Chief of Sport Section (Social and Human Sciences) Re-advertisement
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Paris (France)
Grade: P-5, Chief and Senior Professional
Job Expired 20 Mar 2021
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Added 1 month ago
Job Description

Post Number : SHS 341

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) : 20-MAR-2021

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

As the United Nations' lead agency for Physical Education and Sport, UNESCO promotes universal access to physical activity, and is a strong promoter of the practice of sports and the creation of safe sport environment for all, by providing guidance in the elaboration, strengthening and implementation of dedicated policies and programmes in line with the UN Agenda 2030 that recognizes sport as an important enabler of the SDGs.

The incumbent will manage the worldwide programme based on the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport, the International Convention against Doping in Sport and the Kazan Action Plan that fosters convergence of sports policies with the SDGs.

Under the close supervision of the ADG/SHS, he/she will have responsibility for the following UNESCO intergovernmental bodies and fora:
- Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS)
- Conference of Parties to the Anti-Doping Convention and the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport
- International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS)


The Chief of Sport Section is knowledgeable of the sport world or similar sectors, with strong connections to the sport world or large sport events and an understanding of the sport environment and the various stakeholders (private, public, athletes, Olympic committees and institutions). He/she possesses a strong track record in developing and implementing specific projects in this or similar fields. He/she will mobilize partnerships and financial support for the UNESCO’s Sport Programme. He/she has strong analytical skills, and strong knowledge of development issues, and the value of sports. 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 Sport 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 sports, positioning UNESCO at the forefront in the world of sports, and increasing its visibility and impact.
  • Contribute to positioning sports 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 the practice of sports, and the understanding of sports 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 and in a timely 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 sports 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 sports contribution to development.
  • Evaluate and report on their effectiveness and impact.
  • Produce a yearly world flagship on sports, among other analytical products and a yearly World Conference on Sports in UNESCO.
  • Deliver on the current projects of the section, including Sports and Development, the Quality of Physical Education, Generation equality and the observatory of gender and sports, the Fit for life Initiative and the partnership with FIFA for football in schools.

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 sports events and actors, including sports people, and stakeholders, including from the private sector. Create synergies and develop partnerships.
  • Represent the Section, programmes, the sector and if called upon, UNESCO, in internal and external networks, such as universities, agencies, organizations and ministries; Establish and pursue alliances on cross–organizational and –sectional issues and develop working frameworks and systemic approaches to increase capacity.
  • Influence and contribute to 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 Sport or similar Programmes.
  • Strong experience acquired at the international level.
  • Proven track record in fundraising activities.
  • 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 sport or similar sectors.

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 for specific programmes.
  • 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 Sport or similar Programmes.


  • Excellent knowledge (oral and written) of English.


  • 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.


  • Good knowledge (oral and written) of French.
  • 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 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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