If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.
For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Purpose of the Position
Under the overall guidance of the Representative, the Chief is responsible for managing and supervising all stages of education programmes/projects. This includes strategic planning and formulation, as well as delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve learning outcomes, universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive primary/early childhood education, and renewed involvement in secondary education, especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society. S/he leads a group of professional and support staff to develop and manage the education programme in the country.
The Chief is responsible for establishing the plans of action and overseeing work progress to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable programme/project results, according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.
Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
- Managerial leadership
- Programme development and planning
- Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results
- Advisory services and technical support
- Advocacy, networking and partnership building
- Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Establish the section’s annual work plan with the education team, and set priorities and targets. Monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.
- Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team
- Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives, goals, direction, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
Programme development and planning
- Provide technical guidance and operational support to ensure that current comprehensive and evidence-based data are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes and to set programme priorities, strategies, and implementation plans.
- Keep abreast of national, regional and international development priorities on education to leverage UNICEF’s position and competencies with donors, national governments, communities and constituents to advocate and promote education initiatives and policies.
- Supervise the development of education programmes/projects (as a full component of the CO and/or UNDAF programmes). Establish plans of action, programme goals and results, using results-based planning methodology and terminology (RBM).
- Guide and coordinate the timely preparation of programme recommendations and related documentation for inclusion in the Country Office Programme recommendation ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies and national priorities.
- Collaborate with colleagues and partners to develop partnership frameworks to address specific needs and to leverage resources for enhancing education programmes/projects. Ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of programmes and projects with UNICEF Strategic Plans and priorities, donors’ development strategies and policies, national priorities, and UN System development interventions and initiatives.
Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results
- Plan and collaborate on monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on education programmes.
- Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to engage stakeholders to take required action and interventions to achieve results.
- Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths, and/or weaknesses in programme and management; identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Monitor programmes and projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Plan, approve, monitor, certify, and control the use of programme resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying & verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare and submit programme and project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.
Advisory services and technical support
- Provide technical advice to key government officials, NGO, UN system and other country office partners on strategies and best practices to influence approaches and policies, and to support social, economic, political, and legal development planning, implementation and delivery of results on education programmes and related issues.
- Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming and project implementation.
- Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for combating all forms of discrimination against children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote universal access to equitable and inclusive education for children in the country.
Advocacy, networking and partnership building
- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local and national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities, leverage funds, to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education programmes.
- Prepare communication strategies, implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnerships for sustainable results, and to support fund raising for UNICEF and Country Office programmes on education.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF development planning and agenda setting process. Collaborate with inter-agency partners and colleagues on the UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable education programming initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting edge practices on education and management. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned.
- Contribute to the development of policies and procedures, and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
- Organize, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education and related programmes/projects.
Competencies and level of proficiency required
•Diversity and inclusion
•Working with people (II)
•Drive for results (II)
•Formulating strategies/concepts (II)
•Relating and networking (II)
•Deciding and initiating action (II)
•Leading and supervising (I)
Technical competencies must be demonstrated in the following areas:
• Good understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, conflict, and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and inter-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Social Policy, Child Protection, Nutrition, WASH, Health and Communications within UNICEF).
• Good knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity lens and human rights perspectives to programming.
• Good ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programme and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas.
• Good education sector planning knowledge/ability, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g. ECD, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components and processes, as well as governance issues.
• Good education and policy sector analysis capacity, including understanding of the core education data sets and indicators; tools for analysis of equity; determinants of student access and learning; budget, costing, and financial management in education systems; political economy; and education policy and strategic planning.
• Good ability to support engagement with partners e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters, Education Provider Forums, Delivering as One, Inter-sectoral partnerships such as in ECD, as well as networking with other key partners.
• Good understanding of gender and inequity issues in relation to education and development and the application of gender / equity analysis to policy and planning in education.
• Good understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to resilience: risk analysis and risk management, education in conflict situations, natural disasters, and recovery for CO and RO based post and where relevant.
Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field.
A minimum of eight years of professional experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education at the international level is required.
Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
Familiarity/background with emergency is considered as an asset.
Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.