Vacancy announcement
Bengaluru, India

Senior Programme Specialist (Learning Solutions) - P4

Vacancy type Temporary regular staff
Duration of the contract
8 months until 31 December 2024
Deadline for submission of applications
21 April 2024
Organizational Unit
Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building
Number of job positions

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is an autonomous body within the United Nations that was established in 1965 pursuant to a UN General Assembly resolution. UNITAR's mission is to develop the individual, institutional and organizational capacities of countries and other United Nations stakeholders through high quality learning solutions and related knowledge products and services to enhance decision-making and to support country-level action for overcoming global challenges.

UNITAR’s Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building supports the strengthening of individuals, and institutions (including public, private, and philanthropic organizations) at global, regional, and country levels to ensure that these partners have essential capacities, structures, and systems in place to tackle non-communicable diseases, innovate through the uptake of digital health tools and approaches, and enhance their capacities through more accessible, affordable, and accredited training in a sustained and sustainable manner.

The WHO Academy operates as a specialized global entity within the World Health Organization, working collaboratively with various departments and stakeholders to support the advancement of health education worldwide. It acts as a key driver in shaping the learning strategies and initiatives to address the evolving needs of the global health community. Currently, the WHO delivers over 1,400 courses for both internal and external learners through various diverse digital learning platforms. The WHO Academy aims to migrate these courses on its Learning Experience Platform (LXP). WHO, UNITAR, and The Defeat-NCD Partnership will work together to accelerate the efforts of establishing this unified platform, including migration of existing courses and development of new courses.


Reporting to the Director for the Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building and collaborating with the LXP Lead from the WHO Academy, the Senior Programme Specialist is a key member of  the “WHO Academy course mobilisation programme: Migration and co-production of courses (WHOA: MCC)” who is responsible for overseeing the end-to-end project management of the courses to be migrated to the WHO Academy’s LXP and co-produced courses in partnership between the WHO Academy and UNITAR. This role entails managing a team of instructional designers/developers, quality reviewers and functional testers, developing and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders and vendors, collaborating closely with the WHO Academy leadership team, and ensuring the timely and high-quality delivery of courses as outlined in the agreement between the WHO Academy and UNITAR.

The incumbent operates as a point of contact for the delegated courses, coordinating the seamless execution of multiple courses. Collaborating closely with cross-functional teams, including instructional designers/developers, subject matter experts, quality reviewers, and functional testers, the incumbent nurtures a collaborative work environment that values diversity, inclusivity, and open communication, thereby fostering an atmosphere conducive to the exchange of ideas and the cultivation of innovative learning experiences.

The incumbent is responsible for the following:

  1. Lead learning design for hosted courses

    • Working with the instructional designers to conduct a review of the courses for migration to ensure they align with the WHO Academy’s portfolio strategy for 2024-25.
    • Communicating with technical units to capture information on the validity of the course content and ensuring it is aligned with expected quality standards.
    • Supervising the work of the team to ensure the targeted number of courses are migrated to the platform as per committed timelines.   
  2. Lead learning design for co-produced courses
    • Conducting a needs and readiness assessment of proposed courses.
    • Capturing detailed information on the course requirements, delivery approach, accessibility requirements, translation and localization requirements, and tentative timeline.
    • Conducting a learner needs analysis and documenting information on the target learners for the course.
    • Conducting a preliminary review of the course content, resources, and additional materials to confirm content readiness, and identify any potential issues or gaps in the material.
    • Guiding the instructional designers and working closely with them to ensure effective learning design and course production.
    • Completing the competency mapping and designing the assessment and learning strategy for the assigned courses.
    • Supporting the delivery and impact team to draft an impact measurement plan and a monitoring and evaluation plan.
    • Reviewing each course to ensure its compliance with quality standards.
    • Supporting the multilingualism team in the translation and localization tasks for each assigned course.
    • Organizing reviews of the course, resources, methodologies, and overall structure to ensure it remains relevant, up-to-date, and effective.
    • Implementing course improvement measures as per the feedback from learners and during reviews of the course.
  3. Project Management
    • Project management of allocated courses, including planning, designing, scheduling, and coordination.
    • Developing and maintaining project plans, including timelines, milestones, and deliverables for each course assigned.
    • Coordinating with cross-functional teams to ensure the timely execution of all project tasks.
    • Ensuring adherence to financial constraints and resource allocations.
    • Conducting regular project status meetings and providing updates to the designated WHO Academy focal points, the WHO Academy Project Manager, the UNITAR Director for the Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building,  and other relevant stakeholders.

Business Development and Strategic Growth

  • Actively seeking out potential opportunities for new projects in alignment with strategic goals.
  • Conducting market research and analysis to identify emerging trends and areas of need within the field of healthcare education and training.
  • Collaborating with internal teams to brainstorm and develop innovative project ideas.
  • Leading the development of comprehensive project proposals for new initiatives, including defining the scope, outlining objectives, methodologies, budgets, and timelines.
  • Engaging with stakeholders to gather input and ensure proposals are aligned with their needs and expectations.
  • Presenting proposals to potential donors and partners in a compelling and persuasive manner.
  • Cultivating relationships with public and private donors, as well as philanthropic organizations, to secure funding for existing and new projects.
  • Collaborating with finance and fundraising teams to develop fundraising strategies and initiatives.
  • Proactively seeking partnerships with public and private entities, particularly those based in or around Switzerland, to develop new course offerings.
  • Collaborating with subject matter experts and instructional designers to conceptualize and design innovative courses that address current and emerging healthcare challenges.
  • Assessing market demand and conducting needs assessments to inform the development of new course offerings.

Stakeholder Management

  • Working with key internal and external stakeholders involved in learning projects.
  • Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders, ensuring their active involvement and support throughout the learning design lifecycle.
  • Communicating project plans, progress, and outcomes to stakeholders clearly and concisely.
  • Soliciting feedback from stakeholders to incorporate their inputs into project planning and execution.

Vendor Management

  • Preparing the Terms of Reference for vendors based on course production requirements, in consultation with the Academy leadership team, as required.
  • Selecting the required vendors and suppliers to meet the specific requirements of each course.
  • Monitoring vendor performance and service delivery, ensuring compliance with the Academy’s established standards and expectations.
  • Managing relationships with vendors to foster a collaborative and productive working environment.
  • Onboarding the selected vendor to establish a clear understanding of the course requirements and design specifications and defining the communication protocols and channels for effective collaboration.
  • Addressing any vendor-related issues or concerns in a timely and effective manner.
Work implies frequent interaction with:
  • The World Health Organization
  • Individual contractors/ consultants including instructional designers/developers, subject matter experts, quality reviewers, and functional testers
  • Experts in the field of training and professional development
  • Prospective institutional donors and partners for implementing and scaling up the work of the programme

In the execution of the above tasks, the incumbent supervises personnel under his/ her direct responsibility as delegated by the Director for the Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building.

Results expected:
  • Strong project management and execution to ensure timely and high-quality delivery of all agreed outputs under Component I of the programme with the WHO Academy on course migration by 31 December 2024.
  • Conclusion of UN-UN agreement and associated financing to implement Component II of the programme with the WHO Academy on co-production of courses by June 2024.
  • Strong project management and execution to ensure timely and high-quality delivery of all agreed outputs under Component II of the programme with the WHO Academy on co-production of courses.
  • Increased financial resource mobilisation and sustainable programme expansion in the field of learning solutions, for the Division on NCD, Digital Health, and Capacity Building.
  • Integrity: Demonstrates the values of the United Nations in daily activities and behaviour.  Acts without consideration of personal gain. Resists undue political pressure in decision-making. Does not abuse power or authority. Stands by decisions that are in the Organisation’s interest, even if they are unpopular. Takes prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour.
  • Professionalism: Shows pride in work and achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and a thorough understanding of learning design principles and adult learning; in-depth knowledge of learning management systems and educational technologies, enabling the integration of innovative technological solutions into the learning design process; demonstrated knowledge and skills in learning design management; experience with e-learning development tools and software, such as Articulate Storyline and Rise, and with e-learning platforms, such as Open eDX, and Moodle; proficiency in project management tools and software, such as Jira or Asana, with a proven track record of utilizing these resources to streamline project workflows and enhance overall efficiency. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remains calm in stressful situations. 
  • Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds. Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural, multidisciplinary environment. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Treats men and women equally. Shows respect for and understanding of diverse points of view and demonstrates this understanding in daily work and decision-making. Examines own biases and behaviours to avoid stereotypical responses. Do not discriminate against any individual or group.
  • Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others, and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed. 
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. Proven ability to work with a diverse team across different functional areas.
  • Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required.  Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently. Excellent organizational and managerial skills with the ability to multitask, deliver results in time-critical scenarios, and identify and solve problems.
  • Accountability: Take ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organisational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  • Client Orientation: Considered all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress and setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products and services to client.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programme or services. Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs. Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas. Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks ‘’outside the box.” Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things. Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
  • Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology. Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office. Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks. Shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession. Actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally. Contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates. Shows willingness to learn from others. Seeks feedback to learn and improve.
Minimum requirements


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in adult learning, learning/education technologies, instructional design or related field.
  • Certification in project management is desirable.    


  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in learning design and development of courses, in the context of adult learning or professional development, with at least 4 years in project management, demonstrating a strong track record of successful project delivery. Extensive experience collaborating with instructional designers, exhibiting a profound understanding of learning design principles and methodologies to achieve optimal learning outcomes.
  • Proven experience in successfully managing complex learning design projects, preferably within the healthcare or public health sectors. This experience should demonstrate the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and manage resources efficiently.
  • Experience of working within the UN system is desirable.


  • Fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Working knowledge of another United Nations official languages would be an asset (UN languages are English, French, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic).
Special Notice:

UNITAR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Qualified women, individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

English and French are the two working languages of UNITAR. Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

UNITAR staff members are subject to the authority of the UNITAR Executive Director and their appointments are limited to service with the Institute.


According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. UNITAR is a non-smoking environment.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules and UNITAR administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

No Fee:


How to apply

Please submit your application along with a motive letter as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Due to high number of expected applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.