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Programme Coordinator (Social and Human Sciences)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-06-14

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Post Number : SHS 398

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 14-JUN-2022


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



The post is located in the Executive Office, which provides strategic advice, quality control and management support to the Assistant Director­General for Social and Human Sciences (ADG/SHS) and ensures the overall coordination of the development, implementation and monitoring of the approved programme and budget of the SHS Sector, as well as the Sector’s communication with other Sectors/Bureaux/Offices at UNESCO, with other agencies of the United Nations System and with external partners. 

Under the overall supervision of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences and the direct supervision of the Chief of Executive Office (SHS/EO), the incumbent acts as a key member of the Executive Office with responsibility for providing support to the Assistant Director-General in the coordination, planning, reporting and evaluation towards delivery for the Implementation of Major Programme III (SHS) financed from both the Regular Budget and Extrabudgetary Resources. In particular, the incumbent will ensure that all aspects of programme coordination at HQ and in the Field are effectively managed, including the preparation of documents and follow up to the decisions of UNESCO’s Governing Bodies, facilitating liaison with and backstopping of Field Offices and associated network in the planning and monitoring of SHS engagement in UN programming reporting, and other transversal exercises. This position helps the EO to ensure that the ADG is fully supported to oversee the delivery of the program, the management of resources, coordination and coherence. The incumbent shall also assume the function of deputy to the Chief SHS/EO to support the preparation of all the functions of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences.

In particular, the incumbent will:

1)    In close cooperation with the Assistant Director-General and in coordination and under the direct supervision of the Chief, SHS/EO and in coordination with the Directors of Divisions, Chiefs of Sections and Field Offices:

  • Formulate and implement the Sector’s strategy and programmes as well as their monitoring and evaluation.
  • Gather and synthesize information in developing strategies and plans.
  • Elaborate and implement procedures concerning planning, strategies and evaluations of the Sector's programmes.
  • Coordinate and consolidate the Sector's contribution to the Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the biennial Programme and Budget (C/5) and the report of the Director-General to the Governing Bodies. Coordination and preparation of other relevant General Conference and Executive Board documents.
  • Establish, maintain and implement a system to ensure that the Sector’s institutional memory is preserved and shared in the appropriate digital format. 


2)    Facilitate liaison, backstopping and cooperation between the office of the ADG, and the Executive Office within the Sector and UNESCO Field Offices, Regional Bureaux, and Institutes/Centres within the UN Reform framework, notably by:

  • Developing, coordinating and monitoring as appropriate programmes, plans and strategies of relevance to the work programme of SHS Sector within the UN Reform framework (Delivering as One, CCA/UNDAF, SDG 2030);
  • Facilitating cooperation between Headquarters and the Field Offices with respect to the implementation of the SHS programme, in particular within the framework of the UN Reform;
  • Preparing briefings and analytical materials for ADG/SHS on SHS activities related to the UN Reform and contributing, as requested, to preparing briefing notes for the Director-General in this regard.

3)   Plan and organize the ADG’s strategic consultations and management meetings and ensure appropriate follow-up. Initiate and coordinate transversal work/projects in line with the mission, objectives and strategy of the Sector.

4)   Initiate, organize and synthesize the contributions of the Sector to policy-making bodies and serve as liaison with programme sections, central services, and partners institutions.

5)   Coordinate the management, review and reporting on extrabudgetary activities of the Sector in line with approved priorities and in close cooperation with UNESCO central services, in particular the Bureau of Strategic Planning, the Office of Legal Affairs and the Bureau of Financial Management. Prepare project proposals for the Front Office that are ready to be submitted to donors including, but not limited to, the private sector, multilateral and bi-lateral donors.

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 the field of social and human sciences, political science, economics, international relations or a related discipline.

Work Experience

  • A  minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in the area of social and human sciences, of which preferably a minimum of 4 years at international level.
  • Proven experience in designing, preparing, implementing, managing, coordinating and evaluating programmes/projects, strategies, and activities in the area of social and human sciences.
  • Experience in programme coordination and providing strategic advice and support.
  • Experience in managing and motivating teams, developing strategic partnerships and mobilizing resources and implementing activities. 

Skills and competencies 

  • Knowledge of development issues, as well as of multilateral settings and mechanisms, including governance.
  • Excellent project management skills; strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent coordination, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability in programme management and executive coordination, including the monitoring and reporting of programme activities and related financial and substantive aspects. 
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with international partners and national authorities, relevant institutions, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including through networking.
  • Ability to provide strategic advice and participate effectively in high-level negotiations with internal and external partners.
  • Excellent knowledge of fund-raising and other resource mobilization mechanisms.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare and present findings and recommendations on issues clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Solid IT skills, including knowledge of Office software.


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

Work Experience 

  • Professional experience in the United Nations System or other multilateral organizations and/or in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral settings/cooperation and development.
  • Experience and knowledge of intergovernmental processes and the substantive subject areas of UNESCO work, including in the field.


  • Knowledge of other 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 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.

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