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Consultancy - Senior Climate Consultant - Full time, NY/GENEVA, HOSTED FUNDS, ECW, 187 Days, Remote/Home Based REQ: 557093

New York City

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Remote | New York City
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Meteorology, Geology and Geography
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: Closed

ECW is seeking for the services of a Senior Climate Specialist who can support ECW to lead an end-to-end process of research, consultation, and approach development. This will involve: facilitating stakeholder consultations, conducting a desk review of relevant climate crisis/EIEPC literature, analyzing ECW’s work to date and creating a ‘baseline’ of ECW’s existing record on climate, and then developing ECW’s new climate approach and relevant accompanying documents (e.g. action plan) that will serve as a comprehensive practical tool for a whole-of-ECW Secretariat approach to delivering on its climate ambition.

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, opportunity


How can you make a difference? 

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

To work closely with the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Secretariat and Executive Committee to develop ECW’s strategic approach to the climate crisis, as committed to in the new ECW Strategic Plan 2022-2025 (p22).


ECW is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. It was launched in 2016 by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of children and adolescents in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources, and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure.


ECW’s overarching goal is to support the delivery of quality inclusive and gender-responsive education to the millions of girls, boys, and adolescents– aged 3 to 18 years – in areas of the globe that are most affected by conflict and disaster. In the new Strategic Plan 2023 - 2026 ECW recognizes the alarming impact of the climate crisis on the right to education and commits to more effectively responding during the new strategic period.

ECW’s dual mission of speedy education responses in emergencies as well as quality education for the long run can be capitalized upon to respond effectively to the climate crisis. Since climate events can be short-term sudden shocks and/or slow onset disasters, a credible response must bridge the humanitarian–development nexus – an existing major priority for ECW. To date ECW has responded to a limited number of sudden climate events through its First Emergency Response window (for example, in 2019, responding to the impact of Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) and supported Multi Year Resilience Programmes in a number of countries experiencing varied and increasing climate events and/or slow-onset climate threats (such as Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia and Bangladesh).

In the new Strategic Plan, ECW commits to ensuring that responding to the climate crisis cuts across all of ECW’s work (including programming, advocacy, funding and operations). ECW commits, for example, to: advocating for the endorsement of the revised Comprehensive School Safety Framework 2022–2030 (to which it has now become a signatory); ensuring country level education investments are more climate-responsive and climate-smart; exploring accessing and distributing climate finance (a key priority for ECW’s Executive Director) and; setting organizational emission reduction targets in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

While the broad strategic direction has been agreed, ECW now wants to hire an experienced climate and education specialist to develop a comprehensive plan to ‘operationalise’ the commitments made in the Strategic Plan and develop an approach document and/or roadmap to guide ECW’s work on climate at a strategic and operational level. The development work should be undertaken in way that is particularly inclusive of two constituency groups: global south stakeholders (especially Government) in ECW programme countries; and children and young people (as ECW’s primary clients).

ECW therefore seeks the services of a Senior Climate Specialist who can support ECW to lead an end-to-end process of research, consultation, and approach development. This will involve: facilitating stakeholder consultations, conducting a desk review of relevant climate crisis/EIEPC literature, analysing ECW’s work to date and creating a ‘baseline’ of ECW’s existing record on climate, and then developing ECW’s new climate approach and relevant accompanying documents (e.g. action plan) that will serve as a comprehensive practical tool for a whole-of-ECW Secretariat approach to delivering on its climate ambition. The final product/suite of products should set out relevant actions for all sections of ECW’s Secretariat, namely: Finance and Operations; Comms and Advocacy; Monitoring and Evaluation; Education; Resource Mobilization; and Strategy, Planning and Accountability. The final product/suite of products should not remain as a conceptual or policy level that requires additional formulation/thinking by ECW staff. Rather, it should be a be a tool to enable to ECW staff to hit the ground running on operationalising the Strategic Plan commitments and new direction of travel.

This work will be overseen by ECW’s Chief of Strategic, Planning and Accountability (or her Deputy as Officer In Charge). The final product/suite of products will be finalised by September 2023.

Depending on location, the consultant will be required show flexibility at times with respect to start/end working hours in order to accommodate meetings in the New York (where the supervisor is based) and Geneva (where key ECW staff stakeholders are based) time zones.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The consultant will be expected to:

  • Review relevant ECW documentation and analyse ECW’s current approach (e.g. reviewing the ECW evaluations, ECW’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, and relevant FER and MYRP proposals and reports - including reviewing current and anticipated investments against global climate risk/vulnerability) to determine background and scope of the new approach;
  • Analyse relevant sector literature and plans/strategies by relevant global actors including latest research, policy briefs and commitments (including policies related to risk reduction and resilience in the education sector, and the wider picture of climate financing) to provide a strong foundation for ECW’s approach;
  • Develop the inclusive consultation plan and lead the consultation process with members of the ECW Executive Committee (ExCom), the Education Technical Reference Group and Gender Reference Group (ETRG-GRG), EIEPC/climate specialists, other funds and bodies (for example, the Global Partnership for Education, GADDRES), global south stakeholders, child/youth stakeholders, climate finance providers and recipients and UNICEF corporate units, to further define ECW’s approach and specific value add;
  • Undertake information-gathering visits to at least two ECW programme contexts to inform the approach and undertake in-country consultations;
  • Develop a summary report based on literature review, analysis, consultations and programme visits, setting out proposed way forward for ECW in the new strategic period (including agreeing if the final document should be referred to as an approach document, a road map or strategy etc., as well as determining what accompanying materials are needed);
  • Develop an outline for ECW’s climate approach document;
  • Run a workshop on the proposed direction of travel with the ECW Secretariat, the ETRG-GRG and other stakeholders as appropriate;
  • Develop a final approach document and accompanying materials, incorporating feedback from the ECW Secretariat and ExCom (recognising that the content should be action-orientated and ambitious but realistic, tangible and timebound);
  • Develop and lead presentations as needed for key stakeholders (including ExCom as appropriate); and
  • Provide specialist inputs as requested by the supervisor related to ECW’s work on climate.

Expected Key Deliverables:

The specific timeline for each deliverable will be agreed upon between ECW and the consultant at the beginning stage of the assignment. The key deliverables include:

  1. Deliverable 1: An inception report detailing objectives, scope, methodological approach, data collection tools, stakeholder consultation plan, work plan and reporting.
  2. Deliverable 2: A reflections paper summarizing key findings from the analysis, literature, consultations and programme visits, including strategic inputs and recommendations.
  3. Deliverable 3: Workshop(s) with the ECW Secretariat and Technical Working Groups to share findings and receive feedback on proposed approach.
  4. Deliverable 4: A draft version of the climate approach document and accompanying materials.
  5. Deliverable 5: A final version of the climate approach document and accompanying materials.

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks Deliverables/Outputs Timeline Estimated time
1 Inception plan developed, including stakeholder consultation plan December 2022 5 days
2 Literature review and analysis completed December 2022 20 days
3 In-person/virtual stakeholder consultations and focus group discussions held January - March 2023 30 days
4 Information gathering visits to ECW programmes conducted January - March 2023 12 days
5 Reflections paper developed for stakeholders, incorporating findings from lit review, consultations and programme visits March - April 2023 30 days
6 ECW Secretariat, Education Technical Reference Group and Gender Reference Group workshops and presentations designed and facilitated May 2023 10 days
7 Technical inputs from ECW staff and external stakeholders reviewed and tracked and action points and areas in need of harmonisation are identified Ongoing 25 days
8 First and final versions of ECW’s climate approach developed (and relevant accompanying documents and presentations), ensuring alignment with the updated Strategic Plan, Strategic Results Framework, and Theory of Change May - August 2023 55 days


To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields: international development, international relations, social sciences, gender/women studies, social work, business or public administration, government, public policy, or other related fields.
  • Extensive experience in the field of climate change and education.
  • Proven experience in the area of climate finance.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. 
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language, specially French (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian action and global education in emergencies and protracted crises, in particular the specific challenges related to climate.
  • Strategic vision, strong analytical capabilities and sound judgement.
  • Demonstrated track record of strategic planning and/or formulation of action plans, policy frameworks or similar.
  • Proven high-level facilitation, networking, coordination, negotiation, consensus-building and organizational skills.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relationships with internal and external parties in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Demonstrated research, analytical planning, organizational and management skills.
  • Advanced communication (spoken and written) skills, including the ability to convey concepts and recommendations to stakeholder representatives, both orally and in writing, in a clear, concise style.
  • Demonstrated ability to draft/edit strategic planning documents, reports, presentations and communication products.
  • Availability to travel (to Geneva or New York, and ECW programmes) is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 


To view our competency framework, please visit here


UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

This vacancy is now closed.
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