Education Specialist (Secondary)

UN Children's Fund, Lilongwe, Malawi

Skill Required:, Education Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
14th November, 2018

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.

How can you make a difference?

The Education Specialist (Secondary) is accountable for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of secondary education programme(s) (provision of quality, relevant and free Education to all) to ensure overall efficiency and effectiveness of the programme management, delivery and accomplishment of programme goals and objectives. The position will provide linkage with provision of primary education through the Joint Programme on Girls Education (JPGE) to improved examination performance and transition to Secondary education as an integrated model, transition to alternative post primary education opportunities for secondary school aged out of school children. Also, the position will work closely with the Integrated Adolescents Services function of the Section to strengthen holistic services to secondary school aged adolescents. The incumbent will have to provide leadership and facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, adequate, coherent, and effective delivery of equitable secondary education in Malawi.

In addition to being a principal supervisor for various staff, incumbent may also serve as the secondary supervisor for others. For the latter situation, they will provide input to the principal supervisor during performance reviews on the technical quality of a staff member's work and his/her overall contribution to the output results that they have worked on together.

Currently, the Malawi country office is operating under a matrix-management model, where individuals will have more than one reporting line. While this particular position is not currently “matrixed”, it is possible that this may change depending on programme needs.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  • PROGRAMME PLANNING, DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT: Enhance effective programme, sectoral or inter-sectoral planning, development and management by guiding, coordinating and supporting the timely completion of the Situational Analysis and its periodic update through accurate and complete monitoring and analysis, and the timely preparation or finalization of sectoral input.
  • KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: Further promote knowledge management by drafting or finalizing sectoral documents and reports such as the Country Programme Recommendation and Plans of Action as well as through orientation and training programmes targeted to Government authorities. Ensure exchange of knowledge, information, experience or lessons learned; provides solid technical recommendations on major programme directions and on introduction of new initiatives in the country.
  • RIGHTS-BASED PROJECTS THROUGH RESULTS-BASED APPROACH: Promote the quality of rights-based Education programming through participation in the formulation of programme goals, and approaches. Bring synergy and added value to sectoral or programme management processes using a results-based management approach to planning and design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • SECTORAL WORK PLAN DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND MONITORING: Takes shared responsibility for the development of the sectoral work plan and technical decisions as well as for project management, implementation and monitoring of assigned project/sectoral activity, in compliance with the defined project strategies and approaches.
  • PROGRAMME DELIVERY, EVALUATION AND REPORTING: Ensure programme, sectoral or inter-sectoral efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to evaluation. Participation in major evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sector review meetings with government counterparts. Ensure the preparation of annual Education sector status reports.
  • PROMOTION OF UNICEF’S GLOBAL GOALS: Promote the organization goals of UNICEF through advocacy and active engagement in communication, networking and participation at every opportunity inside and outside UNICEF, leveraging the strength of UNICEF mission, goals and programmes.


Coordinates with Operations and Supply staff on supply and non-supply assistance activities ensuring proper and timely UNICEF and Government accountability. Certifies disbursements of funds, monitors and submits financial status reports to management in compliance with the regulations and guidelines.


  • Ensure exchange of information, experience, help identify new strategies and courses of action to accelerate/improve delivery of services and achieve Education programme requirements and objectives. Conduct field visits to monitor programmes and collect information. Conduct periodic programme reviews with Government counterparts-the directorate of secondary education and other partners.
  • Collaborate with Communication and Programme Communication groups to ensure development of effective communication materials and strategies to support advocacy and social mobilization efforts.
  • Collaborate with the Operations and Supply Sections and Government authorities to establish and maintain sound internal controls supportive of the Education projects planning and implementation, to coordinate financial and supply management requirements as well as to ensure accountability.
  • Interact with Government and other partners, NGOs, UN and bilateral agencies in the various stages of Education programme/project implementation to follow up on agreements and recommendations. Provide technical support and guidance on appropriate technical, financial and institutional capacity building measures to achieve Education programme goals.

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

  • Advanced university degree in one or more of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Education; Economics, or a Social Sciences fields relevant to international development assistance
  • Relevant knowledge of Child-Friendly Schools models, Girls’ Education Scholarship Schemes, Joint Programs, Alternative Basic Education, Post Primary school learning pathways including linkages with TIVET, Employability, School Improvement/School Effectiveness
  • More than 5 years of experience in managing large-scale, high-impact educational programme delivery schemes for improving quality education for the most marginalized populations, particularly in low/middle income countries for bringing out-of-school children to school
  • Demonstrated application of innovative approaches to educational policy reform, research and practice, especially for improving quality education in secondary education is critical
  • Effective cross-cultural communication skills
  • Proficient in facilitating learning assessments and outcomes
  • Familiarity with innovative strategies to increase access to Secondary Education such as double shift systems, e learning and Open learning
  • Excellent command of the English language, with proven writing skills
  • Knowledge of the global commitment on aid effectiveness, including the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action as well as knowledge of the Global Partnerships for Education (GPE)

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

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

“UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and on any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.”


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