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Unicef recruits a Decentralization and Local Planning Specialist, P3, Maradi, Niger

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Unicef recruits a Decentralization and Local Planning Specialist, P3, Maradi, Niger


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Description :

UNICEF works in some of the world toughest places, to reach the world 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, passion :

UNICEF Niger Country Programme (2019-2021) is aligned with the Government of Niger’s Economic and Social Development Programme (PDES 2017-2021) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Niger to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming.

Since 2017, the government of Niger has undertaken some institutional reforms related to the decentralization process for the transfer of skills and resources to regions and municipalities in the sectors of education, health, environment and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Based on the experience of UN the convergence municipalities, UNICEF Niger has identified the decentralization as a key strategic axis for the Country Programme to support the government to operationalize the decentralization and to strengthen the capacities of the decentralized entities in improving access to basic services, promoting local resource mobilization and youth and citizen partnership as well as social inclusion, good governance and accountability.

In the WASH sector, UNICEF is modelling a municipal-wide WASH approach aiming at supporting fifteen municipalities for coherent and informed planning, provision of equitable access to sustainable WASH services, regular consultation of key stakeholders, mobilization and transparent utilization of local resources generated from the tariffs of the water supply service, promotion of ODF municipalities, public-private partnership, monitoring and evaluation and accountability.

This model will be an entry point for UNICEF to support the municipalities in improving access to basic services, promoting citizens participation and developing public-private partnerships and will help generate and document evidences on the operationalization of the decentralization for scaling up purpose.

The position will actively contribute to the development, implementation, monitoring and documentation of UNICEF support to the operationalization of the decentralization in Niger.


How can you make a difference?

Under the supervision of Maradi field office Chief and the overall technical guidance of the Chief of WASH and of the Chief of Social Inclusion, the Decentralization Specialist supports the development and preparation UNICEF support to the operationalization of the decentralization and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the programme progress on decentralization and support to municipalities and key stakeholders within the country programme.

The Decentralization Specialist provides technical and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), organizational Strategic Plans and goals, standards of performance, and accountability framework.


Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks :

Support to programme development and planning :

  • Support and contribute to the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis on decentralization and local development with a focus on the support to municipalities to exercise the transferred competences ;
  • Formulate, design and prepare proposals and other strategic papers, ensuring alignment with UNICEFStrategic Plan, the Country Programme, as well as coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies, and national priorities, plans and competencies ;
  • Establish specific programme goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans based on results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results ;
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated .

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results :

  • Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners, including the ministries in charge of water and sanitation, health, education and decentralization as well as the municipalities to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and other indicators and measurements to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results related to the exercise of the transferred competencies ;
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
  • Participate in preparing and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or 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, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks, potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution ;
  • Monitor and verify 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/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.

Technical and operational support to programme implementation :

  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, and best practices and approaches on decentralization and local development to support programme development planning, management, implementation and delivery of results ;
  • Participate in discussions with national and regional partners, clients and stakeholders to promote the operationalization of the decentralization , especially in the areas of the exercise of the transferred WASH, health and education competencies with a focus on capacity building and technical support to municipalities, private sector, users associations and government counterparts in developing/improving access to sustainable quality and continuous basic services ;
  • Design and coordinate the implementation of municipality-wide WASH decentralization component of the programme, including capacity building, planning, efficient management of the WASH systems and of community-based sanitation and hygiene approaches, monitoring of the results and accountability ;
  • Coordinate the implementation of water supply piped systems delegated management strategy and the development of adapted methodologies and tools to reinforce the capacities of key stakeholders (municipalities, private operators, users…) for a continuous of a quality and affordable service and the efficient mobilization and management of tariffs for the development of the sector ;
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration.
  • Participate in emergency preparedness at strategic level, with focus on the Humanitarian and Development nexus.

Networking and partnership building :

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with government counterparts, national and regional stakeholders, municipalities and private operators, as well as global partners, allies, donors, and academia. Through active networking, advocacy and effective communication, build capacity and exchange knowledge and expertise to facilitate the achievement of programme goals on child rights, social justice and equity ;
  • Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support fund raising for the Country Programme in contexts of decentralization, and humanitarian/development nexus ;
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) and regional discussions and planning on WASH-related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects, ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building :

  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results ;
  • Keep abreast and conduct research to provide evidence for implementation of best and cutting-edge practices in decentralization with a focus on WASH ;
  • Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned ;
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects ;
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on decentralization operationalization programmes/projects.


To qualify as a champion for every child you will have :

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Decentralization and/or local development, community development, rural development, geography, urban planning, rural development, urban planning, WASH policy and/or management or another relevant technical field  ;
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: Decentralization and/or local development, urban planning, development of municipal services, public finance and budgeting, public-private partnership, citizen participation management of water supply networks, community led-total sanitation ;
  • 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 ;
  • Fluency in French and English 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 :

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

Functional Competencies :

  • Leading and supervising  ;
  • Formulating strategies and concepts ;
  • Analyzing ;
  • Relating and networking ;
  • Deciding and Initiating action ;
  • Applying technical expertise .


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.


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.

Advertised: W. Central Africa Standard Time
Applications close: W. Central Africa Standard Time


Apply here

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