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Consultancy 12 months: Country Support Specialist, Office of Innovation (Giga), Geneva, Switzerland (REMOTE)

Apply now Job no: 565922
Contract type: Consultant
Duty Station: Geneva
Level: Consultancy
Location: Switzerland
Categories: 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 lives.

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 start-up thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.

About Giga

Launched in 2019 as a joint initiative between UNICEF and ITU, Giga has set the ambitious goal to connect every school in the world to the internet.  Half of the world’s population has no regular access to the Internet. Millions of children leave school without any digital skills, making it much more difficult for them to thrive and contribute to local and global economies. This has created a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not, a divide that has become even wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF and ITU have therefore joined forces to create Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and address this new form of inequality. 

Giga focuses on connecting schools so that children and young people have access to information, opportunity, and choice. It also uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect the school, you can also connect local businesses and services. This creates opportunities for service providers to generate revenue from paying users, making connectivity more sustainable. A 2021 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that a 10% increase in school connectivity can increase effective years of schooling by 0.6% and increase GDP per capita by 1.1%. 

You can read more about Giga’s work at and by following us on twitter @Gigaglobal

How can you make a difference?

We are seeking a capable Country Support Specialist to join Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice. The Country Support Specialist will work within the Giga Global Country Engagement team and closely with the Country Engagement Adviser to support country offices in initiating Giga, developing work plans, designing procurement processes for connecting and accessing technical support from all parts of the Giga team.

The Country Engagement team supports Country Offices in initiating Giga, and in technical discussions with the government and developing work plans. It also develops and provides guidance materials and ensures coordination with partner ITU at HQ and regional levels. The team tracks developments, progress and challenges for Giga implementation in-country, and iterates implementation processes based on lessons learned. The team is currently supporting over 60 Country Offices in all UNICEF regions (most are in East and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, Central America and the Caribbean and Central Asia), but the demand for more information and engagement on Giga is growing, and the cohort of countries needing support for Giga implementation is expected to increase. 

Under the supervision and guidance of the Country Engagement Lead, the Country Support Specialist will coordinate engagement with UNICEF Country Offices and, where relevant, other national stakeholders, for implementation of Giga in priority countries. This includes acting as the liaison between the Country Offices and the Giga Contracts, Finance and ITU teams, coordinating analytical requirements for cost estimations, finance models, and connectivity procurement. The Specialist will ensure the engagement of relevant stakeholders in-country and within the Giga team, and track Giga in-country implementation on an ongoing basis. 

The Specialist will provide professional technical and operational support to Country Offices that are implementing Giga. The post will contribute to strengthening the quality of support and guidance materials made available to Country Offices, the coordination of Giga technical support to Country Offices, reporting of country implementation progress, and the coordination with our partner ITU. 

Note: Giga reserves the right to engage more than one Specialist, based on the pool of applications and budget availability.

 Key Outputs

  • Support technical requests from Country Offices
  • Ensure smooth in-country implementation
  • Capture lessons learned from in-country implementation

Your main responsibilities will be:

       Detailed responsibilities / deliverables

  • Support to Country Offices in their requests for support and information on Giga while coordinating with appropriate UNICEF and ITU Regional Offices; 
  • Support in-country implementation in active Giga countries; 
  • Track country engagement status in each region and maintain up-to-date data in project management tool; 
  • Liaise between Country Offices and Giga Finance team and Giga Contracts team to support Country Offices with all materials, guidance and feedback on contracts, procurement and fund mobilization. 
  • Support the organization and implementation of any Giga-related events in-country through prep materials, agendas, etc., as well as any Giga-related recruitment in-country.

To access the full ToR please click here Download File 14 Sept-Giga Country Support Specialist_TOR.pdf

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

    • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) is required in one of the following fields: statistics, economics, social sciences, development sciences, and management or related degree is required. *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree
    • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in field of development, ideally within UNICEF, and with experience or strong exposure to programming in Country Offices
    • Experience in facilitating engagements with an array of partners at the national/reginal level, i.e. international development organizations, government entities, regulators, or civil society, etc. 
    • Understanding of connectivity technology, telecommunications, networks would be considered an asset. 
    • Experience in monitoring and reporting. 
    • Knowledge of national policy frameworks related to technology development, implementation, and infrastructure development is desired. 
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including presentation skills. 
    • Proven capacity to work with collaborative teams across different locations and with different technical skills. 
    • Proven experience in translating complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance. 
    • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced and dynamic environment; proven track record working across a cross-functional team.
    • Outstanding communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills; team-first mentality
    • Strong planning and organizational and time management skills.
    • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, or Russian) or a local language is an asset


    • The consultant is expected to travel to:
      • Geneva, Switzerland 2 times – requiring a stay of 5 nights each trip
      • Several countries in East and Southern Africa 4 times. Each trip will require a stay of 5 nights.
    • The consultant is responsible for arranging his/her own travel, including visa and travel insurance.

Payment details and further considerations:

  • Payment of professional fees will be based on the submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant. 

How to apply:

  • Interested applicants are required to submit a financial proposal with an all-inclusive fee.  Please see the financial proposal template here: Download File Consultancy Financial Offer template.docx
  • Financial proposal must include travel costs (economy class) and daily subsistence allowance, if travel is required as per TOR and any other estimated costs: visa, travel/health insurance
  • Applications without a financial proposal will not be considered.

 For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit 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.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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.


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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

Advertised: W. Europe Daylight Time
Deadline: W. Europe Daylight Time

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