Consultancy - Content (including video) & Communications Specialist, Office of Innovation, remote, 11.5 months
New York City (United States of America)
UNICEF is seeking a Content & Communications Specialist to focus on deliverables relating to innovations within the Innovation Scale team, specifically U-Report, UPSHIFT, the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge and Accelerate to Scale. The focus will be on both creating an overall strategy and then supporting its delivery through producing and editing content (video, photographs and written) and also enabling content production. Duration: 11.5 months, full-time Duty Station: Remote, potential to travel
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, innovate...
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or underserved)to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
- Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children
This contract will focus on deliverables relating to innovations within the Innovation Scale Up, which currently includes solutions like U-Report, UPSHIFT, the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge and the enabling service, Accelerate to Scale. The focus will be on both creating an overall strategy and then supporting its delivery through producing and editing content (video, photographs and written) and also enabling content production (from UNICEF colleagues around the world and from young people directly) and driving social media coverage in liaison with other communication colleagues.
UPSHIFT & Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge
UPSHIFT is one of the priority innovation projects for UNICEF. It is a youth social innovation and social entrepreneurship programme, designed to build skills and opportunities for young people who are disadvantaged, due to (for example) poverty, gender, disability or ethnicity. The programme combines social innovation workshops, mentorship, incubation and seed funding, to equip young people with the skills and resources they need to identify problems in their own communities and design solutions for them. While young people build skills for life, employment and social entrepreneurship through UPSHIFT; their wider communities benefit from the solutions they create.
UPSHIFT is highlighted within Generation Unlimited, as a solution which should be scaled to address skills for employment, and the World Bank’s Solutions for Youth Employment Impact Portfolio as a promising solution to address youth unemployment.
UPSHIFT started in 2014 and now has presence in 21 countries, with a further 20+ countries, keen to pilot and adapt UPSHIFT into their context. UPSHIFT has also formed the basis for the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge.
Generation Unlimited is a global, multi-sector partnership that enables young people to become productive and engaged members of society by connecting secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship. One of the core components of Generation Unlimited is partnering with young people as co-leaders and co-creators.
The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge is a core part of young people’s engagement in Gen U, at both a country level and globally. The challenge aims to engage young people around the world in the design of solutions that have the potential to scale and create improvements in relation to Gen U strategic priorities. The first challenge launched in September 2018 across 16 countries, with the 5 global winners currently undergoing a global incubation programme. The second challenge launched in September 2019 across 41 countries and 4 agencies – UNICEF, UNDP, Plan International and the Scouts.
U-Report is a social messaging platform allowing anyone from any community, anywhere in the world to respond to polls, report issues, support child rights and work positively for change on behalf of people in their country. It is one of UNICEF’s priority innovations for scale up.
In 2011 UNICEF launched its flagship youth engagement tool U-Report in Uganda. Since then, U-Report has expanded to 65 countries with over 8.5 million young people and communities registered and interacting via SMS and other digital means. The system enables young people and community members to join the system to become UReporters and then speak out on issues they care about.
Currently, U-Report enables enables direct dialogue and feedback with more than 8.5 million beneficiaries in over 65 countries on topics across all sectors, making it UNICEF’s flagship youth and community real-time data and access-to-information platforms. The number of countries implementing U-Report will continue to grow and support priority organisational partner initiatives such as Generation Unlimited.
Accelerate to Scale (A2S)
Accelerate to Scale (A2S) is an expert team within the Office of Innovation that directly supports this transition by producing i) packaged deployment strategy and resources; ii) a validated business model and iii) systematically documented evidence of results. Capturing and disseminating this learning, best practices, processes and tools supports other people to undertake the scaling and sustainable scale of the innovation.
During the period 2015-2019, the Office of Innovation (OoI) has been supporting the scale up of innovations through UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre (GIC). The GIC vision has been to inspire and support the scale-up of new technologies and approaches to UNICEF’s work and that of its partners to achieve powerful impact for all children. Applying a demand-driven, centre-of-excellence model, the GIC Scale team has supported more than 90 countries to identify and adopt innovative solutions touching the lives of 150 million people across these countries. GIC also focused on contributing to building organizational capacity to scale innovation. As a result, UNICEF today is much better positioned to adopt and adapt innovative solutions.
Within the framework of the new UNICEF Innovation for Impact Strategy, a critical organizational shift to support innovation will be the focus on scaling proven innovations.
Specifically the OoI will focus on enabling proven innovations to transition through phases 4 and 5 towards reaching sustainable scale, phase 6 of the UNICEF adopted IDIA innovation framework, where the OoI has unique and proven expertise, demonstrated success, and is well placed within the organization to provide this expertise across sectors and regions, provide value in the chain that links to and supports scaling by others.
How can you make a difference?
This contract will focus on deliverables relating to innovations within the Innovation Scale team, specifically U-Report, UPSHIFT, the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge and Accelerate to Scale. The focus will be on both creating an overall strategy and then supporting its delivery through producing and editing content (video, photographs and written) and also enabling content production (from UNICEF colleagues around the world and from young people directly). You will bring inspirational stories to a wide audience; telling not just the individual stories, but the broader narrative of UNICEF scaling innovation for impact, with the aim of also leveraging partnerships to further our work around innovation.
Main responsibilities will be:
Working under the management of the Senior Adviser on Innovation at Scale, you will:
- Develop external communications strategy that includes:
- An overall narrative and strategy around UNICEF’s role in scaling innovation
- An overall narrative and strategy around the scaling of youth-led innovation (UPSHIFT, Gen-U youth challenge and U-Report)
- Product specific narratives (e.g. UPSHIFT, U-Report, GUYC)
- Other new priority innovations at scale
- Develop external communication materials to promote the work of UNICEF’s Scale Innovation portfolio
- Re-brand U-Report Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page and set up digital content plan
- Create guidance for UNICEF Country Offices on gathering content and case studies around UPSHIFT, U-Report and the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge, which will enable a regular pipeline of case studies across social and other media
- Develop global UPSHIFT, U-Report and GenU Youth Challenge video content
- Work with UNICEF Country Office colleagues to produce ‘blogspots’
- Support general positioning
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Minimum 5 years professional and relevant work experience in communications
- Master Degree in Design, Communication, Journalism, Marketing or another relevant discipline. A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 7 years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
- Proven high-level ability to communicate both through words and graphics
- Proven capacity to work with teams and individuals across different locations and countries and with different technical skills
- Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences
- Experience working in complex, resource poor contexts is a plus
- Fluency in English is required.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are...
View our competency framework at
- A Persuading and influencing, Level 2
- A Applying technical expertise, level 2
- A Creating and innovating, Level 2
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.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Duration: 11.5 months, full-time
Duty Station: Remote, potential for travel