United Nations Chief of Section - Language Services Jobs in Kenya

United Nations Chief of Section - Language Services Jobs in Kenya

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) is the UN headquarters in Africa and the representative office of the Secretary-General.

UNON supports programme implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) globally, as well as other UN offices in Kenya, by providing administrative, conference and information services (www.unon.org).

This post is located in the Translation and Editorial Section within the Division of Conference Services (DCS).

Within delegated authority and under the direct supervision of the Chief, Division of Conference Services, the incumbent will be responsible for the day-to-day operation as well as the long-term planning of the Translation and Editorial Section; specifically, the incumbent's responsibilities will be as follows:


  • Direct and control the work programme of the Section to ensure the timely issuance in the language concerned of documents and publications for all United Nations bodies as required.
  • Make recommendations on policy, administrative and operational matters of the Section.
  • Organize all activities of the Section to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
  • Formulate and develop guidelines, instructions and priorities governing translation, revision, report-writing and terminology work of the Section; and prepare internal information notes on work procedures.
  • Screen applications from and evaluate potential freelance staff and contractors, and prepare requests for selection.
  • Carry out programmatic/management and administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including evaluation of staff performance (ePAS).
  • Plan and oversee the daily programming of work and making arrangements that may be necessitated by an emergency or unforeseen demand on the capacity of the Section.
  • Make long-term and short-term work projections based on the calendar of conferences, bearing in mind the capacity of the Section and prepare inputs for the work programme of the Division, determining priorities and requesting resources for completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Establish and/or advise on training requirements to ensure staff development at all levels and meet the requirements of the Section.
  • Select papers for examinations, marks scripts, establish pass lists, participate in examination boards and interviews, to ensure appropriate recruitment.
  • Serve as the final arbiter on all technical problems connected with Section.
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned

  • Professionalism: Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e., political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical.
  • Ability to work under continuous stress in dealing with a broad range of subjects.
  • Ability to demonstrate tact and negotiating skills, good judgement, decision-making and analytical skills.
  • Ability to serve as final arbiter on language, translation and other technical issues arising in the Service.
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

  • Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: Empowers others to translate vision into results;
  • Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives;
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support;
  • Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions;
  • Drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; Shows the courage to take unpopular stands.
  • Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision making;
  • Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member;
  • Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills;
  • Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff;
  • Encourages risk taking and supports creative initiative;
  • Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff;
  • Appraises performance fairly.

  • A first-level degree from a university or institution of equivalent status.
  • Having passed one of the United Nations Competitive Examinations for Editors,
  • Translators/precis-writers in any language is desirable.

    Work Experience
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in translation, revision and/or in the provision of other language or language related services.
  • Significant language-related management experience, of which 5 would be in international, regional or national institutions is required.

  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat, for this post fluency in English both oral and written is required.
  • Working knowledge of any other United Nations official language is required.

    How to Apply
  • Interested and qualified candidates should apply online by 26th May 2019
  • For more information and job application details, see; United Nations Chief of Section - Language Services Jobs in Kenya

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