Innovation Manager

United Nations Children's Fund

Stockholm, Sweden

Under the leadership of the Senior Adviser Innovation, the Innovation Manager (Programme funding) will manage the Venture Fund’s

Overall, this position is responsible for:

Lead and execute the strategy for portfolio of early-stage pilots

  • Develop investment strategy based on external trends, UNICEF’s Innovation strategy and priorities to grow a portfolio of early-stage innovation (with focus on open source and frontier technology)
  • Effective ongoing management of the pooled fund and its management team, including timely donor reporting, compliance with donor agreements, standard operating procedures and budget allocation
  • Use frontier technology-based best practices to enhance infrastructure (technical, financial and other) to support development and
  • acceleration of digital public goods
  • Pilot new approaches and collaborations with partners and supporters
  • Assess and address budgetary and personnel needs for the Fund and team
  • Work with country offices in their country planning and MTR processes to increase integration with country programmes and country-level capacity and engagement
  • Grow, monitor and support various portfolios across UNICEF COs and external companies focusing on the following results:
  • Oversee the selection and assessment process ensuring compliance with UNICEF policies and procedures
  • Manage technical assistance strategy to pilots and facilitate creation of platforms for acceleration
  • Create financing and acceleration models for exits for companies in emerging economies, including through network of investors and partnerships
  • Based on success of a “franchised” country office system for Fund extension, explore further options for engaging with country offices and supporting their capacity development towards identifying and submitting innovations projects to the Fund.

Explore future models of funding for early stage innovation for UNICEF focusing on the following results:

  • In collaboration with DFAM, expand new sources of income (including cryptocurrencies) and innovative models to fund early-stage innovation at UNICEF and develop related mechanisms to receive and allocate resources
  • Work with relevant organizational stakeholders to map out financial and accounting changes that might make an equity-based vehicle possible.
  • Engage closely with Legal and others to ensure that liabilities and other risks are mitigated in any future venture- or equity- funds.

Guide representation of Ventures’ results in internal and external engagement focusing on the following results:

  • Improve understanding internal stakeholders to increase understanding of the potential of frontier technology, open source and early-stage innovation
  • Provide content for external communication to build up financial and other support from external partners
  • Represent UNICEF Ventures in external fora at keynote level to position UNICEF as a thought leader in frontier technologies, innovative financing and innovation for children
  • Represent and manage UNICEF Ventures’ engagement in the DPG Alliance and other relevant global platforms
  • Provide inputs for partnership development and management, focusing on the following results:
  • In close collaboration with PFP, provide inputs and guidance on partnership priorities and needs and create collaborations with corporate partners
  • Create partnerships and linkages with members of key networks and major investing partners
  • Provide access to learnings, failures, and methodologies across the UN system.

Provide inputs to strategic decisions, team and budget management and oversight of Ventures, focusing on the following results:

  • Provide strategic guidance and prioritization across work areas
  • Management of UNICEF Ventures’ team leads
  • Budget management and tracking of expenditures and grants. including donor reporting and annual work planning
  • Representation to internal and external stakeholders, as requested, to ensure consistent participation in priority processes and events
  • Provide strategic inputs and guidance as required

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


  •  Advanced University Degree in business administration, finance, entrepreneurship, social policy or other related fields.
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.


  • A minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience at national and international levels in programme management, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience in managing both early-stage and established portfolios of projects, specifically in the open source technology space and any of UNICEF’s core priority programme areas (including grants/investments, technical assistance and partnership development)
  • Experience in establishing, growing and managing global teams, including project teams for specific initiatives
  • Experience in advising on and establishing innovative financing models, including crypto-based financial models
  • Experience in establishing innovative operational practices and onboarding internal and external stakeholders
  • Experience in representation and negotiations with prospective and current partners across sectors
  • Experience working in developing countries and with UNICEF desired
  • Experience working in a headquarters environment of a multi-national entity desirable
  • Ability to synthesize technical information and translate it into accessible products and systems
  • A strong understanding of UNICEF’s mission and vision as well as its programmes through direct or indirect work experience with UNICEF.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an