Early Childhood Development Specialist
Closing Date for Applications:
Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks
Support to ECD program/project development and planning
- Support the preparation/design and conduct/update of 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 the country program.
- 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 discussion to determine areas for ECD integration/intervention. Contribute to the formulation, design and preparation of the Country Program to ensure integration of ECD in a holistic manner across program areas and to ensure alignment of ECD programs with MSTP, UNICEF's Strategic Plans and coherence/integration with UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
- Establish specific goals, objectives and strategies and implementation plans for the ECD programs/projects using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required ECD documentations for program review and approval.
- Work closely and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national priorities/competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
- Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure ECD integration, coherence and harmonization with other UNICEF program sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
Program management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programs
- Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurement to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on ECD programs.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
- 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.
- Actively monitor ECD programs/projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Monitor and verify the optimum/appropriate use of ECD program resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity and ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare ECD regular/mandated program/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of program progress.
Technical and operational support to program implementation
- Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and country office partners/donors on interpretation, application and understanding of policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on ECD to support program management, implementation and delivery of results.
- Participate in program meetings including program development and contingency planning to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
- Draft ECD policy papers, briefs and other strategic program materials for management use, information and/or consideration.
Networking and partnership building
- Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders and global partners/allies/donors/academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication to build capacity, exchange knowledge/expertise and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results on ECD programs.
- Prepare communication and information materials for ECD program advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and promote increased investments in ECD programs and projects.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on ECD related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programs/projects ensuring organizational position's, interests and priorities on ECD are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting including emergency preparedness.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Apply/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 program results on ECD.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark and implement best practices on early childhood development. 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 ECD programs and projects.
- Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on ECD related programs/projects.
Qualifications of Successful Candidate
- An Advanced University Degree in education, public administration/health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or other social science field is required
- A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in social development planning and management in early childhood development related areas at the international level some of which preferably were served in a developing country is required.
- Relevant experience in early childhood development related areas, program/project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
- Fluency of the local language of the duty station as well as proficiency in English.