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Programme Specialist (Tsunami Programme)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2023-03-24

Post Number : IOC 454

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 15-MAR-2023


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



Under the authority of the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (ADG/IOC) and the general supervision of the Head, Tsunami Unit, and in cooperation with the IOC programmes and units concerned, the incumbent will: 


  • Lead, coordinate and organize the activities of the IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems in the Pacific Ocean (ICG/PTWS) and the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS), including required follow-up on policy development, planning and implementation of related work plan;
  • Be responsible for and coordinate the follow up of extra budgetary contributions to the Tsunami Unit programme, including the associated research and capacity building projects. The incumbent shall provide advice on, work closely with IOC Operational Support Unit (IOC/EO/AO), Central Services and Field Offices involved with the administrative follow up of the Tsunami programme activities.
Long Description

In particular, the incumbent will: 

  1. Provide leadership, develop, implement, and coordinate, services, scientific and technical support to the IOC ICG/PTWS and ICG/CARIBE EWS, herein included back-up and coordination of their Working Groups and Officers, as well as to other relevant projects and programmes carried out within the ICG/PTWS and ICG/CARIBE EWS framework included but not limited to Tsunami Information Centers (TICs). 
  2. Support ADG/IOC and the Head, Tsunami Unit, in the implementation of the Tsunami programme by: (a) monitoring the implementation of workplans and Tsunami Warning Systems (TWSs)-related extrabudgetary projects and advising of status and development;  (b) preparing concept papers, aide-memoirs, memoranda and other substantive documents;  (c) compiling strategic plans and other documents necessary for the overall implementation of the workplans; d) liaising with Secretaries of relevant regional subsidiary bodies of the Commission on TWS-related matters;  (e) reviewing relevant literature and identifying emerging issues.
  3. In the context of the IOC Tsunami programme, ensure competent, coordinated and transparent management of the resources put at the disposal of the Commission by Member States, including coordination of field missions, organization of related training activities, meetings and workshops, including provision of regular substantive implementation status reports both to donors (in cooperation with PSP) and to IOC Governing Bodies and Member States.
  4. Plan and support capacity development in tsunami warning systems and preparedness, as part of the cross-cutting Capacity Development programme of IOC by: (a) coordinating the contribution of Working Groups to develop guidelines and standards and transfer of knowledge through trainings, manuals and guidelines as part of the cross-cutting Capacity Development programme of IOC in close collaboration with other relevant partners and programmes within and outside UNESCO;  (b) Coordinate efforts for the reinforcement of capacity in Member States in the establishment of Tsunami Warning Systems as part of the cross-cutting capacity Development programme of IOC, and with national, regional and international organizations and institutions in particular the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Pacific community and regional Disaster Management and Emergency Agencies such as CDEMA and CEPREDENAC.
  5. Be responsible for generating and monitoring the Tsunami Unit planning instruments based on the RBM concept, including Unit's contribution to the draft IOC Programme and Budget (C5 document) as well as the results-based reporting tools (C3 and EX4 documents), in cooperation with the IOC programmes and units concerned. In particular, the incumbent will prepare, enter and monitor the relevant input concerning the establishment of Tsunami Warning systems, in particular with regard to the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Regions.
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) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Managing performance (M) Making quality decisions (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent degree) in Earth/Ocean sciences, or related field. 


Work Experience 

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively relevant professional experience in the field of ocean management and capacity development, of which preferably 4 years acquired at international level.
  • Experience in coordinating, managing, and implementing projects or programmes.
  • Experience in managing staff and teams.


Skills and Competencies

  • Good knowledge of ocean observing techniques, tsunami generations, warning production and dissemination, and related international arrangements. 
  • Management of capacity development.
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking and change management skills.
  • Strong programme management skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills, including the ability to identify complex issues, and decide on ways forward respecting the constraints of the organizations involved.
  • Very good communication skills (oral and written) with proven ability to make effective and persuasive oral presentations to both technical and general audiences.
  • Proven ability to advocate and negotiate with colleagues, staff, and stakeholders at all levels, internal and external, including building and maintaining partnerships.
  • Ability to lead and empower teams and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural environment.



  • Excellent knowledge and drafting skills in English and working knowledge of French.
  • Ph.D. in Oceanography, Marine Science, or related field. 
  • Fundraising and resource mobilization experience.
  • Knowledge of other official languages of UNESCO (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 115 757 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.

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.