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Fixed Term: Programme Specialist (Protection from Sexual Exploitation & Abuse), P4, Islamabad, Pakistan #122947

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location:
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender-based violence
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Drugs, Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism and Human Trafficking
  • Closing Date: Closed

UNICEF Pakistan Country Office is looking for a dynamic and experienced Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Specialist at the P4 level in the International Professional category. The PSEA Specialist will be based in Islamabad and will be responsible for supporting country-wide implementation of PSEA, including technical support to UNICEF Field Offices and will also support the country office to roll out the UNICEF PSEA action plan. Does your profile match our requirements? If yes, then we would like to hear from you.

UNICEF works in some of the world toughest places, to reach the world most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil 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, Hope!

Pakistan was the sixth country in the world to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, less than one year after it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. However, children and adolescents living in Pakistan still face acute challenges.

UNICEF supports the Government of Pakistan to accelerate progress for children, work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help children realize their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Children. This will be made through, among other things, strong partnerships with provincial authorities, teachers and health professionals, frontline workers and social mobilisers, communities and families, and of course the children and adolescents themselves. 

In particular, UNICEF will work so that:

  • Every child survives and thrives -- being in good health, immunized, protected from polio and accessing nutritious food.
  • Every child learns.
  • Every child is protected from violence and exploitation and registered at birth.
  • Every child lives in a safe and clean environment, with access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. 

To learn more about UNICEF work in Pakistan, please visit the country website and videos on YouTube and Vimeo

Under the guidance of the Operations Manager and the UNICEF Pakistan PSEA Task force, the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Specialist will support the country office to roll out the UNICEF PSEA action plan and support UNICEF’s engagement in the inter-agency PSEA Network that is established under the HC/HCT. The PSEA Specialist will have a dotted reporting line to the Operations Manager and will work closely with the Chief of Child Protection and Gender Advisor.

The PSEA Specialist will be based in Islamabad and will be responsible for supporting country-wide implementation of PSEA, including technical support to UNICEF Field Offices.  This includes working closely across all programme sections and the gender advisor, to support acceleration of PSEA around core programmatic priorities, including safe and accessible reporting, survivor-centered assistance and accountability, as elements of an overall preventative approach.

Within the context of the inter-agency response and the UNCT/HCT PSEA strategy and action plan, the PSEA Specialist will support UNICEF’s contribution to the inter-agency PSEA work including specific deliverables and responsibilities that UNICEF holds within the PSEA network and action plan.

To make a difference, the incumbent shall be responsible for following key strategic functions, accountabilities and related duties/ tasks;

1. Capacity building and technical support, coordination:

a. Provide leadership, technical support and monitoring for the implementation of UNICEF Pakistan Country Office PSEA and Action Plan, including implementation at provincial level.
b. Deliver PSEA and Safeguarding trainings for UNICEF staff, consultants, volunteers, and implementing partners, in line with the PSEA Training Plan.
c. Build the capacity of selected UNICEF staff to replicate PSEA and Safeguarding trainings and awareness raising efforts.
d. Support knowledge management efforts on PSEA and Safeguarding, including a repository of tools, documentation of promising practices, etc...
e. Together with SBC and AAP technical leads, and in liaison with the PSEA Network, develop awareness raising materials for UNICEF office and partners, including leaflets and posters for UNICEF offices and UNICEF partners’ offices including communities.
f. Develop an internal tracking tool to ensure regular and consistent monitoring of SEA cases and Child Safeguarding violations and case management of child victims’ assistance.
g. Supporting the Pakistan CO to institutionalize PSEA and Safeguarding efforts within their programmes, monitoring and facilities (e.g. HACT, supply section, programme component teams, etc.)
h. Support Pakistan CO to expand/strengthen communities’ access to safe and accessible reporting channels across programmes/sections
i. In collaboration with UNICEF sections, support partners to ensure PSEA policies and structures are aligned with standards and requirements as per UNICEF PSEA Implementing Partners Procedures and the UN Protocol.
j. Actively participate and make contributions in the regional and global Community of Practice (COP) on PSEA and Safeguarding.
k. Support capacity building & technical assistance to UN agencies, and Funds in Pakistan
l. Coordinate all PSEA & Child Safeguard activities at the CO, and across the provinces, including preparing, serving as secretariat the PSEA taskforce meeting at COs

2. Inter-agency response to SEA and PSEA Network coordination:

• Represent UNICEF in the inter-agency PSEA Network, including support to UNICEF’s contributions on the Steering Committee. Support UNICEF to actively engage in the PSEA network at provincial level and promote the implementation of the national PCO HCT Strategy on PSEA. Work with relevant stakeholders to take forward the inter-agency PSEA Network action plan, including:
a) Finalization, endorsement and system-wide implementation of the PSEA Network Standard Operating Procedures/ information-sharing protocol across network members, at national and provincial levels.
b) Develop and implement a safe and accessible reporting channels for SEA, both for humanitarian workers and community-based mechanisms that are gender and age sensitive, including to promote a coherent approach across all existing mechanisms.
c) Community Based Complaints Mechanism on SEA, building upon existing community-based complaint mechanisms as relevant. Develop 1) outreach and sensitization on SEA in communities; and 2) training of National PSEA Officers and PSEA focal points.
d) Ensure systems and procedures for inter-agency referrals are functionals and effective, including accountability mechanisms and development of joint interagency responses in relation to SEA risks and concerns.
e) Support to PSEA risk assessment as per HCT PSEA Action Plan.
f) Support the roll out of the UN Victims Assistance Protocol.

3. Support Appropriate Reporting and Response of SEA allegations and Significant Child Safeguarding Violations:

a. Ensure adherence to global prescribed procedures for PSEA cooperation and reporting of SEA incidents as well as significant Child Safeguarding Violations. Promote understanding among UNICEF Staff and all stakeholders such as humanitarian agency and IP/contractor staff of the applicable internal PSEA policies and reporting procedures.
b. Following the Global prescribed guidelines, provide technical leadership to PCO Senior Management, and quality assurance to partners / contractors on handling, and referring SEA allegations committed by humanitarian staff, IPs and personnel of other entities (such as sub-contractors, vendors), including when the institutional affiliation of the alleged perpetrator(s) is unknown or uncertain and not excluding SEA by UNICEF staff.
c. Lead initiatives to build capacity of partners for investigations and support senior management in the fact finding and documentation of reported SEA allegations and taking appropriate measures to ensure safety and confidentiality of complaints / allegations. This entails ensuring that all materials pertaining to complaints are handled strictly in line with prescribed SOPs and referring the complaints / allegations for the attention of Senior Management for immediate action.
d. Develop and provide technical support to country offices for implementation of survivor assistance, including establishment of SOPs on prevention and response to ensure survivors have access to appropriate services i.e. medical, psychosocial, legal and material support, in accordance with the UN Victim Assistance protocol.
e. Lead development and implementation of the country office strategy for building capacity of all UNICEF staff, implementing Partners and key contractor staff on PSEA, Safeguarding, and Abuse of Authority including conducting training as necessary.

4. Prevention

a. Collaborate and coordinate with partners and UNICEF sections to ensure sensitization activities on SEA and Safeguarding are implemented across communities and establish systems to track and monitor implementation.

b. Collaborate and coordinate with partners and UNICEF sections to ensure systematic SEA risk assessment is conducted and findings are reflected and included in programme implementation.

c. Ensure integration of PSEA & Safeguards in the HPDs, PDs supported by UNICEF or its partners

5. Survivor assistance

• In coordination with the relevant sections and government authorities:
o Ensure that survivors of SEA access assistance and support
o Monitor the quality of assistance and follow up provided to victims of SEA by UNICEF partners
o Review functionality and effectiveness of PSEA referral pathways – internal and interagency – and contribute to advocacy, in coordination with relevant stakeholders, to strengthen access to services for survivors.

6. Manage funds allocated PSEA and Safeguard Funds

a) As PSEA specialist, ensure that allocated budgets to the section is managed in line with results-based budgeting principles and standards and that grants are reported on and used in line with donor commitments in coordination with the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization section. It will also include linking expenditures to programmes by systematic use of coding expenditures in line with results-based budgeting principles.
b) Ensure that the work breakdown structure in VISION is correctly inputted and adhered to thereafter, and that activities under the workplan are coded and all special markers/tags and reporting in VISION are properly done and updated.
c) Provide quality assurance on grants allocated to section including ensuring funding is spent in line with commitments; full utilization including facilitation of No-cost extension and fund reversals in coordination with the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization section.

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law, or another relevant social science field.

  • A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in design, implementation and management of protection or PSEA and child safeguarding or GBV programming, preferably with the UN and/or international NGO.

  • Experience working in humanitarian contexts. Familiarity with the latest development in PSEA, inter-agency PSEA responses and humanitarian cluster systems.

  • Excellent communication skills. Proven ability to work independently under difficult conditions. Excellent facilitation, training, networking and advocacy skills. Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization.

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter:

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1), Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (3), 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), 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: competency framework here.

Life at UNICEF

Working at UNICEF is highly rewarding. With attractive remuneration package encompassing competitive pay and benefits, a culture that helps staff thrive and diverse opportunities for personal and professional development, we aim to help you maintain a fulfilling life both at and outside the office.

We make sure you and your loved ones receive the resources and care that you need to thrive. We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. Our contracts, wellbeing policies and initiatives ensure that you are well equipped to effectively deliver for children such as;

  • Tax exemption, family allowances, hardship benefits, 10 UN holidays and annual leave allowance, maternity, paternity, adoption leave, medical and dental insurance, pension etc.
  • Career support, staff wellbeing programme, breastfeeding policy, flexible work arrangements, childcare room, family support, policies & initiatives, security etc.
  • UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements. 

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 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.


  • This post is open to both internal and external applicants.
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
  • Verified educational certificates are a pre-requisite for employment at UNICEF. 
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates will be prioritized.
  • UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments are also 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.
  • UNICEF's active commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to delivering the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates will be prioritized.
This vacancy is now closed.
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