Program Specialist (Water Quality)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Paris, France 🇫🇷

  • Post Number : MLPP 2023_SC 395
  • Grade : P-3
  • Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)
  • Duty Station: Paris
  • Job Family: Natural Sciences
  • Type of contract : Fixed Term
  • Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable
  • Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates
  • Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-OCT-2023

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

This position is part of the Mid-Level Professionals Programme (MLPP).
We strongly encourage applicants from non- and under-represented Member States to apply.


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General of Natural Sciences (ADG/SC), guidance from the Director of the Division of Water Sciences (DIR/SC/HYD) and Secretary of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), and direct supervision of the Chief of Capacity Development and Water Family Coordination Section (C/SC/HYD/CDW), the Programme Specialist (Water Quality) is responsible for providing thematic planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring of programmes, projects and activities related to water quality, as well as other related activities of the section and division as outlined in the C4/C5, relevant global development agendas and in accordance with the IHP Strategic Plan and its related operational implementation plan.

In particular, the Programme Specialist (Water Quality) will:

  • Participate substantively in the design, development of and coordinate, implement and monitor programme and project activities, along the line of IHP strategic plan, related operational plan as outlined in the C4/ C5 focusing on water quality and related issues including ecohydrology.
  • Facilitate and support research, networking, and capacity building programmes to help IHP National Committees and Member States on the implementation of IHP priorities related to water quality and related issues.
  • Contribute substantively to the production of high-quality scientific knowledge base, data, tools, and methodologies to address water quality and pollution challenges in coordination with relevant Category II Centers and Chairs.
  • Promote, and facilitate the deployment of water quality related tools and products in Member States and produce relevant publications and ensure wide disseminations of tools and publications to Member States and stakeholders through organization of scientific events, workshops, training courses, exhibition and outreach activities.
  • Maintain relation with professional, scientific and UN organizations and create and supports scientific network related to water quality and related issues.
  • Contribute to mobilize and raise extrabudgetary resources by developing concept notes and project proposals on the basis of situational analysis and needs assessments and in accordance with the Programme and Budget (C/5), to support activities and implementations, monitor related projects and programmes in line with approved objectives and deliverables.

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 degree or equivalent) in the field of hydrology, water resources or environmental science/engineering, chemistry, chemical or civil engineering, limnology, soil and water management or related earth sciences.
  • A PhD in the field of hydrology, environmental science, environmental chemistry, water chemistry, environmental technology, soil water balance modelling, land and water management or related field in the earth sciences, would be an asset.

Work Experience

  • At least four (4) years of relevant professional experience in the areas of water resources and environmental research, hydrology, hydrogeology or soil water balance modelling, of which preferably two (2) years acquired at international level.

Technical Knowledge

  • Experience and scientific/technical knowledge on water quality, pollution control and ecohydrology.
  • Understanding of water science and water chemistry, watershed management and protection, hydrology and hydraulics, environmental data systems, environmental law, hydrological and water quality modelling and remote sensing for water resources management.
  • Relevant  scientific publications related to water quality, pollution control, modelling tools, watershed management, environmental preservation, microplastic awareness/citizen science and ecohydrology.

Skills & Competencies

  • Good conceptual, analytical, research and organizational skills and excellent drafting skills, with the ability to produce reports and papers on scientific, technical, and strategic issues.
  • Good negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Ability to carry out quality research and produce knowledge products related to water quality and related issues.
  • Ability to planning and setting up training courses, projects, workshops and related activities.
  • Professional experience with project management skill, proposal writing and/or resource mobilization.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work in a multicultural environment and foster team cooperation.
  • Agility and flexibility.


  • English and French are the working languages of the Organization. Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English and good knowledge of French is an asset.
  • Knowledge of the other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.

Would you like to find out more about the Mid-Level Professionals Programme? Join us on 26 September at 1:30 pm (CEST) for a virtual careers fair.

Register for the event click here 


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 99 451 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.





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