United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (Senior Innovation Specialist - Field Engagement)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

UNICEF Office of Innovation is hiring a Senior Innovation Specialist to work with the Field Engagement and Capacity Building team and support Country and Regional Offices to operationalize the portfolio management approach and accelerate the scale up of the most promising innovations within global priority areas. 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 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. 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 The Global Innovation Strategy 2.0 strategy and aims to achieve critical shifts in the way UNICEF currently works on innovation, building on what has been successful, while also addressing lessons learned and capitalizing on new opportunities. These critical shifts are:
  1. Setting global priorities based on the needs of children and young people, focusing on those areas with the largest need

  2. Focusing on scaling innovations

  3. Catalysing inventions where no known solution exists

  4. Connecting the organization and convening critical stakeholders to solve the most pressing challenges facing children and young people

These shifts will be enabled by:
  1. Establishing a portfolio management approach

  2. Innovative funding and financing and the application of financial engineering

  3. Ensuring rapid learning and fostering collaboration

  4. Building innovation culture and competence across UNICEF.

How can you make a difference? This role within the Field Engagement and Capacity Building team will support Country and Regional Offices to operationalize the portfolio management approach and accelerate the scale up of the most promising innovations within global priority areas. This is a role that requires significant partnership and matrix working, both internally to UNICEF (across HQ, ROs and COs) and externally, including the development of partnerships with the private sector and other UN entities.

Main responsibilities will be:

Under the management of the Senior Advisor on Innovation (Field Engagement and Capacity Building) this role will:
  1. Coordinate the Innovation Field Engagement pillar for the Field Engagement and Capacity Building team

  2. Work with PD, ROs and COs to put in place and deliver strategies to activate each Priority Innovation Portfolio to support the scale up of priority projects

  3. Work with the OOI/FECB Capacity Building Lead and Programme Cone to develop appropriate tools, resources and support that build capacity at CO and RO level to support the scale up of Priority Innovation projects

  4. Work with the Director OOI, Programme Cone and the OOI/FECB governance lead to put in place governance mechanisms for UNICEF’s priority innovation portfolios

  5. Work with theDirector OOI, OOI/Partnerships lead and PFP / PPD / NatComs to build resource mobilization strategies for each priority innovation portfolio

  6. Support ongoing partnership activity for priority projects, including Chloe, Pandora, Accenture and Prospect partnerships

  7. Build clear pipeline for the innovation portfolios including:

  • CO led innovations

  • Supply Division activities (e.g. app catalogue)

  • Venture Fund investments

  • External sourcing

  1. Oversee continued support for the scale up of youth innovation, including delivery of Technical Support to UPSHIFT countries

  2. As part of Learning Innovation portfolio, work in partnership with Education team to deliver priority projects, including digitization of content and learning experience

  3. Oversee delivery of the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2.0, including delivery of the global judging process and Design and delivery of the global incubation process

  4. Liaise closely with innovations communication team on communication efforts around field engagement, ensuring that innovation stories from UNICEF COs are prominently featured

  5. Strategic support and other tasks, as agreed for Office of Innovation

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
  • Advanced university degree in a relevant field; or related practical experience. A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with ten years of professional experience will be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.

  • At least 8 years of experience supporting and coordinating project activities across a large organization and with other international development organizations.

  • Progressively responsible professional work experience in relevant field, some of which should be in an international setting.

  • A strong understanding of UNICEF programmes, policy, and principles, at HQ, Regional Office and Country Office level, including knowledge of communication, technology, and human centred design

  • Demonstrated ability to manage relationships with UNICEF Country and Regional Offices, programmes and partners, including government, universities, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector.

  • Proven experience in designing and delivering innovation programmes for and with children and young people at scale, with experience of running global innovation challenges desirable

  • Experience of developing and managing innovation portfolios and associated governance

  • Demonstrable experience of developing and managing partnerships with the private sector that deliver results for children

  • Proven skills in communication, networking, strategic thinking, advocacy and negotiation, and ability to relate this to children and young people.

  • Proven capacity to engage and influence complex stakeholders (including senior stakeholders) in order to deliver against challenging targets

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

  • Proven experience of delivering international, multi-stakeholder training and capacity building

  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences

  • Experience working within UNICEF

  • Experience working in complex, resource poor contexts is a plus

  • Experience working in the private sector is desirable

  • 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 Core Competencies
  • Communication (verbal and written) (L 2)

  • Working with People (L 2)

  • Drive for Results (L 2)

The functional competencies required for this post are...
  • Deciding and Initiating Action (L 2)

  • Leading and supervising (L 1)

  • Relating and networking (L 2)

  • Persuading and Influencing (L 2)

  • Learning and Researching (L 2)

  • Creating and Innovating (L 2)

  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts (L 2)

  • Adapting and Responding to Change (L 2)

  • Entrepreneurial Thinking (L 2)

  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

  • Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.

  • Consultant is responsible for his/her own health insurance

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

  • Consultants are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance

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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