Education Specialist

UN Children's Fund, Dakar, Senegal

Skill Required:, Education ManagementProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
15th April, 2020

Job Description

Purpose for the job

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Regional Education Adviser, the Education Specialist is accountable for the development, design, planning, implementation and management of the Girls’ Education component of the Education programme, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of girls’ education programmes in the WCA region. The Education Specialist provides expert advise, advocacy, analysis and technical support to the WCA Regional Office (RO) and Country Offices (CO) at all stages of programming, on policies, programmes and operational strategies to facilitate the management and delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve equity, inclusion and learning outcomes for children and adolescents in and out of school, with particular focus on Girls’ Education at pre-primary, primary and lower secondary levels in the most marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded areas of society. S/he contributes to knowledge development and innovation and also support the Regional Adviser in managing the section.

The Education Specialist contributes to the achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks
Management and advisory support to the Regional Education Adviser

  • Provide advice to the Regional Education Adviser in establishing the annual work plan, including developing strategies, determining priorities, and performance measurements.
  • Coordinate work progress monitoring and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards, and report to Regional Education Adviser critical issues for timely action.
  • Provide technical assistance and advice to colleagues in the section on all aspects of programming and implementation to enable them to achieve performance objectives
  • Perform the full duties of the Regional Education Adviser in his/her absence.

Programme development and planning

  • Advise the Regional Education Adviser on the preparation, design and updating of the gender analysis aspects of the situation analysis for the education programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive gender disaggregated data on education issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes.
  • Advise the Regional Education Adviser in setting priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans for Girls’ Education in the region. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of Girls’ education programmes. Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Country Programme and coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with internal colleagues and partners to discuss evidence-based Girls’ Education strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Plan and collaborate with internal colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses in programme management.
  • Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
  • Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits and surveys, and exchange information with 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.
  • Manage the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.

Advisory services and technical assistance to country offices

  • Provide technical advice, leadership and professional advice to WCARO and WCAR CO on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on Girls’ education and other related gender issues in education to support programme development planning, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) for country offices in the development and implementation of education programmes related to Girls’ Primary and Secondary Education to ensure timely support throughout all stages of girls’ education programming, including in STEM and Skills Development for adolescents.
  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for gender equity and inclusion, combating poverty and all forms of discrimination against women, girls and other most vulnerable children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote universal gender transformative access to quality, equitable and inclusive education for children in the country.
  • Prepare policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration on gender transformation through education.
  • Identify capacity development needs in gender analysis and gender transformative programming through education, ensuring effective contributions of CO to national development goals.
  • In joint collaboration with regional partners and the UN system , including on the SDG 4 collaborative Platform, contribute to build a critical mass of regional and national capacities in Girls’ primary and secondary education.
  • Participate in regional and country discussions on education emergency preparedness, programming and contingency planning to ensure proactive and appropriate responses are in place to meet the onset of emergencies nationally or other designated locations.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education. Promote sectoral and inter-sectoral partnerships, including with Communications, Child Protection, Social Policy, C4D, Gender and Planning.
  • Prepare communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances for sustainable results and support fund raising for girls’ education in UNICEF Country Office education programmes and emergency interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in global and regional initiatives (Safe to Learn, Gender at the Centre, Safe Schools, School Health and Nutrition) and within the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting related to Girls’ Education. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness.

6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable girls’ education programme initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting edge practices on girls’ education, management and information systems. Support scaling up of effective interventions that keep girls in school and provide alternative learning pathways. .
  • Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Organize, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education related programme s/projects.

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

  • Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field.
  • Experience: A minimum of eight years of professional experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education is required. Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset. Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset. Familiarity/ background with emergency is considered as an asset.
  • Language Requirements: Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.


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