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National Project Officer || UNESCO

  • Harare


DUE: 20 JULY 2023

Post Number : 6ZWSC0004PA
Grade : NO-B
Parent Sector : Field Office
Duty Station: Harare
Job Family: Natural Sciences
Type of contract : Project Appointment
Duration of contract : 1 year
Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates
Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 20-JUL-2023

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

Initial duration of contract: 1 year with the possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance

This position is only open to nationals from Zimbabwe.

Under the authority of the UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, the overall supervision of the Regional Head of Natural Science Unit and the direct supervision of the Project Officer, the incumbent will be responsible for leading the project “Strengthening local communities’ adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change through sustainable groundwater exploitation in Zimbabwe” funded by the Adaptation Fund.

The objective of the proposed project is to increase local communities’ adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change through sustainable groundwater utilisation for food security and other productive uses in rural areas of Zimbabwe. To achieve this, the project will implement an array of actions starting at national to local levels. These include:

(i) Strengthening technical, institutional and human capacity for improved and sustainable utilization of groundwater at national and local level;
(ii) conducting comprehensive assessments of groundwater resources in two poverty-stricken and highly vulnerable sub-catchments of Lower Gwayi and Upper Save and develop sample plans for improving climate resilience through sustainable groundwater utilization;
(iii) Strengthening the capacity of water and land management institutions in Lower Gwayi and Upper Save sub-catchments by developing integrated catchment management plans that promote groundwater use whilst protecting groundwater resources;
(iv) Piloting and demonstrating concrete climate change adaptation measures based on sustainable groundwater utilisation by diversifying and strengthening the livelihoods of the most vulnerable population in Lower Gwayi and Upper Save sub-catchments; and
(v) Compiling and disseminating lessons learnt from the project to facilitate future upscaling and replication of good practices in groundwater extraction and management. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is the executing partner and the project will be implemented for 4 years from June 2023 to June 2027.

To lead the day-to-day implementation of the project, the incumbent will perform the following tasks:

Project Implementation
Coordinate and monitor the implementation of the project to ensure the achievement of project targets and results;
Coordinate with the project team, the project steering committee and other implementing partners to ensure smooth implementation of the project;
Coordinate development and formulation of detailed implementation plans, procurement and human resources, communication, capacity building, Monitoring and Evaluation, and risk management plans for the Project;
Provide secretariat role for the project steering committee;
Maintaining collaborative working relationships among key project partners, partners and the Adaptation Fund Secretariat.

Monitoring and Evaluation
Coordinate the accurate and timely high-quality results reporting on the progress of the project and achievement of annual targets to the Project Steering Committee and Adaptation Fund and in UNESCO’s overall reporting system. Ensure that Adaptation Fund and UNESCO reports are prepared according to UNESCO’s standard operating procedures and quality standards and in line with the contractual obligations to AF; and ensure that all internal and external reports are submitted by deadlines;
In collaboration with the technical project staff, UNESCO and the Government, identify new risks and update risk frameworks for consideration of the Project Steering Committee;
Undertake project-related missions to the field sites to support implementation and track progress;
Keep the Project Steering Committee updated with regard to project implementation, progress, opportunities, and challenges;
Monitor risks and ensure compliance with fund requirements.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of Water Resources Management, Natural Sciences, or Earth Sciences.

Work Experience
Minimum 2 years of relevant professional experience in project implementation in the field of natural sciences and or related fields;
Relevant experience in the project management cycle;
Demonstrated professional experience with project management.

Skills and competencies
Ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines;
Excellent interpersonal skills, tact and diplomacy;
Ability to work with a wide range of partners, including national and local authorities, academia and relevant United Nations Agencies and NGOs;
Excellent communication skills;
Ability to work in a multicultural team with respect and sensitivity for diversity;
Good IT skills including knowledge of MS office programmes (i.e. Word, Excel, Office..etc).

Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken).


Advanced university degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in the field of natural sciences.
Training in project management and/or environmental and social risk assessment.

Work Experience
Experience at international level, i.e. within the United Nations common system or International Organizations.

Competencies and Skills
Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the United Nations System.
Knowledge of United Nations work in the field of natural sciences and/ or related fields.

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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 61,009.00 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.

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 recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as 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. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities 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.

Click here to apply