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

Programme Specialist (Education)

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-06

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

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


Post Number : ED 005

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 22-JUL-2021


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




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED), the guidance from the Director of the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development and the direct supervision from the Chief of Section of Education for Sustainable Development, the incumbent will serve as programme specialist for UNESCO’s activities in education for sustainable development (ESD). ESD is a key element of the global education agenda. It aims to provide every learner with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to promote sustainable development. UNESCO leads the global work on ESD in line with UNESCO’s designation as the lead UN agency for ESD, guided by the ‘ESD for 2030’ framework and its roadmap for implementation, which emphasizes the contribution of ESD to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. UNESCO’s approach to ESD addresses a wide range of sustainability challenges, with particular attention paid to climate change and other environmental challenges in their interlinkage with the other dimensions of sustainable development. As a recognized expert and experienced project manager, the incumbent is expected to play a key role in maintaining and expanding UNESCO’s global leadership in ESD, including its work on climate change education.

In particular, the incumbent will be expected to perform the following activities:

Long Description

1. Programme design and management

  • Lead the development and delivery of a wide spectrum of both regular and extra-budgetary programme and project management activities to implement UNESCO’s ‘ESD for 2030’ framework, from funding proposals to design to reporting. 
  • Coordinate programme and project rollout and monitoring. 
  • Recommend programme and project approaches, plans, expansion and changes, and develop, propose and advocate C/4 and C/5 thematic inclusions, with a view to maintaining and expanding UNESCO’s global leadership in ESD. 
  • Develop projects, programme and funding proposals, oversee agreements and contracts as well as define UNESCO’s involvement and mobilize relevant resources.


2. Policy Advice

  • Provide technical backstopping for education authorities and other partners in Member States as well as UNESCO staff through advice, support for capacity building and advocacy on innovative and effective approaches for effective implementation of ESD at the country level, in line with the country’s overall education policy and in support of the transformative education approaches the underpin ESD.
  • Advocate UNESCO’s position/involvement with regard to ESD in relevant national and international processes and establish relevant guidelines, including in the context of SDG 4 coordination, implementation of Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the global biodiversity agenda, etc. 
Long Description

3. Communication and knowledge management

  • Organize consultations and events to implement the ‘ESD for 2030’ framework and ensure regular contributions and updates to online and knowledge management systems. 
  • Identify knowledge gaps in areas of ESD and contribute to developing evidence based good practices.
  • Plan, develop and implement outreach strategies, aimed at expanding and communicating programmes and UNESCO’s ESD projects, and increasing visibility, resources and partnership, including with relevant UN partners such as UNFCCC, UNEP and UNU, among others. 


4. Resource mobilization and partnership development

  • Pursue and maintain high quality synergies with other UNESCO entities, strategic partnerships and mobilize resources to advance UNESCO programmatic work related to ESD.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (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 (Masters or equivalent) in education, environment, sustainable development, or related fields.


Work Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible, relevant work experience in the field of ESD, including in the areas of policy advice and national or local-level project implementation, of which preferably 3 years is acquired at international level.
  • Experience in designing, managing, monitoring and evaluating large ESD programmes and projects.
  • Experience in fundraising and resource mobilization for ESD or related fields.
  • Experience in outreach activities and partnerships/network building for ESD including at international level.
  • Track record in conceptualizing, developing, managing and monitoring ESD-related projects and communicating their progress and results. 
  • Experience of technical support to governments in the area of ESD or related fields.

Skills and competencies 

  • Excellent expertise in ESD and related fields, knowledge of the global sustainable development, ESD and related discourses.
  • Very good familiarity with UNESCO’s ESD for 2030 Framework, its rationale, priority action areas, and implementation mechanisms.
  • Proven conceptual, analytical and technical skills, including the ability to develop and provide expert advice on education policy and strategies to implement ESD as a transformative education approach and a key element of SDG Target 4.7.
  • Proven ability to identify emerging ESD-related trends, needs, priorities and risks. 
  • Ability to plan strategically and to translate strategies into project proposals or actionable recommendations.
  • Ability to collect evidence, synthesize and analyze information or data from various sources for informed decision-making purposes.
  • Proven capacity to produce high-quality and policy-oriented analytical reports and recommendations.
  • Solid written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare and present findings concisely, as well as to discuss actionable recommendations on issues of a technical nature in education.
  • Ability to work in a team and to maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural environment with high political sensitivity; ability to manage, supervise and motivate staff and teams.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the UN System.



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



  • Qualifications in fields relevant to ESD.


Work Experience

  • Experience with governments at local/national and international levels to provide technical support related to the education sector in the field of ESD or other areas related to SDG Target 4.7.  
  • Experience with UN frameworks, international and regional development/coordination mechanisms.

Skills and competencies

  • Familiarity with the monitoring of ESD and SDG 4.7.
  • Knowledge of the global climate change agenda.



  • 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.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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.