Chief Research, Evaluation & Knowledge Management

UN Children's Fund, Malawi

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
10th September, 2019

Job Description

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.

For every child, safety

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’. The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication. The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

How can you make a difference?

Under the general guidance of the Representative, the incumbent is accountable for formulation, design, planning, implementing, and disseminating research and evaluation through MCO IMEP to ensure overall efficiency and effectiveness of the programme management, delivery and accomplishment of programme goals and objectives.

The incumbent will manage and technically support the conduct of Research and Evaluation activities in compliance with the UNICEF programme evaluation policies and guidelines. The incumbent is also accountable for forging and maintaining partnerships with research institutions and academic bodies to bridge evidence gaps on children and for collaborating on new global programmes and their country roll-out to develop greater awareness of assumptions and perceptions about research and evaluation.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:


  • Establish the section’s annual work plan with the team. Set priorities and targets and monitor work progress to ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.
  • Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties and responsibly efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team.
  • Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives and goals, direction and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.


  • Ensure that MCO and National partners use a well-prioritized and realistic plan of research and evaluation activities that will provide the most relevant and strategic information needed to manage the Country Programme, including tracking and assessing impact of UNICEF’s distinct contribution.
  • Develop, manage and carry out thematic research and evaluation to feed into the country programme monitoring for the realization of children's rights.
  • Promote research and evaluation on emerging issues of child rights to support policy and UNICEF advocacy. Identify partners, develop research and evaluation designs, terms of reference and work plans for specific studies.
  • Organize expert consultations; identify data and reference materials; prepare technical reports; manage review processes and oversee the finalization of studies.
  • Ensures that annual management and work plans are supported by timely released findings from research and evaluation.
  • Contribute to office-wide initiatives by identifying significant new research, evaluation, researchers and research institutions implementing quality research relevant to UNICEF as a whole and by preparing accessible syntheses of research findings.
  • Supports accurate and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the country programme and effective partnerships between UNICEF and the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies.


  • Technically support programme staff and national partners to formulate Research and Evaluation Terms of Reference and design of high quality, when relevant drawing on the know-how of knowledge institutions, in compliance with the UNICEF programme evaluation policies and guidelines.
  • Monitor and ensure the quality of the field work and data management during the implementation phase, and the quality of the analysis and ease of understanding during the report writing phase.
  • Disseminate research and evaluation findings and recommendations to the intended audiences in user-friendly methods. In particular, to ensure that effective participatory feedback is provided to community and civil society stakeholders.
  • Monitor and ensure that a management response to the findings and recommendations of the evaluation is completed, recorded, and followed up for implementation. Most specifically, ensure that evaluation recommendations are submitted to the Country Management Team and follow-up actions recorded in CMT minutes.
  • Submit electronic copies of all evaluations to Regional Office and NYHQ via the Evaluation Data Base web portal, with full accompanying documentation.


  • Ensure that the monitoring and evaluation capacities of the MCO staff and national partners – government and civil society – are strengthened enabling them to increasingly engage in and lead research and evaluation processes.
  • Promote knowledge management by exchange of knowledge, information, experience or lessons learned on research and evaluation activities.
  • Promote the awareness and understanding of the shared responsibility of research and evaluation function among all staff members through communication, training, learning and development activities organization-wide.
  • In close collaboration with partners, ensure that a research and evaluation capacity building strategy for UNICEF/UN staff national partners and institutions exists in the context of the IMEP, or UNDAF M&E plan. Pay particular attention so that the capacity needs of national partners such as professional evaluation associations will be strengthened by involvement in evaluation processes and possibly through specific capacity building initiatives.
  • Collaborate to implement capacity building strategies as a joint commitment with other developmental partners. Utilize a range of appropriate skills building strategies including self-learning, seminars and workshops and practical experience in order that UNICEF and UN staff have the basic knowledge and skills in understanding and applying new research and evaluation policies, tools, methods to fulfil their responsibilities.
  • Similarly, design and implement strategies suited to the skills needs of national partners.
  • Actively seek partnerships with knowledge institutions for the identification of evidence and capacity gaps and development of strategies to address them.


  • Oversees the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
  • Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific initiatives to reduce child poverty.
  • Analyzes the macroeconomic context and its impact on social development, emerging issues and social policy concerns, as well as implications for children, and proposes and promotes appropriate responses in respect of such issues and concerns.


  • Oversees the correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the sector programmes and the country programme overall.
  • Establishes effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.


  • Collaborate with Regional Evaluation Advisers and HQ Evaluation Office for overall coordination of priority research and evaluation activities, especially those of regional scope requiring the coordinated effort of multiple countries.
  • Partner with the Regional Evaluation Adviser to ensure that current and accurate M&E data and results are included in regional reports, multi-country studies, and knowledge sharing networks.


  • Manages and coordinates technical support around child poverty, social inclusion, research, evaluation and knowledge management, ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion.
  • Ensures risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, cooperating partners, and governments.
  • Ensures effective and efficient planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the country programme.
  • Ensures that technical support enhances policy dialogue, planning, supervision, technical advice, management, training, research and support; and that the monitoring and evaluation component strengthens monitoring and evaluation of the social sectors and provides support to sectoral and decentralized information systems.

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Social Sciences, Demography, Statistics or another relevant technical field.
  • Eight years of professional work experience at national and international levels, including substantial experience in research and evaluation.
  • Proven managerial experience and ability to effectively lead a team to deliver results is required.
  • Demonstrated capacity to oversee or undertake quantitative analysis in relation to deprivation, child poverty and social exclusion.
  • Background and familiarity with professional work experience in programme development and implementation, including monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as a strong asset.
  • Fluency in English is required.


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