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Innovations Specialist, P3, Lilongwe, Malawi



The Innovation Specialist will be accountable for providing technical leadership and support to innovation planning/design, implementation, monitoring and documentation across programme sectoral areas and with partners, supporting achievement of UNICEF's priorities.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children's rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential – to the benefit of a better world.

For every child, a new idea

UNICEF Malawi is introducing an innovation function under the Representative’s Office to promote internal and external innovations, build on current innovation successes, and find innovative solutions to on-going bottlenecks to advancing children’s rights.  This “new” configuration of Programme Effectiveness, will allow both strategic cross-programme thinking across all programme outcome areas, and co-ordination of joint actions in key areas of common import to all programme sectors.  In addition to the cross-sectoral themes of planning and monitoring, gender and external communications which will be ‘housed’ under the programme effectiveness outcome, key themes of strategic partnerships, innovation and resilience will be anchored in the Programme Effectiveness group, with intentional linkage across all other programme areas.  Innovation is an emerging strategy in UNICEF, and while the office has made progress on the T4D agenda in the past years, focused expertise is required to not only continue this work but to expand it to include overall innovation. This position is responsible for leading innovation initiatives within the office, and provides in house support in innovation in programming to all sections. The position will report to the Representative.

How can you make a difference?
The Innovation Specialist will be accountable for providing technical leadership and support to innovation planning/design, implementation, monitoring and documentation across programme sectoral areas and with partners, supporting achievement of UNICEF's priorities. Working closely with programme sections and in collaboration with T4D taskforce members, the Innovation Specialist will interact across all sections in the UNICEF office and network closely with Government, UN, NGO and private sector partners and launch and manage the implementation of identified programme innovations and T4D initiatives.

As some areas of innovation are mainstreamed as a core strategy across each of the UNICEF programme sections in the Country Office, the  Innovation Specialist will further be responsible for coordinating and facilitating this mainstreaming effort guided by the Representative and for providing ongoing technical support to each programme team in the design and implementation of their respective Innovation flagship initiative(s) in close coordination with NYHQ Innovation Unit and Regional Office where applicable.

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

  • Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, behaviour communication, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, Information Technology or other relevant disciplines.
  • *A first University degree in the above fields of studies, combined with 2 additional years of relevant work experience, may be acceptable in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in programme management, monitor and evaluation.
  • Experience with Innovative uses of technology for development, particularly in the areas of mobile based data collection; Training & capacity building experience; Programme communication / Communication for Development / and/or Design experience.  
  • Experience in start-up companies /organizations is an asset and entrepreneurial failures are considered as valuable experience.
  • Experience in project management and rolling out large scale projects especially in one or more countries in the region an asset.
  • Proven capacity to work with and lead collaborative teams across different sections and with different technical skills.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government ministries, youth coalitions, Universities, intellectual leaders, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences.
  • Background experience with the UN, especially UNICEF is highly desirable.
  • International and Developing country work experience
  • 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…

Our core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

This position is classified as “rotational” which means the incumbent is expected to rotate to another duty station upon completion of their tour of duty,

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

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.
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Lilongwe
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • Social studies
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-21

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