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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.

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UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that promotes international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication. It was established on November 16, 1945, with the goal of fostering peace and sustainable development through intellectual cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and ideas among nations.

Key Objectives of UNESCO:

  1. Education: UNESCO works to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all, promoting lifelong learning opportunities and improving access to education worldwide.
  2. Science: UNESCO promotes scientific research, collaboration, and capacity-building to address global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainable development.
  3. Culture: UNESCO is committed to protecting and preserving cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, promoting cultural diversity, and fostering intercultural dialogue.
  4. Communication and Information: UNESCO promotes freedom of expression, media development, and access to information, supporting the use of communication and information technologies for sustainable development.

UNESCO’s work includes designating and preserving World Heritage Sites, promoting the protection of cultural and natural heritage, supporting literacy initiatives, advocating for freedom of the press, promoting scientific research and international cooperation, and fostering cultural exchange and understanding among nations.

The organization is governed by the General Conference, which consists of representatives from member states that meet every two years. The day-to-day operations are managed by the Director-General, who is elected by the General Conference for a four-year term.

UNESCO has 195 member states and several associate members and maintains field offices worldwide to implement its programs and initiatives at the regional and country levels.

Why work at UNESCO

Working at UNESCO can offer a range of rewarding opportunities and benefits. Here are some reasons why people choose to work at UNESCO:

  1. Meaningful Impact: UNESCO’s work focuses on promoting peace, sustainable development, education, science, culture, and communication. By contributing to UNESCO’s mission, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on global issues and help improve the lives of people around the world.
  2. International Collaboration: UNESCO is a truly global organization that brings together professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Working at UNESCO allows you to collaborate with colleagues, experts, and stakeholders from different countries, fostering cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.
  3. Professional Development: UNESCO offers a wide range of professional development opportunities, including training programs, workshops, and conferences. It provides a platform for continuous learning, skill development, and career advancement.
  4. Multidisciplinary Approach: UNESCO’s mandate covers various fields such as education, science, culture, and communication. This multidisciplinary approach allows professionals to work on diverse projects and gain exposure to different areas of expertise.
  5. World Heritage Sites: UNESCO is responsible for designating and preserving World Heritage Sites, which are places of outstanding universal value. Being involved in the preservation and promotion of these sites can be a unique and fulfilling experience.
  6. Networking Opportunities: Working at UNESCO provides access to a vast network of professionals, researchers, and policymakers in various fields. This network can offer valuable connections and opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange.
  7. Work-Life Balance: UNESCO recognizes the importance of work-life balance and offers policies and programs to support its staff. It promotes flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and a healthy work environment.
  8. International Exposure: UNESCO operates in various countries and regions around the world. Working at UNESCO can provide opportunities for international travel, cultural immersion, and exposure to different societies and contexts.
  9. Prestige and Recognition: UNESCO is a well-known and respected international organization. Being associated with UNESCO can enhance your professional reputation and open doors to future opportunities in the field

Position: Education Specialist (P-4 level)
Parent Sector: Education Sector (ED)
Duty Station: Paris
Type of Contract: Project Appointment
Duration: 1 year

Main duties and responsibilities 

Working closely within the Section and leading a small team, the post-holder will be responsible for strategic development and implementation of activities in the area of school health and well-being, specifically: strengthening school health, ending violence in and through education, and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), with attention to UNESCO’s priority areas of Africa and gender equality. 

Long Description

The main responsibilities include:

1. Lead technical, research and writing expertise to the work on education for health and well-being: Lead the development and publication of new resources and research in key thematic areas, and lead development of policy and programme guidance or technical briefs based on latest evidence and good practice to enhance Member State capacity to deliver effective programmes on education for health and well-being with a focus on specific thematic areas (school health, ending violence in and through education, MHPSS).  Ensure high quality publications or technical presentations that advance the global agenda on the key thematic areas of responsibility, contributing to global and regional debates. Provide specialized expertise, interpretation, assessment and communication to Field Offices, ED Institutes, Ministries, peers and other stakeholders.

2. Lead programme design, management and support to programme implementation:  Lead on project design, workplanning, budgetting and monitoring as reflected in annual workplans. Recommend programme and project approaches and plans, and develop, propose and advocate for inclusion of themes in UNESCO Education plans. Develop projects, programme and funding proposals, oversee agreements and contracts as well as define UNESCO’s involvement and mobilize relevant resources, at global level. This work will be conducted within the framework of the C/5 organisational workplan and budget, the UNESCO Strategy on Education for Health and Well-being, and country/regional priorities in close coordination with UNESCO regional bureaux and field offices, and including UNESCO Regional Advisors on Health and Education. Provide specialized expertise and technical support to Field Offices, ED Institutes, Ministries, peers and other stakeholders. Support Section efforts to maintain and expand extrabudgetary funding, and human resources through opportunities such as secondments, JPOs and sponsored/paid trainees.

3. Provide policy advice: Initiate policy development and creation, in accordance with priority areas. Represent UNESCO at international fora on areas of specialism, and provide specialized advice to internal and external colleagues, peers and stakeholders to influence international policy recommendations at the intersection of education, health, inclusion and social protection. Advocate UNESCO’s position/involvement and establish relevant guidelines as part of the provision of technical support. Advise peers, colleagues, partners and governments on policy formulation, programmes and projects and developments and best practices and emerging trends in areas of assignment. 

4. Ensure Partnerships, Networking, and Knowledge Management: Build and maintain strategic partnerships with a range of external partners on key thematic issues, and internal collaboration within and across UNESCO Divisions and Sectors. Lead, or co-lead, international partnerships and technical working groups to advance collaboration and effective production of evidence or programme guidance. Organize consultations and events to enhance the visibility of UNESCO technical and policy guidance, and ensure regular contributions and updates to global knowledge systems. Contribute to documentation and expansion of UNESCO projects and increase visibility, resources and partnerships for their effective implementation. 

5. Leadership and supervision: Lead on development of workplan, budget and monitoring for the colleagues working on school health, safe learning environment (ending violence in and through education) and mental health. Contribute to coordination and monitoring of work across the Section for Health and Education. Lead on recruitment and supervision of key staff, interns and consultants. 

6. Additional activities that may be required: Other tasks as may be assigned by the Chief of the Section and the Director of the Division, including analysis and feedback on internal or external documents, preparation of regular reports, briefings and other materials as may be necessary, act as interim for the Chief and represent the Section/Organisation when required, and collaborate with colleagues in cross-section activities. 

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)

Making quality decisions (M)

Managing performance (M)

Leading and empowering others (M)

Strategic thinking (M)



•   Advanced university degree (equivalent to Masters) in education, public health, international development, social sciences, or related field

Work Experience 

•    A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in the coordination of development programmes or project management in the area of Education and/or Health, policy/training, of which preferably 3 years are acquired at the international level and including an understanding of school health and its sub-themes;
•    Experience in the coordination of multidisciplinary or multi-partner programmes/projects.

•    Strong project management and analytical skills, result-oriented approach, and ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks, and familiarity with the use of theory of change and results framework;
•    Demonstrated ability to provide intellectual expertise on trends in global education and health; 

Skills and competencies

•    Good knowledge and understanding of the international development agenda, in particular in the field of health and education;
•    Excellent networking and partnership building skills;
•    Excellent drafting skills and proven experience of producing technical reports; 
•    Strong communication and presentation skills;
•    Excellent interpersonal skills,  tact and diplomacy;
•    Ability to multi-task, prioritize and deliver to deadline, as well as work under pressure.
•    Ability to work independently as well as in team environments;
•    Ability to work in a multicultural environment and team cooperation.


•    Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written).


•    Experience within the UN system, multilateral agencies or international corporations.

•    Ressource mobilization skills.
•    Working knowledge of French or other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Russian).


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