Senior Programme Assistant

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Under the overall authority and supervision of the Director of UNESCO Almaty Office, the incumbent shall provide assistance to UNESCO Almaty Programme staff in supporting Member States in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) in the Education, Natural, and Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Information/Communication fields within the framework of implementation of UNESCO’s Regular Programme and extra-budgetary activities according to the UNESCO rules, regulations and procedures.

In particular, the incumbent will perform the following functions:

Support the effective programme implementation in the UNESCO Almaty Office. The tasks include supporting the Programme units with:

  • making all the necessary logistical arrangements for seminars, workshops, meetings and other events, including communication with partners/participants, travel arrangements, visa support, local transportation, conducting competitive bidding for contractors providing lodging/venue/translation services/etc., organizing any other necessary activities for the successful and smooth conduct of events;
  •  Managing updated data (for each Programme Unit) in the Office’s calendar of events and visibility calendar,  on the corporate information platforms, such as: UNESTEAMS,, NICE;
  • Providing administrative and financial support in programme procurement activities, in liaison with the Administrative Unit: preparing procurement work plan, making cost estimates, drafting contracts’ assignments/terms of reference, identifying proper contract modalities, organizing and following up on tenders/biddings, searching and selecting vendors, coordinating with contracted organizations,  process contracts in UNESCO’s computerized system DUO, prepare/submit/follow up with payment requests, coordinate contract timelines and follow-up with contractors, as necessary, or with Programme staff to ensure effective and timely implementation of Programme activities, all other procurement-related actions;
  • Monitoring budget status of implemented activities with funding from the Regular Budget and extra-budgetary contributions, such as budgets for events, contracts, travels.

Support the effective programme management, budgeting and administration of Programmes in the UNESCO Almaty Office. The tasks include supporting the Programme units with:

  • Preparation and analysis of budget proposals, audit, and operational and financial closure of the contracts with implementation partners;
  • Preparation of reports on budget revisions, expenditures and obligations, verification of the availability of funds and documentation in the budget system;
  • Preparation of memos and correspondence related to administrative and budgetary matters, obtaining necessary clearances, processing and follow-up on administrative actions related to programme implementation, e.g. recruitment and appointment of personnel, travel arrangements, training/study tours, authorization of payments, disbursement of funds, procurement of equipment and services, security compliance;
  • Maintenance of appropriate records of programme and financial expenditure both at the UNESCO Almaty Office and country levels and reporting on them. Also, collection of and reporting on the financial and progress reports of implementing partners;
  • Contribution to other necessary budgetary and administrative activities related to the programmes.

Support to knowledge management and public information activities of Programmes in the UNESCO Almaty Office. The tasks include supporting the Programme units with:

  • Maintenance of a database of governmental and development partners, civil society, experts and other stakeholders who are relevant for the Programmes;
  • Drafting of routine responses to programme information requests and inquiries of generic nature; 
  • Establishment and maintenance of filing management system;
  • Support with the regular maintenance of the UNESCO Almaty Office social media communication tools (Website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) for UNESCO Programmes; uploading news to the Office Websites (local and HQ global DRUPAL);
  • Support with the preparation of statistical tables, graphic content, and other presentation materials about UNESCO Programmes as well as technical contributions to a variety of periodic reports;
  • Preparation of draft correspondence and communications related to all aspects of programme/programme administration, including work plan and budgets, revisions and other related issues.

 Facilitate travel arrangements:

  • Prepare travel requests and files for official travels, organize them, and ensure follow-up in close cooperation with the Administration Unit.
  • Undertake any other related tasks or assignment requested by or the Director of Office or the Programme staff. The contract holder undertakes to carry out the tasks with care and diligence and due attention to detail.

Required Qualifications


  • Completed higher education degree in management, administration or another related field is required.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant work experience in secretarial, administrative and/or programme support service acquired at the national or international level.
  • Experience in handling web-based management systems.

Skills and Competencies

  • Ability to work as part of a multi-cultural team, to take initiative and to provide quality and timely support and services.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, including ability to draft correspondence and correct documents.
  • Good organizational, coordination, problem-solving and filing skills.
  • Ability to take ownership of given tasks and demonstrate proactivity.
  • Ability to interpret rules and manage priorities in order to meet tight deadlines.
  • Discretion and capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with people of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to work under stress and cope with multiple tasks.
  • Good ICT skills with proficiency in the use of MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.), as well as basic HTML - markup language to deal with web systems.


  • Excellent knowledge of English and Russian.