Programme Specialist (Science)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Yaounde, , CM


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences (SC) and the direct supervision of the Director of the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office for Central Africa in Yaounde, Cameroun, the incumbent will participate in the identification of needs, develop, plan, organize, implement, monitor and evaluate as well as provide  technical support for UNESCO’s programmes and activities carried out under the Major Programme II – Natural Science (Ecological and Earth Sciences,Water sciences, Science Policy and capacity building) in the 10 countries covered by the Office.

The incumbent will contribute to the coordination of UNESCO’s projects and programmes and substantive aspects of activities in the field of UNESCO’s Natural Sciences (e.g biodiversity conservation; water management; Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy development; climate change mitigation/adaptation stratgeies, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and disaster risk reduction).

The incumbent will work within the framework of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the Programme and Budget (C/5) and the global 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063. S/he  will also be responsible for ensuring integration of the Natural Sciences in  the UN joint programmes and programming and working collaboratively  with other United Nations agencies to ensure UNESCO’s participation in strategic exercises organized by the UNCT (CCA, UNSDCSF etc.,) in the countries covered by the office.

The incumbent shall in particular:

  • Contribute to the design, planning, implementation and monitoring of the  programme and activities related to UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector funded under Regular and Extra Budgetary resources; and also participate in the building of human and institutional capacities for the different Natural Science programme activites in the region. 
  • Provide advisory services, technical assistance, plan, execute and evaluate UNESCO’s programme activities  for the advancement and application of Natural Sciences in the Member States within the region.
  • Maintain close contacts with the concerned regional/national/local authorities and contribute to the development of national science policies. In this context, the incumbent will also maintain and ensure relations with relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Support the development and implementation of science related programmes and activities in partnership with the the Central African Community.
  • Establish, develop and maintain links with National Commissions, science-related Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, tertiary education as well as research and development (R&D) institutions.
  • Identify, design and implement extrabudgetary projects to reinforce the office’s Regular Programme activities and contribute to resource mobilization in support of interdisciplinary programme activities in Natural Sciences, for the implementation of national and/or regional strategies for sustainable development in the Central African region. 

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Professionalism (C)
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of Natural Sciences, environment, hydrology or other relevant field of the Natural Sciences.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of four years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in the field of Natural Science, of which preferably two years acquired at international level.
  • Experience in planning, designing, managing, implementing and evaluating programmes and projects related to the field of Natural Sciences.
  • Experience in fundraising and resource mobilization.


  • Proven resource mobilization skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (verbally and in writing).
  • Ability to build and maintain working relations with national/local authorities, cultural institution and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships  in a multicultural  environment.
  • Discretion and maturity of judgement.
  • Good knowledge of standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.)…


  • Excellent knowledge of  English or French and good knowledge of the other.


Work Experience

  • Professional experience in the United Nations System or other international development organization(s).
  • Work experience within intergovernmental organizations and within government in the area of Natural Sciences,) in different regions of the world, particularly in Africa.
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks.
  • Experience in promoting South-South cooperation in capacity building in applications of natural sciences at the national and regional level.
  • Relevant experience or training in sustainable development linked with the AU Agenda 2063 and 2030 Global Agenda


  • Good knowledge of UNESCO’s work in the field and familiarity with activities of the Natural Sciences Sector.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the United Nations System.


  • Knowledge of the other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, 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.