Evaluation Specialist

UN Children's Fund, New York, United States

Skill Required:, Monitoring and Evaluation
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th 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.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF’s Education Programme aims to increase the provision of quality education opportunities and improve learning outcomes for the most marginalized children and youth, which is particularly challenging in the context of protracted emergencies. UNICEF, DFID, and UNHCR launched the Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA) in early November 2015 to identify effective education interventions that could work at scale in protracted emergencies, where development and humanitarian interventions intersect. UNICEF is responsible for providing leadership on evidence generation in the HEA partnership.

The HEA provides technical assistance to organizations implementing innovative programmes, and generates evidence on the process of scaling up innovations in fragile and complex emergency contexts. The HEA seeks to embed evaluative practice into the scaling process, enlist expertise from external evaluators to build a robust evidence base of effective innovations, and identify factors that enable effective scaling-up of small-scale successes to meet the large-scale education demands that governments and partners currently face.

The HEA has developed tools and practices that can be adapted and duplicated throughout the overall PD-Education support to Country Offices, both in terms of improving programme design and strengthening evidence generation. PD-Education requires a consultant to provide this technical expertise to Regional and Country Offices.

This aligns with Outcome Statement 2 of the Results Framework of the UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2018-2021, “Girls and boys, in particular the most marginalized and those affected by humanitarian situations, are provided with inclusive and equitable quality education and learning opportunities.”, and one of its related output indicators, “Percentage of UNICEF-targeted girls and boys in humanitarian situations who have participated in early learning, primary or secondary education through UNICEF-supported programmes”. It also aligns with Output 5 of the 2018 Education Annual Work Plan, “Systems Strengthening, Innovation and RBM. COs and ROs supported for strengthening countries' education systems for equitable and inclusive learning outcomes” and its related Activity 5.2, “Equity and evidence-driven innovation. Support partnerships and evidence generation and dissemination related to innovative interventions for global, regional and national level stakeholders”.


The consultant will provide technical assistance in the areas of quantitative evaluation and research for the Humanitarian Education Accelerator (HEA) and the overall PD-Education’s portfolio. For the HEA, the consultant will provide technical review and quality control to the research and technical assistance (mentoring & training) work of the Evaluation Services Provider (ESP) and will provide subsidiary mentorship activities. For the overall PD-Education’s portfolio, the consultant will focus on providing technical support in programme design and development of fit for purpose monitoring (including real time monitoring) and research methods for innovative programmes before, during, and after scaling up (e.g. Data Must Speak interventions, Let Us Learn, Akelius). This will include methods that could be applied in fragile and resource constrained contexts.

Expected results: (measurable results)

The following results are expected by the end of the consultancy:

  • UNICEF Regional and Country Offices, and government counterparts, technically supported in programme design, monitoring and research areas (ex. Data Must Speak, Akelius, ECW’s Acceleration Facility, ICT for Education).
  • Evaluation and research work produced by the HEA’s ESP technically reviewed and quality assured.
  • Mentoring and training conducted by the HEA’s ESP quality assured.
  • HEA innovation teams trained and mentored by the consultant in monitoring and evaluation areas.
  • HEA programme management (e.g. biannual reports, timely communication with partners) supported.

Key competences, technical background, and experience required

  • At least a Master’s in economics, education, social sciences, statistics or another quantitative field. Ph.D. (or Ph.D. candidate) highly desirable.
  • 5-8 years of mid-level experience in applying research, evidence and data-driven decision making to medium and large-scale programs with an appreciation for practical and logistical constraints.
  • Experience in research and M&E design and implementation in protracted conflict contexts highly desirable.
  • Strong familiarity with various research and evaluation design concerns, including experimental and quasi-experimental methods.
  • Strong familiarity with a range of data processing, statistical, and geospatial software packages such as Stata, Excel, R, CSPro, Optimal Design, Open Data Kit, ArcGIS, QGIS, etc., with the ability to discover, learn and apply new technologies that increase the efficiency of data analysis and learnings.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills to work effectively with a team that is geographically dispersed.
  • Self-directed/self-motivating personality, with proven ability to manage demands from multiple stakeholders while adhering to program deadlines and priorities.
  • Quick to learn, motivated to self-teach and capable of independently translating new knowledge into practice.
  • Willingness to travel as needed to meet the demands of the programme.
  • Fluency and strong writing skills in English are required. Fluency and strong writing skills in another official UN language highly desirable.


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