Purpose of the Position
The ECD Specialist reports to the Deputy Representative for strategic guidance and direction. In close collaboration with relevant sectors (Health and Nutrition, Education, Protection, WASH), the ECD Specialist is responsible to coordinate the design, development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ECD programs within the Country Program. The Specialist is also responsible for the provision of timely and effective policy, advocacy and technical support to national counterparts for the design, implementation and monitoring of ECD policies promoting the rights of the younger children as established under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international treaties/framework and UN intergovernmental bodies.
The Specialist contributes to achievement of concrete and sustainable programs/projects results on ECD related programs/projects according to plans, allocation, Theory of Change (ToC), results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF's Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.
Key Expected Results
- Technical and strategic leadership in ECD programming
- Strategic management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programs
- Coordination services, quality oversight and technical support
- Advocacy, networking and partnership building
- Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks
1. Technical and strategic leadership in ECD programming
- Participate and/or update situation analysis and assessments on ECD related issues to establish evidence-based data to support holistic policy and program development and coordinated planning, implementation and monitoring of results on early childhood development programs/projects within country program.
- Strengthening and synthesizing the evidence base on ECD programme, policies and operational strategies for ECD.
- Keep abreast of national/regional/international development priorities to identify opportunities where ECD can enhance inter-sector partnership, integration and linkages.
- Participate in CO program planning to determine strategic priorities for ECD integration/intervention. Contribute to the formulation, design and preparation of the Country Program 2018-2022 to ensure integrated and holistic ECD program and to ensure alignment of ECD programs with the MTSP, UNICEF's overall and sectoral strategic plans and coherence/integration with UN Assistance Framework (UNAF), Jordan Response Plan (JRP), regional and national strategies (sectoral), priorities, plans and competencies.
- Establish specific goals, objectives and strategies and implementation plans for the ECD programs/projects using Theory of Change (ToC) and results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations on ECD related issues for program review and approval.
- Promote and provide technical expertise to major monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess ECD progress and to engage stakeholders to take required action/interventions to achieve results.
- Work closely and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national priorities/competencies to promote inter-sector partnerships and holistic approach to ECD.
- Provide authoritative technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure ECD integration, coherence and harmonization with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
- Coordinating with colleagues involved in planning and resource mobilization to support the leveraging of additional resources for ECD.
2. Strategic management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programs
- Plan and/or collaborate with monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on ECD programs/projects.
- Prepare/assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in program and management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Monitor ECD programs/projects trends and situation of young children and families to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Plan, monitor and control the use of ECD program resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Providing outcome specific, high quality and timely reporting to donors and other partners on progress towards the SDGs, and the implementation of the CRC commitments to Early Childhood to keep them informed on program progress and critical issues.
3.Coordination services, quality oversight and technical support
- Provide technical advice and/or written guidance to key government officials, NGO, UN system and other country office partners on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on ECD issues to support program development planning, implementation and delivery of results.
- Participate in strategic discussions, meetings and other international/national meetings and workshops to provide ECD evidence based papers and inputs to influence policy and agenda setting on ECD.
- Prepare ECD policy papers, briefs and other strategic program materials for management use, information and consideration in development discussion and planning
4. 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, universities, private sector and communities to support the ECD programme, policy, advocacy and data needs of the country, and to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on ECD.
- Prepare communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for ECD initiatives for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and promote increased investments in ECD interventions.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on early childhood development to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities on early childhood development are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF development planning and agenda setting process. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues the UNDAF planning and preparation of programs/projects including emergency preparedness.
5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for ECD programs/projects initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting edge practices on ECD. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned to support development planning and implementation.
- Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programs and projects.
- Organize/plan/implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of a wide range of internal and external partners/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on ECD programs/projects.
- An Advanced University Degree (Master's) in education, public health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or other social science field is required.
- First university degree with additional two-years ofrelevant work experience is acceptable in lieu of anadvanced university degree.
- A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in social planning and "management in early childhood development*" and related areas at the international level some of which preferably were served in countries in the MENA region is required. Relevant experience in education and related areas, program/project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
- Work experience should include high level involvement in ECD in areas such as: programme design and planning, national capacity development, development of strategies, standards, research, M&E and governance and financing ECD programme.
Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is considered an asset
Competencies of Successful Candidate
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Communication (III)
- Working with People (III)
- Drive for Results (II)
- Leading and supervising (II)
- Formulating strategies/concepts (III)
- Analyzing (III)
- Relating and networking (III)
- Deciding and initiating action (II)
- Persuading and influencing (III)
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receiving an offer.
Employment is conditional upon receipt of medical clearance, any clearance required, the grant of a visa, and completion of any other pre-employment criteria that UNICEF may establish. Candidates may not be further considered or offers of employment may be withdrawn if these conditions are unlikely to be met before the date for commencement of service.