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Senior Finance & Administrative Officer


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Banking and Finance
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : SC 214

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Administration

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 19-JUN-2023


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Science (ADG/SC), and a functional reporting line to the Assistant Director-General for Administration, (ADG/ADM) the incumbent supports the Natural Sciences Sector (SC) in managing the Finance and Operations of the Sector, and manages the Finance and Administrative Unit. His/her mission as a business partner is to facilitate the execution of activities/programmes and operations of the SC Sector, with full respect of UNESCO rules and procedures in the field of Finance, Budget, Human Resources and Office Management. The incumbent manages a team of professional and support staff and provides expertise, advice, guidance and problem solving on all cases within its fields of competence. S/he maintains full coordination with UNESCO's Central Services and keeps the ADG/ADM well-informed.

In particular, the incumbent shall perform the following duties:

General Accountabilities:

  • Support the ADG/SC in the delivery of the work program of SC from a financial and administrative perspective. Prepare timely advice for the ADG/SC that aligns with the Strategic agenda of SC.
  • Assist the ADG/SC in ensuring delivery and provide strategic and operational advice on the relevant areas of competence to the ADG/SC to ensure delivering on the programme.
  • Devise innovative ways to maximize the impact of SC resources and support the whole of the Sector to advance the implementation of their programs. 
  • Ensure strategic and operational monitoring of financial management risks and of assets, resources and liabilities of the Sector's operations.
  • In line with the Organization’s policies and procedures, establish internal controls and monitor their implementation, ensuring that they are adequate and functioning.
  • Ensure that adequate support, overall guidance and training are provided to staff of the Sector on administration, budgetary and financial resources matters.
  • Ensure compliance with the Organization's rules, regulations, policies, delegations of authority, procedures and other administrative instructions. 
  • Ensure that regular and ad hoc budget and financial management information is provided to ADG/SC and senior management to support informed decision making.
  • Provide leadership to and manage the staff of the Finance and Administrative unit.
  • Organize the Finance and Administrative Unit by ensuring an equitable work assignment for effective and efficient service delivery and adjust resources allocation accordingly.
  • Draft internal procedural directives relating to budgetary, financial and administration matters.
  • Provide regular overview of the Budget and Finance to the ADG/SC.
  • Proactively collaborate as appropriate with other Programme Sectors and process owners at Headquarters to improve and streamline processes and procedures.

Budget and Financial Accountabilities:

  • In line with the Organization's policies and procedures, set up proper accounting procedures and systems, internal  controls having regard to specific requirements of the Sector.
  • Provide overall guidance to the ADG and the Sector on the preparation of the budget with regard to the Organization's programme and integrated budget, work plans according to Results-Based Management (RBM) and Results-based Budgeting (RBB) principles.
  • Oversee the preparation of organisational and project budgets with a focus on full cost budgeting, sustainability and validation of the proposed budget in line with donor and UNESCO requirements.
  • Ensure the accurate and transparent recording of financial transactions according to IPSAS standards and in compliance with UNESCO financial rules and regulations.
  • Ensure that a mechanism is in place and implemented for planning of contracting, travel and meeting and conferences in accordance with workplans.
  • Propose strategies and design new processes to resolve recurring administrative problems and improve financial and administrative procedures.
  • Report regularly to ADG/SC on budgetary execution and ensure that a mechanism for monitoring regular budget and extra-budgetary funds is developed and implemented; identify deviations from approved workplans/budgets and propose corrective measures.

Human Resources Accountabilities:

  • Provide strategic advice to the ADG on staff-related matters in close collaboration with the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM) including processing of personnel actions, extension and conversion of appointments, recruitment, updating of Job Descriptions to reflect the actual responsibilities of staff, installation of international staff, leave records, staff entitlements, performance of all staff - in accordance with UNESCO Rules and Regulations.
  • Lead the development of an on-going plan for human resources development for the staff of the Sector.
  • Participate in the preparation of the Sector's staffing table, supervise the preparation of the required personnel documents, forms, and correspondence and ensure the appropriate follow-up action with HRM and the Bureau of Financial Management (BFM).
  • Maintain an up-to-date organizational chart of the Sector and list of temporary personnel, consultants and volunteers.
  • Supervise the implementation of UNESCO management information systems in the office and provide training on these systems in collaboration with the relevant HRM unit as required.
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) Managing performance (M) Leading and empowering others (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of Finance, Business Administration, Accounting, or a related discipline.

Work Experience

  • A  minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in management, finance and administration or related area, of which preferably 3 years acquired at the international level.
  • Experience in leading and supervising staff and teams.

Skills and competencies 

  • Ability to provide guidance in the financial and administrative management of extra budgetary projects with proven experience in budgeting, contracting and monitoring.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to establish good working relationships with external and internal partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and motivate staff and teams.
  • Ability to take initiative and seek innovative ways to improve results. 
  • Good IT skills, including knowledge of ERP and financial, human resources or administrative management tools. 
  • Demonstrated capacity to analyse operations, identify risks and opportunities, propose mitigation measures and to establish adequate monitoring framework in line with the Sector implementation capacity.
  • Demonstrated experience in ensuring compliance with rules & regulations and administrative processes.
  • Ability to collaborate with the Designated Official for Security and with the UNDSS Chief Security Advisor on all security-related issues; including participation in Business Operation Strategy (UN BOS). 


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good knowledge of the other. 


  • Professionally recognized Accountancy Certification.

Work Experience 

  • Experience in international organisations or United Nations agencies.
  • Experience in the use of SAP. 

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of United Nations Rules, Regulations and administrative procedures.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the United Nations system.

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 119 469 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.