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Chief Education, P-5 Damascus Syria


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Position

Under the overall guidance of the Deputy Representative, accountable for the development, design, planning, implementation and management of the Education programme within the country programme.

As head of section, direct, lead,and manage a group of professional and support staff to develop, manage and administer the sectoral or inter-sectoral programme. Promotes intersectoral partnerships in order to ensure that progress in education benefits to other programmes, in particular Health, Nutrition, Water and Environmental Sanitation, Child Protection, and Adolescent Development and similarly, progress in other sectors benefits to education.

Contributes to synergize the work of United Nations agencies in Education Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focused Goals, as well as in humanitarian actions, working closely with the Education Sector  within the Whole of Syria Approach

Key Expected Results

1. Timely sectoral analysis, input and guidance provided for the Situation Analysis, and its periodic update completed for effective programme planning, development and management. Partnership with the stakeholders, including knowledge institutions strengthened to further understanding of barriers to and opportunities for advancing the 3 priorities themes (the “3Es”) – Equal access and universal primary completion, Empowerment through girls’ education and gender mainstreaming, Emergencies and post-crisis education cluster interventions. 

2. UNICEF’s global goals and operational models (e.g. child friendly schools) effectively promoted through advocacy and policy dialogue with the government and local stake holders, as well as with other external partners operating in the Education sector. The four core partnerships in education –  Education for All Global Action Plan (EFA – GAP), Education for All Fast Track Initiative (EFA – FTI), The United Nations Girls Education Initiative (UNGEI ) and Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Education Cluster for Education in Emergencies –  capitalized to accelerate progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals .

Strategic guidance on all issues pertaining to the implementation of the scaling up Back to Learning and Self Learning in Syria provided, ensuring that children access quality education

3. Technical leadership and coordination with partnerships and collaborative relationships provided for key education programme documents as well as for capacity building interventions, ensuring promotion of knowledge management.

4. Quality of rights-based Education programmes effectively promoted, and coherence, synergy and value added to programme management process through results-based management. The four core partnerships as well as selective partnerships on specific issues and themes or regional concern, such as education and HIV, abolition of school fees… exploited efficiently in order to formulate common advocacy position, develop policy guidance and influence allocation of resources on behalf of education.  Gender/sex disaggregated data and inputs relevant to the Education programme provided.

5. Sectoral work plan and activities formulated, implemented and monitored, ensuring alignment with country priorities and approaches defined in the programme strategy. UNICEF contribution reflected as part of the coordinated support of external partners to national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 2 and 3).

6. Education programme delivery, evaluation and reporting carried out efficiently, rigorously and transparently in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures.

7. UNICEF and Government and all implementing partners accountability ensured regarding supply and non-supply assistance, as well as disbursement of programme funds for the Education sector.

8. Effective communication and networking achieved through partnership and collaboration, focussing on the 3 priorities themes (the “3Es“) and the 2 cross-cutting areas –  Early child development and school readiness and Enhancing quality in primary and secondary education – which reflect UNICEF comparative advantage and expectation that donors and partners have on UNICEF ability to strengthen humanitarian response and help the country to achieve the SDGs.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

1. Education

Advanced university degree in the combination of the selective disciplines relevant to the following areas: Education; Primary Education, Economics, Social Sciences, or a field(s) relevant to international development assistance.

2. Work Experience

  • Ten years of professional work experience at national and international levels in field programmes relevant to Education programmes.
  • Experience working in the UN or other international development organization an asset.
  • Background/familiarity with Emergency.
  • Extensive experience in both protracted humanitarian crisis as well as transition/resilience programming.
  • Strong programme and financial management, including experience in monitoring and risk management
  • The ability to deal with a complex political environment and highly experienced and sophisticated counterparts and partners (especially Government counterparts).
  • The ability to work in an unpredictable and highly stressful environment, with huge workloads and multiple pressures.

3. Language

Fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic or another UN language is an asset.  

Competencies of Successful Candidate

1. Core Values

  • Commitment 
  • Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Integrity    

2. Core Competencies

  • Communication  [ III ] 
  • Working with People   [ III ]      
  • Drive for Results   [ III ]  

3. Functional Competencies

  • Leading and Supervising    [ III ]                      
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts [ III ]
  • Analyzing   [ III] 
  • Relating and Networking [ III ]
  • Deciding and Initiating Action [ III ]
  • Persuading and Influencing [ II ]

To view our competency framework, please click here.


* The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receiving an offer.

* Please note that Damascus is a non-family duty station.

Employment is conditional upon receipt of medical clearance, any clearance required, the grant of a visa, and completion of any other pre-employment criteria that UNICEF may establish. Candidates may not be further considered or offers of employment may be withdrawn if these conditions are unlikely to be met before the date for commencement of service


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Damascus
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2017-05-23

What does it mean?

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