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Chief of Section/Senior Programme Specialist


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Beirut
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2022-06-30

Post Number : 5LBED0005RP

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Beirut

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) : 16-JUN-2022


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




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General  for Education and the direct supervision of the Director of the Office, the incumbent will lead the education section in the design, coordination, execution and evaluation efforts for programme and projects and play a significant role in policy and strategy direction, development and integration, resource optimization and overall office management. The incumbent will set the research agenda in SDG4 for the region, conduct trends analyses, review policies and develop new approaches in capacity development in collaboration with the ED team in the Beirut ED Reginal Office and at the request of Member States and other stakeholders in the region. S/he will establish guidelines based on best practices to assist Member States in policy formulation as well as in planning and management of their education systems. Political astuteness is required in interacting with national, regional and international partners.


As Senior Regional Programme Specialist in Education Policy Research and Planning, regional and thematic coordination is implicit in the work and s/he will be required to provide guidance and training to professional and support staff. The post will have a high degree of operational independence in policy research, educational planning and management in the region with effective collaboration and support from relevant Institutes, in particular, the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), as well as the responsible Education Divisions at UNESCO Headquarters.


Long Description

Specifically, the incumbent shall: 

  • Ensure the management of the ED section at the office; set objectives, monitor and evaluate the performance of staff, provide guidance and ensure the staff’s continuous learning and professional development.
  • Set the research agenda for the region, particularly in the context of the 2030 Education Agenda.
  • Conduct trends analyses; review policies and develop new approaches in capacity development in collaboration with and at the request of the Member States and other stakeholders in the region. 
  • Establish guidelines based on best practices to assist the Member States in policy formulation as well as in planning and management of their education systems with national, regional and international partners. 
  • Coordinate regional and thematic groups and provide guidance and training to professional and support staff. 
  • Collaborate effectively with relevant UNESCO Category 2 centres in the region, in addition to Category 1 institutes like IIEP, UIL and UIS, as well as the responsible ED Division at HQ, in areas of policy research, educational planning and management.  
  • Represent the office at international, regional or national events as well as UN, including the United Nations Country Team when requested.
Long Description Long Description COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Driving and managing change (M) Strategic thinking (M) Making quality decisions (M) Building partnerships (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Managing performance (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in education, social sciences or closely related fields.

Work Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in the field of educational policy, planning and research acquired at national and international level.
  • Experience in planning, implementing and managing programmes and/or projects in the field of education.
  • Experience in fund-raising and resource mobilization.  


Skills and competencies 

  • Ability to develop and promote collaborations and network with other programme sectors of UNESCO and with external partners.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the United Nations System.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with other partner networks outside of UNESCO.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to establish plans and priorities, as well as implementing them effectively, including running of training programmes.



  • Excellent knowledge of English.



  • Advanced university degree (equivalent to PhD) in education.
  • A specialization in educational planning and management, preferably with focus on policy analysis, development, and/or economics of education.


Work Experience

  • Experience in education in emergencies.


Skills and Competencies 

  • Knowledge of educational issues in the Middle East region.


•    Working knowledge of Arabic.
•    Knowledge of other UNESCO official  languages (Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian).


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.