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Project Officer

Project Officer

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Level : Level 5

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-JAN-2022


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




Within the framework of the UNESCO Programme and Budget 2021— 2022 (41 C/5) and of the IX phase of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme, and in line with the activities of the Section on Groundwater Systems and Settlements (GSS), the Division of Water Sciences of UNESCO will be engaged, between October 2021 and March 2023, in a series of activities that will lead to the organization of the Groundwater Summit (December 2022, Paris) and the participation to the UN Conference on the Water Action Decade (March 2023, New York). 

Within this context, UNESCO is looking for a senior expert that will support, as Project Officer, the Division of Water Sciences with the planning, organization, execution and reporting of the activities that will lead to the Groundwater Summit (December 2022, Paris) and the UN Conference on the Water Action Decade (March 2023, New York).

Long Description

Overview of the function of the post 

Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Division Water Sciences (HYD), and the direct supervision of the Chief of Section on Groundwater Systems and Settlements (GSS), and in close cooperation with the Programme Specialists of the GSS section and other two sections, the Project Officer will carry out the following duties:

•    Provide advice on how to improve outreach, visibility and impact of UNESCO, in the framework of the activities that will lead to the Groundwater Summit (December 2022, Paris) and in general to the UN Conference on the Water Action Decade (March 2023, New York).
•    Provide strategic advice to the HYD/GSS section and the division in general in the organization/participation in the following events. For these events, the incumbent will plan, organize and attend preparatory meetings, prepare concept notes, draft agendas, power points and final reports.
     o    World Water Day 2022 (March 2022)
     o    9th World Water Forum (March 2022)
     o    2nd International High-Level Conference on International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028
     o    World Water Week 2022 (September 2022)
     o    Other related events of the division in relation to the preparation of the UN Water conference 2023
•    Provide strategic advice for the planning, organization, execution and reporting of the Groundwater summit, that will be organized by UNESCO and IGRAC, on behalf of UN-Water, in UNESCO, Paris, in December 2022. In particular, the incumbent will organize preparatory meetings (in UNESCO0, prepare concept notes, draft agendas, power points and final reports
•    Provide advice and support for the participation of UNESCO/HYD/GSS and the division at the whole in the UN Conference on the Water Action Decade (March 2023, New York).
•    In liaison with HYD communication officers, support the preparation of communications material for the events listed above and for the UN water conference 2023.
•    Enhance coordination with UNESCO field offices, Category 2 Centres and Chairs (UNESCO Water Family), to ensure a coordinated approach in the organization and participation in the events listed above.
•    Ensure that HYD/GSS results of all groundwater-related activities are adequately streamlined into the events listed above.
•    Mobilize and engage relevant stakeholders, including national and regional experts and government bodies, to support the activities listed above.


During the assignment period, the Project Officer shall work full-time at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

UNESCO may assign additional tasks to the contract holder, provided that these tasks are consistent with the functions set out above.

Long Description

Long Description

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


•    MsC in engineering, natural resources management or closely related topic.

•    Minimum 10 years of relevant working experience in organizing conferences, workshops and trainings.
•    Proven experience in conceptualizing and drafting reports and concept notes.
•    Working experience in an international/intergovernmental setting (United National, World Bank, EU).
•    Proven working experience in freshwater related area.

•    Excellent interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy.
•    Ability to maintain effective working relations within a multicultural environment.
•    Close attention to detail and quality of work.
•    Ability to collect, consolidate, synthesize and analyses information from various sources.
•    Excellent project management and coordination skills, including organizing international seminars and conferences.
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills, including ability to draft, edit and produce reports on relevant issues.
•    Strong IT skills, including with Microsoft Office software. 
•    Familiarity with actors active in the global water arena (UN-Water, UN agencies, World Water Council) and with Major global events (World Water Week, World Water Forum, etc.).

•    Excellent knowledge of English or French (oral & written) and good knowledge of the other language. 


•    Previous working experience with UNESCO would be an asset.

•    Knowledge of Spanish would be an asset. 


The remuneration paid to the service contract (SC) holder is not exempt from any income taxes which may be levied by the French tax authorities. The SC Holder is affiliated to the French social security scheme (Régime général de la sécurité sociale et des prestations familiales). Consequently, the employees’ social contributions to this scheme will be deducted from the gross remuneration paid by the Organization. UNESCO is not subject to the French unemployment scheme (UNEDIC – Pôle Emploi) and complementary retirement schemes (Retraite complémentaire Agirc/Arrco).

Please note that UNESCO is a no-smoking Organization.

Only candidates resident in France with a valid work permit, or nationals from the European Union, may apply for this post


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 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”.