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Programme Specialist (Education)

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-06

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Post Number : ED 058

Grade : P-3

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) : 06-NOV-2021


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




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General, Education (ADG/ED), guidance from the Director of the Division for Education 2030 (ED/E30), and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Section for SDG 4 Leadership (ED/E30/SDG), the Programme Specialist is responsible for contributing to UNESCO’s lead coordinating role of SDG4 2030 Education Agenda and supporting and improving the efficiency of the operations of the Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM).  S/he will be expected to perform the following essential duties:

  • Contribute to, and provide strategic guidance on, UNESCO’s activities and projects for global coordination of the 2030 Education Agenda and coordinate technical support to the development, implementation, and monitoring of SDG4 strategies, plans, and programmes in Member States.
  • Regularly update, plan, and monitor activities and projects led by the SDG 4 team, and support engagement of internal and external partners while monitoring support services including procurement, communication, and logistics.
  • Develop and maintain collaboration within the UNESCO Education Sector and with other Programme Sectors, Regional Bureaux/Liaison Offices, as well as Institutes, on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of SDG4 Education 2030 Agenda under the framework of the GCM.
  • Coordinate activities to organize successful global events. This will entail risk assessment/management, vendor engagement, coordinating with internal and external stakeholders, and project scoping, planning and implementation.
  • Assume one or more focal responsibilities, including support to the development of new partnerships of strategic importance to UNESCO.
  • Promote strong internal team communications, contributing to the on-boarding of new members, particularly in the context of the new inter-agency secretariat; proposing team building activities, and other proactive steps to maintain a good working environment.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization by playing an active role in funding and project proposal developments, submissions, and follow-up. Locate and mobilize resources and ensure the preparation of extra-budgetary projects progress reports, including the submission of essential information to concerned parties to support the timely finalization of accurate financial reports.
  • Participate in programme development (C/5) discussions and in the formulation of specific initiatives related to SDG4 coordination and partnership.
  • Prepare materials to support the Chief and Senior Management including briefs, strategy planning charts, presentation materials, meeting minutes/reports and action points.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, public policies, development studies, social sciences, or other relevant discipline. 


Work Experience

  • Minimum of 4 years of relevant professional experience in education, development, or programme operations, of which preferably 2 years acquired at the international level.


Skills and Competencies 

  • Ability to work effectively under pressure, prioritize and manage multiple and complex tasks within tight deadlines, and to deliver time-sensitive high-quality work.
  • Excellent coordination, interpersonal and negotiation skills, as well as an ability to network with a range of partners and other stakeholders.
  • Excellent analytical, presentation and drafting skills and ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in a multicultural environment.
  • Rigorous attention to detail in written and verbal communications.
  • Proven ability to work with diverse teams.
  • Proven abilities in designing, planning, managing, and executing strategic global events.
  • Demonstrated creativity, self-direction, and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent IT skills and ability to learn new applications quickly.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English and good working knowledge of French. 



  • A project/programme management certification.


Work Experience

  • Demonstrated professional experience in coordinating education development cooperation and partnership at regional/field/liaison office levels (e.g., Education sector working groups, Local Education Groups, regional cooperation platforms, working with regional organizations etc.).
  • Experience in building partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders, including governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, expert groups, private sector, civil society, youth groups and NGOs.
  • Experience in designing creative digital and social media visuals and content as well as presentation materials.


Skills and Competencies 

  • Familiarity with the work and functioning of the UN System, including UNESCO, and key mechanisms such as the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), and UN Joint Programming and UN inter-agency initiatives.
  • Familiarity with team collaboration tools and innovative working methods.
  • Ability to develop concise and persuasive project proposals.
  • Knowledge of the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development, its related goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4.



  • Knowledge of other UNESCO official language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and 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 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 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.

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