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Project Officer, Documentalist


Post Number : 1CHEDPA014IB

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Geneva

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 06-DEC-2021


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


Duration of contract: 1 year with possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance.




As a specialized Category 1 Institute, the International Bureau of Education (IBE) is an integral part of UNESCO and enjoys considerable autonomy. It is the International Centre of Excellence in Curriculum and Learning and is valued for its specialist knowledge, expertise and networks, and for providing curriculum support services that include up-to-date, evidence-based information and technical assistance to UNESCO Member States.

The IBE Documentation Center is home to one of the most significant historical libraries of textbooks in the world. It is also home to its invaluable historical archives collection (1925-1969). The IBE is looking for an experienced documentalist, with ample hands-on experience of digitization projects, preferably in an international organizations context.


The incumbent should articulate, develop, and implement a vision for the Documentation Center’s sustainable future. (S)he will build strong relationships with International Geneva, community partners, and education research institutions that deepen both collection and community knowledge, promote learning and wellbeing through inspiring and creative engagement with culture and heritage, and affect positive societal change.  


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED), and the direct supervision of the Director of the IBE, the incumbent will :

Long Description

     Implement a Three-Year Action Plan for the IBE Digitization Project:

  • Serve as the Project Manager for the IBE Digitization Project: provide development, implementation, and evaluation of the digitization project; monitor and analyse project development and implementation; analyse and establish project workflows, processes, and tasks for pre- and post-digitization teams, with an emphasis on adherence to accepted international archival standards on physical and digital preservation, and archival description and indexing, including International Standard for Archival Description (General), ISAD(G) and International Standard Archival Authority Record (Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families), ISAAR(CPF).
  • Support day-to-day digitization work, including: design and supervise workflows, ensure smooth processes and materials preparations; review files and metadata, analysing content of documents to be described, extract information useful for historic research; ensure that correct international archiving standards are adhered to; enter data into the archives management system according to the archival description standard, prepare database to go live, etc.
  • Research, analyse, and evaluate new applications of information technology to archives and records management and makes recommendations for their deployment.
  • Participate in archives digitization improvement projects, contributing to feasibility studies, systems analysis, design, development and implementation and in the evaluation and testing of archives application improvements and new systems; provide user support.
  • Develop programs of outreach, including presentations appropriate to various client audience; publicity materials to facilitate outreach; on-site and virtual exhibitions.
  • Provide advisory services on archives digitization practices, including: needs process analysis; organization and maintenance of information assets; records preservation and disposition; and information management policies and procedures, with an emphasis on technological applications.


Long Description

     Management of the Archives and Documentation Center:

  • Manage the publications database, archives, and images.
  • Update the archive data and inventory.
  • Assist researchers and respond to information requests.
  • Define and implement a documentation and development policy (acquisition, partnerships).
  • Define an archiving policy and provide guidelines for the IBE on archiving procedures.
  • Develop training materials and user manuals; train staff in use of the archives systems assigned.
  • Understand, keep current with, and apply preservation techniques and strategies for records in all media. Ensure that the IBE’s storage facilities meet environmental standards.
  • Manage archival processing activities by overseeing adherence to preservation, international bibliographic, description and database standards; produce descriptive inventories; prepare mark-up of descriptive inventories for electronic dissemination; and make recommendations regarding the planning and prioritization of preservation and description program requirements.
  • Evaluate adequacy of existing archives management and reference tools. Implement new technologies in information management to ensure that tools developed for efficient access to information are accessible to staff throughout the Organization.
  • Participate in developing client outreach strategies and in their implementation. Conduct programs of outreach and user education to improve client use of desktop information resources.

Long Description

     General Tasks:

  • Support publications, articles, reports, and other IBE documents related to the Documentation Center activities.
  • Develop information products (alerts, digests, etc.).
  • Enrich the online IBE Collection of Curricular Resources.
  • Assist in program administration, including provision of assistance to or supervision of contractual employees and General Service staff, formulation of consultant and institutional contracts and subsequent implementation, development of the program budget.
  • Performs other related duties, 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)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in archival science, information science, information systems, or related field.  


Work Experience

  • A minimum of 4 years of progressively responsible experience in modern archives management, record keeping, library, information management or related area, of which preferably at least 2 years of experience acquired in an international context.
  • Experience in the administration of an Archives Management System, archival indexing and description standards, such as ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF).
  • Experience of working with delicate and historical materials.

Skills and competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of information management, archives, digitization of archives, record keeping, and record disposition.
  • Excellent knowledge of electronic data maintenance, including appraisal, conservation and migration management; archives preservation and description. Sound knowledge of physical preservation standards and best practices for historical archives materials.
  • Excellent knowledge of archival indexing and description standards, such as ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF). Demonstrated knowledge of history and archives of the Interwar Era. Knowledge of digital preservation and related standards, including OAIS, PREMIS, METS, and Trusted Digital Repositories.
  • Ability to conduct research and provide recommendations on information management trends. Ability to demonstrate conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills and conduct independent research and analysis, identifying and assessing issues, formulating options and making conclusions and recommendations. Demonstrated professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Flexible, upbeat attitude to the job, willingness to learn, and enjoying working with a like-minded team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment.
  • Strong IT skills, including knowledge of MS software (Word, Excel etc.).



  • Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written) and good knowledge of French.



Work Experience

  • Experience in working with UN partners, including UNESCO National Commissions, Ministries of Education, UN agencies, inter-governmental organizations, development banks, teacher education and higher education institutions, and civil society organisations on similar teacher education reform projects.


Skills and competencies

  • Knowledge of UNESCO’s education conventions and global priorities and UN administrative procedures;



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/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.

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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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.