Call for application Risk assessment consultant


Parent Sector : Sector For Administration and Management (ADM)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Management/Audit/Oversight

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-OCT-2023


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




Background and Introduction


In the pursuit of its global mission to promote peace, cultural diversity, education, and sustainable development, UNESCO undertakes a multitude of projects across various countries and domains. However, the complexity of these projects, often conducted in diverse and challenging environments, brings forth a range of potential risks that can impact the achievement of its objectives.


UNESCO is seeking to establish a roster of qualified consultants to conduct risk assessments. These assessments will encompass a comprehensive analysis of project-related and operational risks. The roster of potential consultants will be updated on a constant basis. The timeline of a consultancy will be determined by its complexity and specific needs. The consultant's expertise will be instrumental in identifying potential risks, recommending mitigation strategies, and ensuring UNESCO’s operations are in line with its corporate policies and procedures.


The consultant will report directly to the Chief of the Risk, Compliance and Policy Unit, within the Executive Office of the Sector for Administration and Management and will provide regular updates on the progress of the assessments.

Long Description



The main objectives of this consultancy are as follows:

  • To conduct thorough risk assessments of projects undertaken by UNESCO.
  • To assess all potential risks of a UNESCO office and of high value projects, with a particular emphasis on environmental and social risks, identifying potential negative impacts and proposing measures to mitigate or manage them in line with the Organization’s risk appetite.
  • To collaborate with relevant project teams, stakeholders, and partners to ensure a comprehensive understanding of project goals, contexts, and potential risks.
  • To provide actionable recommendations to enhance project designs and implementation strategies.
  • To deliver well-structured reports that outline risk assessment findings, proposed mitigation strategies, and recommendations for each project assessed.

Long Description

Scope of work


The consultant's scope of work shall include, but is not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Reviewing project documentation, including project proposals, due diligence reports.
  • Reviewing risk registers of UNESCO offices (around 80) in line with its Enterprise Risk Management Policy, thereby taking into account audit/evaluation reports, control self-assessment exercises, lessons learned, etc.
  • Conducting site visits or remote assessments, as necessary, to gain firsthand understanding of project and operational contexts and potential risks.
  • Identifying and analyzing environmental and social risks, including but not limited to biodiversity impacts, community displacement, cultural heritage preservation, labor rights, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Collaborating and assisting HQ/field offices and project teams and stakeholders to gather insights, address concerns, and incorporate local knowledge into risk assessments.
  • Ensuring alignment with UNESCO’s policies and practices, international environmental and social standards, guidelines, and regulations.
  • Developing risk assessment reports for each project, outlining potential risks, severity levels, and recommended mitigation strategies.
  • Presenting findings and recommendations to relevant project teams and office management, incorporating feedback before finalizing reports.

Long Description



The consultant(s) shall provide the following deliverables:

  • Detailed risk assessment reports for each assessed project, including a description of identified risks, their potential impacts, and proposed mitigation measures.
  • A summary presentation outlining key findings, recommendations, and mitigation strategies.
  • Completed risk registers.

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.


The ideal consultant should possess the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated expertise in risk assessments, particularly for international projects, preferably with a focus on environmental and social aspects.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to identify potential risks and impacts in complex project scenarios and operational environments.
  • Advanced university degree in ethics and compliance, business management, accounting, finance, economics, law, international relations or other related field. Specific technical experience may be an asset.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and strong inter-personal skills for effective collaboration with diverse stakeholders and the preparation of comprehensive reports. Good knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UNESCO official language (French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian).


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.