United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (DPG Financing Adviser, Office of Innovation)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

UNICEF Ventures is looking for a consultant to develop an engagement strategy with funds and investors to support development and scaling of Digital Public Goods (DPGs) – defined as open source digital solutions. The consultant will build a case and strategy for private investment into DPGs, based on robust Analysis" id="link" class="link">Financial Analysis and investment cases. This includes the exploration of sustainable (and profitable) business models for DPGs, the documentation of successful investment models, engagement with potential private financers and establishment of a working group on sustainable financing for DPGs.

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 currently co-hosts the Secretariat for the Digital Public Goods Alliance, established in follow-up to the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. DPGs are defined as open source sofware, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content. 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 are working to implement this recommendation.

As one of the four co-champions, UNICEF is leading the Alliance’s engagement on select strategic areas.

How can you make a difference?

Among a focus on frontier technology, piloting of new infrastructure for DPGs and support to country-level pathfinding activities, UNICEF is exploring the potential and applications of private financing sources for creating sustainable DPG business models. Financing sources for consideration could include those with an interest in supporting commercial models with a potential for financial returns, such as investment funds, individuals, Development Banks and accelerators.We are aiming to strengthen the case for private investment into DPGs, based on robust financial analysis and investment cases.

This includes the exploration of sustainable (and profitable) business models for DPGs, the documentation of successful investment models, engagement with potential private financers and establishment of a working group on sustainable financing for DPGs. You will work closely with the DPG Alliance Secretariat and Alliance collaborators, as well as UNICEF Innovation’s Venture Fund and Innovative Financing teams, to engage investors and funds in the efforts to identify, pilot and scale digital public goods.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • Document successful business models adopted by DPGs (with a focus on those aligned most closely with UNICEF’s priorities in frontier tech and mandate), that provide a financially sustainable pathway to growth
  • Identify investors and funds for the DPG Alliance to engage with on the topic of investments in DPGs in  Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs)
  • Convene an advisory group of funds and investors to identify key challenges, opportunities and investment considerations from the perspective of investors
  • Develop investment cases for DPGs at different stages of growth
  • Propose a longer term engagement strategy for UNICEF and the DPG Alliance with funds and investors to increase capital for DPGs
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in business Administration, public administration, finance, Entrepreneurship, or other relevant field.

    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 7 years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional experience including in:
    • Innovative finance, investing or support / advisory to companies
    • Formulating, monitoring and analysing metrics and data related to business growth and ROI
    • Developing financial, growth and return models for technology start-ups and products, investment cases, pitch decks
    • Project management, stakeholder/network/community management and engagement or communication
  • Experience in working with and coordinating diverse groups of stakeholders at senior levels and across sectors, especially in the investment sector
  • Experience in partnership development and management
  • Some knowledge of open licensing desired
  • Some knowledge of technology for development or experience working in a relevant work or volunteer experience related to open source initiatives will be considered an advantage
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with Emergency is considered an asset.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
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 and travel insurance
  • Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
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.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

  • Relating and Networking (3)
  • Applying Technical Expertise – (2)
  • Communication (2)
To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.


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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