Leading Minds Youth Fellowship Coordinator (consultancy contract) 145 days from December 2023, (Remote location)
We are seeking a qualified consultant to coordinate and support the Young Leading Minds Fellowship, by identifying key institutional partners, recruiting the Young Leading Minds fellows, and providing project management and strategic research guidance to support the fellows’ research projects for the upcoming Leading Minds Conference in May 2024.
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, Research
How can you make a difference?
Leading Minds Conference
Established by UNICEF in 2019, Leading Minds is a future-informed conference series and premier platform for global thought leadership, co-created by and co-driven with young people. The pre-consultations and conferences convene cutting-edge thinkers and leaders, including next generation advocates, to delve into urgent, world-changing issues for children and young people and create a space where knowledge and power come together and where thought leaders become changemakers.
Leading Minds Conferences explore ideas, find solutions and spur action. Each event ends with a bold but achievable global ambition with tangible impact as an outcome. Leading Minds leverages shared value partnerships with donors, the private sector, governments and young people to set strategic goals and funding priorities. The conference is by invitation only, but findings, conclusions and decisions are made publicly available.
The collaborative and intergenerational approach of the annual gathering celebrates innovative thinking and transformative ideas, a truly pioneering event that can help shape a future that is fit for all children.
Leading Minds is hosted and organized by UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight (UNICEF Innocenti). The newly formed UNICEF Innocenti has recently finalised its Office Management Plan 2022-25, identifying children and youth as key partners rather than mere beneficiaries. To this end, UNICEF Innocenti has committed to building genuine, equal partnerships with these children and young people and, where possible, follow the priorities they outline.
Leading Minds Conference on Climate Breakthroughs May 2024
Against this backdrop, the Youth Engagement Team of UNICEF Innocenti is partnering with multiple stakeholders in the youth climate solutions space, such as with UNDP’s Youth4Climate Initiative.
In October 2023, UNICEF Innocenti’s Youth Engagement Team will take an active role at Youth4Climate’s flagship event, facilitating one of the sessions with the finalists of their seed-funding round. Leveraging UNICEF Innocenti’s youth foresight expertise, the session will focus on examining global trends of climate action and solutions using a Three Horizons approach.
It is expected that that the articulation of futures with the prominent youth climate entrepreneurs will generate interesting insights that are worth dive deeper. This will also provide insights on key questions to explore at the Leading Minds Conference with global thought leaders.
Further, UNICEF Innocenti will identify young people who have the skills and knowledge to conduct in-depth analysis and commission research to delve into the key findings from Youth4Climate event, encapsulate emerging issues and thoughts, and create research-driven and inspiration contents at the upcoming Leading Minds Conference which also focuses on climate breakthroughs.
In realizing this vision, the Leading Minds Youth Fellowship Coordinator will ensure the office’s renewed focus and efforts are not tokenistic and to advocate for the children and youth living in the most challenging contexts. In particular, it will leverage the knowledge and perspective of young people by commissioning them future-driven research, asking them to shape the strategic direction of the organisation’s thought leadership.
Objectives of the consultancy:
The prime objective of the exercise is to identify key institutional partners of the Young Leading Minds Fellowship, recruit 10 fellows to be commissioned research to generate input to the upcoming Leading Minds Conference, and provide project management support to the fellows and the conference’s organising team. It will also entail identifying partnership opportunities with external institution(s) working on the pertinent issue, potentially ranging from think tanks to universities and/or consulting firms, together with the Youth Network & Partnerships Specialist.
The incumbent will leverage his/her own network with climate-focused think-tanks, academic institutions, research associations and/or strategic consulting firms, to build and strengthen the fellowship programme as well as the fellows’ input to the upcoming Leading Minds Conference. The outcomes will contribute to not only the forthcoming UNICEF Leading Minds Conferences 2024, but also the global and regional convenings of UNICEF Innocenti, and even other ongoing/planned strategic exercises of UNICEF’s thought leadership. To the extent possible, the work and process of designing and implementing the Young Leading Minds fellowship shall be documented and reflected within the future work of UNICEF Innocenti.
UNICEF Innocenti seeks a Leading Minds Youth Fellowship Coordinator with experience in designing, implementing and coordinating research projects, especially with young people. The work will involve:
a) conducting a landscape analysis of relevant academic institutions, think-tanks and consulting firms that would be interested in partnering with UNICEF for thought leadership / global discourse;
1. Conduct a landscape analysis and identify 10 potential partners with high probability of pursuing partnership with UNICEF Innocenti for thought leadership on climate breakthroughs
2. Organise and facilitate introduction with the identified potential partners
3. Finalise up to 4 institutions to partner with for the upcoming Leading Minds Conference
b) supporting the recruitment of Young Leading Minds Fellows to commission research by establishing criteria and evaluating candidates;
4. Develop recruitment strategy that incudes a set of criteria, evaluation matrix, and interview questions and guidelines for the Young Leading Minds Fellowship
5. Recruit 10 young people to become fellows and be commissioned interdisciplinary research ahead of the upcoming Leading Minds Conference on Climate Breakthroughs in May 2024
c) providing support to the fellowship programme, ranging from project management to quality assurance;
6. Manage the overall fellowship programme and research projects, creating calendars, developing tangible deliverables and implementing check-in mechanisms to deliver on the fellowship’s goals.
d) coordinating research projects amongst the fellows and with the partnered institutions; and,
7. Manage the overall fellowship programme and research projects, creating calendars, developing tangible deliverables and implementing check-in mechanisms, etc.
8. Conduct weekly one-on-one check in’s with fellows to track progress, address any issues and provide mentorship, guidance and support
9. Conduct regular meetings with partnered institutions to track progress, address any issues and facilitate close collaboration with the Leading Minds’ organizing team
e) ensuring the quality of the final deliverables, providing methodological coaching and strategic guidance to the fellows
10. Organise and facilitate Youth in Research session with the fellows and provide any relevant info-session, training and/or coaching to the fellows
11. Co-design research projects and methodologies with the fellows, and ensure their outcomes/outputs can better contribute to the thought leadership function of UNICEF
Major areas of work and responsibility:
1. Conducting a landscape analysis of relevant academic institutions, think-tanks and consulting firms that would be interested in partnering with UNICEF for thought leadership / global discourse. This includes undertaking into institutional research to identify potential partners with high probability of pursuing partnership with UNICEF Innocenti for thought leadership on climate breakthroughs, organising and facilitating introduction with the identified potential partners, and finalising select number of institutions to partner with for the upcoming Leading Minds Conference on Climate Breakthroughs.
2. Supporting the recruitment of Young Leading Minds Fellows to commission research by establishing criteria and evaluating candidates.This includes developing the overall recruitment strategy that incudes a set of criteria, evaluation matrix, and interview questions and guidelines for the Young Leading Minds Fellowship. The incumbent will also recruit 10 young people to become fellows and be commissioned interdisciplinary research ahead of the upcoming Leading Minds Conference on Climate Breakthroughs.
3. Providing support to the fellowship programme, ranging from project management to quality assurance.This includes managing the overall fellowship programme and research projects, creating calendars, developing tangible deliverables and implementing check-in mechanisms, etc.
4. Coordinating research projects amongst the fellows and with the partnered institutions.This includes conducting regular check-in meetings with key stakeholders and the fellows, such as holding weekly one-on-one check in’s with fellows to track progress, address any issues and provide mentorship, guidance and support while also holding regular meetings with partnered institutions to track progress, address any issues and facilitate close collaboration with the Leading Minds’ organizing team.
5. Ensuring the quality of the final deliverables, providing methodological coaching and strategic guidance to the fellows. This includes organise and facilitate Youth in Research session with the fellows and provide any relevant info-session, training and/or coaching to the fellows. The incumbent can also co-design research projects and methodologies with the fellows, and ensure their outcomes/outputs can better contribute to the thought leadership function of UNICEF.
The Consultant will work under the supervision and report to the Youth Engagement Manager, based at UNICEF New York Office. Further engagement will come in the form of communication with the Convening Manager, Communications Manager and other respective teams of Innocenti. Other potential team members from UNICEF who bring child and youth engagement experience will be identified separately. Additional relevant UNICEF staff from headquarter and regional/country offices may be consulted throughout the process.
Methodologies and Tools
1. Methodologies to be used: N/A
2. Software to be used for data analysis: N/A
3. Subscriptions that will be required: N/A
Conditions of Consultancy:
1. UNICEF Innocenti does not issue computer equipment to consultants. The consultant will be responsible for providing the necessary computer equipment for the consultancy themselves and should include the cost implications of this responsibility in their bid for the consultancy. The cost of software and subscriptions that may be necessary to complete the consultancy (e.g., Microsoft Word) also needs to be factored into the bid for the consultancy.
2. This consultancy requires the consultant to travel in order to complete the required deliverables effectively and efficiently. The full cost of travel should be included into the bid for the contract. While UNICEF Innocenti does not make travel arrangements for consultants, there are value for money rules that apply to consultant travel. The consultant will arrange their own travel, clear the anticipated cost with UNICEF and invoice UNICEF for the travel cost as soon as the travel has been completed.
3. UNICEF Innocenti will assist consultants with arrangements for visas, work permits, vaccinations, etc.
4. UNICEF does not regard Individuals engaged under a consultancy contract as “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures. Consultants are therefore not entitled to benefits such as leave, pension 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.
5. Payment of professional fees will be based on 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. Prospective consultants are encouraged to ensure that they fully understand (a) the requirements of each deliverable and (b) the workload associated with reaching a deliverable.
6. UNICEF Innocenti recognises that, due to the locations of some of its research, events may occur that either delay deliverables or prevent them from being completed. These events need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the impact on the payment schedule of the contract. It is UNICEF Innocenti’s objective to be fair to consultants in situations where deliverables are delayed or no longer attainable through no wrongdoing of the consultant.
7. Consultants 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.
Minimum Qualifications required: Masters degree in Social Sciences, Communications, Public Policy, Evidence Synthesis, Research Methods or another technical field relevant to the work of UNICEF
• Master’s in Environmental Science/Policy, Social Sciences, Public Policy, Communications, Evidence Synthesis, Research Methods or another technical field relevant to the work of UNICEF (a combination of an undergraduate degree and 2 additional years of professional experience may be considered in lieu of master’s degree);
• At least 5 years of professional experience in social research, research communications, programme coordination and/or knowledge management.
• Strong experience and sound knowledge of approaches to research communications and programme coordination
• Relevant experience of engaging and soliciting structured feedback from young people in a global and regional context
• Access to and experience of engaging in environmental research networks
• Demonstrated ability to set high standards for quality of work and consistently achieve project goals.
• Solid writing, analytical, problem-solving, writing and presentation skills, particularly in the context of international work settings.
• Fluency in English.
• Good attention to detail and demonstrated ability to organize own work, and work of others according to deadlines.
• Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment with staff with differing experience and skills and with staff in different geographic locations.
• Knowledge and experience of conducting research on emerging issues, futures, or child rights themes is an advantage
• A strong ability to manage, negotiate and collaborate with external and internal experts.
• Knowledge of other UN official languages (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese) is an advantage.
• Prior experience of working with the United Nations and good knowledge of UNICEF’s internal organization is an advantage but not essential.
• A flexible mindset and ‘can-do’ attitude in an evolving programme context.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate complex issues to a lay audience.
• Experience and proven track record in social media or multimedia contents development is an advantage.
- Builds and maintains partnerships
- Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
- Drive to achieve results for impact
- Innovates and embraces change
- Manages ambiguity and complexity
- Thinks and acts strategically
- Works collaboratively with others
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.
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