United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (Governance Specialist – DPG Alliance, Office of Innovation, Part-time)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

On behalf of the Digital Public Goods Alliance, UNICEF Innovation is seeking a short-term consultant to develop interim governance options for the Digital Public Goods Alliance. Based on consultation and desk review, the consultant will develop three scenarios for presentation to the Alliance founders. 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... UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions. UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.

  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.

  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, Blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new Banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively. Our team We're an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:
  • Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;

  • Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries;

  • Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.”

The Office of Innovation currently co-hosts the Secretariat for the Digital Public Goods Alliance, established in follow-up to the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. In its report, the Panel recommends as 1B “that a broad, multi-stakeholder alliance, involving the UN, create a platform for sharing digital public goods, engaging talent and pooling data sets, in a manner that respects privacy, in areas related to attaining the SDGs”. Norway, Sierra Leone, UNICEF and iSPIRT, the four initial champions working to implement this recommendation. As part of facilitating use of digital public goods, the Alliance will help potential users identify and engage with relevant implementation support communities and will also link to relevant policy and regulatory resources. The Alliance also wants to help ensure future development and management of digital public goods, through identifying and developing funding models and business models. As part of the Alliance’s work on identifying and vetting potential digital public goods, and engaging with implementation support communities, the initial alliance partners have developed a technical assessment process. This process is documented on https://digitalpublicgoods.net/nominate/ How can you make a difference? The four champions and founders of the Digital Public Goods Alliance are seeking a short-term consultant to support the development of interim governance models for the Alliance. The Alliance is looking to establish a governance structure and processes to go into effect in early 2021.

Main responsibilities will be:

  • Conduct key informant interviews including:
    • Current Alliance founders

    • Members of the broader (actual and potential) network of technical and financial partners

    • Organisations with similar objective of creating multi-stakeholder groups and hosting/governance structures (e.g. similar UN-associated structures such as GAVI, Global Fund, Education Cannot Wait, End Violence, CEPI, INTOSAI IDI, EITI)


  • Conduct research on possible governance structures

  • Develop several scenarios of possible structures and gather feedback from relevant stakeholders (at least Alliance founders)

  • Deck presenting 2-3 scenarios with pros and cons to be presented to four Alliance founders

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
  • A degree in relevant field (International Relations, Public Policy, Business or Public Administration or related areas) or equivalent professional experience

  • At least 8 years’ experience in senior-level project management, governance Design and implementation or community facilitation and building.

  • A track record in advising senior management on multi-stakeholder governance structures and processes

  • Demonstrated expertise in best practice on governance, management structures, accountability frameworks and consultation processes for stakeholder engagements across different geographies and sectors

  • Effective written and verbal communication skills

  • Proven experience in translating complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance.

  • Superior project management skills for managing tasks and dependencies

  • Proven capacity to work with teams across different locations and with different technical skills.

  • Familiarity with open source technology and Community Development and management a plus

  • Fluency in English is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate… UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Payment details and further considerations

  • Payment upon completion of deliverables

  • Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance

  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel

Remarks: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
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