Child Protection Specialist

United Nations Children's Fund

Maiduguri, Nigeria

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.
Support to programme/project development and planning:
  • Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis on the MHPSS response for the child protection programmes/projects to ensure that current and comprehensive data on child protection-MHPSS issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, and design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of child protection programmes/projects with specific focus on MHPSS. Formulate, design and prepare MHPSS programme/project proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s overall Strategic Plans and the Country Programme, as well as coherence and integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans on MHPSS for the child protection sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues, partners and the MHPSS working group to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of MHPSS into programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
  • Support current MHPSS practices, reflecting on a cross-sectoral approach.   
  • Structured MHPSS activities for girls, boys and their care givers, organized in age-appropriate groups with a clear methodology or curriculum to promote mental well-being. Such activities must align with donor commitments in already-funded projects
Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results:
  • Plan and collaborate with colleagues and external partners to establish MHPSS monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in child protection 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 actions and interventions to achieve MHPSS results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management. Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve MHPSS goals.
  • Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits, surveys and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations, procedures, donor commitments, as well as standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
Technical and operational support to programme implementation:
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners and donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on child protection related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Supporting the strengthening of MHPSS in emergencies to meet UNICEF’s core commitments for children, including quality assurance of MHPSS material used by partners (NGOs and Gov), supporting trainings, measuring/monitoring MHPSS indicators for reporting (Sit rep, donor reporting, etc.), and other support needed to achieve results in emergency contexts
  • Arrange and coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
  • Participate in child protection programme meetings, including programme development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated, to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration.
  • Support strengthened coordination, technical capacity of the MHPSS Technical Working Group involving government and humanitarian actors
  • Provide technical review and inputs related to MHPSS related documentation, Programme Documents etc. developed by the country office/partners.
  • Ensure a cross-sectoral approach to case management. This includes review and inputs to the sector specific capacity building materials/sector and identify approaches to help ensure linkages between MHPSS and case management in health, education and child protection.
  • Provide support to design and implement MHPSS interventions in the context of humanitarian response
Networking and partnership building:
  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders, global partners, allies, donors, and academia - through active networking, advocacy and effective communication - to build capacity, exchange knowledge and expertise, and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results in child protection.
  • Support, through the development and implementation of MoUs, greater collaboration across Government Ministries for integrated MHPSS through sectors, notably the access to MHPSS within the formal and informal education system.
  • Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances and to support fund raising for child protection programmes and emergency interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on child protection related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects. Ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process for development planning and agenda setting.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building:
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in child protection management and information systems. Assess, institutionalize, and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders to promote sustainable results in child protection and related programmes/projects.
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 five years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection related areas is required.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
  • Relevant experience in programme development in child protection related areas in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is considered as an added advantage.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language including Hausa is an asset.