Programme Specialist

Addis Ababa, , ET

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, the direct supervision of  Director of the Liaison Office in Addis Ababa and in close collaboration with the Science Specialists in UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Nairobi, the relevant Programme Specialists at Headquarters and in the Africa Department, the incumbent will serve as a regional focal point for the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economics Commission for Africa (UNECA) and for other regional institutions concerned to strengthen cooperation on pan-african activites between UNESCO and the main regional institutions of Africa, to develop and execute projects related to environment sustainability in Ethiopia. S/he will also participate in joint programming activities related to Natural Sciences programme in Ethiopia. Within this context, s/he will perform the following duties:

  • Coordinate and monitor the development and implementation of  programme and projects in the areas of Natural Science, including the Ecological and Earth Sciences, the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the Policy and Capacity building, in the areas of biodiversity, ecology, local and indigenous knowledge, water management, climate change, geoscience, capacity building, Education and Sustainable Development (ESD).

  • Contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals related to Sciences by preparing  inputs for official UNESCO documents, such as the Medium-Term Strategy (C/4) and biennal Programme and Budget (C/5). Contribute to the planning, designing, coordination and implementation of activities under the science component of the Africa Flagship Programmes, in cooperation and collaboration with the UNESCO regional offices in Africa and with the relevant UN Specialised Agencies in Addis Ababa and UNESCO institute.

  • Assist the Ethiopian authorities and communities involved in the management and day-to-day activities of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves through the development of eco-tourism, geo-tourism, wildlife-tourism, environmentally friendly tourism, and the integration of local and indigenous knowledge.

  • Promote UNESCO Addis Ababa Office’s and African Regional inter-disciplinary/multi-disciplinary team efforts, particularly in the fields of climate change, disaster risk reduction, Education and Sustainable Development ESD, and local and indigenous knowledge.

  • Provide support to the Ethiopian National Commission as well as the Natural Sciences Sector-related national committees under IHP, MAB and IGGP for programme strategic planning, improvement of their participation, delivery, partnership development, network expansion, institutional capacity building and development of their own research and research application projects; contribute to the Director of the Office’s reporting on progress of Natural Sciences activities for which s/he is responsible.

  • Maintain strategic partnerships with other UN Agencies, particularly the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Multilateral and Bilateral Development partners and participate in joint programming activities related to Natural Sciences within the framework of the UN Reform  and ‘Delivering as One’, such as  Common Country Assessments (CCAs) and UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). Coordinate the contributions for UNESCO global science initiatives and reports such as the World Water Development Report or UNESCO report.

  • Contribute to UNESCO Addis Ababa office in establishing a country-specific and sub-regional database and collaborate with other UN entities to identify funding and partnership opportunities to support members in the region.

  • Contribute to the design of a resource mobilization strategy, through the development of  concepts and extra budgetary project proposals and the identification of potential funding sources, establishing contacts and pursuing negotiations with potential donors in support of natural science-related programmes/projects; prepare related work plans and implement reports in accordance with established procedure.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of water science, hydrology, ecological science, earth sciences, civil/environmental engineering and/or in another related field of natural sciences.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 4 years of relevant professional experience in the area of water science, hydrology, ecological science, earth sciences and/or civil/environmental engineering, at the national, regional and/or international level.
  • Proven experience in designing, implementing and managing programmes/projects related to natural sciences.


  • Good analytical, organizational and project management skills.
  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with national/local authorities, relevant institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Proven ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and persuasively (orally and in writing) with various stakeholders at all levels, within and outside of the Organization.
  • Good knowledge of resource mobilization mechanisms.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and to maintain effective working relations within a multi-cultural environment.
  • Solid IT skills, including knowledge of office software.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English and fair knowledge of French.


  • Advanced university degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in the field of water science, hydrology, ecological science, earth sciences and/or civil/environmental engineering.

Work Experience

  • Experience working within intergovernmental organizations and within governmental entities in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

  • Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks.

  • Experience in promoting South-South cooperation in science policy and capacity building.

  • Relevant experience or training in sustainable development linked with 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 other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).

  • Knowledge of one or more languages of the Region covered by the Office.