Senior Project officer Education for Health and Wellbeing

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Paris, France

Experience: 3 to 5 Years

Skill Required: Media and Communication

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General, Education (ADG/ED), guidance from the Director of the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, and direct supervision of the Chief of Section for Health and Education (ai.), the incumbent is responsible for ensuring technical expertise on key thematic areas of work, notably on school health, safe and inclusive learning environments and mental health and psychosocial support. S/he provides strategic and technical leadership, programme development and management, preparation of guidelines and evidence, engagement with external stakeholders and management of a small team, as part of overall efforts led by the Section.

Guided by the UNESCO Strategy on Education for Health and Well-being, the postholder will be responsible for delivering activities under Strategic Outcomes 1 and 3 (SO1, SO3), in close coordination and complementarity with colleagues responsible for delivering on Strategic Outcome 2 on comprehensive sexuality education. The incumbent is also responsible for cross-cutting programming planning, monitoring, resource mobilisation and external representation of UNESCO in varied fora. The role includes supervision of a small team. Other tasks as may be assigned by the Chief of the Section and the Director of the Division, including preparation of regular reports, briefings and other information materials as may be necessary. 

Duties and responsibilities :

Working closely within the Section and leading a small team, the post-holder will be responsible for strategic development and implementation of activities in the area of school health and well-being, specifically: strengthening school health, ending violence in and through education, and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), with attention to UNESCO’s priority areas of Africa and gender equality. 

The main responsibilities include:

  • Lead technical, research and writing expertise to the work on education for health and well-being: Lead the development and publication of new resources and research in key thematic areas, and lead development of policy and programme guidance or technical briefs based on latest evidence and good practice to enhance Member State capacity to deliver effective programmes on education for health and well-being with a focus on specific thematic areas (school health, ending violence in and through education, MHPSS).  Ensure high quality publications or technical presentations that advance the global agenda on the key thematic areas of responsibility, contributing to global and regional debates. Provide specialized expertise, interpretation, assessment and communication to Field Offices, ED Institutes, Ministries, peers and other stakeholders.
  • Lead programme design, management and support to programme implementation:  Lead on project design, workplanning, budgetting and monitoring as reflected in annual workplans. Recommend programme and project approaches and plans, and develop, propose and advocate for inclusion of themes in UNESCO Education plans. Develop projects, programme and funding proposals, oversee agreements and contracts as well as define UNESCO’s involvement and mobilize relevant resources, at global level. This work will be conducted within the framework of the C/5 organisational workplan and budget, the UNESCO Strategy on Education for Health and Well-being, and country/regional priorities in close coordination with UNESCO regional bureaux and field offices, and including UNESCO Regional Advisors on Health and Education. Provide specialized expertise and technical support to Field Offices, ED Institutes, Ministries, peers and other stakeholders. Support Section efforts to maintain and expand extrabudgetary funding, and human resources through opportunities such as secondments, JPOs and sponsored/paid trainees.
  • Provide policy advice: Initiate policy development and creation, in accordance with priority areas. Represent UNESCO at international fora on areas of specialism, and provide specialized advice to internal and external colleagues, peers and stakeholders to influence international policy recommendations at the intersection of education, health, inclusion and social protection. Advocate UNESCO’s position/involvement and establish relevant guidelines as part of the provision of technical support. Advise peers, colleagues, partners and governments on policy formulation, programmes and projects and developments and best practices and emerging trends in areas of assignment. 
  • Ensure Partnerships, Networking, and Knowledge Management: Build and maintain strategic partnerships with a range of external partners on key thematic issues, and internal collaboration within and across UNESCO Divisions and Sectors. Lead, or co-lead, international partnerships and technical working groups to advance collaboration and effective production of evidence or programme guidance. Organize consultations and events to enhance the visibility of UNESCO technical and policy guidance, and ensure regular contributions and updates to global knowledge systems. Contribute to documentation and expansion of UNESCO projects and increase visibility, resources and partnerships for their effective implementation. 
  • Leadership and supervision: Lead on development of workplan, budget and monitoring for the colleagues working on school health, safe learning environment (ending violence in and through education) and mental health. Contribute to coordination and monitoring of work across the Section for Health and Education. Lead on recruitment and supervision of key staff, interns and consultants. 
  • Additional activities that may be required: Other tasks as may be assigned by the Chief of the Section and the Director of the Division, including analysis and feedback on internal or external documents, preparation of regular reports, briefings and other materials as may be necessary, act as interim for the Chief and represent the Section/Organisation when required, and collaborate with colleagues in cross-section activities. 

Required Qualifications:

Education :

  • Advanced university degree (equivalent to Masters) in education, public health, international development, social sciences, or related field

Work Experience :

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in the coordination of development programmes or project management in the area of Education and/or Health, policy/training, of which preferably 3 years are acquired at the international level and including an understanding of school health and its sub-themes;
  • Experience in the coordination of multidisciplinary or multi-partner programmes/projects.
  • Strong project management and analytical skills, result-oriented approach, and ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities and risks, and familiarity with the use of theory of change and results framework;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide intellectual expertise on trends in global education and health; 

Skills and competencies:

  • Good knowledge and understanding of the international development agenda, in particular in the field of health and education;
  • Excellent networking and partnership building skills;
  • Excellent drafting skills and proven experience of producing technical reports; 
  • Strong communication and presentation skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills,  tact and diplomacy;
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and deliver to deadline, as well as work under pressure.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in team environments;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment and team cooperation.

Languages :

  • Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written).