We are looking for an experienced and dynamic candidate to bring together key and emerging findings on children and young people with those who can take action in setting agendas, implementing programmes and policies, galvanizing political will, and funding and financing the resources required
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, Research
Organizational Context: The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in research, in advocacy and in operations. A focus on equity, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action.
UNICEF’s action in support of children’s rights is based or informed by evidence. Investing in evidence provides the foundation for finding answers to the dynamic challenges that children and young people face. And 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 position is within the Strategy, Planning and Convening Unit in the Management Section of the Office of Research-Innocenti (OoR). The OoR’s mission is to facilitate the role of research as a fundamental pillar of the evidence base that helps drive change for children. To that end, the OoR harnesses research about the state of the world’s children and the environment in which they live; identify and fill research gaps or work with others to do so; examine research of evolving and emerging issues importance to children; develop robust research methodologies, guidelines, quality and ethical standards, and capacity development for UNICEF offices and supports countries in the application of research; and grounds UNICEF’s strategic planning, programming and learning in research and knowledge.
The Strategy, Planning and Convening Unit serves as a catalyst to connect and amplify the OoR research functions in the following three key ways. First, through taking a strategic approach to synthesizing, quantifying and visualizing research findings, and examining the technical and contextual phenomena that go beyond the OoR’s sectoral research work streams. Second, through supporting the OoR’s institutional strategy, planning and monitoring functions, including preparation of the Office Management Plan and Annual Report among other statutory deliverables. Finally, through its role in catalyzing and supporting convening of knowledge brokers and other key stakeholders around organizational research priorities, covering a diverse range of in-person and digital engagement such as conferences, seminars, workshops, and digital engagement. A major component of this strand will including convening the annual Leading Minds for Children and Young People conference, as well other key gatherings at the OoR’s premises in Florence.
Within the OoR, the Strategy, Planning and Convening Unit will work closely with other units within the Management Section, including Partnerships and Communications, and also with the Research Section to help translate research findings, partnerships and advocacy become more actionable and translatable into country office programming and regional and global outreach. It will also work closely with other divisions, offices and external partners in building a strong and world class convening function and centre for UNICEF at the OoR.
Job organizational context: In a rapidly changing world, research is more vital than ever to answer increasingly complex questions and challenges for children and young people. But it is also true that these findings and their associated recommendations will only be fully translate into action if they engage a diverse range of stakeholders who can act upon them. It is therefore vital for the OoR and for UNICEF to not only undertake, commission and review quality research but also to convene internal and external stakeholders around their findings and implications. The position of Strategic Planning Manager (Convening) will have an important role in bringing together the key and emerging findings on children and young people with those who can take action in setting agendas, implementing programmes and policies, galvanizing political will, and funding and financing the resources required, Such action will benefit not only UNICEF in pursuit of its own Strategic Plan, but also contribute to realizing the longer-term goals of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
Purpose of the Job: Under the supervision of the Chief, Strategy, Planning and Convening, the purpose of this position is to quantify, visualize and synthesize research and evidence emerging from the OoR; support the strategy function of the OoR; and in particular develop, organize and implement convening around key, emerging and innovative issues and research findings for children and young people.
Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks:
1. Provide quantitative analysis, visualization and synthesis on a variety of key evolving and emerging research issues for children and young people, with emphasis on those on which the OoR will convene. This include the application of advanced and applied statistical techniques, innovative use of visualization tools, and synthesis of research findings for outreach and use by non-specialist audiences.
2. Identify and investigate emerging trends and issues in research and evidence generation on children and young people, with a particular focus on the global South. Key issues of investigation will include those related to the OoR’s major own convening, including but not confined to the annual Leading Minds for Children and Young People conference.
3. Support the strategy and vision of the OoR and the global research function, in particular through the Standing Committee on Research. Report regularly on how the OoR is making progress towards its strategic priorities. Liaise with issue task forces on research as required, including following up on actions decided by the Committee, in conjunction with other units with the OoR and other Divisions.
4. Develop and strategize the OoR convening, offline and online, on key research issues and findings. This entails drafting and implementing strategies, concept notes and frameworks, and action plans for convening, including budgets, time and resource management. It also entails fostering organizational partnerships around convening in conjunction with other relevant units and sections within OoR, divisions and offices, and with external partners.
5. Oversee the day to day management of OoR convening. This will include translating strategies, concept notes and overarching action plans into practical tools and monthly/weekly work plans. Take responsibility for the implementation of all convening, working with others to ensure that the OoR convening operate efficiently and effectively, and align with the priorities of the Office, and of UNICEF, including those the Office of the Executive Director.
Competencies and level of proficiency required:
Drive for results (II)
Working with people (II)
Formulating Strategies and Concepts [ II ]
Analyzing [ III ]
Applying Technical Expertise [ II ]
Learning and Researching [ III ]
Planning and Organizing [ III ]
An advanced university degree in International Development, International Relations, Statistics, Economics, Public Administration, Social Science, or other relevant disciplines is required.
A minimum of 8 years of relevant work experience in areas related to international development.
A focus on children’s rights is desirable, as is a strong understanding of research.
Exemplary analytical skills are required, including use of advanced statistical techniques and data visualization.
Excellent writing, presentational and planning skills are a must.
Experience of conference management and facilitation is highly desirable.
Attention to detail and time management is imperative.
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset
View our competency framework at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf
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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
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.