, with multiple actors ranging from academia to industry, from research to policy making. An important part of its work will be to identify new partners as well as consolidating existing ones. This might also have implications for the funding/revenue streams. A strategy needs to be outlined for this right from the outset as part of this consultancy.
Long Description

Methods of work - Tasks

In order to carry on the study, the contractor shall, in consultation with UNESCO and the Software Heritage partners,

  • undertake a review of the existing documentation about the Software Heritage initiative (desk study);
  • undertake a review of relevant existing international institutions/organizations (legal status, funding mechanism, governance) and their model applicability to the organization;
  • hold interviews with the stakeholders (relevant UNESCO staff and Software Heritage initiative staff);
  • hold questionnaires/surveys with potential members/stakeholders if appropriate;
  • formulate evidence-based options and recommendations for the establishment of an international organization for the outlined purposes;
  • propose specific action steps to be taken, along with timelines, towards the establishment of the organization.



  • Report of the findings (min. 12 pages, plus references) - e.g. desk study, interviews, review of existing institutions; literature - Weeks 1 to 3
  • Report including the draft options explained/justified (min. 18 pages, plus references) - Weeks 4 to 5
  • Final report suggesting specific action steps for implementing the recommended option (min. 25 pages, plus references, and min. 4 pages executive summary) - Weeks 6 to 8


Deliverables are intended to be in standard pages (approximately 320 words per page), plus references, written in English at mother-tongue level in a style corresponding to the target audience of UNESCO.

The final report will be published in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license (


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Driving and managing change (M) Making quality decisions (M) Managing performance (M) Strategic thinking (M) Building partnerships (M) Leading and empowering others (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in International Development/Political sciences; International library/archives/standards; International law; Cultural/industrial heritage; or other relevant field;

Work Experience

  • At least 10 years of proven work experience at a senior level in the management of international organizations and/or private sectors organizations - e.g. foundations, associations, as member of steering committees, governing bodies, or senior management teams.
  • Relevant work experience on copyright laws and national/international archives-related frameworks



  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills;
  • Excellent understanding of the functioning of international organizations and private sector organizations, as well as of the functioning of UN and non-UN legal frameworks
  • Excellent understanding of UNESCO’s work in the safeguarding of documentary heritage and relevant international instruments
  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) and ability to exchange information on complex issues;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment with external and internal partners;
  • Excellent organization and planning skills, including the ability to organize own work priorities and deadlines. Discretion and maturity of judgement are required;
  • Ability to work under pressure;


  • Excellent written and oral knowledge of English

Work Experience

  • Experience with UNESCO and/or the United Nations system and understanding of their functioning and procedures would be an asset.



  • Working knowledge of French will be an asset.

Interested candidates should complete the on-line application and complete the Employment History form (Word file). At the end of the Word file, insert extra pages with the following required information:

  • An approach and methodology for the assignment and a detailed work plan
  • A personal CV
  • List of relevant publications, if any. Provide link or URL to view online.
  • A competitive fee for the assignment, which should be quoted as a lumpsum amount (with maximum amount 16,000 USD)


Additional Information:

  • The selected candidate will work remotely.  No travel supported.
  • Contract duration is for a period of 3 months (preferably starting October 2020)

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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.