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UNICEF seeks to recruit an associate director, education (D-1), education section, programme division, New York Headquarters

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UNICEF seeks to recruit an associate director, education (D-1), education section, programme division, New York Headquarters


Job no : 517652
Work type : Fixed Term Staff
Location : United States
Categories: Education, D-1, Senior Leadership Vacancies

Apply here


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, dedication.


How can you make a difference?

This position provides overall leadership in Education programming by serving as the Organization’s key person for generating dialogue and guiding the development of Education within the global community.  Working directly with partners chief among whom governments, development agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations, the incumbent contributes to consolidating the evidence base and knowledge on children’s right to Education by developing and strengthening policy and advocacy links.  This position also leads within UNICEF, at the global, regional and country levels, the development, implementation, oversight, and guidance of Education strategies in response to the situation analyses of the most disadvantaged children and women as a path to achieving relevant development goals.  The incumbent is similarly expected to articulate and facilitate synergy and interactions among stakeholders working on climate change, population, financial crises, protection, and health while redefining the technical content of the Education portfolio in UNICEF.


How can you make a difference?

Your key functional accountabilities will include :

1. Technical leadership & Formulation of policy and guidelines :

  • Formulate education sector goals, milestones, policies and strategies, including for the approval of the Executive Director and Executive Board ;
  • Provide leadership and guidance for the development of context-specific responsive goals, strategies, and interventions at regional and national levels ;
  • Oversee the preparation, technical review and dissemination of state-of-the-art papers, monographs, and other technical documents as evidence for advocacy, strategy development and programme implementation ;
  • Engage fully the academic/research community to inform UNICEF’s education programme ;
  • Develop, disseminate, and oversee the employment and application of appropriate technical tools and guidelines ;
  • Oversee the contribution of the HQ Advisors, in in coordination with the Extended Cluster, to the development of country programmes, SWAPS, MTRs and other key activities, personally participating where appropriate ;
  • Oversee and/or ensure the appropriate education response in emergency situations ;
  • Provide technical inputs, as necessary, to regional and country office budget submissions.

2. Leveraging and networking

  • Employ evidence to advocate the enhancement of all children’s access to basic education of good quality, in line with whole-child, life cycle, and human rights-based principles ;
  • Encourage, guide and facilitate global, regional and country-level donor/development partner coordination in support of national development strategies, including in emergencies and post-emergency contexts ;
  • Engage fully multi-lateral and bi-lateral donor/development agencies, civil society organisations, UNICEF national committees, foundations and private sector entities to promote basic education of good quality for all children, to mobilise funding for UNICEF-assisted programmes and to leverage partner resources ;
  • Represent the Executive Director and other senior management staff at key global, regional and national for a when so designated, providing timely, relevant, accurate and up-to-date briefings, feedback and follow-up.

3. Partnerships and Fundraising

  • Propose and prepare strategic plans for resource mobilization and allocation in collaboration with Public Partnerships Division (PPD) and technical wings of donors, and other appropriate units in UNICEF to identify and tap potential sources of funding for global and priority Education needs.

4. Knowledge management, intellectual leadership, and advocacy

  • Identify current and emerging threats to and opportunities enhancing all children’s access to basic education of good quality, and in consultation with the global partners determine priorities and formulate policies, strategies and initiatives for UNICEF’s intervention at global, regional, and national levels.  Formulate and oversee the implementation of a robust, action-oriented research and knowledge generation agenda that is grounded in and guided by the theoretical underpinnings of basic education ;
  • Facilitate and foster continuous inquiry and knowledge sharing among UNICEF education staff, and the application of such knowledge of all UNICEF’s policies, strategies and interventions ;
  • Initiate and/or facilitate the development, validation, evaluation, and documentation for promising innovations for sharing within UNICEF and among partners ;
  • Promote inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary approaches, for a whole child, life cycle, and human rights-based approach to child survival, development, protection and participation ;
  • Liaise and work other sections and Division Chiefs and lead the extended education team across the organization.

5. Strategic Planning and Programme Support

  • Develop policy implementation strategies ;
  • Provide guidance in the preparation of UNICEF Country Programme strategies, situation analysis and national plans of action ;
  • Propose strategies for national capacity building in the Basic Education area ;
  • Support country level donor coordination in the preparation and implementation of education strategies and sector plans, including through the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

6. Management and Human Resources

  • Oversee and/or undertake all internal programme administration and supervisory duties (e.g. work planning, reviews, proposals, reports budget allocation and management, performance management, etc.) ;
  • Identify gaps and areas for future development within the education (global) team, and in collaboration with the Division of Human Resources, develop and implement an appropriate internal capacity building programmes, including orientation of new staff ;
  • management and development for the identification and training of competent and experienced technical specialists at all levels of the organization ;
  • Ensure appropriate consultation and collaboration with other programme sectors, divisions and offices in line with organizational directives ;
  • Foster and facilitate a harmonious working environment within the Extended Education Cluster conductive to efficient, effective, timely and results-oriented use of organizational resources.


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

Qualifications :

  • An Advanced University Degree (Masters and/or PhD level), as well as other training which is relevant to education policy, planning and practice, and international development ;
  • A minimum of thirteen years professional experience that combines intellectual and managerial leadership in development cooperation at the international level, some of which served in developing countries is required ;
  • Demonstrated capacity to exercise intellectual and technical leadership and have wide professional recognition is considered a key asset ;
  • Excellent analytical, writing, public speaking and advocacy skills ;
  • Proven competencies in the management of teams oriented to the provision of technical support and analysis ;
  • Fluency in English required. Knowledge of French or another official UN language is highly desirable.

Technical Knowledge :

  • 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 programmes 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, indicators, tools for analysis of equity, determinants of student access and learning, ;budget, cost and financing, education system management, political economy and application to 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.


For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

The competencies required for this post are :

Core Values

  • Commitment ;
  • Diversity and inclusion ;
  • Integrity.

Leadership Competencies

  • Delivers Results ;
  • Engages and Nurtures ;
  • Demonstrates Self-Aware ;
  • Manages Complexity and Change ;
  • Creates and Maintains Impact and Partnership ;
  • Innovates and Takes Risks.

Remarks :

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.

Applications close : Eastern Standard Time

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