Programme Specialist (Editor; World Water Development Report)

Perugia, , IT

I. Background

Founded in 2000 by UNESCO, The UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) of UNESCO seeks to equip water managers and key decision‐makers with the information, data, tools and skills to effectively participate in the development of policies to improve the supply and quality of global freshwater resources. The primary product of the WWAP Secretariat is the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR), a UN‐Water flagship report on water resources related‐issues, which is produced every year on a different topic.

WWAP produces the WWDR in collaboration with several members and partners of UN‐Water. Thus inputs come in different style, level of detail, technical content, clarity all of which need to be streamlined to produce a factual, up‐todate WWDR which is consistent in terms of various messages it gives, the target audience it addresses and the integrity of the storyline. This necessitates the involvement of a specialist who will be the editor of the publication.

II. Duties and requirements

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director‐General for Natural Sciences (ADG/SC) and the direct supervision of the Coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) and Director of the UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment, the incumbent will develop evidence‐based original content for the WWDR series and other WWAP publications. More particularly, the incumbent will:

Content development

  • Develop evidence‐based original content, edit existing content based on contributions submitted by the UNWater family and project partners, and repurpose existing content into new formats;
  • Edit and (re)write contributions from partners to streamline the contents, identify complementarities and fill in gaps;
  • By researching and following complimentary publications in the literature, thrive to develop content that is relevant, cutting edge and engaging.


  • Ensure quality standards for content production and publication (especially at the copyediting and proofreading stage);
  • Draft forewords, preface and any other section (front end matter), communication material (press release, web articles, speeches etc.) for the WWDR and support development of similar contents for other WWAP publications, as per management request.

Vision and relevance

  • Ensure for WWDR’s positioning in the international agenda and water domain by understanding current global challenges and trends as well as the needs and expectations of stakeholders;
  • Ability to relate comfortably to target audience of WWAP (notably policy and decision makers) to develop/shape accurate and science based content.



  • Advanced University (Master or equivalent) in the field of natural sciences or engineering. A first‐level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 4 years of experience in writing, editing and publishing in the water domain.
  • Experience in working with the UN System, notably UN‐Water and/or an international development organization.


  • Strong analytical and investigative skills. Ability to identify and utilize new sources of data and knowledge relevant to the work of the WWAP.
  • Ability to work independently under strict deadline pressure, prioritize tasks appropriately, manage several of them at once and switch seamlessly among them.
  • Very good communication skills (oral and written) and ability to coordinate the drafting of complex document.
  • Ability to work in a team and to maintain effective working relationships in a multi‐cultural environment.
  • Good IT skills, including knowledge of MS software (Word, Excel etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge of English.



  • Relevant experience with international sustainable development agendas notably MDGs.


  • Ability to provide effective guidance and leadership to junior colleagues.
  • Good understanding of the UN 2030 Agenda.


  • Good knowledge of another official UNESCO language (Arab, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries are calculated in US dollars and exempt from income tax. They consist of a basic salary and a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, home travel, education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. More details on the ICSC Web site.

Please note that UNESCO is a non‐smoking Organization.


To apply, please send your “UNESCO PHF” ( or the UN PHF together with a cover letter, by email to [email protected] Please label the subject line “Programme Specialist – Editor ‐ United Nations World Water Development Report” (PA P‐3). The deadline is 10 November 2017 at midnight (Paris time). The extension is contingent on the availability of funding.