Social Policy Specialist, (P-3), Mbabane, Eswatini, #116981 (Internal Advertisement)
The UNICEF Eswatini Country Office is looking for a committed and creative Social Policy Specialist, passionate about making a lasting difference for children. Under the general guidance of the Deputy Representative, the Social Policy Specialist will be responsible for providing technical support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social policy programing and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (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. The focus of the position, however, is on providing support to the Government in establishing main components of a social protection system that is shock responsive and addresses needs of the Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Purpose of Position
Under the general guidance of the Deputy Representative in the small-sized UNICEF Eswatini Country Office, the Social Policy Specialist will be responsible for providing technical support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social policy programing and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (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. The focus of the position, however, is on providing support to the Government in establishing main components of a social protection system that is shock responsive and addresses needs of the Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summary of key functions/accountabilities
1. Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
• Supports 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
• Supports the development of 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. Special focus on social protection system to respond to COVID-19 pandemic is a requirement.
• 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 with focus on the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
• 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.
• Supports the identification 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.
6. UNICEF Programme Management
• Manages and coordinates technical support around child poverty, social protection, public finance and governance ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensures risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, Cooperating Partners, and governments.
• Supports and contributes to effective and efficient planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the country programme and the COVID-19 Response Programme. Ensures that the social planning project enhances policy dialogue, planning, supervision, technical advice, management, training, research and support; and that the monitoring and evaluation component strengthens monitoring and evaluation of the social sectors and provides support to sectoral and decentralized information systems.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Policy, International Development, or another relevant technical field.
A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required. Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset. Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as a strong asset.
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is considered as an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA)
UNICEF Competencies: Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1), Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2), Works Collaboratively with others (2), Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2), Innovates and Embraces Change (2), Thinks and Acts Strategically (2), Drives to achieve impactful results (2), Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)
Functional Competencies: Analyzing (3), Persuading & Influencing (2), Planning & Organizing (3)
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
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.
UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at: http://www.whed.net
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.