Copy Editor


UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa,(ROSA), Education unit, requires the services of a qualified and experienced copy editor with a proven record of accomplishment in the international development field to assist in the editing, formatting, and proof reading of reports for publication. UNESCO invites qualified individuals, firms, and organizations (“Offerors”) to submit a proposal for the requested services.

Offerors are encouraged to read this RFP in its entirety, paying specific attention to the scope of services, instructions, and requirements. Issuance of this solicitation does not, in any way, obligate UNESCO to award a contract, nor will UNESCO pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal. The agreement resulting from this RFP will be provided to the most responsive Offeror whose offer will be the most advantageous to UNESCO in terms of cost, functionality, and other factors as specified in this RFP.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)  provides global and regional leadership in education, strengthens education systems worldwide and responds to contemporary global challenges through education with gender equality an underlying principle.

UNESCO ROSA Education sector’s mandate is to ensure the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 in the region by 2030 through supporting in educational areas member states under its coverage, namely Lesotho, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

UNESCO ROSA’s priority in the area of education: Teachers, Literacy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Higher Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Health and well-being education.

Long Description

2. Scope of Services

2.1 Definitions

Editing is work carried out on a single language-version text to correct grammar, syntax and style, which is also understood to comprise logic and completeness. Editing is meant to improve the flow and overall quality of the writing, without changing the intended message, doing away with wordiness and removing any ambiguity.

Formatting refers to the way a document is laid out on the page – the way it looks and is visually organized – addressing things like font selection, font size, spacing, margins, alignment, columns,  indentation. Most documents will contain headings, body text, quotations, and references/endnotes, which should be formatted in an organized, clear, consistent, easy-to-read manner.

Proofreading is defined as comparing an edited laid-out document (final draft) with the source document to ensure all text has been transferred from the source, correcting typographical errors and format inconsistencies as well as accuracy of any cross references, and ensuring the correct location of graphics, tables, headers, footers, page numbers, page breaks, etc.

Regular editing/proofreading service is defined as editing and/or proofreading that can easily be accomplished by a mutually agreed upon date, considering accepted standards of editing productivity and assuming that only one editor will work on the job.

Urgent editing/proofreading service is defined as editing and/or proofreading that needs to be delivered within 1 business day, (for a document of up to 500 words) and as quickly as they can be done (for larger documents of 501 words and above).

Long Description

2.2 Types of Documents

UNESCO will require editing, formatting, and proofreading service for a broad range of documents including, but not limited to, reports, manuals and project documents.

2.3 Services Expected

The successful Offeror will provide, on an as requested basis:

1. Edit texts of a specialized or technical nature to ensure accuracy, clarity, cohesion and conformity with house style primarily, standards, policy and practice;

2. Provide professional-level formatting. The document should be ready for design and/orpublication.

3. Proofreading: check copy after design against submitted Word file, noting any omissions, additional text, or final revisions;

5. In consultation with the Education Head of unit, agree on specific return dates for each publication to be edited, communicate, and explain any potential delays immediately;

6. Reports to be copy edited will be sent to the editor on an occasional basis. If an Offeror is able to provide editing/formatting/proofreading services in additional languages, this should be noted in the Offeror’s proposal.

The product returned to UNESCO must be in its final form and be fully reviewed for quality control.

Long Description

 3: UNESCO Conditions

UNESCO reserves the right to:

  • Reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any potential Offeror or other party.
  • Accept other than the lowest price offered.
  • Award a contract on the basis of initial offers received, without discussions or requests for best and final offers.
  • Award more than one contract.
  • Any information or materials submitted in response to this RFP and/or as a proposal (whether successful or unsuccessful) shall become the property of UNESCO and will not be returned.

 4: Proposal Preparation Instructions

Proposals are expected to be comprehensive and include the information set forth below. Elaborate or unnecessarily voluminous proposals are not desired. The font used should be easy to read and generally no smaller than 11 points. (Smaller font can be used for short footnotes.) Proposals must be submitted in English.

Cover Letter

4.1. Cover Letter

A one (1) page cover letter on the Offeror’s letterhead should be submitted and should include the following:

a. A reference to the RFP subject.

b. The primary contact person with respect to this RFP: the individual’s name, address, phone number and email address.

c. A statement confirming the Offeror does not have a conflict of interest with this UNESCO, real or perceived.

d. Signature of the person(s) duly authorized to sign on behalf of the Offeror and bind the Offeror to statements made in response to the RFP.

4.2. Technical Proposal, no more than  5 pages.

This technical proposal should summarize, in a brief and concise manner, the Offeror’s understanding of the scope of services and make a positive commitment to perform the work in a timely manner. It should include a brief description of the Offeror’s experience and expertise in the field that illustrates overall qualifications and capabilities to meet the terms of the RFP, and years of relevant experience.

Portofolio of Work

4.3 Portfolio of Work

The Offeror must include relevant sample work for at least 3 projects.

4.4 List of References

The Offeror must include a list of three references, including phone number, e-mail address and a short description of work done for the referee.

5. Cost Requirements

The Offeror should include completed versions of the following tables. All prices must be quoted in U.S. dollars. Prices will be applicable throughout the term of the contract.

Cost requirements

Please provide an all-inclusive rate for copy editing in accordance with the following table. This rate includes all work required to return a final product to UNESCO.

Type of Service: EditingRegular Editing rate  pageUrgent editing rate page
French if applicable  
Portuguese if applicable  

Cost requirements

Type of Service: formattingRegular formatting rate pageUrgent formatting rate page
French if applicable  
Portuguese if applicable  

Cost requirements

Type of Service: proofreadingRegular proofreading rate pageUrgent proofreading rate page
French if applicable  
Portuguese if applicable  

Cost requirements

Type of Service: Editing, proofreading, formattingRegular Editing, proofreading, formatting rate pageUrgent editing, proofreading, formatting rate page
French if applicable  
Portuguese if applicable  


Proposal Submission:

Be sure to include in the subject line: Copy Editor Consultant. The Offeror should not send e-mails with Zip files, as such e-mails will be caught in UNESCO spam filters. All proposals are due by the date and time stated above. Any proposal received after the required time, date specified for receipt shall be considered late, and non‐responsive. Late proposals will not be evaluated. Only SADC Nationals are eligible to apply.

Section 5: Selection

The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to establish a roster of editors within the region so we can pick available consultant from the pool when the need arises. UNESCO will review candidates with the goal of selecting one or more consultants most advantageous to UNESCO, based on the qualifications listed above, as demonstrated by the technical proposal, resume or CV and additional material, if applicable. UNESCO will also consider costs to ensure that they are reasonable to deliver the services.

Terms of Payment

Section 6: Terms of Payment

Payment terms for the award shall be on a deliverables basis and will be made following the submission of each deliverable. Payment is dependent upon receipt of valid invoice, and upon successful completion of deliverables, at the sole discretion of UNESCO. Payment shall be made in U.S. dollars by UNESCO via bank transfer. The final payment terms in the contract will control, not this RFP. No advance payments will be provided.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)

Communication (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Strategic thinking (M)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


  • B.A. in any discipline, with a preference for degrees in English, writing, or communications
  • Minimum 5 years professional experience as an English-language editor with demonstrated experience working on technical texts in education and  sustainable development;


  • Prior experience editing or proofreading documents related to the data and/or international development communities
  • Experience drafting and editing documents for international developmental organizations,multilateral organizations such as the United Nations.
  • Detail-oriented, organized, enthusiastic, able to manage tight timescales during crunch periods.
  • Demonstrated experience with completing documents for print;
  • Exceptional skills in grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax and vocabulary;
  • Professional-level knowledge of French, Portuguese and/or other UN languages is an asset
  • Exceptionally strong grasp of professional writing and editing for superb clarity, brevity, and Style



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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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.

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Employment Type: Full Time

Location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Category: International Jobs

Deadline: March 7, 2021

Company Name: UNESCO

Author: Admin