UNESCO is looking for Senior programme specialist (Education)

UNESCO is looking for Senior programme specialist (Education)

  • Organization: UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional – Internationally recruited position – Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2018-03-09

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Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education, the direct supervision of the Director of the UNESCO Nairobi Office, the incumbent will lead the design, coordination, execution and evaluation of the education programme and projects of UNESCO Nairobi Multi-sectoral Regional Office for East Africa, and play a significant role in policy and strategy direction, development and integration and resource optimization.

The incumbent also serves as a team leader, with the direct supervision of professional education staff of the Regional, National and Antenna offices, providing advice on the most appropriate way to integrate regional, sub-regional and country concerns in UNESCO’s strategies, policies, programmes and projects in the field of education. In addition, the incumbent will be responsible for the following areas\:


Provide the strategic and operational leadership for the education team. Design and implement policy research and capacity development programmes in education; Lead collaborative efforts to develop sound working tools and viable project outcomes that address national priorities.

Programme Design and Management

Supervise and coordinate the conceptualization, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education sector-wide activities in collaboration with and at the request of the national authorities and other stakeholders in the country, such as the Capacity Development for Education 2030 (CapED) project, and large-scale extra-budgetary projects on education, etc.

Translate work plans and priorities into programmes and projects.

Representation, Policy Advice, Knowledge and Expertise Exchange

Participate pro-actively in Development Partner Education Working Groups, such as the UNDAF process and provide authoritative substantial inputs to their work;  Establish and  pursue alliances on cross-organizational and inter-disciplinary work and  develop working frameworks and systemic approaches to increase capacity;

Develop policies and innovative strategies; Ensure effective consultation and collaboration with national offices and antennas in policy and technical support to Member States, particularly in the field of strategic policy formulation, planning and management.

Represent UNESCO at national events as well as UN and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) coordination mechanisms, including the United Nations Country Team for Kenya.

Administrative Management and Staff Development

Supervise and motivate the education team – set objectives, monitor and evaluate performance, provide guidance and ensure the staff members’ continuous learning and professional development.

Oversee the management of budgets.

Resource Mobilization

Lead the strengthening of partnerships with external organizations, such as UN agencies, international/regional organizations, multinational and bilateral agencies, universities, research institutes, NGO/s Civil SocietyOrganisations (CSOs) as well as private sector to support national policy formulation and review and the development of national education strategies and plans.

Ensure the diversification of resources for education projects and programmes, including proactive fund mobilization.



Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in education, social sciences or related fields.

Work Experience

Minimum 10 years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of education, of which at least 5 years acquired at international level and at least 3 years at national level.

Proven experience in development, implementation and evaluation of programs/projects related to education.

Demonstrated experience in effective management of staff and teams.


Strong analytical and organizational skills, including the ability to establish plans and priorities as well as implementing them effectively.

Proven ability to communicate, advocate and negotiate with staff and stakeholders at all levels within and outside the Organization.

Excellent judgment and decision-making abilities; strong sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness.

Proven ability to lead and motivate teams and staff and to maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural environment.

Demonstrated fund-raising and resource mobilization skills.

Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly and concisely in English and French.

Good IT skills including knowledge of office software (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.).


Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken) and good knowledge of French.


Specialization in educational development, education planning and management.

Work Experience

Experience in education sector policy and planning.

Work experience in management of a multi-sectoral team.


Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the UN system.

Good knowledge of and/or work experience in the Africa region.


Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish)

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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