National Professional Officer

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Beirut, Lebanon

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC) and the direct supervision of the Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Beirut (DIR/FU/BEI), the incumbent will contribute to the design, coordination and implementation of activities carried out under the Major Programme II - Natural Sciences in the Arab States Region in view of supporting Lebanon in its effort to implement its National Development plans and policies, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) in coordination with the Natural Sciences Senior Programme Specialist. H/She will also contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and support to a certain extent the Natural Sciences Senior Programme Specialist in natural science programming for the five Member States (i.e. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria) under Beirut Office's geographical mandate.
In particular, the incumbent will be responsible for providing professional and technical support, research and analysis, with an emphasis on the Lebanese national context to develop, implement and evaluate programme initiatives to promote learning and sustainable societies and support Lebanon in advancing science, technology, innovation, research and engineering to address contemporary environmental and societal challenges and build back better after crisis towards the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science. 
In this context, the incumbent will:
  • Assist with professional and technical support in the identification, design, planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and activities in the field of natural sciences in the region within the framework of Major Programme II and in line with the Natural Sciences Sector's strategies and priorities, to promote learning and sustainable societies, and support Lebanon in advancing science, technology, innovation, research and engineering to address contemporary environmental and socio-economic challenges.
  • Participate in Regular Programme (C/5) work plans' preparation and implementation, policy formulation discussions, and other sector-related strategy formulation activities.
  • Facilitate the coordination and oversight of programme and project development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in natural sciences, covering the Ecological and Earth Sciences (EES), International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Science Policy and Basics Sciences (PBS).
  • Take part in the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office's interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary efforts, including the formulation of concept notes and project development for extra-budgetary funding through participation in intersectoral programmes and activities in the areas of environment, biodiversity, climate change, disaster risk reduction, science education, education for sustainable development, world natural heritage and world heritage biodiversity programmes and local and indigenous knowledge.
  • Support and participate in UNESCO's involvement in joint programming exercises within the framework of the United Nations Reform, such as Common Country Assessments (CCAs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Country Frameworks (UNSDCFs) in Lebanon.
  • Provide technical advice and support to the national institutions and other stakeholders in charge of sciences, technology and innovation for policy and research action-oriented activities on new emerging national and global trends in sciences and contribute to the development of pertinent strategy papers, technical notes, frameworks and scientific documents, articles that contribute to the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
  • Support proactively forging and maintaining strategic partnerships with other UN Agencies, in particular, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Multilateral and Bilateral Development partners in collaboration with colleagues from UNESCO Headquarters and other concerned Field Offices, Category I, Category II Centres and Institutes in natural sciences to optimize strategic opportunities for joint programming activities related to natural sciences, within the implementation of the common UN Country Programmes in support of the UNSDCF.
  • Identify concrete opportunities and contribute to the Beirut Office resource mobilisation strategy and its annual implementation plans and in particular, develop in collaboration with other Natural Sicences Programme Officers specific and interdisciplinary concepts and project proposals aimed at consolidating, complementing and expanding the impact of the UNESCO Regular Programme (RP) budget-funded Natural Sciences programme activities, as RP funds should be considered only as catalyst and seed funds, not be used for ad hoc activities; formulate and implement the required resource mobilisation approaches leading to access to funding mechanisms, creation of partnerships strategies and plans to that end.
  • Prepare and submitting quarterly/yearly work plans RP’s programmes and extrabudgetary projects as per approved project documents, establish corresponding budgets, monitor the budgetary and financial status of the projects and decentralised budgets and ensure financial accountability.  
  • Ensure the appropriate implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Natural Sciences Programmes decentralised to the Office and provide timely quarterly/ yearly reports.
Required Qualifications:
  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in the relevant field of Natural Sciences related disciplines (Environment, Earth Sciences, Hydrology, Basic Sciences and Science Policy) and/or Engineering.
Work Experience:
  • Less than 2 (two) years of relevant professional experience in the field of sciences such as Environment, Water Resources and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
  • Experience in science coordination and programme management, and implementation of programmes/projects, and expertise in science policy.
  • Good programme and project management skills.
  • Good analytical, organizational and coordination skills.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment, with tact and sensitivity to diversity.
  • Ability to build, maintain and enhance working relations with national/local authorities as well as key stakeholders in the civil society, such as national and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the cluster countries and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.
  • Ability to communicate (written and oral) with various stakeholders, within and outside the organization and through various channels including the web and social media.
  • Good IT skills, including knowledge of standard office software.
  • Excellent knowledge of English and very good knowledge of Arabic.