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.
And we never give up.
For every child, innovate:
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
- Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
- Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
- Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.
The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.
We're an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:
- Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
- Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries;
- Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.”
How can you make a difference?
The Office of Innovation seeks a top-level candidate who can intake, prioritize and toggle nimbly between multiple projects coming from a geographically dispersed team and who can manage the Design Team in order to execute visually compelling and technically clear outputs for projects.
The candidate must be able to work in a fast-changing environment and have a strong understanding of social innovation in development. We seek someone who has proven experience coordinating multiple projects of varying degree and timelines and who knows how to work alongside a multidisciplinary team with backgrounds in communications, development, operations, partnership building, science, engineering and new and emerging technologies. Good communication is key, so we seek a candidate who knows how to articulate our work and our goals easily amongst a diverse range of staff who range in their understanding of design, and who has a knack for extrapolating information that can be utilized to improve ideas.
We are looking for someone who can build new networks and partnerships in the world of social innovation design that are accelerators for UNICEF’s work. The candidate should be able to document these relationships and suggest them to other team members as resources for furthering their work.
The role requires someone with a diverse and hybrid background, someone who loves to creatively problem-solve, who can ideally work across various devices and platforms, who understands both traditional design and the large spectrum of digital and web mediums. Ideally, this candidate will also have a strong sense of UNICEF’s programmes and goals, and expresses a passion for designing for social impact through their portfolio.
The Design Lead will be managed under the Partnerships, Communications, and Design team (PCD).
Main responsibilities will be:
- Provide strategic design support for various parts of the Office of Innovation: This means being able to understand the needs of all parts of a geographically dispersed team and being able to make decisions on what requests need to be prioritized, who should execute the requests and what level of design support is needed to fulfill the request.
- Coordination of designer’s team including the task assignments and project tracking. This also includes experience in recruiting designers and being able to recommend designer profiles to other members of the team.
- Maintain and update the main Innovation brand identity. This means making updates to Innovation brand guidelines and brand assets and also advising product leads on design best practices.
- Monitor projects and ensure priority projects such as U-Report, , the Innovation Fund and Magic Box stay on track according to the work plan. This includes establishing clear, streamlined work processes that support these projects and also support new and upcoming projects that come in during the course of the year.
- Manage a roadmap for integrating strategic design approaches, including human-centred design (HCD), into the Office of Innovation’s practice both within the team and throughout the organisation. The initiatives may include, but are not limited to: supporting the Scale team in country level testing and documentation of HCD in UNICEF’s work; training and workshops with Innovation Fund startups; supporting various academic partnerships; and designing and facilitating internal product sprints with the design team.
- Guide the team in building capacity around service design, design strategy, strategic foresight/futuring, and other collaborative methods that will greatly benefit internal/external initiatives.
- Lead projects that require design and that bridge the team and UNICEF in order to leverage resources, networks and inform well the new ideas that are emerging and/or reinforcing the proven ideas that are ready to scale.
- Work hand in hand with the Partnerships and Communications teams and use design to bring about more efficient and clear modes of articulating the work we do so we can leverage new and existing partners and showcase the value of our innovation work.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- An advanced university degree in design, graphic design or a first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
- At least 8 years of relevant professional experience in communication strategy, design strategy, media design, digital and print design, service design, systems design or related – and proven experience in translating complex ideas into unified storytelling visuals.
- Design skills across the print and digital spectrum and professional-level knowledge of design platforms like Adobe Creative Suite.
- A portfolio which exemplifies strong work for both print and web, which shows both strong research, processes and attention to detail.
- Experience with leading creative teams on multiple projects of varying degrees and timelines.
- Experience in brand development and brand scaling.
- Knowledge of capabilities and limitations of web and mobile technologies and experience that extends beyond-screen based designs.
- An ability to communicate complex, abstract concepts using both visual, verbal and written language.
- Ability to work embedded within a diverse team in a rapidly-changing work environment: Proven experience working with a diverse team and being able to parse through large amounts of information in order to create synthesized and clear designs.
- Familiarity with open-source technology.
- Familiarity with development/programming language.
- Familiarity with Innovation products is a plus.
- Knowledge of SMS technology and mobile usage in developing countries is a plus.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Experience working within the social impact space.
- Fluency in English. Competence in another UN language preferred.
Payments details and further consideration
- 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
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.