Technology for Development Specialist

UN Children's Fund, Malawi

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
26th July, 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, safety

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2013) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS 111) 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’.

The T4D Specialist will support the country office to harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve programme effectiveness in development and humanitarian contexts. S/he will provide technical guidance in piloting and scaling digital tools that inter alia empower young people and communities to make data-driven decisions, strengthen value chains, improve access to health, education and other essential services, promote entrepreneurship and financial inclusiveness, and facilitate accurate, real-time information for the Government of Malawi.

The incumbent will provide technical support to programme sections, implementing partners, government and other relevant stakeholders in the deployment, revitalization and/or maintenance of UNICEF-supported T4D initiatives, including but not limited to Health & HIV (Results360), Communication (U-Report), Nutrition (CMAM Commodities Tracking System), Education (EduTrac), and Child Protection (mCVSU, mPVSU, etc.).

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall guidance of the Representative, direct supervision of the Innovation Specialist, and in close liaison with the ICT Specialist, the T4D Specialist acts as a business analyst by providing technical support to UNICEF programmes in navigating the technology landscape of Malawi, and identifying, assessing, and integrating technological solutions, standards, and tools to deliver results for children in Malawi.

The T4D Specialist is responsible for supporting and strengthening internal capacity to implement digital development tools and initiatives, identify emerging information and communication technologies for humanitarian and development response, engage with key tech partners, assess reusable and replicable technical building blocks, and maximize potential for T4D scale-up and roll-out.

The T4D Specialist will work with programme sections to build and adopt scalable, sustainable, and demand-driven technological solutions that address development challenges and accelerate results for children.

He/she 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 Malawi and long-term NGOs, CBOs and faith-based organizations.

The T4D Specialist will support the Innovation Unit on identifying regional and global trends in digital development; examining initiatives with programmatic counterparts and assessing opportunities for utilization; advising government counterparts, strengthening partnerships and supporting capacity building with local and regional stakeholders; supporting the design and development of T4D programs, software applications and hardware components; coordinating testing and deployment with internal and external staff members, consultants and/or companies; working with programmatic counterparts to oversee testing, scale-up and handover phases of various initiatives; and monitoring and evaluating outcomes.

Currently, the Malawi country office is operating under a matrix-management model, where staff members may have more than one reporting line. Though the T4D Specialist is directly supervised by the Innovation Specialist, the incumbent will have a matrixed technical line to the ICT Specialist and support all Programme and Operation staff.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:


Provide support to the T4D and Internet of Good Things component of the 2019-2023 Innovation Strategy of the Malawi Country Office; including assessment of ICT and digital development gaps, opportunities and scale-up strategies that align with Regional and Global guidance.
Support the integration of digital development and technology innovation into the programme planning lifecycle. Align with programme priorities (AWP, etc.)

Oversee development and quality assurance during planning and deployment of T4D initiatives; participate in establishing and maintaining standards, documentation and support mechanisms for T4D.


  • Provide support and technical assistance to the Country Office in the identification, selection, concept design, deployment and sustainability of T4D interventions to address bottlenecks towards the achievement of programme results.
  • Assist programme sections to identify and assess new T4D initiatives, or new phases of ongoing initiatives, with immediate potential to improve UNICEF programming in service delivery and/or monitoring evaluation.
  • Define technical requirements; document and match requirements and guide the design, development and deployment of appropriate T4D solutions.
  • Assist the review of technical solutions to ensure UNICEF standards are followed; contribute to project management processes, generation and review of terms of reference and vendor selection.
  • Advisory and assistance with implementation strategy of digital technology initiatives. Including technical oversight, troubleshooting and the documentation of challenges and resolutions.
  • Support human/user-centered design methods to enable user-acceptance testing, evaluation, documentation and analysis.


Build capacity of programme staff in utilizing and administering T4D tools such as mobile-based system for real-time information (RapidPro), dashboard for data visualization and analysis (Apache Superset, ArcGIS), among others.
Participate as resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies, capacity and knowledge within the programmes on digital development; train UNICEF Malawi staff, partners, government counterparts and other end users in digital development and ICT-based innovations.

Create awareness and enhance capacity within Malawi Country Office on appropriate use of frontier ICTs for development such as Internet of (Good) Things, wearables, sensors, mobile money, blockchain, etc.

Develop end user training manuals for T4D tools such as mobile-based system for real-time information (RapidPro), dashboard for data visualization and analysis (Apache Superset, ArcGIS), among others based on requests and requirements by end-users from UNICEF staff, partners, government agencies/ministries etc.


  • Provide support in partnerships development with local and international solution providers, innovators, NGOs, organizations, the private sector, local media and academia to create networks that nurture and test new and innovative ICTs and build local capacity.
  • Provide technical and operational support to a wide range of stakeholders and partners on UNICEF policies, practices, standards and norms on technology for development.
  • Work with stakeholders to help develop standards, procedures and partnerships for T4D interventions and their transition to relevant Government and Civil Society Institutions.
  • Develop a catalogue of potential regional T4D partners and their profiles/areas of engagement to promote and enhance UNICEF goals for outcomes for children through the use of Technology for Development.


  • Identify, capture, synthesize and share lessons learned on T4D with members of UNICEF Malawi’s Innovation Task Force.
  • Support maintenance of the Innovation Inventory, particularly on T4D interventions, assets, resources and networks.
  • Ensure documentation and clear monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for T4D projects including baseline data collection, ongoing monitoring, as well as first phase data collection and analysis.
  • Contribute and share to country-wide, regional and global digital development and technology innovation networks and activities.

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

  • An Advanced University degree in information technology, computer science, software engineering, applied mathematics or other related field in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business.
  • A first-level university degree in a relevant field combined with seven years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of five (5) years of professional experience is required in software development, IT management, product management, technology consulting, service design, or project management.
  • 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-band-width 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-centred design thinking approaches, information systems, requirements analysis and software development is an advantage.
  • Experience in training and capacity building are desirable.
  • Experience in a UN organization is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.


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