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Programme Specialist (Education)


Post Number : ED 018

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 4-AVR-2020


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED), the guidance from the Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems and the direct supervision from the Chief of Section of Education Policy, the incumbent will serve as Programme Specialist for UNESCO’s activities on sector-wide education policies and strategies aiming to strengthen the relevance and coherence of education systems in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG4)-Education 2030 agenda and the fulfilment of the right to education in Member States. The incumbent will carry out policy research on education and learning systems, stimulate global debate on lifelong learning, international finance and development cooperation and advise on innovative solutions and financing for effective and efficient implementation of legal, policy and planning frameworks from a lifelong learning perspective.



In particular, the incumbent will be expected to perform the following activities:


1. Policy research and knowledge generation:

  • Design and organize research and analytical work on sector-wide education policies and strategies, including emerging economic and financial educational issues such as free access to education, social and economic returns of education and learning, sustainable financing of infrastructure including digital technologies in education and learning, governance and financing lifelong learning and lifelong learning entitlements.
  • Plan, develop and implement knowledge generation activities in areas of international cooperation, finance and aid architecture in the context of the SDG4 – Education 2030 framework.
Long Description

2. Policy dialogue, networking and clearinghouse function:

  • Advise, plan and organize consultations, deliberations and partnerships on innovative approaches and solutions to achieving SDG4 as well as ways and means to strengthen global cooperation and international financing to support effective implementation.
  • Identify knowledge management gaps in areas of sector-wide education policies, planning and costing and propose necessary action for implementation.



3. Technical advice and capacity development:

• Provide advice, capacity building and advocacy on innovative and effective approaches and investment options to advance right to education and system alignment for better learning outcomes and to implement education sector policies and plans.

• Organize and provide policy advocacy, technical support and capacity development activities to promote relevant and effective policies, practices, tools and/or solutions towards lifelong and life-wide learning systems and better alignment between education, training and employment in Member States.


4. Pursue and maintain high quality synergies with other UNESCO entities, strategic partnerships and mobilize resources to advance UNESCO programmatic work related to sector-wide education policies and planning and lifelong learning system development.

Long Description
Long Description
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Driving and managing change (M)
Building partnerships (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 (Masters or equivalent) in Economics of Education, International Finance, Economics of Development or related fields.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of economics of education, financing and governance of education and lifelong learning, of which 3 years is acquired at international level.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing, managing, monitoring and evaluating education projects/programmes.
  • Proven experience in fundraising and resource mobilization.
  • Experience in outreach activities and partnerships/network building.

Skills and competencies

  • Proven capacity to produce high-quality and policy-oriented analytical reports and recommendations from a range of quantitative and qualitative data, and to link evidence to policy recommendations.
  • Ability to manage, supervise and motivate staff and teams.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills; ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks.
  • Ability to work in a team and to maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Data and information technology management skills.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good working knowledge of the other.

Work Experience

  • Experience with government and/or financing authorities at different levels and with international and regional development/coordination mechanisms. 
  • Experience in designing and fostering innovative financing and investment schemes and strategies in education and learning.


Skills and competencies

  • Familiarity with data science (programming, data visualization and using survey data for machine and deep learning).



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

Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.


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 more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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 strictest confidence. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts. UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.