Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy, and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.
Strategic office context: The overall goal of the UNICEF Malawi Country Programme of Cooperation, 2019-2023, is to contribute to the Government of Malawi’s efforts to implement and decentralize policies related to children, focusing on the most disadvantaged and deprived, to have their rights progressively respected and fulfilled so they can survive, grow and develop to their full potential in an inclusive and protective society. The country program is aligned with country and UNICEF regional and global priorities and expected to contribute to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III, 2018-2022, and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), 2019-2023, while concurrently working toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Three pillars have been envisioned to comprise the new country program that is supportive of a rights-based, equity-focused, and life-cycle approach, including (1) Early childhood (ECD), aged 0-5, with a focus on the first 1,000 days; (2) School-aged children, aged 6 up to 18, with a focus on young adolescents, aged 10-14; and (3) Child-friendly, resilient communities that support an enabling environment for the realization of the goals of the other two pillars encompassing the full life cycle of childhood. While some strategic interventions will be at scale, the country program will predominantly concentrate on the convergence and integration of strategic interventions around the interrelated pillars in a core set of districts and traditional authorities, selected using various criteria, including multi-dimensional child poverty.
UNICEF, since 2018, has been supporting the Ministry of Education (MOE) in developing a Web-based Education Management Information System (EMIS) for Malawi. The education data provides information for a wide range of planning and programming purposes. Accurate and reliable data is needed to facilitate the planning and management of a fast-growing and emerging education system. A responsive Education Management Information System (EMIS) is therefore pivotal. Currently, the web-based EMIS system has been upgraded with an offline mobile feature to address the connectivity challenges in the country, and UNICEF is supporting MOE to partially roll out the system this year and fully roll out in the next round of EMIS data collection, in collaboration with the USAID funded Yesani Ophunzira (YESA) Project. The sustainable development of EMIS is a key UNICEF contribution to the systems strengthening in MOE. The institutionalization of EMIS requires a high degree of liaison with, and capacity building of MOE staff, including at the time of emergencies. Follow-up on the deliverables of the UNICEF-funded institutional contract to strengthen EMIS is also needed.
Malawi is prone to national disasters like cyclone, floods, and droughts, and since last year COVID-19 pandemic has hit Malawi, as the co-cluster lead, is responsible for emergency information management and this is a key role for this assignment to ensure effective integration of emergency preparedness into the program, monitoring as well as reporting.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…