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Programme Specialist (Social and Human Sciences)


Post Number : SHS 385

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 16-JAN-2022


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




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 is responsible for ensuring the development and delivery of a wide spectrum of programme and project management initiatives from funding proposals to design to reporting. He/she advises, manages and reports on regular and extra-budgetary programme design, guidelines, resources and progress. He/she advocates organizational involvement and participation in mainstream social and human sciences activities and initiatives.


The incumbent works within the frameworks of UNESCO’s Medium Term Strategy (C/4s), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5) and global development plans such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Long Description

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Ensure intellectual leadership of the Futures Literacy workstream and global recognition leveraging from progress to date. Elevate the level of impact of impact and ambition and organise reflection and research at a highly advanced level, making contributions to the field through publications, presentations, and design of activities.
  • Document and systematize the knowledge linked to Futures Literacy and ensure UNESCO’s positioning in this field.
  • Enable UNESCO to deploy, advance and oversee the field of Futures Studies, including with the community of UNESCO Chairs in Futures Studies/Futures Literacy as well as other relevant networks that create and apply anticipatory systems and processes.
  • Direct the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of work plans and activities, ensuring the continuous optimization of resources, including additional extra-budgetary funding.
  • Provide administrative leadership to the Futures Literacy workstream, including the management of staff, consultants and interns assigned, identification of needs, selection of appropriate candidates, definition of priorities and agendas, and supervision of administrative processes (contracts, travel, publications, and reporting) to ensure effective delivery.
  • Facilitate UNESCO-wide integration of Futures Literacy into the activities of the organization and contribute to embedding Futures Literacy in the UN system by building a community of practice as per the mandate given by the UN High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCSP) to UNESCO to lead the HLCP Foresight Network.

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)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (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 (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of social and human sciences, with specialization in futures studies.


Work Experience

  • Minimum 7 years of progressive relevant professional experience in the area of futures studies of which preferably 4 years acquired at the international level.
  • Experience in designing, implementing, and coordinating strategies, programmes and activities related to capacity-building in the area of futures studies.
  • Proven track record in fund-raising and other resource mobilization mechanisms.

Long Description

Skills and competencies

  • Recognized scientific writing and critical thinking competencies.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with national/local authorities, relevant institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including through networking.
  • Proven ability in programme management, including the monitoring and reporting of programme activities and related financial and substantive aspects.
  • 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.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.



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




  • PhD in relevant field of specialization.


Work Experience

  • Professional experience in the United Nations System or other multilateral organizations and/or in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral settings/cooperation and development.



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


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 full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


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 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 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.