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Chief of Operations and Finance, (P-5), New York, USA, Education Cannot Wait (ECW)

Apply now Job no: 533432
Work type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-5
Location: United States
Categories: Finance and Administration, P-5, Operations and Business Management

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, an education

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first global multilateral fund dedicated to supporting education for children and youth in countries affected by wars, disasters and crises. It was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by a broad coalition of international aid agencies and public and private donors to usher in faster and more sustainable education responses in crises settings. ECW inspires political commitment to financing education in humanitarian contexts, catalyzes financial resources, facilitates joint programming between humanitarian and development actors; empowers local partners and seeks to strengthen quality and accountability.

ECW is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure that provides strategic guidance and oversight to its investments. ECW’s day-to-day activities are carried out by a Secretariat under the direction of the Education Cannot Wait Director.

How can you make a difference?

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. Operational Management

  • Leads ECW’s Workstream/Team on Governance, which includes accountability for, financing, operations and administrative processes, and ensures that the work of ECW and its Operational Manual is coordinated and aligned with the relevant ECW governance structure and approvals.
  • Advises ECW Director on finance, human resource and administrative matters providing guidance on all financial and operational submissions for the approval of the Executive Board; briefs office staff on financial, human resource and administrative policies and procedures providing authoritative advice; provides technical guidance and oversight to junior Operations staff in ECW and swiftly resolves operational issues.
  • Liaises with the Fund Support Office and other offices of UNICEF as a hosting agency with regards to financial, administrative and human resources rules and regulations.
  • Leads support services on procurement.
  • Promotes the effective and efficient management of the Fund in accordance with relevant financial, operational and administrative rules, policies, procedures and standards based on annual work plans and available human and financial resources.
  • Leads the development, maintenance and updating of internal operational procedures and policy guidance.
  • Ensures compliance with relevant internal and external partners guidelines, including Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Establishes and oversees processes to identify, develop solutions and act to address operational and financial bottlenecks.
  • Develops, implements and oversees processes to monitor management of partner agreements in close cooperation with relevant colleagues and FSO
  • Oversees management of assets, facilities and logistical services compliant with UNICEF policies; and supports the Director in ensuring optimal staffing of the ECW Secretariat.
  • Safeguards the financial resources entrusted to the office by advising on and/or managing financial assets, financial planning and cash management activities while recommending improvements to the financial and administrative management systems and procedures.    
  • Ensures accountability for fiduciary integrity/responsibility for funds and assets, taking decision on all operational and financial transactions, disbursement of funds, and administrative arrangements.
  • Contributes to leadership in generating, fostering and maintaining management excellence among ECW staff; ensures sound management and staff relations, and promote general staff wellbeing and security.
  • In collaboration with the Division of Human Resources, leads the work on learning and staff capacity development to ensure that all ECW staff members have the capacity required to deliver on the five core objectives of Education Cannot Wait.
  • Ensures that Performance evaluations are undertaken in line with organizational requirements.
  • Fosters a conducive working environment and provides the team with clear strategic leadership and direction with regards to effective human resources and performance management.
  • As member of the ECW management team, participates and provides advice on priority setting, design and development of policy guidance for ECW; identifies emerging policy issues, need for guidance to the field and management support, opportunities for change in investment approaches, new and innovative solutions.
  • Ensure the ECW is equipped with the right skills and tools and up-to-date information to make operational and programmatic risk informed decisions and improve overall performance of the Fund.

2. Planning and Policy Guidance

  • Coordinates ECW processes in planning and management, including operational governance body initiatives and requests.
  • Monitors and manages budget processes.
  • Ensures all other operational reporting requirements are fully met for the office. Monitors compliance with all operational systems and procedures and ensures integrity in all financial and other administrative operations of the office.
  • Advices on financial sustainability and programme resources management.
  • Develops and maintains inter-agency and donor partnerships in the areas of finance and operational policy and guidance, ensuring systemic consistency.
  • Participates in external meetings and policy discussions with collaborating partners on efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

3. Field support

  • Reviews financial country investments and budget status and advises the ECW Director accordingly.
  • Provides operational and financial guidance and ensures financial quality oversight of ECW investments.
  • Develops the finance, budget and administrative components of the Multi-year investments, ensuring that in-country financial contributions to ECW’s Multi-Year investments are tracked and monitored.
  • Leads the preparation of budget in line with the ECW priorities, and the accompanying justification and documentation. 
  • Provides accurate and administrative policy interpretation and organizational policies and procedures in the management of finance and administrative functions through the provision of technical leadership and operational guidance to ECW.
  • Ensures efficient, cost-effective and transparent utilization of resources through knowledge and technology transfer between offices and consistency of approaches.
  • Negotiate cost effective contractual arrangements with service providers as well as with implementing partners as required. 

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

  • An Advanced University Degree (Master’s and above) in one of the following areas is required: Business management; Financial management; Accounting; Public Finance; and related operations function (Supply Chain, Human Resources, International Business etc.)
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional development experience with a strong record on financial management as well as operational and administrative management, combining intellectual and supervisory skills, is required.
  • Proven experience in development cooperation at the international level, including field experience in emergency and crisis countries is required.
  • Experience in Results-Based Management is required.
  • Previous hands on experience in strategic and managerial leadership capacity is required.
  • Relevant professional experience in a UN system agency or global non-governmental organization or governmental organization is an asset.
  • Experience in working with corporate ERPs (Enterprise Resource Planning) and IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) is highly desirable.
  • Experience in managing successful client-oriented work units is an asset. Prior experience working with diverse stakeholder groups or multi-stakeholder partnership is highly desirable.
  • 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 values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are...

  • Leading and Supervising [III]
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts [III]
  • Analyzing [III]
  • Relating and Networking [III]
  • Deciding and initiating Action [III]
  • Applying Technical Expertise [III]
  • Planning and Organizing [III]
  • Adapting and Responding to Change [III]
  • Coping with Pressure and Setbacks [III]
  • Persuading and Influencing [III]

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.



Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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