Programme Specialist

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Paris, France

The Future of Learning and Innovation (FLI) Division serves as a think tank to reimagine education for more just, inclusive and sustainable futures. It reinforces UNESCO's observatory function and aims to strengthen UNESCO's capacity to inform, guide, and steer the global debate on the future of education and national efforts to transform education. The Division accomplishes this by building on a continuous monitoring, review and analysis of global education policy and research, providing support for a human-centered digital transformation of education, and by facilitating interdisciplinary research through strengthened university partnerships. The work is grounded in the vision, not only in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but also of the UN Secretary General's 2021 Our Common Agenda report, the 2021 report of the International Commission on the Futures of Education, as well as the dynamic created by the 2022 UN Transforming Education Summit. 

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Education (ADG/ED) and the direct supervision of the Director of the Future of Learning and Innovation Division (ED/FLI), the incumbent will be responsible for the research strand on digital learning futures within the Education Research and Foresight team. The incumbent will lead this research strand in close cooperation with other teams across and beyond the UNESCO Education Sector, as well as with external research and development partners. The incumbent’s main responsibilities will be to:

  • Conceptualize/design, develop, and ensure effective dissemination of forward-looking global studies on the implications of the digital transformation of our societies for knowledge, learning and education.  
  • Draft and/or develop analytical pieces on the digital futures of education as the part of the UNESCO Education Research and Foresight (ERF) Working Papers series and/or IdeasLAB blogs.
  • Support the crafting of institutional narrative and positioning on digital education through the preparation of briefings, statements, think pieces, and other interventions for senior management as required. 
  • Participate in, and contribute to, global policy analysis and debate on digital education at key international conferences and fora. 
  • Leverage and strengthen partnerships in digital innovation and education which are at the nexus of research, policy and practice. 
  • Mobilize financial resources for research and foresight projects on digital learning and innovation.  
  • Ensure effective planning, budgeting, implementation, reporting, and monitoring of impact of knowledge generation activities in this area.

Required Qualifications:


  • Advanced university degree (at minimum at Masters level or equivalent) in the field of education, educational technology, futures studies, development studies, public policy, economics, or a related field in the social sciences. 

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of 7 years of progressive responsible relevant experience in the field of educational technologies, of which preferably at least 3 years acquired at the international level.
  • Experience in designing, planning, and implementing research programs/projects related to digital learning and transformation.
  • Experience in research networking/partnerships at international level.
  • Track record of published research.


  • Sound understanding of issues related to technological innovation and education.
  • Strategic forward-looking thinking wih ability to anticiapte key implications and emerging issues around technological innovation and education.   
  • Strong analytical skills with ability to synthesize data and evidence from various sources.
  • Excellent drafting skills in English.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in public fora. 
  • Ability to maintain effective and inclusive working relationships across multiple internal entities and external partners.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English. Knowledge of or commitment to learn French in a reasonable timeframe.