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Innovation Business Model Specialist, 11.5 months consultancy

Apply now Job no: 527668
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

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

Within the framework of the new UNICEF Innovation Strategy, a critical organizational shift
to support innovation will be the focus on scaling proven innovations. The focus will be on
enabling proven innovations to transition through phases 4 and 5 towards reaching
sustainable scale, phase 6 of the UNICEF adapted IDIA innovation framework. The OoI
Scale team has unique and proven expertise, demonstrated success, and is well placed
within the organization to provide this expertise across sectors and regions, provide value
in the chain that links to and supports scaling by others.

Accelerate to Scale (A2S) is an expert team within the Office of Innovation that directly
supports this transition by producing i) packaged deployment strategy and resources;
ii) a validated business model and iii) systematically documented evidence of results.
Capturing and disseminating this learning, best practices, processes and tools supports
other people to undertake the scaling and sustainable scale of the innovation.

The lack of an effective business model hinders some innovations from being able to move
out of the 'Transition to Scale' phase and scale sustainably, even though they may be
adopted and adapted in many countries. Through this consultancy, A2S will bring on board
expertise to help analyze barriers to scale and support initiatives to scale.

How can you make a difference?

Working with the Senior Advisor on Innovation (Scale), the Innovation Business Model Specialist will support Accelerate to Scale team coordination and provide technical expertise and support related to developing and validating business models for sustainable scale for identified solutions being supported through Accelerate to Scale. The consultancy will blend strategic advisory support, facilitation, convening, development of resources and thought pieces / thought leadership.

The assignment will require an ability to understand complex, abstract concepts, the ability to think creatively about approaches and tools for supporting more user-centered design of innovative products and service models, and to apply business modeling within humanitarian and development contexts.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • Support Accelerate to Scale team coordination, project management and monitoring and reporting processes
  • Actively support UNICEF’s Innovation Portfolio Management process
  • Analyse information to understand the innovative approach/method or solution from a business perspective, such as but not limited to:

    • Defining the potential market for the solution
    • Clarifying and articulating the value proposition i.e. the user problem, solutions to the problem and why the user(s) will find value in the solution.
    • Size the value of market segment -- how many people/entities share the problem and validate the opportunity i.e. identify the payer role(s), who would pay
  • Together with Deployment Specialist and with inputs from other relevant colleagues, prepare a recommendation on the result of the assessed need and opportunity. If recommendation is to continue, include the work plan.
  • Explore a range of potential business models and identify the one(s) that are best suited to the given solution and the conditions necessary for its success, including factors such as but not limited to opportunities to partner, government uptake, types of funding modalities that may be applicable. Make use of analogous experiences and examples.
  • Capture the baseline Total Cost of Ownership. Investigate how aspects of the model can be improved and costs reduced over time based on evidence (not theory), such as economies of scale etc. Articulate in terms of potential future Total Cost of Ownership.
  • Undertake small experiments to test and validate the possible business model(s) and document the results.
  • Support other Scale team roles, if/as required, on related aspects such as cost-benefit analyses, cost effectiveness etc.


  • Contribute to the strategic positioning of UNICEF OOI as a leader in the space of innovation and scaling for social impact
  • Support overall efforts to bolster A2S operationalization and ensure complementarity with other flagship innovation initiatives and processes
  • Support or lead in putting on interbal or external scale events in order to raise awareness of UNICEF’s scale capabilities.
  • Contribute to positioning and thought leadership i.e., blog posts, articles, white papers, social media, webinars, etc.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in OoI, HQ, Regional Offices, Country Offices, and external partners
  • Occasionally support with Innovation Office/ Organization-wide initiatives as requested by the Senior Advisor for Innovation

    NOTE: The context for this work is in the development sector. All work must bear in mind accessibility and relevance to this sector including, for example, language and terminology used in development and by UNICEF to ensure maximum comprehensibility, uptake and utility of all deliverables.

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

  • Advanced degree in Business, Economics, International Relations, or other relevant disciplines; or equivalent related practical experience.
    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined 10 years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • At least 8 years of professional experience, preferably with exposure in the management consulting or finance industry
  • Significant experience with project management with an ability to translate complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance is a must.
  • Significant experience in both quantitative and qualitative analysis - must be comfortable with numbers and synthesizing large amounts of information
  • Experience in both the international development space and private sector would be a plus
  • Exposure and fluency in human-centered design is a plus
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The competencies required for this post are….

• Communication [Level 2]
• Working with people [Level 3]
• Drive for results [Level 2]
• Applying Technical Expertise [Level 3]
• Analysing [Level 2]
• Entrepreneurial Thinking [Level 2]

View our competency framework at


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.

Payment details and further considerations

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


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

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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