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Partnership Specialist (WASH), P-3, WASH Innovation Hub, Office of Innovation, Copenhagen, Denmark, Post#122276 (REQ#560726)

Apply now Job no: 560726
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Copenhagen
Level: P-3
Location: Denmark
Categories: Partnerships, 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 Office of Global Innovation (OoI) works to catalyze UNICEF's and all its partners’ expertise and resources against key children-outcomes bottlenecks, with a view to continuously ideate and scale the most effective solutions with transformational potential at scale to achieve the child-related SDGs.

The office is doing this by continuously exploring new ways of accelerating results for children, investing across a range of early stage solutions, and harnessing internal and external expertise towards continuously iterating and fine-tuning the most promising solutions for children through a systematic portfolio management approach, and leveraging all stakeholders’ innovation energy, know-how and resources from intergovernmental, multilateral, private sector and non-governmental fora (think tank, academia).

The Office of Global 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.

Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub:

The vision of the UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub is to be a global home for building, accelerating and scaling transformational climate resilient solutions for a WASH secure future of universal and equitable access to services, addressing the full ambition of the SDG6.

UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub will source, pilot and scale transformational and frontier climate resilient innovations that respond to key programmatic challenges that, if solved, will unlock faster progress for a water secure future for children and young people.

One of the key global challenges that the hub will tackle through exploration and scale of innovative solution will be tackling foreseen climate change impacts on WASH services and delivery access. The Hub will also support research and innovation on the links between climate change and water, sanitation and hygiene with the view to improve our understanding of the sanitation sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (and how they can be minimised), or to develop better monitoring mechanisms for the sustainability of aquifers in developing countries, in the context of increased groundwater extraction.

The hub will bring together a passionate community of strategic partners including children and young people, academia, private entrepreneurs, public policy makers, social development and humanitarian actors, and our global UNICEF WASH / CEED and innovation colleagues in 150+ countries. Collectively we will co-create, advocate, enable, convene, and motivate for innovative sustainable solutions to long-standing barriers and emerging opportunities for a WASH secure and climate resilient future for every child.

The UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub will be part of a distributed network of global thematic innovation hubs that are aligned to the central UNICEF Office of Innovation (OOI) in Sweden. The OOI architecture works in close partnership with child impact local ecosystems in countries across the world, while simultaneously engaging some of the most impactful global innovation ecosystems.

How can you make a difference?

The Innovation Partnership Specialist (WASH) will work under the direction of the P5 Chief of the Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub and will work in close cooperation with the Innovation Manager (Partnership & Res-Mobilization), Office of Innovation. The Innovation Partnership Specialist position deepens collaboration between the Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub and other key divisions in UNICEF (such as but not limited to OoI, WASH PG, CEED, Partnership Division) as well as with the UNICEF Danish National Committee. Externally, this position aims to strengthen collaboration and forge new partnerships with private and public sector stakeholders as well as to provide an interface for partnership scanning, knowledge exchange, resource mobilization, and policy influence within the scope of assignment. S/He may also serve as focal point and resource for colleagues on specific thematic areas of strategic relevance for partnership development. The key result is to ensure greater visibility and scale for UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub influence in support of its mission and support the overall Office of Innovation strategy.

The Innovation Partnership Specialist is an expert in the field of partnership development. This position is responsible for the execution of managing broad and complex assigned work-plans, and responsible for regularly supporting senior management in strategic partnership direction and design. Subsequently, it is expected that the successful candidate develops original and innovative means to help advance the profession, and tackle highly complex matters that do not follow established patterns.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks:

1. Support senior adviser and OoI senior management in establishing the annual partnership work plan, setting priorities/targets and performance measurements.

2. Monitor work progress for the partnerships and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.

3. Lead the work plan for assigned areas, in order to ensure timely, innovative, effective and efficient delivery of results, in accordance with UNICEF and the Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub - OOI partnership strategy.

4. Implement the work plan for assigned areas, in order to ensure timely and cost-effective delivery of results, in accordance with UNICEF’s partnership strategy.

5. Seek and promote new partnerships, including resource mobilization, working with UNICEF colleagues to identify partnership and resource mobilization needs and broker dialogues and agreements to meet those needs.

6. Receive and screen inquiries from potential partners and facilitate communication with appropriate UNICEF staff. Scans and scouts external environment within designated partnership area for opportunities and risks and shares information in a timely fashion with relevant UNICEF staff.

7. Provide strategic, logistical and programmatic support to Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub management and OoI Senior Advisor Partnership & Communication in partner engagement and interaction with assigned partners.

8. Develop and maintain deep knowledge and familiarity with current and prospective partners and relevant stakeholders’ ecosystems, contributing to a database of key opportunities and contacts and to UNICEF’s base of knowledge on partnership.

9. Expand UNICEF’s network of key interlocutors to build stronger relationships between UNICEF and governments, other key-decision makers, regional development institutions, foundations, civil society organizations, international financial institutions and/or other relevant constituencies.

10. Develop and implement annual partnership engagement and development plans for the Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub.

11. Act as a focal point for identification and pursuit of opportunities for outreach, engagement, policy influence and collaboration, including on how to anticipate and respond to partners’ concerns and priorities, ensure that UNICEF’s interests, perspectives, and knowledge are taken into account in relevant policy and institutional processes, and ensure that they are fully aware of UNICEF’s perspectives, policies, priorities and capabilities. Contribute to the development and management of initiatives for high-level outreach, including for UNICEF’s senior management.

12. In collaboration with the OOI Partnerships and Comms team contribute to the development of new partnership practices and approaches, including resource mobilization, by formulating recommendations for action based on on-going monitoring, analyzing current trends within designated partners and formulating recommendations for strategy approaches and message development.

13. Contribute to strategies for engagement and the development of communications products to enhance UNICEF’s visibility and influence with existing and prospective partners and key stakeholders by providing analysis of the current environment and trends and formulating recommendations for strategy approaches and message development. Works closely with UNICEF’s colleagues to ensure that policy advocacy and outreach is strongly grounded in the experience and insights of the programmes that UNICEF’s supports. Contributes written inputs for communications assets that best inform and influence decision makers.

14. Perform other related duties as assigned by the supervisor to ensure the success of the team, including guiding, training, and coaching short-term staff, including interns and consultants, as needed.

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

  • An advanced university degree is required in one of the following fields: business, international relations, political science, communications, advertising, strategic design, international development, or another relevant technical field.
  • A first degree plus an additional 2 years’ experience, may be accepted in lieu of a master’s degree.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of relevant international professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: public affairs, programme management, resource mobilization, external relations, business development, innovation in climate resilient water & sanitation within the private and/or public sector.
  • Experience working in business development and strategic partnership within or with the private sector is required; experience especially in the technology and innovation space is desired.
  • An understanding of UNICEF climate resilient WASH and CEED (Climate, Environment, Energy, Disaster Risk Reduction) initiatives and programming is considered an asset.
  • An understanding and experience of UNICEF partnership approach is considered an asset.
  • Experience working within WASH and/or innovation partnerships / projects is required.
  • Knowledge of the global WASH development landscape (including major consortiums, key players and donors) is highly desired.
  • Experience working within an agile startup environment is desired.
  • Diplomatic and convincing communication and negotiation skills to establish, maintain, and grow trusted partnerships for achievement of shared objectives close and effective working relationships with diverse stakeholders within the WASH innovation international development ecosystem.
  • Current knowledge of international development issues and opportunities that are the mandate of UNICEF WASH, as well as procedures in cutting-edge international development cooperation.
  • In-depth knowledge of best and promising partnership development, including resource mobilization.
  • Ability to establish and manage efficient partnership structures and conduct sound analyses toward prioritizing management and exploration of partnerships.
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate new and innovative approaches in respect of partnership management and outreach- related activities.
  • Ability to implement clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies, identify priority activities and assignments, adjust priorities as required.
  • Skill in the identification of new opportunities or requirements to meet challenges in the field and propose changes.
    The ability to allocate appropriate time and resources for successful achievement of goals, and foresee risks and allow for contingencies when planning.
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written.
  • In-depth familiarity with political and governmental processes, private sector and/or the technology and innovation global ecosystem would be a strong asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language of the duty station (Danish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainbility (CRITAS)underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter:

UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Core competencies skills
• Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
• Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
• Works Collaboratively with others (2)
• Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
• Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
• Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
• Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
• Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Functional Competencies
• Analyzing (2)
• Persuading and influencing (3)
• Entrepreneurial Thinking (2)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

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.


Priority will be given to all the eligible candidates participating in the 2022 Mobility Exercise and Staff on the Abolished post.

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 may also be 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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