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Social Policies Specialist, NO-C level, FT (open for Bulgarian nationals only)

Sofia (Bulgaria)

UNICEF Bulgaria CO is looking for a highly qualified Social Policies Specialist to be responsible for the coordination, planning, development and management of all stages of the social policies and budgets programing to improve the status of women and children in the country.

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, results.

The overarching goal of the programme between UNICEF and the Government of Bulgaria for the period 2018-2022 is to support Bulgaria in its efforts to enable all children and adolescents in the country, including the most disadvantaged, to enjoy their rights and develop to their full potential in an inclusive and protective society, in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

How can you make a difference?

The Social Policies Specialist is responsible for the coordination, planning, development and management of all stages of the social policies and budgets programing to improve the status of women and children in the country.

  1. Policy and programmes development and dialogue

Manages and coordinates technical support and the engagement of relevant programme staff with government and civil society counterparts around social policies issues and ensures that it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely manner.

Supports various partners by bringing top-level expertise, and advocates for reforms in social policies, ensuring integrated cross-sectoral strategies and approaches and their effective implementation at local level.

Collaborates with the central and local authorities, and supports efforts of programme staff, to strengthen public, private sectors and civil society's efforts in supporting national and local capacities on planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of social policies and programmes. Supports the strengthening of coordination between sectors and among different levels of government structures for policy implementation.

  1. Programme development and management

Supports evidence-based programme planning in the area of social policies. Provides overall guidance and direction for programme implementation through on-going consultations and inter-sectoral coordination of activities and formulates respective programme goals and objectives.

Identifies critical cross-sectorial and sectorial interventions by administering a consistent and transparent management and monitoring system; analyses country level socio-political-economic trends and their implications for on-going programme and interventions;

Plans and monitors the allocation and disbursement of programme funds for the respective programme components, making sure that funds are properly used. Takes appropriate actions to optimize use of programme funds. Ensures programme efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Acts as Gender Focal Point and leads the integration of gender into country programming phases. In collaboration with sectoral colleagues, identifies the areas of focus for gender programming with the greatest potential for impact and scale, in alignment with the GAP and country/regional priorities. Ensures that gender mainstreaming is integral to all work processes.

Participates in annual programme review and planning meetings with government counterparts. Supports the timely preparation of annual programme reports.

    3. Rights-Based and Results-Based management approach

Adopts a rights-based programmes approach in the formulation of programme goals and objectives around social policies and budgets issues, and in the development of strategies and implementation frameworks. Ensures the programming planning and design processes are built on a foundation of human rights, and bring coherence, synergy and added value to the national priorities; uses a results-based management approach to programme planning and design that contains a focus on equity and gender equality as well as strategies for systematically mainstreaming gender.

Prepares and submits viable recommendations for the implementation of demonstration project/models, alternative approaches, and optimal utilization of resources that contribute effectively to the realisation of the rights of children and women through cross-sectoral programme new initiatives and makes recommendation to ensure achievement of stated objectives.

Supports government and local authorities with expertise and partnerships and builds their capacity for ensuring social inclusion and reduction of child poverty, furthering the realization of the rights of all children to equal access to education, health and protection.

  1. Policy coordination

Ensures that UNICEF provides relevant support to national partners so that useful valid, disaggregated and reliable information on the situation of children's and women's  rights and reduction of equity gaps are available and used to inform national social policies and budgets.

Supports UNICEF's efforts in periodic and on-going situation analyses, identifying knowledge gaps and establishing partnerships to generate cutting edge equity-focused evidence data and analysis and links them to UNICEF's advocacy, partnership and expertise. 

Leads and/or supports the evaluation and documentation social policies and budgets models that are in line with international standards and can be shared beyond borders.

Ensures that the country programme supports national social policies reforms for children with sound knowledge management approaches, sharing and exchange of good practices.

Ensures with national partners that UNICEF-supported evaluations in the area of social policies and budgets are strategically selected (in consultation with the Representative and the Deputy Representative) and conducted in accordance with UN quality norms and standards.

Ensures that evaluations conclusions and recommendations are discussed with all stakeholders, management response prepared and follow-up actions implemented. Ensures that evaluation results are systematically used to inform national social policies programmes and relevant UNICEF support.

  1. Partnership, coordination and horizontal cooperation

Promotes the inclusion of children's issues and the requirements of relevant duty-bearers to meet their obligations in the realisation of children's rights in budgetary decisions, in poverty reduction strategies, in inter-sectorial approaches and programmes. Collaborates with the communication team in developing strategies for communication for social change and social mobilization.

Promotes partnership and collaboration with internal and external counterparts, including the UN and national partners, in order to improve knowledge on good practices and lessons learned in the area of social policies and exchanges information on programme implementation, with focus on excluded and marginalized children.

Develops and maintains strategic and coordinated partnerships and collaboration with various stakeholders, including national and local governments, civil society, the corporate sector, the media and international partners to support the development and implementation on-going social policies reforms in the country.

In close collaboration with line ministries and other partners facilitates horizontal cooperation and sharing the knowledge and experience of Bulgaria with other countries.

Maintains close collaboration with respective Regional Advisers and other appropriate UNICEF staff for effective overall guidance and coordination of social policies programmes.

Liaise with other country offices to identify opportunities for mutual learning, exchange and cooperation for children.

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

  • An advanced university degree in any of the following: Social Sciences, Public Administration, International Relations, Business Administration, or other fields related to the work of UNICEF.
  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in social development, management, monitoring and evaluation.

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the local working language of the duty station is a must. Knowledge of another UN language is an asset. 

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

The technical competencies required for this post are:

Leading and Supervising [II]

Formulating Strategies and Concepts [II]

Analyzing [III]

Relating and Networking [II]

Deciding and Initiating Action [II]

Persuading and Influencing [III] 

View our competency framework at

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


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.


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: Sofia (Bulgaria)
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-27

What does it mean?

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