Learning & Development Consultant
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Closed on 7 Aug 2020
Location: Paris (France)
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Job Description

Parent Sector : Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Human Resources

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-AUG-2020

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


The Consultant will work under the overall authority of the Director of the Bureau of Human Resources Management (HRM), and the direct supervision of the Chief of Section for Staffing and the Head of Learning & Development Unit a.i. The initial appointment will be for three (3) months. The work should start as soon as possible, and is planned to be based in the Paris Headquarters offices of UNESCO. Given the current sanitary situation, applicants should also have the necessary technical equipment to work from their usual location, should circumstances change. The Consultant will:

1. Assist with a Training Needs Analysis on the skills and knowledge related to effective programme/project delivery, so that UNESCO is able to deliver its unique mandate through a range of complex and varied global programmes.

2. Design the related architecture for these topics including the identification of existing learning programmes which would serve to implement this architecture, learning objectives for each element and an evaluation plan.

3. Devise a 3 year plan for the implementation of the programme for maximum organizational learning effectiveness.


Programme management is considered a ‘core skill’ in UNESCO’s Learning and Development Action plan and has also been the focus of internal recommendations.

In March 2020, UNESCO’s Internal Oversight Service issued the results of their internal audit (IOS/AUD/2020/02) on the management of UNESCO’s projects financed by extrabudgetary resources. One recommendation is for the:

Development of selective training (vetted by the respective business units) based on needs for project management and implementation, covering Result-Based-Management, project risk assessment, and UNESCO’s procedures and tools for budgeting, contracting, procurement and recruitment.

b) Identification of trainings that should be compulsory for programme specialists and project officers joining the organisation and require all personnel in programme sectors and field offices to take the e-learning modules.

The report recommends that HRM coordinate this work with input from the relevant business owners / subject matter experts.

UNESCO has made substantial progress on the updating of existing e-learning modules on Results-based Management, and some work has been done on risk management. Work on budgeting, contracting, procurement and recruitment will therefore be the focus of this assignment. In addition, the consultant will look at project management skills in the traditional sense of the word, such as in terms of planning and organizing, and stakeholder management.

Approach & Deliverables

The selected consultant will

  • Conduct a training needs analysis with programme and project staff in relation to the targeted areas as well as additional areas which may be identified. This is likely to take the form of one-to-one discussions and/or focus groups with a sample of the target population. This should be a human centred process based on design thinking principles so that the specific needs of programme management across the organization are understood and addressed by the eventual learning offer. It will also build on existing data where available, such as a recent survey carried out by IOS to assess training needs on procurement.
  • Liaise with the subject matter experts in the areas of budgeting, contracting, procurement and recruitment, to (a) identify possible areas for training based on experiences of supporting colleagues in the relevant processes (b) review existing training materials, user guides etc. where applicable; (c) propose training architectures and reach a consensus as to the approach to be taken for each area and the indicative content; (d) identify which elements of training materials should be mandatory for which categories of the target population to be trained.
  • Benchmark against other UN agencies on their approach to training in the relevant areas. Where possible, identify which materials may be used as a basis for learning materials in UNESCO – in terms of content, and/or methodology.
  • Develop a draft evaluation framework, based on the proposed architecture and structure.
Long Description

The consultant will provide the following deliverables:

  • An identification of learning needs for each category and level of learner in the programme function so that UNESCO is able to deliver on its complex and varied programme.
  • An overview of the current training and user-support resources that exist within UNESCO.
  • A recommended training architecture that is engaging and intuitive for the end-users (the programme staff), with an indication of the content to be covered in each element of the architecture. This may include programmes developed by other UN agencies and/or international organizations.
  • A recommended approach for the design, development and delivery methods of the learning elements to be developed.
  • A recommendation for the elements to be made mandatory for different categories of the targeted population.
  • A proposed workplan for the subsequent stages of the development/ acquisition of the learning materials and a learning implementation plan.
  • A proposed evaluation framework for the selected learning approach.

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.

The successful candidate should:

  • Have a minimum of 7 years of relevant experience.
  • Have experience in carrying out identification of training needs and designing programmes
  • Be fluent in spoken and written English, and have strong writing skills.
  • Have learning & development experience in an international government organisation, and preferably within the UN experience. Experience of all aspects of learning & development (design thinking applied to learning needs analysis, design, delivery and evaluation) is preferred.

A working knowledge of one of the other UN languages would be an advantage.


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. Please provide an up to date CV, a statement indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the assignment, and the cost for the assignment, stated as a monthly fee. These elements must be provided by inserting additional pages with the required informaiton at the end of the Employment History form (Word file) document. No modifications can be made to the application after submission.

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.