Project Manager (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC))

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Paris, , FR


Over the last twenty years, IW:LEARN has grown from an informal network of a few projects and agency staff focused on International Waters (IW) projects to a community of individuals from a few hundred public and private sector organizations, including local, national, and international government and non-government organizations. The new IW:LEARN phase will focus on proven approaches but also on a suite of new and innovative activities to facilitate the Global Environment Facility (GEF) IW Focal Area to prepare for and implement the GEF7 International Waters Strategy (and prepare for the 8th GEF Replenishment). It will be additionally extended to cater for the need of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in particular the priorities adopted by GEF: The Blue Economy, Integrated Resource Management from Ridge-to-Reef, Protected Areas, and Climate Resilience. The new IW:LEARN project will continue supporting the core mandate of the GEF International Waters Focal Area to support transboundary cooperation in shared marine and freshwater ecosystems and assist the project portfolio in in achieving long term benefits. The project’s proposed activities will help the portfolio to implement regionally endorsed SAP priorities, mainstream gender considerations, and stimulate private sector investment.

Long Description

The Project Manager will be responsible for the overall management of the project, including the mobilization of all project inputs, supervision over project staff, consultants and sub-contractors. In particular, the Project Manager will :

  • Lead and manage the day‐to‐day implementation of IW:LEARN’s work plan, control and manage the project budget, and ensure the achievement of project output targets based on the Project Document;
  • Prepare and update project work plans in collaboration with the Project Steering Committee. The work plan will provide guidance and authority on the day‐to‐day implementation of the Project Document and on the integration of the various co‐financed partner initiatives; consult with, and coordinate closely with, the project Steering Committee, Inter‐Agency Forum, senior representatives of partner agencies as well as the respective GEF IW project officers in all regions;
  • Monitor events as determined in the project monitoring plan, and update the plan as required;
  • Provide support for completion of assessments required by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), spot checks and audits;
  • Monitor financial resources and accounting to ensure the accuracy and reliability of financial reports;
  • Monitor progress, watch for plan deviations and make course corrections when needed within project board-agreed tolerances to achieve results;
  • Perform regular progress reporting to the project board as agreed with the board, including measures to address challenges and opportunities;
  • Prepare and submit financial reports to UNDP and UNEP on a quarterly basis;
  • Manage and monitor the project risks – including social and environmental risks – initially identified and submit new risks to the Project Board for consideration and decision on possible actions if required; update the status of these risks by maintaining the project risks log;

Long Description

  • Prepare the inception report no later than one month after the inception workshop;
  • Prepare the GEF Project Implementation Report (PIR);
  • Ensure that the indicators included in the project results framework are monitored annually in advance of the GEF PIR submission deadline so that progress can be reported in the GEF PIR;
  • Assess major and minor amendments to the project within the parameters set by UNDP/UNEP-GEF;
  • Monitor implementation plans including the gender action plan, stakeholder engagement plan, and any environmental and social management plans;
  • Monitor and track progress against the GEF Core indicators;
  • Support the Mid-term review and Terminal Evaluation process;
  • Maintain the project’s overall integrity, coherence and quality of services to the GEF International Waters project portfolio;

Long Description

  • Manage and be aided by a Programme Coordination Unit, composed of at least 2 team members, including a Project Officer and an Administration/Travel Coordinator. The Project Manager will provide overall supervision for all staff in the Programme Coordination Unit;
  • Ensure consistency between the various project elements and related activities provided or funded by other donor organizations;
  • Coordinate the selection and recruitment of project personnel;
  • Develop Terms of References (in consultation with the Project Steering Committee) for the hiring of consultants and sub‐contractors and supervise and coordinate the work of consultants and sub‐contractors;
  • Following United Nations rules and procedures, manage all other procurements/tenders under the project and, approve operational expenditure for equipment and travel;
  • Develop agendas for and facilitate regular Project Steering Committee meetings;
  • Organize and supervise all reporting activities to the GEF Agencies (UNDP and UNEP), Executing Agency and Project Steering Committee, ensuring adherence to GEF Agency administrative, financial and technical reporting requirements;
  • Support the implementation of the project communications activities by closely monitoring agency, partner and IW portfolio project websites for content (including inter alia, experiences, results, data, guidance, events, funding opportunities) to share bilaterally or multilaterally with the IW portfolio;
  • Promote the IW portfolio and support the harvesting, standardization, dissemination and replication of portfolio results, lessons and best practices and serve as the project’s knowledge broker to the GEF IW community.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Environmental Management or Science, International Relations, Information Management, Communications, Economics, Development Studies or related fields.

Work Experience

  • Minimum seven years of experience in project management of complex projects in multiple countries;
  • Demonstrated experience in information and knowledge management, including planning, design, preparation and delivery of knowledge management strategies and services;
  • Experience in capacity‐development and/or knowledge management, including planning, design, preparation and delivery of capacity‐development programs or activities;
  • Experience with application of knowledge management approaches and services, in particular with the synthesis of lessons‐learned and their dissemination;
  • Demonstrated experience in support to local, national and international organizations, including support to non‐profit organisations and non-government organisations;
  • Experience/familiarity with international projects in water and/or environment.


  • Excellent coordination and facilitation skills.
  • Excellent analytical, reporting, writing, editing, and oral communication skills in English.
  • High attention to detail and ability to work under tight deadlines.
  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.  


  • Excellent knowledge (written/spoken) of English


Work Experience

  • Experience in GEF International Waters recipient countries and/or with donors or related non-government organisations.


  • Familiarity with United Nations and GEF rules and procedures.


  • Knowledge of other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


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.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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 Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development