Chief of Youth Section (Social and Human Sciences)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Paris (France)
Grade: P-5, Chief and Senior Professional
Occupations: General Support, Management and Strategy, Social and Inclusive Development, Youth and Adolescence
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Added 2 months ago
Job Description

Post Number : SHS 141

Grade : P-5

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) : 23-JAN-2021

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

In line with the UN Youth Strategy, UNESCO engages with young people in all its fields of competence as change-makers and solution drivers. By addressing the challenges and conditions that inhibit youth’s wellbeing and ensuring their inclusion and meaningful engagement in societies, the Youth Program focuses on knowledge creation with and by young people to foster in-depth knowledge on youth, their inclusion in the multi-stakeholder design of national policies that affect them, supporting youth led solutions in addressing societal challenges, and capacity building. The Youth Section co-operates with some 100 youth focal points in all Programme sectors and field offices and gathers youth from all over the world in various spaces, including the UNESCO Youth Forum at the General Conference, and through online platforms, such as the Global Youth Community, the Youth UNESCO Climate Action network and the Youth of UNESCO Facebook group.

The Chief of Youth Section possesses extensive experiences with youth agendas or similar sectors, and a clear understanding of the challenges youth are confronted with. He/she has strong academic credentials and analytical skills to advance comprehensive policies and programmes to support youth development. He/she will manage to capitalize on the extensive work done by UNESCO on youth engagement and take it forward to advance youth-led solutions to the current challenges we face. He/she will mobilize partnerships and financial support for the UNESCO’s Youth Programme. He/she has strong analytical skills, and strong knowledge of development issues, and the value of youth. He/she is also knowledgeable of multilateral settings and mechanisms.

Under the overall authority and close supervision of the Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), and reporting to the Director for Programme Policies (DIR/PPD) on programme management issues and to the Director for Partnerships and Outreach (DIR/POD) on partnerships and outreach, the incumbent will lead the design, coordination, execution and evaluation of the programme and projects for the Youth Section.

In particular, the incumbent will:

1. Vision:

  • Provide intellectual leadership and strategic guidance to Section in order to develop, drive and ensure the delivery of a solid agenda on youth, positioning UNESCO at the forefront in the world of youth, and increasing its visibility and impact.
  • Contribute to positioning youth as the foremost UNESCO activity in line with education and culture. Partner with institutions and relevant actors in the field for this purpose.
  • Develop the analytical basis to promote youth, and the understanding of youth as a lever for development. Oversee research and advance evidence base analysis.
  • Develop flagship projects with international impact and develop high quality networks.
  • Ensure a comprehensive implementation of the Approved Programme and Projects and deliver timely results. Manage work program effectively fashion, and drive excellent coordination with field offices.
  • Define priorities and agendas for the staff and Section and locate and pursue resources.
  • Demonstrate a strong capacity for timely delivery of the youth outputs.

2. Programme Design and Management:

  • Direct the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of work plans and regular and extra budgetary initiatives and activities, ensuring the continuous optimization of resources.
  • Transform work plans into programmes and projects. Determine budget proposal items, translating into Section objectives and aligning with overall Sector priorities.
  • Ensure visibility of the Section’s outputs. Oversee and manage section events and the publication and dissemination of flagship publications, and other materials such as guidelines and other policy and capacity development materials, documents and other technical products and information. Advance a better understanding of youth contribution to development.
  • Evaluate and report on their effectiveness and impact.

3. Knowledge and Expertise Exchange:

  • Facilitate dialogue across expertise and throughout networks and on-line platforms, discussing emerging trends, application of best practices and exchanging ideas.
  • Manage quality of contributions to subject specific knowledge bases, direct research and further share analysis ensuring thorough dissemination.

4. Representation and Policy Advice:

  • Develop high impact networks and connect UNESCO with major youth events and actors, including stakeholders, including from the private sector. Create synergies and develop partnerships.
  • Represent the Section, programmes, the sector and if called upon, UNESCO, to internal and external networks, such as universities, agencies, organizations and in ministries.
  • Establish and pursue alliances on cross –organizational and –sectional issues and develop working frameworks and systemic approaches to increase capacity.
  • Influence and contribute the development of concept notes, contribute to policy positions, formulation and implementation.

5. Resource Mobilization:

  • Seek and explore resource mobilization opportunities for extrabudgetary resources for relevant programmatic and thematic areas including engaging potential donors with projects plans which could attract support.
  • Supervise the entire funding process, including developing and writing proposals, validating progress reports and ensuring the timely implementation and completion of project/programme activities.

6. Administrative Management and Staff Development:

  • Supervise and motivate his/her section personnel.
  • Monitor progress and development provide regular feedback and follow-up in line with the performance management cycle.
  • Effectively manage the budget with strong accountability and reporting.
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of social and human sciences, humanities, law, political sciences, international relations, communications, economics or other related areas.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in programme management, project planning, development and implementation in the field of Youth or similar Programmes.
  • Strong experience acquired at the international level.
  • Experience in advocacy, resources and partnership mobilization.
  • Experience in leading and managing human and financial resources and motivating staff in a multicultural environment.
  • Extensive experience, and knowledge of youth agendas or similar programmes.

Skills and competencies

  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust among, manage, lead and motivate a large number of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Strong conceptual, intellectual and analytical capacities, with a high sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness.
  • Strong capacity for fundraising and connecting with sources of financing. Proven track record to generate financial support to specific programs.
  • Strong management and organizational skills with ability to establish plans and priorities and effectively implement them.
  • Good interpersonal and representational analytical skills and demonstrated ability to communicate, advocate, and negotiate with staff and a wide range of stakeholders/partners at all levels within and outside the Organization.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain partnerships and to ensure a high-level coordination and cooperation with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks. Good grasp of UNESCO’s mission, functions, and core strategies and their leading impact on Youth Programmes.


  • Excellent knowledge of either English or French and good knowledge of the other language.


  • Ph.D or equivalent in social and human sciences, or other related fields.

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/cooperations and development.


  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (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 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.

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