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, quality education.
Under the overall guidance and direction of the Chief, Education, the Education Specialist supports the Chief in managing the section, playing a key role in bringing innovation to the development and preparation of education programmes, with a particular focus on education quality related to Key Results for Children 4. The Education Specialist provides authoritative technical guidance and operational support throughout all stages of programming to facilitate the management and delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve learning outcomes and to promote universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive primary/early childhood education, especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.
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 ChiefProvide advice to the Chief 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 Chief 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 Chief in his/her absence.
2.Programme development and planningAdvise the Chief on the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the education programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive evidence based data on education issues are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes. Advise the Chief in setting priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery. Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of 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 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 resultsPlan 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 supportProvide technical advice to key government officials, NGO’s, UN system and other country office partners on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on education and other related issues to support programme development planning, implementation and delivery of results. Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming. Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for combating poverty and all forms of discrimination against women/children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches to promote universal 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. Participate in 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 buildingBuild 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. 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 UNICEF Country Office education programmes and emergency interventions. Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness.
6.Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
Impact of Results The strategic and effective advocacy, planning and formulation of education programme s/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, contributes to the achievement of goals and objectives to improve learning outcomes and universal access to quality, equitable and inclusive education in the country. Achievements in education programmes and projects in turn contribute to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide programme services for mothers and children that promotes greater social equality in the country. Competencies and level of proficiency required (based on UNICEF Professional Competency Profiles/ratings). Core ValuesCommitment Diversity and inclusion Integrity
Core competenciesCommunication (II) Working with people (II) Drive for results (II)
Functional Competencies:Leading and supervising (I) Formulating strategies/concepts (II) Analyzing (III) Relating and networking (II) Deciding and initiating action (II) Applying Technical Expertise (III)
View our competency framework at
Technical competencies must be demonstrated 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 planning knowledge/ability, 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.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field. 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. 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.
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
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