Job Overview

Post Number : 5IQCLT0017PA

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Culture Sector (CLT)

Duty Station: Erbil

Job Family: Culture

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year, with the possibility of extension

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 25-JUN-2024


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


1 year contract with a 6 months probatory period, and the possibility of extension up to 3.5 years, subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory performance.

The position is full time (100%) and based in Erbil, with regular travel to Mosul and occasional travel to Basra. 

Overview of the functions of the post


UNESCO is completing phases I and II of the project Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities, generously funded by the European Union, which has created jobs for young people and developed their employable skills through heritage rehabilitation and the promotion of cultural activities and entrepreneurship in the two cities. The project is part of “Revive the spirit of Mosul” flagship initiative, launched by UNESCO in 2018.

The multi-faceted benefits of these interventions have not been lost on the regional and central Authorities who have expressed their interest for a greater “buy-in” in initiatives contributing to the development of cultural industries.  The aim of the Phase III of the project Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities is to create the right conditions for local stakeholders to take over the process by supporting them develop policy frameworks while building up capacities at each step of the value chain: decision makers, community representatives, academics, technical agents, and workers involved in the recovery of the Old Cities and the promotion of their cultural life.

Within the general framework of the Sustainable Development Goals / 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the specific objective (outcome) of Phase III is the creation of jobs in Mosul and Basra. Four project outputs articulate the activities of the project:

  1. The increased ability of the Public and Private Sectors to engage and participate in the urban heritage recovery process of Mosul and Basra.
  2. The improved technical skills of the stakeholders involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Mosul and Basra’s urban heritage.
  3. The recovery of the Old Cities of Mosul and Basra driven by the reconstruction and rehabilitation of heritage buildings and spaces.
  4. A revived cultural life contributing to community engagement, social cohesion, awareness raising, income generation and job creation.

The project will focus on two areas of support: youth employment, on one hand, and building the capacity of the institutions and actors, public and private, involved in the rehabilitation and safeguard of cultural heritage assets on the other. Developing local awareness, skills, knowledge, and technical capacity on the management of cultural heritage is a precondition for the authorities to be able to lead a locally driven process of urban recovery. The approach and activities address and support both areas simultaneously to produce synergies and mutually enriching results.

The incumbent Senior Project Officer will be responsible for managing and coordinating the implementation of all aspects of the project “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities Phase III” in continuity of the phase I and II, ensuring overall project’s sustainability and coherence. The role of the Senior Project Officer will include:
(i) Taking charge of, and managing, the relationship between the Project and government and non-government partners and stakeholders, present or future, relevant to the project and its successful implementation in Mosul and Basra, timely and within the allocated budget.
(ii) Supervising and facilitating the organization of events, trainings, conferences, workshops, and meetings to meet the demands of the project activities.
(iii) Establishing, managing, and monitoring contracts with staff, consultants, service providers, and contractors engaged for the project.
(iv) Providing technical leadership and oversight in the design of architectural interventions on historic buildings and spaces in Mosul and Basra; managing the technical team of architects, engineers and service providers deployed for the project interventions in both cities.
(v) Monitoring the execution of the budget of the Project, providing regular briefings and notifying significant deviations to the Chief of the Culture Programme and upper management.

Main duties and responsibilities

Under the overall authority of the Director of UNESCO Office in Iraq and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Culture Programme, it will be the responsibility of the incumbent to:

1. Manage, supervise, and coordinate the actions required to ensure that the objectives and outcomes of the project “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities Phase III” are met in a timely fashion. Monitor and manage the execution of the budget of the Project. Take proactive measures to mitigate deviations and keep UNESCO senior management informed of the evolution of expenditures with respect to the approved project budget.

2. Oversee the conservation and reconstruction activities outlined in the project document related to the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Mosul and Basra in coordination with the UNESCO Culture team in Iraq, and in liaison with the relevant services at HQs, such as the World Heritage Centre and secretariats of the relevant Conventions. Supervise the project team and consultants in Mosul and Basra tasked with designing, implementing, and monitoring the project interventions and activities.

3. Develop and coordinate the awareness raising, capacity building, and project visibility activities outlined in the project document. Coordinate and implement the project’s cultural activities to meet the objectives outlined in the project document, with the assistance of the Associate Project Officer and project team members.

4. Manage the pre-design, design, and tendering of the architectural interventions done under the Project and coordinate and oversee the execution of the construction works. Ensure that construction management and work supervision tasks are effectively carried out by the technical teams assigned to the project:  timeliness in progress of the works, quality of the works, reporting, submittals and their approval, instruction to contractors, documentation of decisions, responses to Contractors’ Requests for Information, certification of payments, and, in general terms, ensure that all the required tasks are being discharged in a timely manner by the Contractors and by UNESCO’s supervision team.

5. Write up Terms of References (TORs) or Requests for Proposals (RFP), as the situation may warrant, to recruit consultants and vendors whose expertise is required for the Project and its reporting.

6. Establish and maintain good relationships with local and national stakeholders, implementing partners/consultants/contractors covering the range of expertise required to successfully implement the project activities in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Organization.

7. Liaise with and facilitate consultations between donors, relevant local authorities, UN project partners, CSOs, private companies and community stakeholders as is necessary to roll out the Project smoothly; organize briefings and information sharing meetings and participate in them, while looking for synergies and avoiding duplications.

8. Report periodically on the Project to donor(s), implementation partners and UNESCO management, as required and as per agreed schedule and deadlines.

9. Provide expert advice to supervisor / UNESCO on architectural design, urban recovery and heritage conservation and support the preparation of project proposals for Iraq related to these topics. Undertake the missions required for the development of the culture programme at the request of UNESCO senior management.

10. Support UNESCO in the preparation of brochures, pamphlets or publications related to the activities or achievements of the Project. Ensure good filing and knowledge management of the project.


The incumbent is expected to carry out missions to Mosul and Basra as needed for the smooth implementation of the project.

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)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

Required Qualifications



  • Advanced university degree (equivalent to Masters) in architecture, architectural conservation, engineering, or a related field.
  • To be registered as an architect with License to practice at the Architectural Association or local equivalent in the country of origin.


Work Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible relevant professional work experience in architecture and heritage or related fields as well as in managing construction works and large work teams, of which preferably 3 years acquired at International level.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience as head architect in an architectural design team.  Proven ability to develop and nurture human capital within a multicultural context.
  • Demonstrable experience as a Team Leader and management in at least three internationally funded projects dealing with construction, architectural planning, urban planning, institutional capacity development or local development issues.
  • Demonstrable experience in conservation or adaptive re-use projects and new construction.
  • Demonstrable experience in Stakeholder Engagement, establishing and maintaining effective partnerships with donors, government stakeholders, civil society, private sector entities, and the general public acquired at international level and, possibly, in post-conflict contexts.


Skills and Competencies

  • Integrity, reliability, and sense of commitment in the execution of duties.
  • Excellent coordination and organizational skills.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Good knowledge of results-based and budget management tools.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to draft clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships, have good negotiation skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure, manage heavy workloads and to meet tight deadlines, paying close attention to detail and quality of work.
  • Strong IT skills including good knowledge of standard office software.



  • Excellent knowledge of English language (both written and spoken).

Desirable Qualifications


Work Experience

  • Previous experience with a multilateral or international organization, preferably within the UN system.
  • Demonstrable experience in authorship of Quality Control, Health and Safety, Operation and Maintenance manuals, and regulations, including experience in preparation of Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) for project components.
  • Demonstrable experience with UN Procurement methods. Experience in negotiating contracts using UN, International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) or American Institute of Architects (AIA) standards with external consultants and general contractors.
  • Experience working with specialized engineering/architectural programs such as AutoCAD, or other similar technical software.
  • Previous work experience in heritage conservation and rehabilitation in Iraq.

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of UNESCO’s mission and the Culture Sector’s Programme.



  • Knowledge of  other UN Language (French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic).


Benefits and Entitlements


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 106 555 US $.

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

Selection and Recruitment Process


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.