Fixed Term Appointment – Innovation Specialist

UNICEF, South Africa

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th August, 2020

Job Description

For every child, innovation

Established in 1946, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we translate this commitment into practical action, focusing special efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, for the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF has had a presence in South Africa since the dawn of democracy and continues to work towards improving the lives of children in the country. From its office in Pretoria, the UNICEF South Africa Country Office works with a range of partners in government, civil society, academia, the corporate sector, media and various other sectors to create a safer and healthier environment for every child. Through the support of individual, corporate and other donors, UNICEF is able to undertake its work, both globally and in South Africa. 

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of the PM&E Manager, the Innovation Specialist acts as a business analyst by providing technical support and quality assurance to innovation planning/design, implementation, monitoring and documentation across programme sectoral areas and with partners, supporting achievement of UNICEF's priorities. The Innovation Specialist is responsible for supporting and strengthening internal capacity to implement social innovation and digital tools and initiatives, identify emerging information and communication technologies and social innovation tools for UNICEF programming, engage with key tech and innovation partners, assess reusable and replicable technical building blocks and maximize potential for innovation/ T4D scale-up and roll-out. The Innovation Specialist will work with programme sections to build and adopt scalable, sustainable, and demand-driven innovative, particularly digital, solutions that address development challenges and accelerate results for children. The Innovation Specialist will be tasked to support the integration of innovative practices into traditional UNICEF programming and to look for sustainable opportunities to launch projects with significant T4D components that are designed, supported, rolled out and maintained in partnership with the Government of South Africa and CSOs.

To qualify as a/an [champion or advocate] for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer Science, Information Science, Public Health, International Development, Community Development or a related field Social Sciences.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of professional experience in innovative uses of technology for development, particularly in the areas of mobile-based data collection; training & capacity building experience; programme communication / communication for development; design experience; 
  • Experience identifying, developing and implementing solutions for large-scale technical projects – including liaising with engineers and software developers;
  • Experience with ICT hardware, mobile phones and web-based technologies, particularly designing or deploying tools appropriate to low-bandwidth environments;
  • Experience in other technical areas, i.e. network administration, support services management, messaging, database administration and data visualization;
  • Experience with RapidPro, OpenSRP, DHIS2, ODK and other global public good technologies, and deploying, maintaining and rolling out these technologies is desirable;
  • Working knowledge of SQL database and ArcGIS is preferred;
  • Professional certification in ICT project management, programming, software engineering, business analytics, telecommunications and/or information security is an asset;
  • Knowledge on human-centered design thinking approaches, information systems, requirements analysis and software development is an advantage;
  • Proven capacity to work with and lead collaborative teams across different sections and with different technical skills;
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government ministries, youth coalitions, universities, intellectual leaders, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector;
  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences;
  • Background experience with the UN, especially UNICEF, is an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and Competency Framework of Building and managing partnerships; Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness; Drive to achieve results for impact; Innovates and embraces change; manages ambiguity and complexity; thinks and acts strategically; works collaboratively with others; and natures, leads and manages people.


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