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Consultancy: Support to the secretariat functions of the UIS for the work ISCED Committee


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Montreal
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: Closed

Parent Sector : UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

Duty Station: Montreal


Classification of duty station: [[filter12]]

Standard Duration of Assignement : [[filter13]]

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 7 to 11 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-MAY-2023


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




The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) produces data to fuel the policies and investments needed to transform lives and propel the world towards its development goals. Providing statistical and technical inputs for global, regional and funding mechanisms for education, the UIS enables the work of the UN Transforming Education Summit, the Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM), G7, G20, etc. The UIS meets data needs for emerging priorities, for example, most recently, tracking and monitoring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education worldwide. The UIS maintains the most comprehensive education statistics database in the world – the official source of data of the UN system, used for various purposes, including for the SDG monitoring.

Established in 1999, the UIS serves as UNESCO’s statistical agency. The UIS is focused on delivering cross-nationally comparable data for global, regional and development agendas, covering the fields of education, science, culture, and communication and information. The UIS assures the technical support for Member States to produce transformative data based on the 3 pillars (Standards and methodologies; Data production; Brokerage and outreach). The UIS vision, described in its 2022-2029 Medium Term strategy, is to serve the needs of Member States, ensuring that their policies and decision-making are informed by sound statistical information, that they can benchmark progress towards national and international goals, and learn from the experience of others.


The objectives of this consultancy is to provide the necessary support to the secretariat roles of the UIS in the functioning of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) Committee , which will advise UIS regarding the classification of national programmes and qualifications, review the current version of ISCED 2011 and ISCED Fields of Education and Training 2013, and identify potential areas for further development of the classifications.   

Long Description

Key Tasks

Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, and under the direct supervision of the Head of Education Standards Unit, the Contractor shall perform the following tasks: 
•    Coordinate the ISCED Committee meetings, working with relevant UIS staff and the   Consultant providing technical support to the work of Committee (hereafter called technical consultant) in setting up meeting dates, overseeing the timely notification of meeting dates and times to ISCED Committee members, and coordinating the delivery of any materials or presentations to be given at the meetings. 
•    Manage the documentation produced for and during the ISCED Committee meetings, ensuring that, minutes, agreements/recommendations, and any other relevant documents produced during the meetings are timely recorded and accessible. 
•    Working in close contact with UIS Head of Education Standards Unit and the technical consultant, coordinate the development of ISCED Committee work plans, periodical meetings, and between-two meetings communications. 
•    Contribute to the management of the work plan of the ISCED Committee and assist with the coordination of its implementation as per agreed deliverables under the oversight of UIS. 
•    Help review deliverables agreed during ISCED Committee meetings, track their timelines for deliveries, and ensure that deliverables are provided on time. 
•    Help identify implementation arrangements and needed resources to implement the ISCED Committee agenda. 
•    Support the UIS and the technical consultant in the preparation of ISCED Committee reports, as necessary. 

These key tasks are aligned with the following timeline and expected outputs for the ISCED Committee:
•    May-June 2023: ISCED Committee established.
•    July 2023: Documents and necessary materials for the work of the Committee provided. 
•    July 2023: First Committee meeting: Objectives, timeline, working methods and road map discussed and agreed.
•    September 2023: First report of the Committee, including initial feedback on the classifications overall strategy as outlined in the Committee mandate. 
•    October 2023: Second Committee meeting: First report reviewed and eventual areas for further research on the classifications identified and agreed.
•    December 2023: second report of the Committee, reflecting feedback on the first report, discussions during the 2nd Committee meeting, findings from any research carried out, and including draft recommendations. 
•    January 2024: Third Committee meeting: second report and draft recommendations reviewed and discussed.  
•    March 2024: Third report of the Committee reflecting feedback on the 2nd report, discussions at the third Committee meeting, and overall recommendations as outlined in the Committee mandate.
•    April 2024: Forth Committee meeting: Third report and recommendations reviewed and finalised. 

Long Description

Scenario A: a revision of the classifications is recommended
•    May 2024:  Summary report, including potential areas for further developments of the classifications, guidance and indicative timeframe for the revision of the classifications provided.

Scenario B: an immediate revision of the classifications is not recommended

•    May 2024: Summary report including the following recommendations and next steps:
o    Recommendations following the review of existing quality assurance mechanisms for application of the classifications.
o    Recommendations about the classification of problematic national education programmes and related qualifications.
o    Recommendations about a mechanism for peer review and validation of national ISCED mappings.
o    Recommendations about necessary amendments to the current operational manual of ISCED 2011 .
o    Recommendations about necessary modifications to the fields of education and training (and related descriptions) in ISCED-F 2013 .

Long Description

Deliverables and timeline
The Contractor will submit to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics the following deliverables:
•    Monthly reports (eleven) of the contributions provided to support the work of the ISCED Committee. The monthly report will update the actions taken on each of the key tasks listed in the previous section.
•    Special progress report (four) on
o    Each of the meeting calendar of the ISCED Committee and the agenda for each of the meeting;
o    Storage of the documentation produced at the meetings, ensuring their access to the ISCED Committee members, the technical consultant, and the relevant UIS staff.  

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (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


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree (or equivalent degree) in education, statistics, international development, social sciences, or another relevant discipline is required. 

Experience & Skills

  • Knowledge in social and economic classifications, preferably in the field of education. Familiarity with ISCED 2011 and ISCED-F 2013 and/or experience in their application to the classification of education programmes is an asset.
  • A minimum of 10 years of programme and project co-ordination with countries as part of a global initiative is required.
  • At least 2-3 work experience within the UN is desirable.
  • Ability to work effectively through email and other means of remote communications.


  • Strong communication and writing skills in English. Knowledge of French and Spanish is an asset.

The total cost of the consultancy will be agreed in advance. 

All payments under the contract will be made based on the presentation of a monthly invoice to UIS for the number of days spent on the activities specified in the Key tasks (section 3 of this document), along with a copy of the progress report for that month. It is expected that the consultant will spend about 7 days a month on supporting and consulting activities leading to the progress report. In addition, the consultant will provide separate invoices for the preparation of the special progress reports.

The consultant is accountable for the quality of the work and full delivery of the assignment within the agreed timeframe and at no extra cost to the UIS, other than the amount specified in the Consultant’s contract. All documents compiled by the Consultant for support to the work of the ISCED Committee will be submitted to the UIS. 

The work will be carried out remotely. Meetings with the ISCED Committee, UIS, and the technical consultant will be organized virtually (e.g. via MS Teams or Zoom). The Consultant will be in regular communication with UIS via email, audio or video conferencing.


Interested and suitable candidates for the consultancy should submit the following documents:
•    Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability; 
•    Personal CV and UNESCO CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references; 
•    Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach and complete the assignment. 
•    Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs. 


  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2012. International Standard Classification of Education: ISCED 2011. Montreal: UIS.
  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2014. ISCED Fields of Education and Training 2013 (ISCED-F 2013). Montreal: UIS.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Eurostat, and UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2015. ISCED 2011 Operational Manual: Guidelines for Classifying National Education Programmes and Related Qualifications. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  • UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). 2015. International Standard Classification of Education: Fields of Education and Training 2013 (ISCED-F 2013) - Detailed Field Descriptions. Montreal: UIS.

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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