Education Specialist

UN Children's Fund , Lilongwe, Malawi

Skill Required:, Education ManagementMonitoring and Evaluation
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th June, 2019

Job Description

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, help:

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’.  The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication.  The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

UNICEF is a major partner to government and other partners in ensuring all rights of children are attained and more specifically, the delivery of quality education in Malawi. The education programme aims to support government achieve its set objectives which are elaborated in national education sector plans including ensuring equitable access, quality education and improved governance. In this regard, the GoM/UNICEF education programme addresses optimal development of children from conception and early learning, through primary education through adolescence paying attention to the gender equity and the most marginalized. In the context of the new country programme, the education programme will in addition to ensuring systems strengthening also provide platforms for intersectoral integration in delivery of education for holistic and optimal development of all children from early years through adolescence.

UNICEF has since 2018 supported Ministry of Education (MoEST) in developing a Web-based Education Management Information System (EMIS) for Malawi. The education data is and has been providing information for a wide range of planning processes. 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.

At the same time, On the 8th of March 2019, the government of Malawi declared a State of National Disaster, following heavy rains and floods in the southern parts of the country. At least 15 districts have been impacted, with approximately 870,000 people affected by the floods, including over 650 injured and 59 dead. The response to the aftermath of Cyclone Idai is almost at the end of its second month and the Government, with support of partners, is now looking at strategies for return and early recovery. Accessibility of affected areas is improving, allowing IDPs to return to their homes. However, an estimated 60,880 people (70%) of the (86,976) displaced remain in camps. Timely return is critical to allow schools being used as displacement camps to resume normal delivery of education and learning services, prevent the outbreak of secondary disasters including disease outbreaks, and harmonize and rationalize delivery of relief assistance to all the affected without the camps acting as a pull-factor. A smooth transition from immediate disaster response to early recovery and development is also critical to restore livelihoods of displaced families. UNICEF as the co-cluster lead will be leading support in the emergency information management and this will be a key role for the position and will ensure effective integration of emergency preparedness into the program.

The IASC Generic Terms of Reference for Cluster/Sector Leads at the Country Level includes a requirement for ensuring appropriate IM for an effective and coordinated intra-cluster/sector and inter-cluster/sector response.The IASC Guidance on Responsibilities of Cluster/Sector Leads and OCHA for Information Management details, as part of these cluster/sector lead responsibilities, that as cluster lead agency need to appoint an Information Management focal point(s) who should have sufficient expertise and an ability to work with different partners and clusters/sectors, and allocate the necessary human and financial resources for Information Management to ensure this.

The sustainable development of EMIS is a key UNICEF contribution to the systems strengthening in MoEST. The institutionalization of EMIS requires a high degree of liaison with, and capacity building of MoEST staff, including at the time of emergencies. Follow-up on the deliverables of the UNICEF funded institutional contract to strengthen EMIS is also needed.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance of the Chief of Education and Adolescents and in collaboration with Data Unit, the Education Specialist (EMIS and M&E) will be responsible for monitoring, evaluating and giving technical advice to the Government of Malawi and specifically to the Ministry of Education (MoEST) on the development of the Education Management Information System (EMIS)-especially in the current context of the recovery phase of the 2019 emergency.  The incumbent will also be responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation within the UNICEF Education Section, maintaining a database for all education programming and integrated with data related to all other sectors, updating the database on a regular basis to ensure progress towards results are achieved.

Currently, the Malawi country office is operating under a matrix-management model, where individuals will have more than one reporting line. This role will be matrixed to the office centralized Data Unit (4P2C Data Intelligence Node)..

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Regular Programming:


  • Facilitating and advocating to strengthen the ministry's role in implementing EMIS, as well as ensure capacity building to key staff in national and state ministries.
  • Selecting and compiling, and if necessary develop, EMIS related training and orientation materials for capacity building at all levels of MoE, including internally in UNICEF.
  • Ensure high quality of EMIS ICT infrastructure, database schema and data collection tools are in place, well maintained and sustainable.
  • Monitor and evaluate performance of partners working to support MoE in establishing a comprehensive and sustainable EMIS.
  • Provide technical advice to partners, and in cooperation with MoEST write ToRs and provide strategic guidance to the EMIS programme ensuring that the full EMIS cycle is implemented and that quality data is provided.


  • Assess local conditions and resources, and monitor development and progress in EMIS at both national and district level.


  • Draft relevant sections of reports and funding proposals.
  • In collaboration with Data Unit develop an internal robust M&E system for the Education and Adolescents Pillar well linked to the national, sub-national EMIS and PPME.
  • In collaboration with Data Unit design and maintain a dashboard at section level to monitor of key performance indicators, including accurate school location and mapping services
  • Provide quantitative educational information, as produced by EMIS, to stakeholders.
  • Provide specific support to MoEST to ensure that the Education Sector Plan is evidence based.


  • Ensuring the Annual Work plan (AWP) indicators, outputs and outcomes are SMART as well as being responsible for other monitoring and evaluation related tasks in the section.
  • Strengthen the development as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the AWP, ensuring that the planning is evidence based.
  • Build capacity for evidence-based planning amongst education officers and ensure that officers know how to use EMIS data for planning.
  • Providing M&E related guidance for studies carried out by the education section and ensuring linkage with SPPME.
  • Provide analysis of recommendations provided by education section colleagues in section trip reports and liaise with PME for follow-up.
  • Support to Education Cluster: The Specialist is one of the core Sector/Cluster Coordination team members and plays a vital role in collecting, analysing, and sharing information that is important for the stakeholders to make informed (evidence based) strategic decisions. The EMIS Specialist will support the Education cluster with the data and information required to make programmatic decisions.

Key Responsibilities and Tasks:

  • Data Gathering, Tools and Process
  • Needs Assessment
  • Monitoring
  • Dissemination and Access to Information for Stakeholders
  • Mapping: Maps of 4W, sector resources, needs, Gaps per location
  • Information Management Intra and Inter-Cluster Liaison
  • Training and capacity building of sector partners
  • Promote and support training of other UNICEF staff, sector partners, MoEST and humanitarian personnel and capacity building of humanitarian partners, as required.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • Advanced university degree, in Education, Statistics, Population Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation, Social Sciences or a related technical field.
  • 5 years of experience in designing, managing, implementing and monitoring education programmes working with systems design and research applying SPSS or Microsoft Access in developing countries.
  • Excellent knowledge of computer applications including programming, Microsoft Excel and Access. Familiarity with digital data gathering platforms and software; understanding geospatial data desirable
  • Good understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, conflict and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and inter-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Social Policy, Child Protection, Nutrition, WASH, Health and Communications within UNICEF).
  • Some knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity lens and human rights perspectives to programming.
  • Some ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programs and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas.
  • Some education sector planning knowledge/ability, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g. ECD, Primary, Secondary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components and processes, as well as governance issues.
  • Some education and policy sector analysis capacity, including understanding of the core education data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of equity, determinants of student access and learning, budget, cost and financing, education system management, political economy and application to education policy and strategic planning.
  • Some program management in education, including program design, costing, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.
  • Some ability to support engagement with partners (e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters, Education Provider Forums, Delivering as One, Inter-sectoral partnerships such as in ECD), as well as networking with other key partners.
  • Some understanding of gender and inequity issues in relation to education and development and the application of gender/equity analysis to policy and planning in education.
  • For CO and RO based post and where relevant, some understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to resilience: risk analysis and risk management, education in conflict situations, natural disasters and recovery.

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.

The functional competencies required for this post are:

  • Leading and supervising (I)
  • Formulating strategies/concepts (II)
  • Analyzing (III)
  • Relating and networking (II)
  • Deciding and initiating action (II)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (III)



























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