Share this Job

Call for Application : Strengthening Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Systems - Zimbabwe


Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Harare

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Consultancy

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 12-JULY-2022


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




1.    Background and Relevance

The global paradigm is rapidly changing towards a knowledge-based economy that has brought about changes in political systems and generated new partnerships across sectors and among actors. These changes increase the demand for science, technology and innovation (STI) systems to respond adequately to pressures of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature, and in relation to science diplomacy.

UNESCO and SIDA are implementing an initiative which aims at strengthening STI systems and governance in selected African countries with the objective of achieving the following impact: African societies create, curate and use scientific knowledge to make inclusive and evidenced-informed decisions, improving the quality of life and resilience of their citizens, and contributing to the achievement of SDGs 9.5, 16.6, 16.7, 17.6 and 17.18, the African Union 2063 Development Agenda (Aspirations, 1, 2 and 7) and STISA2024. The initiative will support actions in the six pilot countries including Zimbabwe to benchmark STI systems against the UNESCO 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (2017 RS|SR), to strengthen capacities to design policy responses in national priority areas and to monitor progress, and to establish a community of practice to underpin sustainable STI strengthening. 

The initiative benefits from lessons learned, established networks and results achieved in UNESCO’s portfolio of programmes that support STI systems in the natural, social and human sciences, as well as the technical approaches that they share. It benefits from initiatives such as the Global Observatory of STI Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN) in terms of its interactive online database; the STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) for inclusive and gender-equal STI systems; the UNESCO programme on the Management of Social Transformations (MOST); the UNESCO Bioethics and Ethics of Science Programme; and the coproduction of knowledge within national climate and biodiversity policies (Knowing our Changing Climate in Africa).

The UNESCO-SIDA project seeks to strengthen the current STI ecosystem in Zimbabwe through:

a.    Preliminary assessment and benchmarking of the national STI systems against the standards defined by the 2017 RS|SR and the AU Agenda 2063.
b.    Awareness raising of and commitment to the 2017 RS|SR and its 10 key areas among African governments and science institutions by targeted advocacy in support of its relevance to SDG challenges.
c.    Capacity strengthening of government officials, policy makers and researchers in-country to design inclusive STI policies that better implement the 2017 RS|SR and support the SDGs.
d.    Empowering the country to report in an inclusive and participatory manner on the implementation of the 2017 RS|SR.
e.    Policy advice and technical support provision to government officials and policy makers to facilitate development of Action Plans to strengthen their national and regional STI policies, governance of STI, and institutions in research and innovation.

Long Description


2.    Scope of Assignment

The Lead Consultant will perform the following tasks:
•    Lead a series, at least 3, of multi-stakeholder capacity strengthening workshops to review national research and innovation policies. Each workshop will include a pre- and post-event participant survey to assess participant learning and commitment to follow-up.
•    Develop a monitoring process and methodology tailored to the requirements of the RS|SR and taking full account of national circumstances, needs and priorities.
•    Develop training material in the form of guidelines, blueprints or manuals, to support the implementation of the monitoring process and methodology.
•    Lead a series, at least 3, of workshops in order to produce a national RS|SR monitoring report by effectively using the GO-SPIN platform, drawing on active multi-stakeholder participation
•    Develop a national benchmark for incremental policy enhancement identifying in particular: 
      o    key stakeholders, updating and supplementing the preliminary mapping in light of the capacity-building activities conducted; 
      o    activities required to further reinforce STI policy capacity, given the outcome of the national 2017 RS|SR reporting under; and 
      o    monitoring results relevant to the systematic co-design of a nationally relevant Action Plan to enhance 2017 RS|SR implementation over the 2022-25 monitoring cycle. 
•    Lead the hosting of a series of facilitation and consultation exercises regarding the development of a national Action Plan and appropriate and sustainable monitoring and evaluation frameworks, to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to build consensus on a way forward, and to create networks of support locally, nationally and internationally
•    Provide technical support for capacity strengthening initiatives, involving policy makers, the scientific community and other relevant actors, to design and adopt an Action Plan. This component should also include specific and measurable targets against well-identified components of the 2017 RS|SR.
•    Quality assurance and project level evaluation and monitoring for the implementation of the project in Zimbabwe to ensure strict quality standards for the outputs of each and that the project timelines are adhered to.
•    Drafting reports for workshops and trainings conducted as part of the project implementation
•    Manage the implementation of the project activities in line with the objectives of the project as well as government priorities and agenda. 

Long Description


3.    Deliverables

a.    Pre- and post-event participant surveys to assess participant learning and commitment to follow-up to the implementation of the programme.
b.    Monitoring process and methodology tailored to the requirements of the RS|SR, given the national context.
c.    Training materials in the form of guidelines, blueprints or manuals, to support the implementation of the monitoring process and methodology.
d.    Draft national benchmark for incremental policy enhancement focussing on key stakeholders, alignment with the RS|SR, activities required to further reinforce STI policy capacity and monitoring results relevant to the systematic co-design of a nationally relevant Action Plan.
e.    Reports for workshops and training sessions conducted as part of the project implementation 
f.    Monitoring and Evaluation reports
g.    Regular updates on the implementation of the project activities 

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.



4. Education

Master’s or PhD degree in Policy Development and Management or Natural Sciences, or equivalent.


5. Experience

At least 10 years relevant experience promoting Science, Technology and Innovation

Experience in policy development, implementation at national, regional and global level.


Demonstrable knowledge of the National STI ecosystem; SDGs, SADC Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation; AU Agenda 2063,STISA 2024 and UNESCO 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (2017 RS|SR).


6. Expression of Interest

Applications to be submitted through Success Factor application portal and attachments/documents i.e cover letter, CV and the budget to be submitted to   


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.