Zimbabwe nationals: Associate Project Officer (Natural Sciences)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Harare, Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

Post Number : 6ZWSC0002PA

Grade : NO-A

Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Harare

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year with the possibility of extension

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 20-FEB-2023

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

Only nationals from Zimbabwe 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 Associate National Project Officer will work on the project ‘Catalysing Investments Into Renewable Energy for the Acceleration of the Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Zimbabwe.’

The project seeks to establish a Renewable Energy Fund (REF) that aims to leverage local financial markets to finance renewable energy projects that have a return on investment, while achieving social impact for the acceleration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) achievement in Zimbabwe. The project will carry out a full-scale demonstration of the concept of the REF instruments driving an innovative model of Accelerated Local SDG Achievement, and economic empowerment of communities through the transformational impact of introducing Renewable Energy (RE) technology with new entrepreneurship opportunities, income and job creation, and improved quality of life and the environment. The project emphasizes gender-responsive and inclusive renewable energy investments with a focus on productive uses.

More specifically, the Renewable Energy (RE) programme in Zimbabwe is designed along three lines of action:

  • Renewable Energy as an entry point to SDG achievement in Zimbabwe
  • Capacity Building of national and local stakeholders and project preparation support
  • Technology Transfer to increase the capacity of women and youth to participate meaningfully in the Renewable Energy (RE) sector.

Implementation of this programme is supported by core partners including the UN Country Team in Zimbabwe, UNCDF, and Government Ministries including the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, and Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Establish and operationalize an inclusive and gender-responsive Renewable Energy Fund (REF) to access, mobilize, and strategically leverage funds to attract new resources from public and private sector entities, and channel them effectively towards the achievement of SDGs from the perspective of job creation, gender equality, climate action and the promotion of RE.
  • Demonstrate the potential of REF-funded projects including technical assistance, pre-investment, investment and post-investment support, to achieve long-term sustainable impact.
  • Provide capacity building of national and local stakeholders and project preparation support, including for pre-investment, investment and post-investment technical support. This will increase the capacity of women and youth to participate meaningfully in the RE sector.

In close collaboration with the Senior Programme Specialist, the Associate National Project Officer will be required to perform the following tasks:

Project Implementation:

  • Provide technical and logistical assistance to implement the project activities in Zimbabwe, prepare quarterly work plans and support contracting processes by drafting concept notes and terms of reference.
  • Coordinate with the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, UNDP Harare, UNWOMEN Harare, the Government Focal Points and the activities’ focal points in the different project-activity locations, and the national and international stakeholders, to ensure smooth implementation of the project.
  • Organize project-related events such as stakeholder meetings, training workshops and conferences.
  • Implement the project communication strategy, ensuring strong visibility of the project on traditional and social media platforms.
  • Lead the preparations for required missions, meetings and other consultations with project partners, including preparation of concept notes, policy briefs, presentations and other materials as required.
  • Act as the secretariat for the project steering committee.
  • Facilitate technical missions for project and pipeline development.
  • Maintain stakeholder relations, including with donors to the SDG Fund.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Support general monitoring and reporting on the activities with respect to the project implementation framework, update the project database and draft progress reports in liaison with UNESCO colleagues and project partners.
  • Undertake project-related missions to the field sites to support implementation and track progress.
  • Keep the Technical and Steering Committees updated with regard to project implementation, progress, opportunities, and challenges.
  • Monitor risks and ensure compliance with fund requirements.
  • Maintain data and document repository of all project-related documentation/files.

Resource mobilization and Stakeholder Liaison:

  • Support the building up of pipeline projects generating revenue in catalytic sectors that meet the impact framework.
  • Provide and facilitate the provision of support services to project sponsors identified in close cooperation with the Fund Manager.
  • Participate in activities to promote REF activities resulting in a project pipeline and/or strategic partnerships.
  • Support the establishment of co-financing relationships with local and international financial institutions, nurture relationships and manage activities needed to secure co-financing of REF projects.
  • Identify alternative financing sources and structures, including the preparation of and participation in discussions and negotiations with banks, investors and other stakeholders.

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 the relevant field of Development Finance, Renewable Energy, Natural Sciences, Earth Science or a related field.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant professional experience.
  • Demonstrated professional experience in project management.

Skills and competencies 

  • Ability to manage competing priorities and capacity to work under pressure.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy.
  • Excellent networking and high-level representational and partnership-building skills, involving a wide range of partners.
  • Strong strategic and analytical skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following fields: renewable energy, climate change and natural sciences.
  • Excellent drafting and report writing skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Office.
  • Capacity to work autonomously as well as part of a multicultural team with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


  • Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written).



  • Specialized courses in development finance, renewable energy and/or climate change adaptation.

Work  Experience

  • At least 1 year of experience within the United Nations system or an intergovernmental organization.

Skills and Competencies

  • Experience in the use of hydrological and/or ecological modelling techniques and disaster risk management tools.
  • Strong knowledge of computer applications, web skills and social media.


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 35 415 US $.

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