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Executive Assistant (Communication) #120035 - GS5 - 1 year Fixed Term, Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence, Italy


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Florence
  • Grade: Administrative Services and Support - Generally no need for Higher Education
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Administrative support
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2022-06-30

The Communication Unit is seeking a suitably qualified candidate to support their large portfolio by executing a broad variety of cross-office administrative, programmatic and logistical support functions. The incumbent shall be required to have thorough knowledge of UNICEF administrative procedures, processes, policies, rules and regulations.

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

Job organizational context

The Office of Research-Innocenti is the dedicated research office of UNICEF. It undertakes and commissions research on emerging or current issues of relevance for children in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programs of UNICEF and its partners. The office explores emerging issues, identifies research gaps, and brings together existing researchers to support or undertake new research, data collection and analysis to address critical questions.

Purpose for the job

Under the supervision of the Chief of Communication, the Executive Assistant (EA) is responsible for executing a broad variety of support functions to the Communication Unit, the respective sections and more broadly to the Office of Research-Innocenti. This will require sound knowledge of UNICEF administrative procedures, processes, policies, rules and regulations.  The tasks assigned are expected to be carried out with a high level of independence. 

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks:

• Administrative and secretarial support
• Contracting
• Budget Monitoring
• Travel
• Events and Conferences
• General office support

General Administrative Support:

Provide general administrative, programmatic and logistical support to Sections/team’s activities ensuring compliance with UNICEF rules & regulations and established office procedures, prioritizing and carrying out administrative tasks independently. Keep regular communication with supervisors and team members for updates and follow up on pending issues. Provide relevant information on applicable policies/procedures to support decision making, keeping abreast on updates.

Liaise with internal/external partners and field offices to manage queries/refer to appropriate individuals as required. Act as VISION focal point for the units regarding travel, contracts or attendance records. Create and maintain project files. Provide support for the production of the section’s publications (writing, editing, translating, layout, printing and/or distribution).

Draft and coordinate correspondence in English and prepare a variety of materials related to section’s work using Office software.


Provide support for Sections/team’s procurement of institutional/corporate and individual consultant services (Terms of Reference, solicitation documents, and support to selection processes and Notes for the Record) – including coordination for clearances with Operations team when applicable and submissions to the OoR Contracts Review Committee (CRC) if needed. Support contract management, raising Purchase Orders in Vision, including uploading of relevant documentation (payments, evaluation and closures).

Support to Sections/team’s consultants: provide general information about team/office work arrangements, IT tools (shared and public drives/OneDrive/Vision), etc. to newly arrived consultants.

Coordinate with IT/Operations section for supplies/equipment/software/setup of UNICEF account for the section as necessary.

Budget Monitoring:

Support monitoring of Sections/team’s budget implementation, keeping track of expenditures, fund reservations and grants expiry. Provide periodic updates to Section Chiefs and flag any risks or actions for decision/follow up. Process information on section budget allocations and commitments/payments. Provide assistance to Donor Reporting activities. Provide support for team’s budget preparation, mid-year revision and year-end closure.

Collection of Web Metrics Data:

Keep records of monthly web metrics reports. Maintain spreadsheets of web metrics trend data. Record data from Plum and Google analytics.


Provide travel assistance to staff members in section for travel arrangements and entitlements based on the organization’s rules and policies.

Liaise with relevant travel focal points to ensure that the organization obtains the best service and price for all travel. 

Brief/de-brief staff members on issues relating to related administrative matters such as visas, security clearance, and documentation procedures. 

Extract, input, maintain, and verify correctness of travel records to ensure accurate transactions related to travel costs and staff travel. 

Assist in the preparation of budgets on travel costs and maintain travel plan and budgetary control records. 

Monitor travel certification and reports back to the team.

Events and Conferences

Assist with online and live-streamed events, webinars, webcasts. Moderate the chat during online events (sharing housekeeping information and monitoring issues arising from the audience). Make sure all panelists have a bespoke access link. Keep a WhatsApp group with panelists and producers for coordination and emergencies. 

Support capacity development activities, meetings, workshops and conferences by making the logistical arrangements, through engaging with facilitators, caterers and hosts; liaise with budget focal points and section over costs and needs; and prepare background materials for participants.

Office Support

General support to any other Office of Research-Innocenti activities:

Coordinate with other Executive Assistants to provide administrative/secretarial support for office-wide activities, assist other units during peak work periods and cover for colleagues in their absence as required.

Carry out transactions in VISION ensuring programme results, activities and programme coding are as per annual work plans (AWPs), and makes amendments and alterations as per section revisions when necessary.

Participate as a member of any of the Office of Research internal committees, boards or taskforces as needed.

Prepare and maintains records pertaining to programme planning and development for his/her respective section

Engage proactively in problem solving or suggest improvements.

Competencies and level of proficiency required

Core Values: Care/Respect/Integrity/Trust/Accountability

Core Competencies:

Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
Works Collaboratively with others (1)
Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

Functional Competencies

Analyzing (1)
Learning and Researching (1)
Planning and organizing (1)
Following Instructions and Procedures (1)


· Training and experience using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other UNICEF software such as SharePoint; knowledge of integrated management information systems required.
· strong knowledge of UNICEF administrative policies and procedures.
· Organizational, planning and prioritizing skills and abilities.
· Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with visitors.
· High sense of confidentiality, initiative and good judgment.
· Ability to work effectively with people of different national and cultural background.
· Ability to work in a team environment to achieve common goals and to provide guidance to more junior support staff.


Education:  Completion of secondary education, preferably supplemented by technical courses or university degree related to work of the organization is an asset.


  • A minimum of 5 years of solid work experience in administrative/budget/contracting and clerical support functions is required. 
  • Working knowledge of UNICEF systems (SAP/VISION), policies and procedures is considered an asset.
  • Excellent knowledge and proficiency in the use of office standard computer applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is required.
  • Strong writing, interpersonal and communication skills are required.
  • Non-Italian candidates must be in possession of a valid work permit for Italy
  • Work experience with UN is an asset

Language requirement: 

Fluency in English (spoken and written) and Italian is required. Knowledge of another official UN language 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 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.


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Candidates will be recruited locally and hence must live in Florence or within commuting distance from the office

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.