Programme Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Paris, France
  • Oct 16, 2022

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The focus of the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) at UNESCO is to foster inclusive societies, by prioritizing policies that benefit those at the bottom of the income distribution, and those that have been most affected by crisis.

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), guidance from the Director for Partnerships and Outreach and direct supervision of the Chief of Section, the incumbent in this role is responsible for the UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformation (MOST) programme, focused on major trends affecting societies (inequalities, environmental, digital) and promoting inclusive societies.

More specifically, the incumbent will be expected to: 

  • Maximize the contributions of the MOST program to Member State policies, promoting knowledge creation, brokering, capacity-building, and dissemination within the MOST Comprehensive Strategy 2022-2029, linking with leading institutions and experts within the pillars and thematic priorities of the MOST programme.
  • Promote integrated social science analytical frameworks, and innovative methodologies to improve understanding of the complex interaction contributing to different trends in our societies. S/he will advance and oversee research contributing to the MOST programme, including in partnership with different institutions linked to the program.
  • Design and implement spaces for intergovernmental knowledge-policy dialogue, creation and exchange, enabling Member States to share knowledge-informed agendas and define action modalities to fulfil them, for example, through MOST Ministerial Forums and high-level initiatives at leading global forums such as World Sciences Forum and COP 27, among others.
  • Advance the Inclusive Policy Lab which crowdsources knowledge and translates it into inequality-reducing policies using an online platform and a network of in-country projects.
  • Under the guidance of Executive Secretary of MOST, coordinate secretariat services for the sessions of the Intergovernmental Council and meetings of its Bureau and the SAC based on the Statutes and Rules of Procedure of MOST, and document and maintain the digital and shared institutional memory of the MOST programme.
  • Lead and coordinate programme planning, budgeting, commissioning and contracting, activity implementation, monitoring and evaluation and reporting for activities under the MOST strategy. Mobilize resources for programmes and projects and coordinate funding initiatives. Prepare briefings, statements, reports for formal reporting as required. Perform any other relevant duties that may be required by the senior management of the sector.
  • Advance the implementation of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy (C/4s), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5), the MOST Comprehensive Strategy 2022-2029, and global development plans such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Work to advance gender equality and introduce gender approaches in the analytical work.
  • Support the mobilizing of funds to deliver.

Required Qualifications


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of Social and Human sciences.
  • Expertise in social policy and particularly major trends affecting societies (inequalities, environmental, digital) and/or promoting inclusive societies.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive professional experience relevant to social sciences research, social policy and social transformation of which preferably 3 years have been acquired at the international level.
  • Experience in managing intergovernmental processes and secretariats, and designing, implementing, and coordinating strategies, programmes and activities related to social transformation and research.
  • Proven track record in fund-raising and other resource mobilization mechanisms.

Skills and competencies 

  • Recognized scientific research, publication, writing and critical thinking competencies.
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills, and project management, along with resource mobilization.
  • Proven ability in programme management, including the monitoring and reporting of programme activities and related financial and substantive aspects.
  • Leadership and expertise, including the ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with national and international authorities, academic and non-government institutions, intergovernmental organizations, including through networking.
  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to participate effectively in high-level negotiations with internal and external partners.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare and present findings and recommendations on issues clearly and concisely.


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


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