United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Education Specialist (Girls' Education)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Regional Education Adviser, the Education Specialist is accountable for the development, design, planning, implementation and management of the Girls’ Education component of the Education programme, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of girls’ education programmes in the WCA region. The Education Specialist provides expert advise, advocacy, analysis and technical support to the WCA Regional Office (RO) and Country Offices (CO) at all stages of programming, on policies, programmes and operational strategies to facilitate the management and delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve equity, inclusion and learning outcomes for children and adolescents in and out of school, with particular focus on Girls’ Education at pre-primary, primary and lower secondary levels in the most marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded areas of society. S/he contributes to knowledge development and innovation and also support the Regional Adviser in managing the section. The Education Specialist contributes to the achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework. 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, hope The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, 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. How can you make a difference? Purpose for the job Under the overall guidance and direction of the Regional Education Adviser, the Education Specialist is accountable for the development, design, planning, implementation and management of the Girls’ Education component of the Education programme, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of girls’ education programmes in the WCA region. The Education Specialist provides expert advise, advocacy, analysis and technical support to the WCA Regional Office (RO) and Country Offices (CO) at all stages of programming, on policies, programmes and operational strategies to facilitate the management and delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve equity, inclusion and learning outcomes for children and adolescents in and out of school, with particular focus on Girls’ Education at pre-primary, primary and lower secondary levels in the most marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded areas of society. S/he contributes to knowledge development and innovation and also support the Regional Adviser in managing the section. The Education Specialist contributes to the achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

  1. Management and advisory support to the Regional Education Adviser
  • Provide advice to the Regional Education Adviser in establishing the annual work plan, including developing strategies, determining priorities, and performance measurements.
  • Coordinate work progress monitoring and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards, and report to Regional Education Adviser critical issues for timely action.
  • Provide technical assistance and advice to colleagues in the section on all aspects of programming and implementation to enable them to achieve performance objectives
  • Perform the full duties of the Regional Education Adviser in his/her absence.
2. Programme development and planning
  • Advise the Regional Education Adviser on the preparation, design and updating of the gender analysis aspects of the situation analysis for the education programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive gender disaggregated data on education issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes.
  • Advise the Regional Education Adviser in setting priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans for Girls’ Education in the region. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of Girls’ education programmes. Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Country Programme and coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with internal colleagues and partners to discuss evidence-based Girls’ Education strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
3. Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results
  • Plan and collaborate with internal colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses in programme management.
  • Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
  • Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits and surveys, and exchange information with stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Manage the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
4. Advisory services and technical assistance to country offices
  • Provide technical advice, leadership and professional advice to WCARO and WCAR CO on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on Girls’ education and other related gender issues in education to support programme development planning, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) for country offices in the development and implementation of education programmes related to Girls’ Primary and Secondary Education to ensure timely support throughout all stages of girls’ education programming, including in STEM and Skills Development for adolescents.
  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for gender equity and inclusion, combating poverty and all forms of discrimination against women, girls and other most vulnerable children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote universal gender transformative access to quality, equitable and inclusive education for children in the country.
  • Prepare policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration on gender transformation through education.
  • Identify capacity development needs in gender analysis and gender transformative programming through education, ensuring effective contributions of CO to national development goals.
  • In joint collaboration with regional partners and the UN system , including on the SDG 4 collaborative Platform, contribute to build a critical mass of regional and national capacities in Girls’ primary and secondary education.
  • Participate in regional and country discussions on education emergency preparedness, programming and contingency planning to ensure proactive and appropriate responses are in place to meet the onset of emergencies nationally or other designated locations.
5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education. Promote sectoral and inter-sectoral partnerships, including with Communications, Child Protection, Social Policy, C4D, Gender and Planning.
  • Prepare communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances for sustainable results and support fund raising for girls’ education in UNICEF Country Office education programmes and emergency interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in global and regional initiatives (Safe to Learn, Gender at the Centre, Safe Schools, School Health and Nutrition) and within the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting related to Girls’ Education. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness.
6. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable girls’ education programme initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting edge practices on girls’ education, management and information systems. Support scaling up of effective interventions that keep girls in school and provide alternative learning pathways. .
  • Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Organize, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education related programme s/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field. Experience: A minimum of eight years of professional experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education is required. Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset. Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset. Familiarity/ background with emergency is considered as an asset. Language Requirements: Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset. For every Child, you demonstrate technical competencies in the following areas: • Good understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, conflict, and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and inter-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Social Policy, Child Protection, Nutrition, WASH, Health and Communications within UNICEF). • Good knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity lens and human rights perspectives to programming. • Good ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programme and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas. • Good education sector analysis and planning skills, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g. ECD, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components and processes, as well as governance issues. • Good education and policy sector analysis capacity, including understanding of the core education data sets and indicators; tools for analysis of equity; determinants of student access and learning; budget, costing, and financial management in education systems; political economy; and education policy and strategic planning. • Good ability to support engagement with partners e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters, Education Provider Forums, Delivering as One, Inter-sectoral partnerships such as in ECD, as well as networking with other key partners. • Good understanding of gender and inequity issues in relation to education and development and the application of gender / equity analysis to policy and planning in education. • Good understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to resilience: risk analysis and risk management, education in conflict situations, natural disasters, and recovery for CO and RO based post and where relevant. For every Child, you demonstrate fair chance UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. The functional competencies required for this post are: Leading and supervising (I) Formulating strategies/concepts (II) Analyzing (III) Relating and networking (II) Deciding and initiating action (II) Applying Technical Expertise (III) 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. Remarks: 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.
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