Programme Specialist

UNESCO, Canada

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th September, 2020

Job Description


The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching impacts on all areas of life. Concerning education, the ambitious goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda are threatened by nationwide and localised school closures around the world , and the short and long-term economic impacts of the emergency, which are exacerbating learning inequities, in particular for the most marginalized populations. In response to the pandemic, governments around the world, often in coalition with international donor organisations, are putting measures in place to mitigate the impact of school closures, and to facilitate the continuity of education for all through remote learning. UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in partnership with UNICEF and World Bank have secured GPE funding for an education response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on learner progress. The Consortium will complement national education response operations in 67 GPE partner countries that are eligible for Education Sector Program Implementation Grants (EPSIGs), by focusing on global and regional activities that both support continued learning during the crisis and lay the foundation to mitigate the long-term impact and back to school preparedness. Robust data and evidence are key to evaluate and understand the variety of education responses to Covid-19 in different contexts and to make recommendations for building more resilient education systems. The proposed study on the impact on learning is complemented by the studies on the impact on equity and educational financing. To investigate the impact of COVID-19 on children’s and young people’s learning, the UIS will lead a study in six initial countries proposed. The study aims to provide a valid and reliable assessment to collect evidence on learning in order to evaluate the effectiveness of measures taken to support learning during school closures, and to develop the capacity of countries to monitor learning after the crisis.

Long Description

Main responsibilities and tasks

Under the supervision of the Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the incumbent will support UIS main-line activities in the field as well as support country level activities/initiatives by acting as a resource person on statistics:

  • Coordinate the development of appropriate methods for obtaining relevant data in the 6 countries through the work and definition of responsibilities of the implementing partners an overall management of the project
  • Ensure the quality of collected data for accuracy, consistency and comparability.
  • Oversee project execution; oversee the preparation of technical and financial reports according to reporting schedule.
  • Ensure liaison, communication and cooperation with countries with focus on project delivery
  • Keep continuous communication with the countries in the project in order to monitor the progress of ongoing activities aimed at improving education statistics.
  • Support the preparation of national and regional seminars and workshops on statistical issues in UNESCO’s fields of competence.


  • (Core / Managerial) Teamwork (C) Results focus (C) Planning and organizing (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Innovation (C) Communication (C) Accountability (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in statistics, economics with a specialization in measurement, psychometrics or related field.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of four (4) years work experience in applied social statistics within a UN or similar agency or in a Government Ministry/agency or related area.
  • Experience in working with large-scale data collection and dissemination.
  • Extensive experience in the development and use of statistical norms, standards and methodologies.
  • Experience in planning, implementing and managing programmes and/or projects.

Skills & Competencies

  • Proven ability to develop statistical norms and standards and to provide complex technical advice and guidance on their use.
  • Knowledge of statistical and international policy issues related to education and educational planning.
  • Solid software and IT skills are essential and required, particularly in the use of software for general and specialized applications for data processing and analysis, in particular: MS Excel.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with political, technical and others partners, including the ability to prepare, present, and discuss findings and recommendations on issues clearly and concisely.


  • Excellent knowledge (oral and written) in English or French and a good knowledge of the other language.


Work Experience

  • Experience in working with large-scale data collection and dissemination.
  • Experience working with statistical databases such as SQL.
  • 2 years of experience acquired at international level.

Skills & Competencies

  • Ability to compile and holistically analyse diverse datasets.
  • Ability to explain data and related systems in accessible language for business owners and to translate business requirements to data technical teams.


  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).


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