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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is hiring an Administrative Assistant

About Unesco

UNESCO, which stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It was established in 1945 with the aim of promoting peace, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture, communication, and information.

Key Objectives of UNESCO:

  1. Education: UNESCO promotes access to quality education for all, with a focus on achieving Education for All (EFA) goals and the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  2. Science: UNESCO supports scientific research, promotes international cooperation in science, and addresses global challenges such as climate change, sustainable development, and the preservation of biodiversity.
  3. Culture: UNESCO fosters the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, promotes cultural diversity, and encourages dialogue between cultures to contribute to mutual understanding and peace.

Grade : G-4

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Nairobi

Job Family: Administration

Type of contract : Fixed Term Field

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-MAY-2024

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the aim of promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture


Under the overall delegated authority of the Director/Head of the Office and the direct supervision of the Finance and Administrative Officer or Senior Finance and Administrative Assistant, as applicable, the incumbent is involved in the completion of standard administrative support activities and processes as per UNESCO Rules and Regulations. As a team member, the incumbent provides administrative and support services in processing transactions, control and maintenance of accounts and databases, and preparation of routine reports, correspondence and administrative documentation.

The incumbent will carry out the following responsibilities:

Long Description

General Accountabilities:

  • Assist in the preparation of documents/reports.
  • Compile, verify and maintain records of transactions and Office activities.
  • Classify and code material relating to a number of subject areas and maintains general office files.
  • Search Office files and records relating to a variety of topics for information and reference from automated systems.
  • Select information and record in correspondence, technical papers, project/ programme plans and general reference documents.
  • Draft routine correspondence, cables, memorandums and reports on the basis of oral instructions, previous correspondence or other available information sources in accordance with standard office procedures.

Long Description

Finance Accountabilities:

  • Process payments; check that documents are complete, correct and compliant with the rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Provide information, explanations and guidance on basic rules and procedures.
  • Ensure that the accounting records (disbursement and receipts documents) and corresponding justifications  are complete and properly filed.
  • Act as bank focal point; carry on the reconciliation and follow up on bank documents.
  • Ensure that monthly bank statements of accounts of the Office are received on time for the monthly closing of accounts.
  • Make disbursement from petty cash; ensure that all necessary receipts are provided and keep updating the register of petty cash.

Long Description

Budget Accountabilities:

  • Register actions/data; do non-complex corrections in systems.
  • Verify transactions and check data/figures; identify and correct errors/anomalies and assist to input corrective action in IRIS, SISTER etc.
  • Assist in preparation of budget, check completeness, accuracy and compliance of documentation.
  • Assist in the production of a variety of financial reports and statistics related to regular and extra budgetary funds.
  • Extract data and information from the automated financial and programmatic systems (IRIS; SISTER etc.) and prepare standard reports.

HR Accountabilities:

  • Extract data from automated systems or other sources and prepare documents for processing; maintain and update database and follow up on personnel files.
  • Draft routine correspondence and memoranda based on previous examples and templates.
  • Assist staff members and their dependents by processing requests for visas, identity cards, driving licenses and other necessary personnel-related documents in accordance with requirements of the organization and the host country.
  • Collect applications for vacancies and conduct reference checks.
  • Coordinate interview schedules, prepare agenda and documentation.


  • Make arrangements for shipment and receipt of office and project supplies and equipment and household effects, including customs clearance.
  • Check documents by verifying purchase orders and check the comparative quotations.
  • Follow up on requests by tracking and collecting orders (goods and services), check that goods and services are received according to the terms of the Pro forma (time, quantity, quality).
  • Maintain and monitor stock levels of various supply items. Maintain, update and transmit inventory records of non-expendable equipment to BFM.
  • Liaise with companies and different host country’s administration.
  • Follow up air tickets purchase and payments, prepare travel authorizations and assemble information pertinent to the purpose of travel; track security certificates. Make travel and hotel reservations.
  • Additional activities that may be required to ensure the success of the work team.

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.



  • Completed secondary, technical and/or vocational education.

Work Experience

  • At least 3 (three) years of professional experience in finance, administration, or related area.

Skills and competencies

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, including drafting skills.
  • Good organizational and coordination skills.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with internal and external partners in a multicultural environment.
  • Client‐focused and team‐oriented.
  • Ability to deal with complex situations and flexibility to adjust work schedules.
  • Discretion and professional integrity.
  • Good knowledge of IT skills (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of English language.



  • Specialized training/certification in the area of administration, finance, project or office management.

Work experience

  • Experience in the United Nations system or similar international organisations.


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


UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO, which stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is an agency of the United Nations. Its mission is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication, and information

1. UNESCO aims to foster mutual understanding and respect for our planet through education, science, culture, communication, and information

2. It works to strengthen the intellectual and moral solidarity of humankind and bring out the best in our shared humanity


Objectives and Programs

UNESCO’s programs contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015

1. The organization develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance and works to ensure that every child and every citizen has access to quality education

1. UNESCO also promotes cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, strengthening the bonds between nations


Funding and Membership

UNESCO gets its funding from contributions by member states, voluntary contributions, fundraising, and other smaller sources of funding

3. It has 195 Members and 8 Associate Members and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board

4. The United States used to contribute about 22% of UNESCO’s budget, but it withdrew its funding after Palestine applied for UNESCO membership

5. Israel also reacted to Palestine’s admittance to UNESCO by freezing Israeli payments to UNESCO and imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority


World Heritage Sites

One of UNESCO’s most famous initiatives is its World Heritage Center, which identifies cultural, natural, and mixed sites to be protected all over the world

6. The World Heritage sites include iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Peru’s Machu Picchu

Why Work at UNESCO

  1. Mission and Impact: UNESCO’s mission is to promote peace, international collaboration, and sustainable development through education, science, culture, communication, and information. Many individuals are passionate about contributing to these important areas and making a positive impact on the world .
  2. Career Development: UNESCO values the professional development of its staff. It provides opportunities for employees to identify development opportunities, acquire new skills, and advance in their careers. Staff members are encouraged to take the initiative in seeking out formal and informal approaches to developing their careers .
  3. Diverse and Multicultural Environment: UNESCO has a diverse workforce with staff members from various cultural backgrounds and nationalities. This multicultural environment fosters learning, understanding, and collaboration among colleagues.
  4. Gender Parity: UNESCO is proud to have achieved overall gender parity, including at the senior management level. It values diversity and strives for equal representation of genders in its workforce 
  5. Opportunities for Learning and Growth: Working at UNESCO provides opportunities to learn and grow both professionally and personally. Employees have access to training workshops, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities. They can also work on different initiatives and projects, expanding their horizons in an international multicultural working environment 
  6. Cultural and Intellectual Engagement: UNESCO‘s work involves promoting cultural diversity, protecting heritage sites, and fostering dialogue among civilizations. For individuals interested in culture, education, and intellectual engagement, UNESCO offers a stimulating and fulfilling work environment


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