UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) is looking for an Economist (Child Poverty) to contribute to UNICEF’s efforts to address child poverty in Europe, through contributions to analytical work and through technical and strategic engagement with country teams. This is a Temporary Appointment for 364 days.
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, results
The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) supports Country Offices and governments to advance towards the full realization of all Child Rights across the region with a country presence in 21 countries and territories to ensure that no child is left behind. The Regional Office plays both a technical advisory and oversight role, guiding country offices in designing, implementing and documenting results for children.
In this context, UNICEF seeks to expand its vision to provide critical technical guidance and quality assurance in support of UNICEF’s engagement on child poverty reduction in European Union countries.
Despite the strength of the European economy and a tradition of investment in the welfare of the most vulnerable citizens, nearly one-quarter of Europe’s children remained at risk of poverty and social exclusion as of 2018. Poverty and deprivation in childhood can have lifelong detrimental impacts, undermining an individual’s health, educational attainment, income earning capacity, and social connection, and contributing to an increased risk of exposure to violence, among others. The EU has long recognized the need to address entrenched issues of child poverty, including through a call by the European Parliament for a Child Guarantee to reduce inequalities, with a focus on child poverty and the needs of the most vulnerable children. As families, societies, and governments around the world struggle to cope with the devastating impacts of Covid-19, which are expected to result in significant economic contraction, employment impacts, and a likely increase in poverty, these efforts have taken on a new urgency. This position will play a critical role by contributing to UNICEF’s efforts to address child poverty in Europe, through contributions to analytical work and through technical and strategic engagement with country teams.
How can you make a difference?
As the Economist (Child Poverty), under the supervision of the Regional Advisor for Social Policy and Economic Analysis, you will routinely liaise with the Regional Advisor for Child Protection, UNICEF Office of Research - Social Policy and Economic Analysis Unit, and the Brussels-based Partnership Manager, as well as networking with subject matter experts externally (e.g., European Union, child rights organizations, universities) to ensure a high standard and impact of UNICEF’s technical engagements on child poverty reduction in European Union countries.
To achieve the key end result, you will primarily need to perform the following tasks:
1. Programme for Innovation, Scale Up, and Sustainability:
Link to ECARO’s Result: Successful implementation of child poverty reduction activities
- Support analytical and technical work on multidimensional child poverty analysis related to child poverty reduction activities in EU countries, including where applicable contribution to regional dashboards/TransMonEE, analysis of the drivers of child poverty and deprivation, and support for training, analysis, and publications.
- In collaboration with research institutions and under the leadership of the Regional Advisor for Social Policy, manage the implementation of a systematic review and meta-analysis of EU member state national context and policy environment as it relates to child poverty and social exclusion. This analysis should: (i) create a framework for understanding the drivers of child poverty and social exclusion in various national contexts where social exclusion relates to children with disabilities, children in institutional care, children affected by migration, and children from other highly marginalized groups (Roma, etc.); (ii) identify how context, policies, and programmes interact to address poverty reduction and inclusion of excluded groups of children; and (iii) identify areas for further analysis through “deep dives”.
- In collaboration with national research partners, undertake more in-depth analysis of child poverty reduction and social exclusion policies and strategies in some EU member states, as well as reviewing Administration/governance arrangements, the role of non-state actors, social support structures, spending patterns, enforcement of child rights, etc.
- Support the development of national strategies and action plans to address child poverty and the exclusion of children with disabilities, children in institutional care, children affected by migration and other highly vulnerable groups of children.
- Contribute to high-quality reports, articles, and related materials for external advocacy and knowledge sharing.
Link to ECARO’s Result: Sectoral engagements and planning – within UNICEF, in government institutions, and within partner agencies – are informed by up-to-date and high-quality technical information and analysis
- Analyze and disseminate information on global and European trends (e.g., economic contraction and employment impacts due to COVID-19, austerity measures, depopulation) which have the potential to impact upon child poverty, deprivation, and social exclusion of key groups of concern (children with disabilities, children in institutional care, children affected by migration) in Europe. Raise the profile of and uptake of this analysis through publication and presentation in regional and global forums.
- Compile and make readily available via existing or new regional databases information on trends in child poverty and deprivation, including achievements against child poverty-related SDG targets, and discuss their implications for European child poverty reduction efforts.
2. Advocacy, Partnerships, and Convening Capacity:
Link to ECARO’s Result: Technical partnerships to support the effective delivery of ECAR’s social policy agenda are developed, maintained, and/or strengthened.
- Build/continue to expand strategic alliances with various international and European partners, national associations, entrepreneurs, academics, religious organizations and NGOs active in the area of child poverty and social exclusion, with particular attention to the key groups of concern noted above.
3. Oversight, Evaluation, and UN Coherence:
Link to ECARO’s Result: Budget, human resources, and programme management takes are effectively delivered in line with regional and global policies.
- Contribute to donor reporting.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Advanced university degree in Public Policy/Economics with specialization in poverty analysis or development studies preferred. Other relevant social science disciplines will be considered. PhD strongly preferred.
- Minimum of eight years of progressive, professional work experience at national and international level in applied economic analysis, socio-economic analysis, or child poverty analysis. Experience with the development and use of macro and micro simulation models is preferred.
- Proven expert knowledge and experience of EU social policies, particularly in relation to child deprivation and/or child poverty reduction.
- Prior experience with successful programming for child poverty reduction, particularly for high-risk groups.
- Successful experiences at the mid-career level or higher with project management, data collection, and statistical analysis.
- Prior exposure to and engagement with the European Commission is a strong advantage.
- Professional publication record in areas related to child poverty preferred.
- Fluency in written and spoken English and another European language 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.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.