Programme Assistant
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Closed on 11 Aug 2020
Location: Paris (France)
Grade: G-5, General Support
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Job Description

Post Number : SHS/PA/027

Grade : G-5

Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: General Administrative Support

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 11-AUG-2020

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

Long Description


(Duration of contract: 1 year with possibility of extension subject to availibility of funds and performance).


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (ADG/SHS), and direct supervision of the Chief of Research, Policy and Foresight Section, and the Programme Specialist in charge of the Silk Roads Programme, the incumbent shall perform a full range of administrative and communication support tasks for the smooth and efficient organization and delivery of the Management of Social Transformations and the Silk Roads Programmes.
In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Support the daily implementation of the Silk Roads Programmes and MOST;
  • Analyze, register and distribute incoming correspondence and other documents and propose follow-up actions to the supervisor's approval; establish deadlines for required action or reply; prepare correspondence and answer requests for information on programmes and activities, including relevant documentation; review correspondence and other documents prepared in English and/or French for the signature of the Social and Human Sciences Sector Management team;
  • Provide administrative and organizational support for meetings and events organized in the framework of the programmes including all aspects of logistical arrangements and follow up: create/consolidate, update and maintain large lists and databases; process requests for translation and coordinate the delivery of translation services, prepare correspondence and assemble documents for these meetings/missions;
  • Support the communication and outreach activities of the Silk Roads and MOST programmes in English and French, and in coordination with SHS communication officer; assist in production of promotional materials of the MOST and Silk Roads Programmes; support the editorial work of the Silk Roads Online Platform; assist in communication campaign of the "Silk Roads Youth Research Grant" and the "Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest";
  • Support the coordination with the programmes’ partners, governmental bodies, academic entities and other stakeholders;
  • Provide guidance to other support staff within the section and to new employees on UNESCO policies, procedures and practices related to administrative matters, on the preparation and handling of documents and correspondence, the relations with Member States and other Partners, the organization of statutory and other meetings and missions, and on the various editorial issues related to the programmes.
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.


  • Completed secondary education, technical or vocational education.

Work experience

  • Minimum of five (5) years of administrative and secretarial support working experience.
  • Proven experience in the field of communication and outreach.

Skills and competencies

  • Very good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent drafting skills.
  • Attention to detail and meticulous in correspondence.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and to provide quality and timely support and services.
  • Flexibility to adjust work schedules and priorities.
  • Capacity to work effectively under pressure.
  • Very good IT skills (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.).


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

Work experience

  • Relevant experience in an international environment/organization/institution.
  • Familiarity with the UN system.

Skills and competencies

  • Knowledge of UNESCO's rules and administration.


  • Good knowledge (spoken and written) of 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 more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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.


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

UNESCO develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO strengthens bonds among nations. UNESCO fosters scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and manages programmes that foster the free flow of ideas and knowledge sharing.

As a specialized agency and knowledge-based organization, UNESCO depends on highly skilled, committed professionals. Given the ambitious and exciting challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our expertise and global presence in the fields of Education, the Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information, is more relevant than ever.  Geographically diverse and gender-balanced, UNESCO is committed to having a competent, motivated and dedicated workforce that acts with the highest integrity and is empowered to support UNESCO’s capacity to deliver on the sustainable development goals.