Programme Specialist

UN Children's Fund, New York, United States

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st March, 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.

For every child, innovate:

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

Project Connect is an initiative that aims to create a global map of school connectivity - as a proxy for community level connectivity - and use this as data-driven approach to promote investments to reduce the digital divide and increase opportunity for every child, in particular the most vulnerable. The platform:

  • Allows governments and other partners to map school connectivity in their countries
  • Enables a set of commitments from partners to eliminate the digital divide
  • Helps other sectors harness the power of connectivity to improve their programmes and ensure that every child has equal access to information, opportunity and choice
  • Project Connect has already shown the ability to connect data to action; in Kyrgyzstan, the mapping has been used to get commitments from the government who, based on the mapping, has decided to connect all 690 non-connected schools.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance and direct supervision of UNICEF Office of Innovation, the Project Connect Lead (1) leads the strategy, management and implementation of all activities related to the deployment and adoption of Project Connect, (2) supervises the team of consultants contracted to support various short-term needs of Project Connect, (3) works closely with other teams within Office of Innovation to explore integration of new technologies within the platform, (4) works in close collaboration with other sections and teams within UNICEF to make sure that the platform supports UNICEF’s strategy on Artificial Intelligence and access to information and digital goods.

The Project Connect Lead will lead the operations and strategic development of the Project Connect platform. He/she will

  • develop the roadmap and strategy to scale the platform globally,
  • oversee the development of the platform and ensure its alignment with strategic goals,
  • oversee and guide different implementations in country offices, including planning, monitoring and knowledge management activities,
  • work with other teams within Office of Innovation as well as other UNICEF divisions to make sure that the platform enables actionable insights for UNICEF programmes
  • grow, monitor, and develop partnerships that contribute to the development of the platform, (6) internal and external communications about Project Connect and strategy for UNICEF and Office of Innovation

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master's or higher) in electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering, computer science or related discipline.
  • Five years of relevant professional work experience
  • Experience working with technology private sector companies: ideally data platforms.
  • Experience working with software products and service delivery.
  • Experience working in innovation projects.
  • Experience working in and with startups.
  • Experience working in connectivity related projects.
  • Familiarity with non-traditional data sources such as social media, mobile phone data, web search or satellite imagery.
  • Experience working with development or humanitarian programmes. Familiarity with the UN system and UNICEF is desired.
  • Experience working in a multidisciplinary, multicultural team and with levels of uncertainty.
  • Experience working in UNICEF programme countries is an asset.
  • Experience communicating efficiently at different levels and to different audiences particularly across public and private sector.
  • Written and verbal fluency in English is required. Additional UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) are an asset.

For every child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.


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