Consultancy - Senior Design, Office of Innovation

UN Children's Fund, New York, United States

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st October, 2017

Job Description

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


UNICEF has been innovating for children for 70 years. Innovations support the organization’s 135+ country offices in finding solutions for the world's most vulnerable children. The UNICEF innovation work includes both policy and practice of innovation in UNICEF, and the larger UN. Innovation in UNICEF is defined as “doing something new or different that adds value.” Innovation is a cross-sectoral function that enhances programme and development effectiveness as well as management and is guided in all contexts by UNICEF’s Innovation Principles ( UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

In January 2016, the UNICEF established the Office of Innovation in order to strengthen its innovation functions and leverage the increasing opportunities across the organization. The Office of Innovation unites:

  • The Global Innovation Centre (GIC): established in 2015, and focusing on Scale Up which looks at expanding the application of proven solutions from one to several countries and regions by UNICEF and partners
  • Ventures: looks at investing in new solutions with a 0-2 year horizon
  • Futures: focusing on what is coming in the 2-5 year horizon and works with big tech partners


The senior design consultant will provide design support and expertise in several program areas and UNICEF Innovation projects, including but not limited to: UNICEF ventures projects around data and research, innovation product branding and maintenance, systems design for scale-up projects and products, graphic design, publication design, information architecture and design research.

We seek a candidate with a background in graphic design and some level of expertise in human-centered design and design thinking practices. The designer must be able to apply these practices to UNICEF Innovation projects and to lead workshops/sprints with project teams. This includes but is not limited to - creating the content and structure of workshops, design and production of materials for workshops and conducting these sessions.

The ideal candidate needs to be a top-level designer who is self-motivated to provide support to a diverse team even under tight time constraints. We seek someone who works closely with the Design Team and contributes to building a strong portfolio of design work at UNICEF Innovation. The designer would need to take initiative on projects, learning the content as the project demands and pulling together various team members to produce well-rounded work.

Due to the diversity of the role, the team is looking for a hybrid designer, who can ideally work across various devices and platforms, understanding mediums such as print design while also exploring the ambiguity of systems and information design. The ideal candidate will be a visual designer who has experience working with complex systems and who is able to toggle between a number of projects at the same time. The ideal candidate must have a strong sense of UNICEF’s programmes and goals, who expresses a passion for designing for social impact through their portfolio, who has experience communicating easily with a diverse range of staff - designers and non-designers alike - and who has a knack for extrapolating information from team members that can be translated into simplified and articulate ways.


  • Provide design support to the Futures team around the future area handbooks and working papers. This Includes understanding and making sense of the content, information graphics, communication materials and publication design.
  • Design prototypes, data visualisations and communication materials for new and developing data and research projects coming out of the Ventures team.
  • Provide design guidance and thinking around the sustainability of products to the Scale team. Create communication materials, templates and additional branding to help further scale innovation products/projects.
  • Work with the communications team to design a better system for external online communications. This includes but is not limited to - the 2017 annual report,, and UNICEF Innovation social media pages.
  • Conduct design research around existing innovation work at UNICEF and produce documentation - both visual and written - that helps enhance this work.
  • Create materials for and conduct design thinking workshops/sprints for products, projects or teams.
  • Work with the Design Team Lead to find additional ways to provide new and efficient means to support the operational design of the Office of Innovation.


  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
  • Consultant is responsible for his own health insurance
  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
  • Consultants are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance


  • Advanced degree in a relevant field (ex. Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Design for Social Impact/Social Innovation) or equivalent professional work experience.
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in graphic design, branding and layout, information design and information architecture, visual communications, media design, system design or related – and proven experience in translating complex ideas into clear visuals.


  • Experience in leading projects from start to end and communicating feedback to designers and developers.
  • Experience with processing and synthesizing large amounts of information
  • Proven experience in translating complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong design preparation and production skills
  • Knowledge of design platforms like Adobe Creative Suite, design techniques, software, data visualization and business-related functions such as marketing and advertising
  • Experience creating strong designs on non-design platforms like Microsoft Powerpoint and developing accessible templates for users who do not have access or knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite
  • Experience creating visually appealing technical guidance pieces
  • Ability to work in a team and in a diverse and rapidly-changing work environment
  • Resourceful, agile and capable of multitasking

Additional Experience and Knowledge:

  • Familiarity with open-source technology
  • Familiarity with development/programming language
  • Self-starter and able to time-manage oneself.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Design preparation and production skills
  • Ability to work in a team and in a diverse and rapidly-changing work environment
  • Experience working within the social impact space
  • Knowledge of SMS technology and mobile usage in developing countries is a plus

LANGUAGES: Fluency in English. Competence in another UN language preferred.


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