UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO in Basrah


Parent Sector : Culture Sector (CLT)

Duty Station: Basrah

Classification of duty station: Basrah

Job Family: Culture

Type of contract : Non Staff

Level : Equivalent to SC 5

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 07-July-2022

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


The UNESCO Office in Iraq is implementing the project “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old City” whose aim is to foster resilience, social cohesion and reconciliation through the creation of job opportunities and the rehabilitation of urban cultural heritage in Mosul and Basra.

The project is funded by the European Union and is being implemented within the framework of the Revive the Spirit of Mosul flagship initiative launched by UNESCO in February 2018. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to economic recovery and social cohesion through the creation of decent jobs the in re-construction of historical urban centres of Mosul and Basra. In addition to the rehabilitation of the built heritage, the “Reviving Mosul and Basra Old Cities” project focuses on skills development and the revival of the cultural life by promoting art and artists, books and literature, crafts and cultural events.

The project is in line with Old Basra Conservation and Development Plan elaborated between 2016 and 2018 under the aegis of the EU’s Local Area Development Program (LAPD II). It is the first project document to display an approach centred on the Urban Heritage of the Old City promoting both its conservation and development. It provides comprehensive information about Basra’s historic area, puts forward a clear analysis of its problems and proposes a series of actions to salvage and protect a rapidly disappearing Heritage. It was discussed and approved by the various institutional and community stakeholders and, as such, constitutes a clear road map for further conservation and rehabilitation interventions.

Within this framework, UNESCO is implementing three sub-projects having to do with the tangible heritage of the Old City of Basra: (i) the conservation/rehabilitation of 3 publicly owned and architecturally significant houses along the Al-Ashar Canal; (ii) the conservation and rehabilitation of a cluster of 9 “Shanasheel” houses; and (iii) the rehabilitation of the section of the Al-Ashar Canal located in the Old City and its bridges.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the overall authority of the Head of the UNESCO Iraq Office, the overall guidance of the Head of Culture and the Senior Architect Advisor, and the direct supervision of the Basra Team leader, the Structure Engineer will be based in Basra governorate and will be working on a part time basis (50% dedication) to support various rehabilitation works in the Old City of Basra.

Specifically, the incumbent will undertake the following tasks and be responsible for: 1) Verifying that onsite construction activities meet the requirements of the Construction Contracts and the technical specifications of the approved project documents. 2) Ensuring that all proper measures are taken to guarantee at all times the stability of the structures and construction on which UNESCO is intervening in Basra. 3) Responding in a timely manner to queries pertaining to structural issues raised by the site technicians of the works, whether UNESCO or Contractor staff; documenting and recording the instructions given. 4) Attending on-site meetings between UNESCO monitoring staff or UNESCO management and Works Contractors as required. 5) Providing support in locating on the local construction market the resources — equipment/ materials/ skilled personnel — required for the good execution of the construction works. 6) Providing support in coordinating and implementing activities undertaken in cooperation with the line government agencies involved in the project. 7) Contributing to the promotion and divulgation of UNESCO activities in Basra. 8) Performing other tasks assigned by UNESCO management or by the Basra Team Leader.

Expected results and duration of the assignment

  • Expected results:

Monthly reports detailing the activities of the incumbent: site inspections carried out, instructions to the contractor, assessment of test results, etc. Reports will be written in English.

  • Expected time-limited duration of the assignment Minimum 6 months with a probationary period of 3 months

Organizational Environment and Partnership

Organizational Environment and Partnership

Under the overall authority of the Head of the UNESCO Iraq Office, the overall guidance of the Head of Culture and the Senior Architect Advisor, and the direct supervision of the Basra Team leader, the Structure Engineer will be based in Basra governorate and will be working on a part time basis (50% dedication) to support various rehabilitation works in the Old City of Basra

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


1. Academic qualifications

  • MA/MS in civil or structural engineering or BA/BS in civil or structural engineering with two additional years of relevant professional experience.

2. Years of relevant work experience

  • Professional background in structural engineering with at least 8 years of experience as a structural engineer.
  • Experience monitoring construction works.
  • Proven experience in hydraulic works.
  • Experience of interventions in historical/ heritage/ vernacular buildings.
  • Previous experience in the Basra area, and preferably in the Old City of Basra.
  • Previous experience with UN and/or other international organizations.

3. Language requirement

  • Native Arabic speaker – oral, written, comprehension.
  • Fluent in English – oral, written, comprehension.

4. Competencies and Skills

  • Good working knowledge of professional Structure Software, Autocad, and Office applications; (MS office Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams).
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • High level of skills in negotiation and problem solving in a crisis/emergency.
  • Demonstrated competence in the supervision of works, including the capacity of closely monitoring technical and operational aspects.
  • Proven ability to exercise initiative and resourcefulness necessary for prioritizing multiple components and phases of work.
  • Positive attitude and strong analytical, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Solid skills in analyzing and consolidating various sources of information and synthesizing the information effectively in written reports.


  • Previous experience working in the City of Basrah .
  • Previous experience with UN and/or other International organizations

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)

Communication (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)


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 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”.