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Head of Section (Research and Innovation in Monitoring Education) [Re-advertisement]


Post Number : 1CAUIS0076PA

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)

Duty Station: Montreal

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 20-APR-2023 (EXTENDED)


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


Duration of contract: initially 2 years, with possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance.



The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)  produces data to fuel the policies and investments needed to transform lives and propel the world towards its development goals. Providing statistical and technical inputs for global, regional and funding mechanisms for education, the UIS enables the work of the UN Transforming Education Summit, the Global Education Cooperation Mechanism (GCM), G7, G20, etc. The UIS meets data needs for emerging priorities, for example, most recently, tracking and monitoring impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education worldwide. The UIS maintains the most comprehensive education statistics database in the world – the official source of data of the UN system, used for various purposes, including for the SDG monitoring.

Established in 1999, the UIS serves as UNESCO’s statistical agency.  The UIS is focused on delivering cross-nationally comparable data for global, regional and development agendas, covering the fields of education, science, culture, and communication and information. The UIS assures the technical support for Member States to produce transformative data based on the 3 pillars (Standards and methodologies; Data production; Brokerage and outreach). The UIS vision, described in its 2022-2029 Medium Term strategy, is to serve the needs of Member States, ensuring that their policies and decision-making are informed by sound statistical information, that they can benchmark progress towards national and international goals, and learn from the experience of others.

The UIS is seeking to build a new senior staff management team that will lead the successful implementation of that vision, enabling the UIS's further transformation to remain relevant, innovative, and agile in the constantly changing global environment.

Under the overall authority and supervision of the Director of UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the Head of Section (Research and Innovation in Monitoring Education) will contribute substantially to the concept, utilization, design, implementation, and quality assurance of all the UIS education statistics, including via the use of alternative data sources and other innovation. The successful candidate will be part of the UIS senior staff management team, playing a key role in developing the public profile of the institution’s knowledge, work and outreach to a broad range of external stakeholders.

Main Responsibilities and tasks

Main responsibilities and tasks


1. Technical oversight on data production of non-administrative data 

  • Lead the section including setting goals and providing the leadership to deliver high quality data using multiple strategies and sources for household and learning data.
  • Provide guidance to the UIS Director/UNESCO Chief Statistician on the conceptual development and implementation of the strategies regarding data innovation in education.
  • Review and manage updates to data governance, protection, and security requirements. 
  • Oversee the preparation of the business analytics for the data release and to support UIS’s knowledge work, technical assistance and policy dialogue with partners and Member States.
  • Advocate for methodological coherence though the harmonization of statistics from different sources, develop and support a methodological program of work.
  • Initiate and introduce necessary changes to ensure the section activities respond to current and emerging data needs.


2. Data management and dissemination

  • Lead the integration of UIS databases in education and their dissemination.
  • Develop analytical and dissemination capacity and products to promote the integration of data and statistics output into the work of key stakeholders and Member States. 
  • Oversee the preparation of the statistics for the data releases and to support UIS’s knowledge work, technical assistance and policy dialogue with partners and Member States.
  • Introduce innovative approaches in compiling, managing and disseminating data.
  • Maintains the Global Education Observatory (GEO) and coordinate the GEO 2.0 implementation and operation.

3. Global and regional governance 

  • Build and maintain partnerships with technical and multilateral partners, bilateral donors (and their programmes), and academic institutions to ensure alignment with major initiatives in statistics in education.
  • Support the UIS roles in SDG4 indicator governance mechanisms, taskforces and working groups.
  • Provide the secretariat to the Technical Cooperation Group for SDG 4 indicators (TCG) and co-lead the Global Alliance to Monitoring Learning (GAML).
  • Prepare the technical inputs and carry the preparatory work in support of the UIS coordination in the global education architecture and within UN. 

Long Description

4. People and talent management 

  • Ensure the section is strategically staffed for effective delivery as defined in the work programme.
  • Manage, mentor, guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision.
  • Build and maintain a network of experts and institutions to support the UIS’s data collection, methodological research and data management and dissemination processes.


5. Contribution to UIS Core work

  • Carry out the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance.
  • Lead resource mobilization and develop funding mechanisms for the section in accordance with the Institute’s strategy and work programme. 
  • Contribute to the UIS reporting, including the preparation of documents for UIS and UNESCO governing bodies; and for other internal and external stakeholder including donors and development partners.
  • Perform additional activities required in support of the UIS mandate and to ensure the success of the team’s work programme.

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)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • Advanced university degree (PhD degree or equivalent) in statistics, economics, mathematics, education or social sciences with a substantial applied statistics / data sciences component.  


Work experience

  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience as a statistician working with administrative, finance, survey, and/or assessment data relating to education, especially with developing countries, of which at least five years is at international level either within a UN or similar agency or in a Government Ministry or agency. 
  • Experience of working as a statistician, researcher or analyst on programmes or activities in the field of education statistics.
  • Experience in designing, managing, and implementing projects and programme activities pertaining to effective collection of education data.  
  • Experience in researching and introducing innovative methods and approaches.




  • Excellent skills with statistical programmes.
  • Ability to manage and communicate data warehouse plans to internal clients. 
  • Ability to convey complex / difficult data science topics to clients in a relatable manner. 
  • Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others.
  • High degree of diplomacy, discretion with proven ability to function under uncertainties.
  • Ability to think strategically and to design long term plans in line with the strategic priorities.
  • Shows track record in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Good leadership and ability to attract, motivate and retain high quality professional staff
  • Demonstrated capability to plan and manage projects.
  • Ability to manage an effective and collaborative team in a multicultural environment.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English.




Work experience

  • Extensive and in-depth experience on statistical work in developing countries with National Statistical Offices or Planning Units.
  • Experience working on/in countries in Africa.
  • Experience in the UN system or a similar agency. 
  • Experience in partnership development and resource mobilisation.
  • Record of publications based on quantitative education data analysis and / or statistical modelling.



  • Good knowledge of French.


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 116,720 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.