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Consultancy: Innovation Network Coordinator, Office of Innovation, New York or remote, 12 weeks

Apply now Job no: 519135
Work type: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Consultancy, Innovation

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, innovate ....

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.

UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

    The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively



We're an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:

  • Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
  • Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries;
  • Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.”

How can you make a difference?

UNICEF co-chairs the UN Innovation Network (UNIN), an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators interested in sharing their expertise and experience with others to promote and advance innovation within the UN System. To date, over 700 representatives from over 70 UN entities have joined the Network.

For innovation practitioners, the Network hosts regular knowledge sharing sessions to introduce new innovation trends and how they can contribute to achieving the SDGs. It also helps Agencies share tools and resources, as well as best practices for overcoming challenges for driving innovation within the UN. The UNIN also engages with senior leaders and advises them on how to build structures to promote innovation, activate innovation partnerships and create a culture of innovation in their organisations.

UNICEF’s Office of Innovation is looking for a 3-month coordinator to manage and facilitate the activities of the UNIN.

Main Responsibilities will be:

  • Knowledge Exchange & Capacity Strengthening of UNIN members
  • Development of an Innovation Toolkit
  • Communications & Outreach
  • Network resource planning

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced degree (Master's or higher) in business, economics, international development or related field, or related equivalent practical experience.
  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible national and/or international experience in business or international relations
  • At least 4 years’ experience of working with the UN, preferably in innovation, data science or partnerships.
  • Work experience in developing countries is an asset.
  • Strong time management skills with an ability to plan, anticipate requirements, problems and obstacles, and an ability to juggle competing priorities successfully, and to work to tight deadlines
  • Strong analytical abilities, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Understanding of common challenges of working on data innovation / innovation with the UN
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to produce high-quality materials, including blog posts, websites, videos and graphically-based presentations
  • Fluency in English.  Knowledge of another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is an asset.

For every child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

Other details for considerations

  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
  • Consultant is responsible for his own health insurance
  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel

Applications must include

  • Cover letter,
  • CV

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Duty Station: New York or remote

Duration: 12 weeks

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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