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Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: The Project Consultant may work remotely, travelling to UNESCO and agreed locations when their presence is required by the project.

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 17-APR-2024

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


The goal of this project is to advance the implementation of UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of AI in target countries and to empower stakeholders to make evidence-informed choices on AI governance.

In November 2021, 193 Member States of UNESCO adopted the Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (the Recommendation). This global standard aims to leverage the positive impacts of AI while addressing its inherent risks. Countries around the world are now in the process of implementing the Recommendation, with UNESCO supporting them through various capacity-building efforts. UNESCO is partnering with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation on the Promoting Ethical Governance of AI for Greater Impact project, to scale up impact already made through UNESCO’s ongoing efforts and advance an ethical framework for AI governance based on the Recommendation.

Getting AI governance right is one of the most consequential challenges of our time, calling for mutual learning based on the lessons and good practices emerging from different jurisdictions worldwide. Since the adoption of the Recommendation in November 2021, UNESCO’s Bioethics and Ethics of Science and Technology team has been working with national partners in countries at different levels of technological and policy development. Through applying the Readiness Assessment Methodology and the Ethical Impact Assessment tools, UNESCO is developing a range of concrete and practical solutions to ensure that AI outcomes are fair, inclusive, sustainable and non-discriminatory. Through this project, UNESCO will leverage its expertise to broaden the impact to a greater number of countries, as well as document the accumulated knowledge in analytical reports that further deepen the research about AI trends.

The Consultant will work under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences Sector (ADG/SHS), and under the direct supervision of the Head of Ethics of AI Unit at UNESCO Headquarters.


The aim of the Consultant role is to lead the development and implementation of research and analytical outputs. Together with the team, the Consultant will work on the Model Governance Framework, as well as potentially other outputs from the project according to knowledge and work experience of the candidate.

a. Model Governance Framework

This report framework will capture, analyze and standardize knowledge from the emerging good practices and regulatory trends from across 50 counties where UNESCO has been assisting with the assessment of readiness and construction of institutional and policy frameworks. The evidence on what works for effective AI governance and the lessons learned will be translated into practical guidance and presented in a modular format for easy dissemination and uptake among national stakeholders in every country.

Activities include: Conducting consultation within UNESCO’s AI team and with key stakeholders including national partners to identify key themes, trends, challenges, opportunities, and gaps related to AI governance, to build up a repository of good practices for AI governance, incorporating these findings into a comprehensive analytical report.


b. Contributing to the ongoing work of the secretariat on AI ethics:

Identifying synergies between this project and other projects on AI ethics that the secretariat is conducting around the world, including on capacity building for AI governance for different governments. The goal is to enrich and cross fertilize the overall work.
Activities include: contributing to ongoing research and analysis conducted by the secretariat; participating in meetings; presenting the work to different stakeholders; supporting the secretariat with the preparation of different materials such as speeches, presentations, blogs, white papers etc.

Deliverables and timeframe:

Delivering monthly progress reports for activity (a).

Delivering an intermediary report for activity (a).

Delivering five blogposts on the topics related to activity (a).

Delivering a final report for activity (a).

The duration of the contract is 10 months (until 28 February 2025)



  • Advanced university degree (PhD preferred, Master’s or equivalent required) in governance of artificial intelligence, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence or digital technologies, law and technology, computer science, data science, computational social science, or other related fields. A PhD can count as work experience.

Work experience

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies, at national and/or international level. A PhD can count as work experience.
  • Proven experience in conducting research and analysis and/or implementing programmes/projects on the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies. Experience in producing policy-oriented reports or recommendations is strongly desirable.


  • Very good understanding of the ethical, legal, social and governance issues of artificial intelligence and related digital technologies.
  • Excellent knowledge about the dynamics of governance of AI, including policies, legislative and regulatory frameworks, institutional mechanisms, organizational structures and processes, and initiatives by different stakeholders in this field. This includes broad familiarity with UNESCO’s AI Readiness Assessment Methodology and the ability to translate lessons learned and good practices into practical guidance for policymakers.
  • Proven ability to draft clearly and concisely and to produce high quality policy-oriented analysis and synthesis documents. Proven ability to manage projects, coordinate with teams, and work on multiple interrelated outputs.


  • Excellent knowledge of English. Other language skills are an advantage.


Interested candidates should click on “Apply Now”, then download and complete the Employment History form (Word file). At the end of the Word file, insert extra pages with the following required information:

A one-page statement laying out how their qualifications and experience make them suitable for the assignment, and explaining how they would approach the work;

The salary expectations for the assignment, which should be quoted in US dollars on a monthly basis for a 10-month period (full-time working).

Upon completing the Word file with all the requested information above, upload the file at the “My Employment History Form / My Documents” section of the online application form. Only applications with the above requested information will be considered.


UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.


Paris, France
This job has expired.