Job Description

Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for providing Technical Support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social protection programming and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results.

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, protection

Established in 1946, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we translate this commitment into practical action, focusing special efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, for the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF has had a presence in South Africa since the dawn of democracy and continues to work towards improving the lives of children in the country. From its office in Pretoria, the UNICEF South Africa Country Office works with a range of partners in government, civil society, academia, the corporate sector, media and various other sectors to create a safer and healthier environment for every child. Through the support of individual, corporate, and other donors, UNICEF can undertake its work, both globally and in South Africa. To learn more, please visit How can you make a difference?

The Social Protection Specialist will be reporting to the Social Policy Manager who is at Level 4. In 2020, the UN in South Africa managed to obtain funding for accelerated development and implementation of the country’s social protection agenda. This is a cross-agency initiative and in the spirit of intra-UN cooperation, the designated post will service both UNICEF and UNWOMEN. The SDG Fund for Social Protection will initially fund this position, thus giving expression to our shared desire to collaborate to increase the impact of our work. The programme has an established platform within the UN and succeeded in putting together a broad coalition of relevant government and extra-government role-players in the social protection ecosystem.

Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social protection programming and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (b) social protection coverage and impact on children; and (c) any accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services; (d) strategies for greater access to social Security for women operating in the informal sector. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, Child Protection, water and sanitation, women in informality and HIV. 

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
  2. Improving data on child poverty and vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
  3. Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
  4. Coordinate cross-agency activities in the SDG Fund for Social Protection 
To qualify as a/an [champion or advocate] for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s level) in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.
*A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree. (This is optional)
  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required.
  • Experience of working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset.
  • Experience in navigating the social protection ecosystem in the country
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 Competency Framework:

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1); Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2); Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2); Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2); Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)
Functional Competencies:

  • Analyzing (3)
  • Persuading & Influencing (2)
  • Planning & Organizing (3)
 How to apply…

Interested and qualified candidates are requested to submit their application to the following link: by 14 June 2021

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.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at: Remarks:

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Apply Now