Programme Specialist

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Harare, Zimbabwe

Experience: 5 to 10 Years

Skill Required :

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture (ADG/CLT), and the direct supervision of the Director UNESCO Harare Office, the incumbent shall contribute to the programme and projects in the field of culture and ensure the design and development, planning, monitoring and implementation of activities carried out under Major Programme IV – Culture in the countries covered by the Regional Office for Southern Africa (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

The incumbent is also responsible for preparing inputs for the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the Programme and Budget (C/5) and related work plans, as well as for developing partnerships and fundraising activities, and for UNESCO’s contribution to the ‘Delivering as One’ exercise in the field of culture in the countries covered by the Office. S/he also leads and supervises staff of the Culture Unit of the Office.

The incumbent will also contribute to the implementation of initiatives related to the UNESCO global priorities (Africa and Gender Equality), priority groups (Small Island Developing States – SIDS) and transversal thematic areas, such as Culture and Education, Culture and Climate Change, Indigenous People, SIDS, and Youth.

More specifically, the incumbent will perform the following tasks, in the countries covered by the Office:

Programme Delivery

  • Supervise and coordinate the staff working in the field of culture.
  • Ensure the delivery of Culture programme in the countries covered by the Office in line with the Culture sector’s strategies and priorities, particularly through capacity building, policy advice, technical assistance and networking of relevant stakeholders in the Culture sector’s field of competence and in the advocacy of the linkages between culture and development. This includes the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of work plans, as well as the related reporting, in close cooperation with the Culture Sector at Headquarters, for both Regular Programme and voluntary contribution funded activities.
  • Facilitate the coordination of the Culture Programme at sub-regional level by providing technical advice and guidance to the National Offices, Antennas and Focal Points of the sub-regional in the planning and development of programmes, projects and activities of the Culture Sector.
  • Provide inputs, including data and statistics for the preparation of report and briefings on the implementation of programmes and projects funded by Regular Programme and voluntary contributions, using relevant tools, including the System of Information on Strategies, Tasks and Evaluation of Results (SISTER).
  • Contribute to the overall delivery of the Office’s programme objectives and intersectoral working modalities.
  • Ensure that UNESCO’s work is implemented in a coherent and integrated manner consistent with sector-wide frameworks and in collaboration with other UNESCO Field Offices.

Partnerships And Fundraising

  • Build, maintain and enhance strong and strategic working relationships with the concerned national/local authorities, cultural institutions and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Build and enhance partnerships with UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors/partners, development banks, international institutions and the private sector in order to conceptualize and design Culture programmes and projects at the national and regional level, and contribute to resource mobilization by developing concept notes and project proposals based on the situational analyses in line with the priorities of Major Programme IV – Culture and the Culture Resource Mobilization Framework.
  • Ensure the required fundraising to reinforce the Regular Programme by mobilizing resources and building partnerships, including with private sector.

Joint Programme Exercises

  • Participate in joint programme exercise in the framework of the UN Reform and ‘Delivering as One’ such as Common Country Assessments/United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (CCA/UNSDCF), regional and sub-regional joint initiatives and programmes, etc..
  • Contribute to developing the advocacy and promotion of the role of culture as a vector for sustainable development and peace building.
  • Identify entry points for culture in these exercises responding to priorities and needs in culture.
  • Develop and implement related joint actions, programmes and activities.
  • Maintain strong working relations with the Resident Coordinator and other UN Agencies, groups and entities.

Capacity Building

  • Assist Member States in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and specifically promote culture-engaged sustainable development and to undertake assessment needs related to Culture.
  • Provide policy advice and technical assistance to relevant stakeholders in the Culture Sector’s fields of competence and advocacy for the linkages between culture and development, as well as substantive contributions in the field of culture to the development of national, regional and international strategies.
  • Facilitate and develop capacity building and training activities and reports to support culture institutions and professionals in view of the strategic objectives of protecting, promoting and transmitting heritage and fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions, including preparedness and response in case of emergencies.

Required Qualifications


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of culture, social sciences, humanities, political science, international relations, or a related discipline.

Work Experience

  • At least seven (7) years of relevant professional experience in the field of culture, with preferably three (3) years acquired at the international level.
  • Proven experience in project management and resource mobilization.

Skills and competencies

  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills, and ability to manage staff and teams in a multicultural environment.
  • Analytical skills and ability to collect, synthesize and analyze information from various sources.
  • Proven ability to identify emerging development trends in culture and sustainable development.
  • Ability to provide policy advice and assistance to policy and decision makers.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to prepare, present and discuss findings and recommendations clearly and concisely.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan strategically, and to translate strategy into priorities and action.
  • Ability to coordinate and negotiate with partners, network and different stakeholders.
  • Very good IT skills, knowledge of Media and Information Literacy (MIL).


  • Excellent knowledge of English (spoken and written).