International Labour Organization (ILO)

Head (Innovation and Knowledge Management Unit)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Job Description

Grade: P5 Vacancy no.: RAPS/2/2021/DDG MR/01 Publication date: 09 July 2021 Application deadline (midnight Geneva time): 09 August 2021 Job ID: 5902 Department: DDG/MR Organization Unit: DDG/MR Location: Geneva Contract type: Fixed Term The following are eligible to apply:
  • ILO Internal candidates in accordance with paragraphs 31 and 32 of Annex I of the ILO Staff Regulations.
  • External candidates.
Staff members with at least five years of continuous service with the Office are encouraged to apply.

Applications from officials who have reached their age of retirement as defined in Article 11.3 of the Staff Regulations on or before 31 December 2017, or who have already separated from ILO service upon retirement or early retirement, will not be considered.

The ILO values diversity among its staff and welcomes applications from qualified female candidates. We also encourage applicants with disabilities. If you are unable to complete our online application form due to a disability, please send an email to

The ILO welcomes applicants with experience in working within ILO constituents (governments, employers’ and business membership organizations, and workers’ organizations).

Applicants from non- or under-represented member States, or from those member States which staffing forecasts indicate will become non- or under-represented in the near future would be particularly welcome. A list of these countries can be found here: In addition to the interviews and tests that any candidate may be required to take, successful completion of the ILO Assessment Centre is required for all external candidates and any internal candidate applying to a higher category.

Notwithstanding the general considerations set out in the ILO Staff Regulations, this vacancy announcement is the only authoritative document pertaining to the qualifications required for this position. The minimum required qualifications were determined in view of the specific duties and responsibilities of this position.

The specific language requirements for this position are detailed hereunder. However, candidates applying for the professional category vacancies who have not already successfully completed their probationary period within the ILO and whose mother tongue is not one of the working languages of the Office (English, French and Spanish), shall be required to possess a fully satisfactory working knowledge of at least one of the ILO working languages. If appointed they may be required to acquire a knowledge of a second working language of the Office during their initial years of service.


This position leads and manages the Innovation Knowledge Management Unit (IKMU) in the Management and Reform Portfolio.  The Head, Innovation and Knowledge Management Unit will work under the direct supervision of the Senior Adviser, DDG/MR and overall supervision of the DDG/MR.

The IKMU was formed to respond to the strategic imperative of equipping the Organization for the challenges posed by the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work and the continuing commitment of the ILO to deliver quality work and better value for money.  In addition, the nature and pace of continuing transformative changes in the world of work make it vital that the ILO itself be in a position to innovate in its own work and better manage knowledge.  The IKMU also plays a central role in developing Organizational culture by putting into practice the working methods and behaviours that respond to the demands for continuous improvement, The work of the IKMU is structured as projects and the incumbent is responsible for guiding and overseeing the design, planning and implementation of organizational change projects. S/he has supervisory responsibility for the staff of the IKMU.  The projects can originate from the Senior Management Team and be of an Office-wide, strategic nature or from the grassroots level which are applicable to units or field Offices and address business operations, specific issues and/or cultural change.

Following a participatory approach, the IKMU has the objective to improve the quality of services provided to constituents through innovation, knowledge management and Capacity Development.  The Head, IKMU will work hand in hand with staff in the Unit, functional managers and staff to achieve the following objectives: •Fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation by introducing principles, practices and behaviours to enable and promote ways of working together more effectively and participating actively in continuous improvement and the testing of new approaches.

•Leading improved data and Content Management to facilitate easy and effective access to various types of information, data and documents through Office-wide systems that facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

•Spearheading knowledge-sharing, both internally and externally, to ensure that the knowledge generated by the ILO has the greatest possible impact.

•Developing the institutional capacities in knowledge management and innovation to ensure that the required tools, skills and competencies to collaborate, share knowledge and innovate are further enhanced.

•Facilitating the formulation and implementation of innovative policies, products and services to better respond to constituents’ needs and optimize service quality and process efficiency in both technical advice and delivery mechanisms.

To deliver on the above objectives, the Head, IKMU will collaborate with managers and staff to identify improvement opportunities in the following areas: •Innovation and Change Management – helping staff put new ideas into practice and managing change •Knowledge management – helping staff improve collaboration, work processes and the capture, storage and sharing of knowledge •Capacity development – helping client groups to improve  team dynamics and effectiveness The incumbent will work closely with senior management, managers and staff across the Office supporting innovation, knowledge management and capacity development.  This will include regular contact with ILO directors, managers and staff in the Department, Unit or field Office where each project is implemented.  The Head, IKMU will also represent the ILO in networks on innovation, business process review, knowledge and change management with partner organizations, including other UN Agencies.

Specific Duties

  1. Provide support to the Senior Adviser with setting the strategic direction and priorities of the Unit, ensuring Coordination with key players.
  2. Provides technical and managerial leadership for the day-to-day functions of the IKMU. Establish work plans and fosters a harmonious working environment.
  3. Engage with managers and staff across the Office to identify opportunities to develop and implement improvements in operations, policy advice, knowledge products and services supporting delivery to our constituents.
  4. Oversee and guide the design, planning and implementation of innovation and knowledge management projects covering policy solutions, products, services and working methods.
  5. Ensure diagnostic and design activities are those most suitable for achieving the projects’ objectives and are conducted at the appropriate levels of quality and efficiency.  Guide the development of solutions delivering a positive impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Office.
  6. Oversee the development, review and revision of training materials; deliver training to ILO staff on innovation and knowledge management methodologies and the ILO’s Continuous Improvement Management Tools; monitor the quality of the training delivered.
  7. Provide support to managers on the measures put in place to ensure the implementation and sustainability of improvements, including the ILO’s Continuous Improvement Management Tools.
  8. Liaise with other actors across the Office engaged in innovation and knowledge management to ensure appropriate levels of coordination, collaboration and synergy, such as INFOTEC, RESEARCH, HRD and DDG/P Office.
  9. Remain abreast of developments in the fields of innovation and knowledge management and utilize or introduce those practices suited for the ILO context.  This includes both advances in methodologies for the IKMU team and working methods for across the Office.
  10. Develop staff development plans to ensure the IKMU team has the required expertise, skills and behaviours to implement its mandate and work effectively together.  Support the professional growth of staff in the IKMU through regular coaching, feedback, training and by providing challenging assignments.
  11. Contribute as a strategic member of the management team and prepare documents of a conceptual, strategic and policy nature. Prepare periodic briefs and reports on assigned team outputs and activities, including periodic updates for Senior Management.
  12. Represent the ILO in relevant inter-Agency working groups and networks.
  13. Perform other relevant duties, as assigned.

Generic Duties

1. Manage all the library activities or a group of related functions in a programme covering a diversity of information needs and functions.

2. Supervise the professional and general service staff in the unit. Propose and update strategies, and establish work procedures, standards and policy guidelines for all relevant functional areas.

3. Plan and give guidance with respect to the development and provision of information services.

4. Strengthen the coordination of information networks and promote information and library services.

5. Manage the development of the library’s collections and databases to meet the specialised information requirements of the organization and its information clientele. Assess and evaluate databases, products and services and determine new ways of addressing needs.

6. Provide authoritative advice and represent the library on matters relating to its work, coordinating its activities with other units within the organization and with the activities of centres belonging to the information network.

7. Plan, develop and organise activities, prepare proposals for the work programme and budget, formulate and implement policy proposals and maintain adequate financial and human resources

Required qualifications


Advanced university degree in knowledge management, information science, information management, international development, business Administration, management, communication, social science, or other relevant field. A first level university degree(in one of the aforementioned disciplines or other relevant field), with two years of additional relevant experience in complement to the experience required below, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.


At least ten years of progressively responsible experience in innovation/change management and information or knowledge management, including management of organizational change projects and experience at the international level.


Excellent command of an official language (English, French, Spanish) of the Organization and a working knowledge of a second official language. One of these must be English.  A working knowledge of a third official language would be an advantage.


In addition to ILO core competencies, this position requires: Technical competencies 1.Excellent knowledge of the Office’s policies, administrative practices and procedures.  Excellent skills in project development, execution, monitoring and evaluation. Proven skills and ability in advising and guiding staff on policies, procedures and practices. Demonstrated skills and ability in coordinating activities and formulating guidelines and policies. Excellent writing skills. Excellent communication and presentation skills. Negotiation skills. Computer skills.  Excellent supervisory, organizational and management skills. Demonstrated ability to develop, implement and evaluate activities of the work unit. Demonstrated ability to effectively monitor and evaluate work programme and resources.

2.Extensive knowledge of user centered design methodology, e.g. interview, survey, demand Analysis, behavioral insights, etc.

3.Knowledge of knowledge management concepts, principles, tools and methodologies.

4.Knowledge of using structured Problem Solving methodologies and root cause analysis.

5.Knowledge of designing and facilitating in-person and digital workshops and consultations.

6.Demonstrated ability to train (must be able to conduct group and one-on-one training) both in person and remotely.

7.Decision making and problem solving skills i.Clear and concise description of problems ii.Ability to build arguments based on fact-based analysis iii.Ability to find pragmatic and implementable solutions iv.Ability to gain the buy-in and convince managers and staff of the need to change and implement creative new working methods v.Ability to overcome barriers to change 8.Strong analytical skills (i.e., can conduct root cause analysis, make recommendations, and track results).

9.Ability to assess quality and efficiency of process execution, to develop project proposals and implement improvements to processes.

10.Extensive knowledge of Lean Management methodology for continuous improvement practices and cultural changes.

11.Knowledge of innovation principles and techniques such as Design Thinking, Behavioural Insights and the UNIN Toolkit.

Behavioral competencies 1.Proven ability to take ownership of all responsibilities, to act with integrity and transparency by maintaining social, ethical and organizational norms, and to meet all commitments within the prescribed time, cost and quality standards.

2.Absolute discretion in dealing with confidential matters.

3.Ability to promote knowledge sharing and learning culture in the Office, and to focus and guide others to meet objectives at individual and group level.

4.Ability to maintain effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or environment, and to adjust effectively to work within new work structures, processes, requirements, or cultures.

5.Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to build networks to obtain cooperation with partners.

6.Tact and ability to work collaboratively and effectively in cross-functional teams.

7.Ability to work in a multicultural environment and to demonstrate gender-sensitive and non-discriminatory behaviour and attitude.

Justification for changes to generic profile

Conditions of employment

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to ILO Staff Regulations and other relevant internal rules. Any offer of employment with the ILO is conditional upon certification by the ILO Medical Adviser that the person concerned is medically fit to perform the specific inherent requirements of the position offered. In order to confirm an offer from the ILO the successful candidate will be required to undergo a medical examination.
  • The first contract will be issued for a twenty-four month period.
  • A successful external candidate will be on probation for the first two years of assignment.
  • Any extension of contract beyond the probation period is subject to satisfactory conduct and performance.
For more information on conditions of employment, please visit: Important Information

Any officials of the General Service category interested in applying to this position are hereby informed that, if selected, they will be offered the salary and allowances applicable to the grade of the position applied for, which may result in substantial changes in their take-home remuneration. In accordance with Article 3.4 of the Staff Regulations, the salary of an official, upon promotion, shall in no case be greater than the maximum salary of the grade to which he or she was promoted. For any questions or clarifications, please contact your HR partner at Recruitment process

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form. To apply, please visit the ILO Jobs website at The system provides instructions for online application procedures.

Evaluation (which may include one or several written tests and a pre-interview competency-based assessment centre) and the interviews will tentatively take place during the 3 to 4 months following the application deadline. Candidates are requested to ensure their availability should they be short listed for further consideration.

Depending on the location and availability of candidates, assessors and interview panel members, the ILO may use communication technologies such as Skype, Video or teleconference, e-mail, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates at the different stages of the recruitment process, including assessment centres, technical tests or interviews.

Fraud warning

The ILO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process whether at the application, interview, processing or training stage. Messages originating from a non ILO e-mail account - - should be disregarded. In addition, the ILO does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

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