Programme Specialist (Education

Job Description


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Recruitment open to :  Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) :  15-MAR-2021

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) and the direct supervision of the Director of the UNESCO New Delhi Office, the incumbent, will be responsible for leading the Education Programme through policy development, coordination and implementation of all related activities and projects in line with the established priorities. The incumbent works within the frameworks of UNESCO’s Medium Term Strategy (C/4s), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5) and contributes to the implementation of the Education Sector Strategy, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 4 – Quality Education (SDG 4). Within this context, the incumbent will perform the following duties:

Long Description

1. Programme design, management and assessment:
• Design, coordinate and monitor the implementation of activities and projects within the framework of UNESCO's Medium Term Strategy (C/4), and the Approved Programme and Budget (C/5), in addition to global development plans, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whilst ensuring their consistency with the national priorities of the Member States.
• Conceptualize and execute technical assistance and capacity development of education projects and provide intellectual and strategic advice on the preparation of country level co-operation plans. 
• Mobilize resources to support the Sub-Regional Education Programmes and the advancement of the national education system in the cluster countries, through the preparation of project proposals and diligent negotiation with donor agencies and other partners in South Asia.
• Participate in joint UN programming activities related to education and pursue and maintain strategic partnerships to promote the technical contribution of UNESCO to the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and related UN Country Team working groups in an effort to advance programmatic work and visibility for the Organization.
• Act as Chief of the Education Unit of the Office and ensure the efficient execution of budgetary resources allocated to the Education portfolio, and provide guidance, technical backstopping, supervision and capacity development to its staff members.
• Undertake regular monitoring and evaluation of and report on regular programme activities and extra-budgetary projects related to improve the quality and relevance of education.

2. Policy advice:

• Provide specialized advice, technical support and backstopping, to prepare and implement programmes (Regular Program and Extra Budgetary) along with relevant research and analytical work.
• Advocate for and engage in policy dialogue with education authorities and other stakeholders for the countries covered by the UNESCO Office in New Delhi, Cluster Office for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

3. Networking, Communication, Knowledge Management and Partnerships:
• Mobilize and coordinate with partners and organize consultations and capacity development activities in the fields of Education programme.
• Leverage relationships within and across teams at UNESCO while building external partnerships to promote UNESCO programmes, projects well as to increase visibility, resources and partnership.
• Coordinate and ensure synergies with public and private partners, Regional Economic Communities, UNCTs, research institutions, multi and bilateral agencies and civil society organizations for the promotion of quality and relevant education in the region.

4. Resource mobilization:
• Contribute to the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive communication and resource mobilisation strategy with particular reference to the assets, potential and outreach of the team under his/her supervision.
• Mobilize extra budgetary resources in line with country policy priorities and UNESCO’s overall resource mobilization strategies.

5. Project, Activities and Team Member Management, Assessment and evaluation:
• Supervise, manage and lead a multi-disciplinary team of staff and experts to respond the requests of Member States in issues related to quality and relevance of education in a timely and effective manner.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)

Accountability (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in the field of education, economics, social science, development studies or related fields. 
  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible, relevant professional experience in the field of education of which preferably 3 years acquired at the international level. 
  • Proven experience in designing, implementation and monitoring education policies, strategies and programmes.
  • Experience working with government counterparts and organized education stakeholders.
  • Proven experience in education research, evaluation and data-driven reporting.
  • Experience in fundraising and resource mobilization.
  • Deep knowledge of issues and challenges in education systems in Asia and the Pacific region.
  • Proven ability to draft high quality, clear, concise, evidence-driven documents and reports.
  • Demonstratred skills in the negotiation and effective engagement with development partners and donors. 
  • Excellent coordination, interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills. 
  • Demonstrated leadership, management and organisational skills. 
  • Ability to manage multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Flexibility, adaptability and capacity to deal with uncertainty and change.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English.



Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).


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’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.

UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment