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Programme Specialist/Team Leader (Culture)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Culture and Sport
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Post Number : CLT 364

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Culture Sector (CLT)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Culture

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years with possibility of renewal

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-DEC-2022


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




The Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Unit is responsible for coordinating and supporting the activities of the Culture Sector for preparedness and response to emergencies, in close coordination with the other Entities of the Culture Sectors, other Programme Sectors, central services, the Task Force in charge of emergency situations in the Office of the Director-General, and the relevant UN Agencies and partners. It does so through the provision of technical backstopping to Headquarters and Field Offices' colleagues, including a rapid response mechanism in view of the deployment of experts, the development of new tools and partnerships, as well as though policy advice, advocacy and resource mobilization. The EPR Unit is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Strategy to enhance UNESCO's action to protect culture and promote cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict as well as for the overall management of the Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF).


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture (ADG/CLT) and the direct supervision of the Director of the Culture and Emergencies Entity (DIR/CEM), working in close cooperation with the Secretariats of the Culture Conventions, the incumbent manages and ensures the coordination of the Culture Sector's emergency preparedness and response to crisis situations, including conflict and disaster-related situations, to ensure effective capacity to provide support for emergency action before, during and after crises. S/he leads the team of the Unit and provides technical and analytical support for the planning, design, implementation, monitoring and reporting on programmes and projects as well as resource mobilization activities undertaken by the EPR Unit, including for UNESCO's Global Priorities (Africa and Gender Equality), priority groups and transversal thematic areas, such as Culture and Education, Culture and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Youth. 


In particular, the incumbent will:

Long Description
  • Develop, implement and monitor strategies, plans and policies related to risks and impacts on culture, including cultural and natural heritage and the cultural and creative industries, related to disaster, conflict and crisis situations, building on existing strategies established in the framework of the implementation of the Culture Conventions, and in cooperation with the Crisis Preparedness and Response Team of UNESCO and related efforts of the United Nations System;


  • Coordinate the development, implementation and monitoring of programmes, projects and activities including the outreach strategy related to Emergency Preparedness and Response in the field of culture, by leading the development of institutional and technical national capacity in the field of emergency situations and risk reduction, contributing to the dissemination of strategies and capacity building resource materials (tools, publications, training materials) for managing risks in emergency/disaster situtations in cooperation with the Culture Sector's Entities and relevant partner institutions;


  • Provide guidance to Member States in preparing requests/proposals for assistance, in close collaboration with the concerned Field Offices, using existing mechanisms including UNSDCF, coordinating with local partners and NGOs in the implementation of mitigation and preparedness interventions;


  • Advise the responsible Entities and colleagues in the design and implementation of culture emergency preparedness and response projects, including in the framework of Post-Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNAs) and Post-Conflict Needs Assessments (PCNAs); Lead periodic training sessions on emergency preparedness, response and recovery for heritage (including PDNA and PCNA processes) addressed to relevant UNESCO staff including in Field Offices;
Long Description
  • Plan and implement specific response activities for culture in close coordination with house-wide and UN efforts, including by monitoring and coordinating the Culture Sector's actions and interventions at global and country levels in liaison with the Sector's Entities at Headquarters and relevant colleagues in Field Offices, ensuring assessment of damages on cultural and natural heritage, and leading missions to post-disaster and post-conflict areas as appropriate;


  • Ensure timely availability of information on current and potential emergency situations, prepare action plans and recommend measures required to mitigate existing or impending disaster/crisis situations;


  • Coordinate the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) for Culture in Emergencies;


  • Ensure the overall management of the Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF), including by managing and mobilizing funds, coordinating the implementation of and reporting on the HEF-funded programmes, and ensuring outreach and visibility on their results and impact;
  • Ensure appropriate evaluation and reporting on interventions during emergency situations, providing technical advice to the Director of the Culture and Emergencies Entity and the Assistant Director-General for Culture, ensuring documentation in view of the related reporting to UNESCO's Governing Bodies and effective communication in relation to emergency situations and the safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage;


  • Identify priority issues and ensure that these are adequately addressed in the Culture Sector and UNESCO's integrated actions/intervention plans. Ensure liaison with the UNESCO Crisis Preparedness and Response Team within the Coordination and Field Support Office of the Priority Africa and External Relations Sector (PAX), notably regarding strategic orientations of UNESCO's action in the field of cultural emergency preparedness and response; Represent the Culture Sector in relevant intersectoral initiatives and meetings, and ensure the related follow-up within the Culture Sector on the concerned post-crisis and post-disaster (PCPD) situations; Where applicable, ensure integration and synergy of the Culture Sector's response with UNESCO's international responses to PCPD situations;


  • Develop and implement strategic partnerships related to disaster, crisis and emergency situations; Mobilize voluntary resources for emergency risk management for culture, including cultural and natural heritage and the cultural and creative industries, in line with the priorities of the UNESCO Programme and Budget and the Culture Sector's Resources Mobilization Framework;


  • Contribute to strategic international and large-scale initiatives and events, such as the yearly edition of the Abu Dhabi Culture Summit.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Strategic thinking (M) Making quality decisions (M) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Leading and empowering others (M) Managing performance (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in culture, humanities, political science, international relations, conflict studies, risk management, law or in a related field.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of culture, humanities, political science, international relations, conflict studies, risk management, or law, of which at least three (3) years acquired at the international level. 


  • Experience in the field of humanitarian, security, human rights, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and/or disaster risk management.
Long Description

Skills and competencies

  • Excellent capacity to collect, synthesize and analyse information from various sources and to write documents in a clear and concise manner.
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, organizational and coordination skills.
  • Ability to manage heavy workload and to work under pressure, with capacity for accuracy, paying close attention to detail and quality of work.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to maintain effective working relations within a multicultural environment.
  • Proven capacity to react and respond with alacrity to emergency situations.
  • Ability to develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies, to identify priority activities and assignments, to adjust priorities as required, to allocate appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work, to foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning, to monitor and adjust plans and actions as necessary.
  • Good IT skills, including good knowledge of standard office software.



  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.  



  • Advanced University degree (PhD) in culture, social sciences, humanities, political science, international relations, conflict studies, risk management, law or in a related field.


Work Experience

  • Proven experience in monitoring and evaluating cultural policies, programmes and projects in risk reduction or related field.
  • Experience in assessing and taking/recommending action to mitigate potential risks for cultural and natural sites.
  • Proven experience in managing intergovernmental processes and programmes in the field of emergency preparedness and respond.
  • Experience in the area of emergency preparedness or response.
  • Experience with a UN organization/agency.


Skills and competencies

  • Knowledge of the cultural dimension in the international relations, human rights, humanitarian and peace building spheres as well as disaster risk reduction.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of the UN System.
  • Knowledge of UNESCO and its Culture Conventions and programme.



  • Knowledge of another/other UNESCO official language(s) (Arabic, Chinese, Russian 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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 105 464 US $

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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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