UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
Mission and objectives
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, sciences and culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.
As UNESCO has broad mandates in the fields of education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information, it’s policies, programmes and projects provide opportunities and have significant impacts (positive and negative) for indigenous peoples worldwide. The 2030 Agenda commitment to ‘Leave no one behind’ also brings new impetus to ensure that indigenous peoples’ priorities are heard.
Indigenous peoples are living manifestations of cultural diversity, repositories of thousands of rare languages, and essential partners in building knowledge societies and achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. as such, their societies, which among the most vulnerable in the world, are also the heart of the concerns of UNESCO’s mandate. It was therefore urgent for UNESCO to reflect our own contribution to one of the major challenges of our time.
The International Decade aims at ensuring indigenous peoples’ right to preserve, revitalize and promote their languages, and mainstreaming linguistic diversity and multilingualism aspects into the sustainable development efforts. It offers a unique opportunity to collaborate in the areas of policy development and stimulate a global dialogue in a true spirit of multi-stakeholder engagement, and to take necessary for the usage, preservation, revitalization and promotion of indigenous languages around the world.
Through partnerships with indigenous peoples, UNESCO also seeks to support indigenous peoples in addressing the multiple challenges they face, while acknowledging their significant role in sustaining the diversity of the world’s cultural and biological landscape. In this light, UNESCO’s Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems programme (LINKS) promotes local and indigenous knowledge and its inclusion in global climate science and policy processes.
Within the delegated authority and under the direct supervision of Head of Office and Representative to UNESCO Nepal or his/her designated mandated representative(s), the UNV Indigenous Engagement Expert will:
Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:
35 – 80
Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.
15 years of experience in local and indigenous communities and traditional knowledge management, indigenous community engagement, community development.
Area(s) of expertise
Nepalese, Level: Fluent, Required English, Level: Working knowledge, Required
Required education level
Master degree or equivalent in sociology, anthropology, social sciences, natural sciences or area related to local/indigenous/traditional knowledge
Competencies and values
• Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNESCO technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNESCO procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;
• Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;
• Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff)
• Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNESCO in daily activities and behaviors while acting without consideration of personal gains;
Living conditions and remarks
Kathmandu is in Low level (Level 2) of the UN Security level but may change depending on the development of the security situation. English is widely spoken and understood by both locals and expats and is considered to be the business language in Kathmandu although Nepali and Nepal Bhasa are the official national languages of Nepal. Kathmandu has a multi-ethnic population with the majority being Hindu and Buddhist. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. In terms of living costs, Kathmandu is considered as a very inexpensive city with average living expenses being significantly low compared to numerous other Asian cities. The climate in the city of Kathmandu is characterised by warm days followed by cool nights and mornings and unpredictable weather can be expected given that winter temperatures can drop to 1ºC or less. During the monsoon season (June to August) heavy rainfalls reach the city with average humidity of about 75%. As this is a national UN Volunteer assignment, the UN Volunteer will be responsible for arranging his/her own housing and other living essentials. National UN Volunteers are part of the malicious insurance plan. **This call strongly encourages people belonging to indigenous communities to apply**
United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.
Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements
Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy.