Social Policy Manager
The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.
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, hope.
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations.
Job organizational context:
The Social Policy Specialist is to be used in the Oman CO with a complex social policy challenge, where the social policy incumbent is an advisor to the Representative on how to promote the rights of every child, everywhere in country, in everything UNICEF does with the Government.
Purpose for the job:
Under the guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for the design, management, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social policy programing (and related evidence and data generation )from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes initiatives aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce childhood deprivation and improve child wellbeing and ensure coverage and quality of all services; (b) social protection coverage and impact on children; (c) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; and (d) governance, decentralization and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, child protection, water and sanitation, and HIV.
III. Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks
Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
1. Improving data on child deprivation & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
To ensure that the UNICEF Country Office Has useful valid and reliable information on the situation of children’s and women’s rights; the performance of UNICEF- supported programmes including their relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, and in emergency context, their coverage, coordination and coherence.
Supports in managing the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.
Analyzes the macroeconomic context and its impact on social development, emerging issues and social policy concerns, as well as implications for children, and proposes and promotes appropriate responses in respect of such issues and concerns, including government resource allocation policies and the effects of social welfare policies on the rights of children
2. Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
Develops social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
Promotes strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.
Undertakes improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcomes, and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.
3. Improving use of public financial resources for children
Undertakes budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to Ministries of Finance, planning commissions and social sector ministries to improve equitable allocations for essential services for children. Works with sector colleagues to build capacity to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments.
Identifies of policy options for improved domestic financing of child-sensitive social protection interventions.
Undertakes and builds capacity of partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability and effective financial flows for essential service delivery, including through support to district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation
4. Strengthening capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services.
Where national decentralization processes are taking place, collaborates with central and local authorities to improve policies, planning, budgeting, consultation and accountability processes so that decisions and child-focused service delivery more closely respond to the needs of local communities.
Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen capacity on quality data collection, analysis for policy development, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of essential social services, with emphasis on community participation and accountability.
5. Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
Supports correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the social policy programme and the country programme overall.
Establishes effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.
IV. Impact of Results
The strategic and effective advocacy, planning and formulation of social policy programs/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, contributes to achievement of goals and objectives to create a protective environment for children and thus ensure their survival, development and well-being in society. Achievements in social policy programs and projects in turn contribute to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide program services for mothers and children that promotes greater social equality in the country.
V. 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 competencies required for this post are:
§ Diversity and inclusion
§ Communication (II)
§ Working with people (II)
§ Drive for results (II)
§ Leading and supervising (II)
§ Formulating strategies and concepts (II)
§ Analyzing (III)
§ Relating and networking (II)
§ Persuading & Influencing (II)
§ Planning & Organizing (III)
View our competency framework at
VI. Recruitment Qualifications
An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.
A minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience is required.
Knowledge in broad public policy (and not limited to social policy)
Strong technical background in data, the focus being on the interpretation and use of data.
Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset.
Fluency in English is required, Arabic is an asset.
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.
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
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.