Programme Specialist

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Nairobi, Kenya

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture (ADG/CLT) and the direct supervision of the Director of UNESCO Office in Nairobi, the Programme Specialist (Culture) shall coordinate the programme and projects in the field of Culture and ensure the design, development, planning, implementation, reporting and monitoring of activities carried out under Major Programme IV - Culture in the countries covered by the Regional Office, in particular in Eastern Africa. The incumbent is also responsible for preparing inputs for the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the programme and Budget (C/5) and related work plans, as well as for developing partnerships and fundraising activities, and for UNESCO’s contribution to the ‘Delivering as One’ exercise in the field of Culture in the countries covered by the Office. The incumbent also leads and supervises, the staff of the Culture Unit of the UNESCO Nairobi Office.

The incumbent will also contribute to the implementation of initiatives related to the UNESCO global priorities (Africa and Gender Equality), priority groups (Small Island Developing States – SIDS) and transversal thematic areas, such as Culture and Education, Culture and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, SIDS, and Youth.

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Ensure the delivery of the Culture Programme in the countries covered by the Office in line with the Culture Sector’s strategies and priorities, particularly through capacity-building, policy advice, technical assistance and networking of relevant stakeholders in the Culture Sector’s fields of competence and in the advocacy of the linkages between culture and sustainable development.
  • Facilitate the coordination of the Culture Programme at sub-regional level by providing technical advice and guidance to the national offices, antennas and focal points of the sub-regional in the planning and development of programmes, projects and activities of the Culture Sector.
  • Contribute to the design, implementation, reporting and monitoring of programmes and projects in the field of culture, funded by the Regular Programme and voluntary contributions. Provide inputs, including qualitative and quantitative data, for the preparation of reports and briefings on programme implementation. Contribute to the overall delivery of and reporting on the Office’s programme objectives and intersectoral working modalities.
  • Provide policy advice and technical assistance to relevant stakeholders at regional, national and local levels, in the Culture Sector’s fields of competence as well as substantive contributions in the field of culture for the development of local, national, regional and international strategies.
  • Facilitate and develop capacity building and training activities and projects to support Member States, cultural institutions and culture professionals in view of the strategic objectives of protecting, promoting and transmitting heritage and fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions, including preparedness and response in case of crises and emergencies.
  • Assist Member States in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and specifically promote the role of culture for sustainable development, as well as to undertake assessment of needs related to culture.
  • Establish, maintain and enhance strong and strategic working relationships with the concerned national/local authorities, cultural institutions and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Build and enhance partnerships with UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors/partners, development banks, international institutions and the private sector in order to conceptualize and design Culture programmes concept notes and project proposals based on situational analyses in line with the Major Programme IV – Culture priorities and the CLT Resources Mobilization Framework. Ensure the required fundraising in order to reinforce the Regular Programme by mobilization resources and building partnerships including with the private sector.
  • Develop actions, programmes and activities in the framework of the UN Reform and ‘Delivering as One’, such as Common Country Assessments/United Nations Development Assistance Framework (CCA/UNDAF) and United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), regional and sub- regional joint initiatives and programmes, etc.

Required Qualifications:


  • Advanced University degree (Master's or equivalent) in the field of culture, social sciences, political science, international law, humanities, or a related discipline.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of culture, of which preferably three (3) years acquired at the international level.
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing programmes/projects in the field of culture.
  • Demonstrated experience in partnership development and in fundraising and resource mobilization.


  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Excellent capacity to collect, synthesize and analyse information from various sources and to draft documents in a clear and concise manner.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to provide guidance and to lead and motivate a multicultural team with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Proven ability to build, maintain and enhance working relations with national/local authorities, cultural institutions and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Proven ability to engage in resource mobilization and build strategic and sustained partnerships.


  • Excellent knowledge of English (both written and oral).