Education Manager, P-4, LACRO, Panama City, Panama, #72360 [Fixed Term]
The UNICEF Latin American and Caribbean Regional Office is looking for a professional to support the LAC Regional Adviser, Education, in managing the section, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of education programmes.
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.
UNICEF promotes the rights and welfare of all children and adolescents in everything we do. Together with our allies, we work in 190 countries and territories to transform this commitment into practical actions that benefit all children, especially focusing our efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded, worldwide.
The UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office is based in in Panama, operating in 36 territories, including 24 country offices.
UNICEF works to put the rights and well-being of the most disadvantaged children at the heart of the social, political, and economic agenda, in line with our equity focus, working across our organization and with our partners in government, civil society and the private sector to support shifts in public policy, fuel social engagement, and increase investment for children.
For information of the work of our organization in the LAC Region, please visit our website: UNICEF LAC Region
For every child, education
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. 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.
How can you make a difference?
The Education Manager reports to the LAC Regional Adviser, Education [RAE], in managing the section, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of education programmes. The Education Manager provides authoritative technical guidance and operational support throughout all stages of programming to facilitate the management and delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve learning outcomes and to promote universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive primary/ early childhood education, especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.
The Education Manager contributes to the achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.
Key functions and accountabilities:
1. Management and advisory support to the LAC Regional Adviser, Education [RAE]
- Provide advice to the REA in establishing the annual work plan, including developing strategies, determining priorities, and performance measurements.
- Coordinate work progress monitoring and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards, and report to REA critical issues for timely action.
- Provide technical assistance and advice to colleagues in the section on all aspects of programming and implementation to enable them to achieve performance objectives
- Perform the full duties of the REA in his/her absence.
2. Programme development and planning
- Advise the REA on the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the education programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive data on education issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes.
- Advise the REA in setting priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
- Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of education programmes. Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Regional Office Management Plans (ROMP), regional strategies and priorities, plans and competencies.
- Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
- Work closely and collaboratively with internal colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
- Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
3. Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results
- Plan and collaborate with internal colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education programmes.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
- Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses in programme management.
- Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits and surveys, and exchange information with stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Manage the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare regular and mandated programme reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
4. Advisory services and technical support
- Provide technical advice to key government officials, NGO’s, UN system and other regional office partners on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on education and other related issues to support programme development planning, implementation and delivery of results.
- Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming.
- Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for combating poverty and all forms of discrimination against women/children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive education for children in the region.
- Prepare policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration.
- Participate in regional discussions on education emergency preparedness, programming and contingency planning to ensure proactive and appropriate responses are in place to meet the onset of emergencies nationally or other designated locations.
5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education.
- Prepare communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances for sustainable results and support fund raising for UNICEF Regional Office education programmes and emergency interventions.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/ projects including emergency preparedness.
6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable education programme initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting-edge practices on education management and information systems. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned.
- Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
- Organize, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education related programme s/projects.
To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…
Education: Master’s Degree or higher in education, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field is required.
- A minimum of eight  years of professional experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education is required.
- Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
- Experience in a LAC country is a strong asset.
- Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
- UNICEF relevant professional experience will be a strong asset.
- Familiarity/ background with emergency is considered as an asset.
Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate...
UNICEF Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS).
UNICEF Core Competencies: Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2), 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), Drive to achieve impactful results (2), and Manages ambiguity and complexity (2).
During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.
To view our values and competency framework please visit the following links: Our Values and Our Competencies.
Technical Competencies must be demonstrated in the following areas:
- Good understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, conflict, and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and inter-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Social Policy, Child Protection, Nutrition, WASH, Health and Communications within UNICEF).
- Good knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity lens and human rights perspectives to programming.
- Good ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programme and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas.
- Good education sector planning knowledge/ability, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g. ECD, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components and processes, as well as governance issues.
- Good education and policy sector analysis capacity, including understanding of the core education data sets and indicators; tools for analysis of equity; determinants of student access and learning; budget, costing, and financial management in education systems; political economy; and education policy and strategic planning.
- Good ability to support engagement with partners e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters, Education Provider Forums, Delivering as One, Inter-sectoral partnerships such as in ECD, as well as networking with other key partners.
- Good understanding of gender and inequity issues in relation to education and development and the application of gender / equity analysis to policy and planning in education.
- Good understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to resilience: risk analysis and risk management, education in conflict situations, natural disasters, and recovery for CO and RO based post and where relevant.
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.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
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.
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 https://www.whed.net/home.php
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.