Programme Specialist (IOCAFRICA Secretariat)


Post Number : 6KEIOC0012RP

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Duty Station: Nairobi

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 29-JUL-2024


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the overall supervision of the IOC Head of Section for Marine Policy and Regional Coordination (IOC/MPR), and the direct supervision of the Head of the IOCAFRICA, and the administrative supervision of the Director, UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa (Nairobi), the incumbent will support the work of the Secretariat for the IOC Sub-Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA).


This is a unique opportunity for a motivated and experienced individual who wishes to further develop their career in programme management related to ocean sciences and regional coordination. 
In particular, the incumbent shall perform the following tasks:

  • Advance the work of IOC in the region by facilitating the development and implementation of programmes related to ocean research, sustained ocean observations and services, the development of science/policy interface, the generation of scientific knowledge to support sustainable ocean management and capacity development in the region.
  • Support the facilitation and coordination of regional activities in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development focusing on engagement of ocean stakeholders from science, policy, industry and civil society, the convening of regional task groups, supporting the design of Decade Actions, and identification of capacity development needs.
  • Exercise leadership and strategic thinking in developing, planning and implementing IOC programmes/ activities responding to the existing and emerging priority needs and specific interests of Member States in the region and support the implementation of IOCAFRICA workplan as defined by the Sub-Commission.
  • Build networks, foster collaborations, engage with technical experts and pursue resource mobilization opportunities with governments, other UN agencies, the research, development and donor communities, with a view to implementing IOC Medium-Term Strategy, the IOC Capacity Development Strategy and programmes in the region and contributing to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Contribute to the smooth functioning of the Regional Secretariat, provide operational support and capacity building within the Secretariat, such as training staff and developing standard operating procedures, coordinate with vendors, prepare and monitor the budget for the Sub-Commission including extrabudgetary contributions under the guidance of the Head of Secretariat, and in line with UNESCO’s policies and procedures.
  • Monitor programme progress, stay abreast of emerging trends and provide strategic insights for IOCAFRICA programme adaptation.
  • Support the Head of Secretariat in representing IOC, the Sub-Commission and UNESCO at the UN and other partner organizations’ intergovernmental and technical meetings, as appropriate.

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 in ocean science, marine policy, environmental science, ocean governance, integrated ocean management or related field.


Work Experience

  • Minimum of four (4) years of professional experience in the field of ocean science, and/or ocean management, of which preferably two (2) years acquired at the international level.
  • Working experience in coordinating, managing and implementing projects/programmes, and communication activities.
  • Capacity to design, integrate multi-disciplinary scientific inputs to deliver tools, new knowledge and technical capacities aimed at enhancing ocean sustainability actions of Member States.


Skills & Competencies

  • Strong analytical and conceptual skills and ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Forward-thinking mindset to contribute to the long-term vision of the organization.
  • Good knowledge of the UN wide system and the global development agenda and relevant UN processes relevant to the ocean.



  • Excellent knowledge of English and good working knowledge of French is an asset.
  • Knowledge of other UNESCO official languages (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian) is an asset.


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 95 476 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.