Programme Specialist (Social Protection) P-4 level, Temporary Appointment for 364 days, based in Khartoum, Sudan

  • Added Date: Friday, 14 February 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 28 February 2020

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

Sudan, surrounded by the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Libya and South Sudan, positioned next to East, West, South and North Africa, is surrounded by complex conflicts in an unpredictable, volatile and rapidly evolving region. Sudan is by size the third biggest country in Africa, with a diverse population of around 42 million people. Sudan’s children make up half of the total population, and the past two decades have seen their lives significantly improve: fewer girls and boys are dying before their fifth birthday, primary school attendance is increasing, immunization coverage is high and the country remains polio free. Still, millions of children continue to suffer from protracted conflict in Darfur, the Kordofans, and Blue Nile, from seasonal natural disasters, malnutrition and disease outbreaks, and from under-investment in basic social services. More than three million of Sudan’s school aged children are not in the classroom. UNICEF has been in Sudan since 1952 and continues with a presence in 12 of Sudan’s 18 states.

How can you make a difference?

UNICEF Sudan is seeking a Programme Specialist (Social Protection), P4-TA with prior experience in design, implementation and M&E of social transfer programmes to provide technical and capacity support for the effective roll-out and implementation of a cash transfer programme supporting the first 1,000 days of life. Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical, coordination and operational support for robust programme design and implementation of integrated and systems-based cash transfers. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and local and international stakeholders especially the World Bank and UN agencies, as well as ensuring linkages with other sectors including health and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and child protection.


Technical assistance and capacity support for robust programme design and implementation of the integrated social transfer programming supporting first 1,000 days of life:

Technical support provided to MOLSD / CSSPR and its directorates as well as other relevant national, state and locality level authorities in all aspects of the cash transfer programming to ensure technically robust, risk-informed and effective programme design, preparation and implementation of the first 1,000 days of life cash transfers, in line with the government vision of comprehensive and integrated social protection based on life course approach. This includes the following activities: Supporting development, review process, updates and adjustments of systems-based cash transfers operations manuals and modalities (e.g: payment mechanisms, Grievance Redress mechanism) and all associated forms for effective programme roll out and implementation. Ensuring risk-informed perspectives are continually taken into account in planning for programme roll out and during implementation, including in the programme operations manual and risk assessment matrix. Continuous support to strengthen the capacity of MOLSD / CSSPR and other sections/directorates and departments vis-à-vis roles and responsibilities for the integrated and effective implementation/oversight of the cash transfer in all aspects (including autonomous payment systems and Grievance Redressal Mechanisms). This includes preparing and leading trainings on programme implementation and accompanying programme officials during implementation as required. Helping draft and put in place an appropriate programme communication strategy and accountability framework prior to programme implementation, and adjusted as necessary during implementation. Supporting the development of an M&E plan and its various components (baseline, post-distribution monitoring, robust Management Information Systems) as required. Identify possibilities for strong social accountability mechanisms/structures as part of this. In cooperation with UNICEF Health and Nutrition, Communication for Development and Child Protection sections, contribute to the development of an effective interrogated social protection system with appropriate and clearly identified roles of the MOLSD / CSSPR and its directorates staff in terms of cash transfer implementation. Working with MOLSD / CSSPR, advocate and support MOLSD ensure appropriate State coordination mechanisms are operational for timely and effective policy and programmatic support and guidance from State level authorities. Ongoing detailed work planning and costing support to MOLSD / CSSPR to ensure coordinated, timely and credible programme planning, budgeting and implementation. Technical assistance in ongoing coordination and capacity support to the MOLSD / CSSPR and relevant departments in participation in relevant working groups and forums. This will also entail advising/assisting State level entities in coordinating the various pillars of the programme (cash, SBCC, M&E / research) and building their capacity to do so. Participate in social protection sector coordination for including the inter-agency Cash Working Group to promote sharing of information, good practices and lessons learned, as well as identify opportunities for joint approaches and joint programming. Promote opportunities to expand effective working partnerships collaboration with World Bank, UN agencies, donors and the government for technical cooperation, programme management/coordination, information sharing and networking.

Expected outputs:

A risk assessment and mitigation matrix Programme Operations Manual, based on appropriate programme implementation modalities identified for all stages, along with associated forms A detailed and regularly updated programme implementation work plan, with timelines and costing. A capacity building strategy of the MOLSD, with training packages prepared and delivered as required

Oversee development of other related plans, manuals and strategies (M&E, MIS approach/system, Grievance Mechanism, SBCC, MOLSD workforce plan, Programme Communications Strategy etc.) Draft agreements with potential partners and service providers according to the need. Regular and timely program implementation reports/updates.

Knowledge products, tools and technical inputs related to social cash transfers for first 1,000 days of life programme implementation:

As the implementation of the cash transfer is also expected to contribute to valuable knowledge and tools for the expansion of the programme in other states Sudan in a phased approach, the incumbent will be responsible for: Leading and/or supporting analyses of programme implementation and impact based on data from surveys, Post distribution monitoring and/or admin data from programme MIS. Developing timely and high-quality knowledge products on lessons learned from the implementation of the cash transfer as an integrated systems-based and life cycle approach to social protection in Sudan. This can include specific case studies in important areas such as: designing a risk-informed social cash transfer programme, identifying and addressing capacity/coordination challenges, improvements in a comprehensive and integrated Management Information System for implementing social protection programmes in Sudan. Manage a comprehensive and up to date repository of all tools utilized in the implementation of the cash transfer supporting 1000 days such as operations manual, risk matrix and training packages. Advise MOLSD / CSSPR and relevant directorates/sections in operational planning for the expansion of the cash transfer supporting 1000 days to other States in sync with the UNICEF supported PFM support to MOSD.

Provide inputs to MOLSD and its directorates in the development and implementation of tools for the cash transfer implementation in other states, in conjunction with other development partners.

Expected outputs:

Analyses produced to unpack bottlenecks related to programme implementation and impact Produce timely and high-quality knowledge products related to lessons learned in key areas from the implementation of a systems-based approach to implementing an integrated cash transfer in identified areas. Update repository of all programme tools utilized in implantation of the initial phase of the cash transfer. After initial implementation period, plan developed for undertaking a rigorous, independent (formative) evaluation in consultation with the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) section and other relevant sections to improve efficiency and quality of programme delivery.

Social policy dialogue and advocacy:

Participates in social policy dialogue and development with the Government, engages in and establishes constructive dialogue and partnerships between international and local stakeholders to support the development of social policies and programmes contributing to the progressive realization of children’s rights. Promotes and raises awareness on children’s rights with policy makers and local and international stakeholders to ensure local buy-in, commitment, and continued relevance of UNICEF programming. Highlight interventions to attain social policy goals which are designed to reduce gender inequalities.

Expected outputs:

Constructive dialogue and partnerships promoted with the Government, and international and local stakeholders to support the development of social policies and programme in support of the most vulnerable children and families. Awareness on children’s rights promoted among policy makers and local and international stakeholders.

UNICEF Programme management:

Ensure the optimal use of the programme funds Establish and supervise programme work plans and monitor progress and compliance with performance standards. Monitor the overall allocation and disbursement of programme funds, making sure that funds are properly coordinated, monitored and liquidated. Take appropriate actions to optimize the use of programme funds. Ensure programme efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to programme planning, monitoring, and evaluation. Undertakes field visits to monitor and assess programme implementation and decides on required corrective action; participate in annual sector review meetings and organize review meetings with partners and counterparts; ensure the timely preparation of annual program status reports. Support the section with other social protection activities when required.

Expected outputs:

Programme work plans established in relation to social transfers and progress and compliance with programme standards monitored. Relevant programme funds optimally allocated, disbursed and monitored and reported. A system and plan for a rigorous and transparent evaluation in relation to relevant programme developed and functional.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Development Studies, Business Administration, Public Policy, Political Science, or another relevant technical field. A minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience is required - in particular direct operational experiences of program design and M&E of systems-based social protection (cash transfer) programmes in a developing country context. Knowledge of social protection policy debates and evidence is required; demonstrated knowledge and experiences in working on systems-based approach to social protection (including linkages with social work case management). Understanding of poverty dynamics, social protection principles and their application to current national economic and development issues; demonstrated experience in policy and poverty analyses. Experience of working with national governments and/or international organizations is an advantage Expertise in data and knowledge management. Background and/or familiarity with emergency particularly experience of cash transfers in emergency is considered as a strong asset. Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic language is an asset.

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 functional competencies required for this post are...

Leading and supervising (II) Formulating strategies and concepts (II) Analyzing (III) Relating and networking (III) Persuading & Influencing (II) Planning & Organizing (III)

View our competency framework at

For every Child, you demonstrate¦

Our core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds, irrespective of gender, 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.

This vacancy is archived.

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