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Education Specialist (Education & Technology), (P-3), Learning Innovation Hub, Office of Innovation, Helsinki, Finland, #123575, REQ#558867

Apply now Job no: 558867
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Helsinki
Level: P-3
Location: Finland
Categories: Education, 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, innovation...

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will be the home of the architects of the future of learning. The Hub is based in Helsinki and is supported by the Government of Finland, a global leader in education and technology, with the goal of bringing together the global community to build game changing solutions in education that can help solve the learning crisis as well as imagine and develop alternative learning futures for all children.

The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will support the UNICEF Reimagine Education initiative through accelerating equitable access to world class digital learning solutions by testing and scaling frontier technologies and innovations hand-in-hand with UNICEF Country Offices. At the same time, it will create a safe playground for disruption, inviting UNICEF and the learning community to look for solutions outside the traditional sphere and join tech entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, data ninjas, fiction writers, designers, business leaders and others to explore new learning journeys, pedagogical approaches, spaces and artifacts that help unleash each child’s full potential. 

The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will bring to the front the voice of young people about the skills they want to acquire to become entrepreneurs of their own life and become forward-thinking powerhouse that re-imagines and builds bright alternative futures that turns learning into a fascinating adventure for all children.

How can you make a difference?

The incumbent will work under the direction and accountability of the Education Manager, Learning Innovation Hub in close collaboration with the Senior Advisor, Learning Innovation Hub. S/he will be a key member of the founding team of the Hub, providing technical guidance, management and coordination support as the Hub is operationalized. The Specialist together with the Education Manager will also work closely with the HQ Education Programme Group to enable full engagement within UNICEF’s global, regional and Country Office education structures.

The Specialist will bring strong theoretical and practical knowledge on EdTech, including digital learning approaches that can deliver impactful learning and developmental outcomes, particularly for the most marginalized children.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Support developing and nurturing strategic linkages between Reimagine Education, global education networks and the Learning Innovation Hub.
  2. Support setting-up, monitoring and coordination of the Learning Pioneers Countries Network
  3. Provide technical guidance to ensure the learning innovation portfolio is driven by the needs of the Education sector
  4. Provide technical guidance on developing and implementing digital learning solutions and programmes.
  5. Support Knowledge Management and development of Partnerships with the EdTech global ecosystem.

 Under the guidance of the Education Manager, Learning Innovation, the Specialist’s key responsibilities will include:

  1. Support developing and nurturing strategic linkages between Reimagine Education, global education networks and the Learning Innovation Hub. This includes:
  • Supporting the Education Manager to maintain strong working relationships with the Digital Learning team, UNICEF HQ Programme Group, including attending relevant Digital Learning and Reimagine Education meetings.
  • Supporting the Senior Advisor and the Education Manager of the Learning Innovation Hub to ensure representation of the hub in key global and regional education meetings, with other UN agencies and partners.
  • Providing inputs to technical guidance, KPI reporting, and any other relevant documentation developed by PG-Education.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of the Hub’s operationalization to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of interventions/activities with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned.
  1. Support setting-up, monitoring and coordination of the Learning Pioneers Network of early adopter countries across UNICEF to ensure digital solutions are ground-truthed, tested and scaled in partnership with the end user ecosystems in the global south, including young people. This includes:
  • Supporting build and maintain relationships with a small group of COs that will form part of the Learning Countries Pioneers Network, including provision of technical guidance on the use of EdTech tools and design of digital learning journeys that are centered on the learner experience
  • Supporting the Education Manager to work closely with the Learning Innovation Portfolio Manager to ensure there are strong sourcing strategies in place for early-stage learning innovation projects and partnerships that are being tested by UNICEF Country Offices 
  • Supporting the programme management, establishment of monitoring benchmarks, regular monitoring and reporting of the functioning of the Learning Pioneers Network, including regular communication with the concerned County Offices and Regional Offices
  1. Provide technical guidance to the Hub and UNICEF Country Offices on the application and adaptation of EdTech solutions to ensure the tools are suited to country contexts and bring about desired improvements in learning, skills and child developmental outcomes. This includes:
  • Providing technical inputs in the development of the Learning Cabinet, which is a curation of high-quality EdTech tools, and support its launch and dissemination and regular updating.
  • Supporting and facilitating the sharing of evidence, good practices and lessons learned on the introduction of EdTech tools in countries
  • Working together with the Hub’s experts in residence and mentors, facilitate the provision of technical support and guidance to Country Offices
  • Supporting the design and rollout of capacity development programmes on EdTech for UNICEF education colleagues in the field wanting to learn more about cutting-edge new tools, technologies, and approaches to innovation in learning.
  1. Provide technical guidance to ensure the learning innovation portfolio is driven by the needs of the Education sector. This includes working closely with the Learning Innovation Portfolio Manager and the Hub’s Education Manager to:
  • Support the provision (and brokering) of education sector advice to different projects within the Learning Innovation Portfolio on product development, implementation roadmaps, scale-up strategies for different contexts and users.
  • Support brokering connections between learning innovation portfolio projects and UNICEF’s education programmes in the field, including interaction with HQ Education, regional offices, key government officials, NGO’s, other UN agencies in order to support the test, acceleration and scale up.
  • Support coordination with other OOI Innovation Portfolios to ensure coherence and harmonization of interventions/activities and sharing of learnings for the achievement of results as planned
  1. Support Knowledge Management and development of Partnerships with the EdTech global ecosystem. This includes:
  • Supporting research on challenges and opportunities for enhancing digital learning through frontier technologies, and documentation of experimental projects in collaboration with other partners.
  • Supporting build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant global EdTech providers (including from the Finnish ecosystem), global partners, national stakeholders, donors, and academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication
  • Supporting the sharing of expertise on best pedagogies, learning approaches, education policies, cutting-edge practices on education systems strengthening and its implications on digital learning
  • Together with Learning Innovation Hub team members, participate in EdTech related global and regional events to share about the Hub’s work and stay abreast with developments in the field

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, education & technology, futures design, human development, economics, psychology, sociology, or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant professional experience is required, at national and international levels, in developing, implementing and supporting education programming, of which at least 2 years of professional experience working on designing and implementing a digital learning programme is required.
  • Experience working in different country contexts, including in the global south is required.
  • Very good understanding, expertise and experience in digital learning and digital pedagogies, and its introduction in countries, with a strong understanding of equity principles, is required.
  • Experience of working in UNICEF and building collaboration and partnership across the UN system and excellent understanding of the global education system’s main stakeholders and initiatives.
  • Demonstrated understanding and expertise in best pedagogies, learning approaches, education policies, cutting-edge practices on education systems strengthening.
  • Experience working within a startup environment and using design thinking and agile methodologies would be an asset.
  • 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 Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

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