South Africa nationals: Associate National Project Coordinator (Natural Sciences)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Johannesburg, South Africa 🇿🇦

Post Number: 6ZASC0002PA

Grade: NO-A

Parent Sector: Field Office

Duty Station: Johannesburg

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract: Project Appointment

Duration of contract: 1 year

Recruitment open to: Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time): 05-JAN-2022

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

Initial duration of contract: 1 year with the possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

Only nationals from South Africa may apply to this position.


Working under the overall supervision of the Head of the Science Unit at UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA), the direct supervision of the ROSA Programme Specialist for Natural Sciences and the Project Coordinator, the Associate National Project Coordinator will work on the project ‘Addressing Climate Risk and Building Adaptive Capacity in South Africa’s Biosphere Reserves: Towards Sustainable Water and Ecosystem Management’ (BRSA).
The BRSA focuses on climate change resilience building in four target Biosphere Reserves in South Africa, to strengthen the monitoring and early warning of extreme weather events for the region, as well as development of a tailored climate risk assessment and adaptation plans that will focus on the impacts of current and future climate shocks on water and natural resources, and to identify potential pathways for improved resilience. 
More specifically, the BRSA programme is designed along three lines of action:

  • Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA)
  • Monitoring and Early Warning
  • Capacity Building and Technology Transfer

Implementation of this programme is supported by core partners including Biosphere Reserves, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment, the Department of Water and Sanitation, Water Research Commission, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. 
The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Establish a bottom-up approach to gender responsive climate change adaptation, ensuring an inclusive planning process for sustainable development of vulnerable municipalities under climate change scenarios in four target areas
  • Develop Disaster Risk Reduction tools in the target areas, and ensure that target areas have an improved Flood and Drought Early Warning systems and that climate change indicators are being monitored online for all target areas
  • Provide capacity building of national and local stakeholders and technology transfer on innovative tools for climate change adaptation and monitoring

In close collaboration with the Project Coordinator, the Associate National Project Coordinator will be required to:

  • Support the Project Coordinator with implementation of all project interventions under the 3 lines of action in the four target areas of the BRSA project
  • Act as focal point for the implementation of the Citizen Science and Youth activities
  • Support annual workshop development, monitoring and evaluation and biannual reporting to the Project Steering Committee
  • Contribute to the Regional UNESCO Natural Sciences programme implementation and developments as required
  • Provide additional support to the UNESCO ROSA Office as may be requested by the Head of Natural Sciences Unit and the Regional Director

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)

Accountability (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences or a relevant field.

Work Experience

  • Less than 2 years of professional experience in programme and/or project implementation in the field of natural sciences and/or related fields.


•    Good knowledge and understanding of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme and the Biosphere Reserve model. 
•    Good communication and facilitation skills to work with stakeholders at community level, Government level, and with other public, private and civil society partners. 
•    Proven ability to draft clearly and concisely.
•    Ability to build, maintain and enhance working relations with national/local authorities, scientific and research institutions, academia, and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations.
•    Knowledge of the conceptual UNESCO Biosphere Reserve model and operational structures. 


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English.


Work Experience

  • Experience with planning or organization or coordination of events.


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 571 696 ZAR.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.

UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development