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UNICEF seeks to recruit an early childhood development (ECD) specialist – Maseru, Lesotho

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UNICEF seeks to recruit an early childhood development (ECD) specialist – Maseru, Lesotho

Job no : 519632

Work type : Fixed Term Appointment

Location : Lesotho

Categories : NO-3, Early Childhood Development

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,


Organizational Context and Purpose for the job :

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society most disadvantaged citizens  addressing inequity not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.


Job organizational context :

The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Specialist GJP is used in a Country Office (CO), where ECD is a programme component of the Country Programme (or UNDAF). This ECD Specialist reports to the Chief of Education at P-4 level.


Purpose for the job :

The ECD Specialist reports to the Chief of Education for guidance and general supervision. The Specialist supports the coordinated development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ECD, pre-primary and early grades programmes/projects within the Country Programme. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of results on ECD related programmes/projects.

The Specialist contributes to the achievement of concrete and sustainable results on ECD related programmes/projects according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.


Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks :

Summary of key functions/accountabilities :

  1. Support to ECD programmes/projects development and planning ;
  2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programmes ;
  3. Technical and operational support to programme implementation ;
  4. Networking and partnership building ;
  5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building.

Support to ECD programme/project development and planning :

  • Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis and assessments on ECD, pre-primary and early grades related issues to establish evidence-based data to support holistic policy and programme development, as well as working with the Deputy Representative on coordinated planning, implementation, and monitoring of early childhood development programmes/projects within the country programme ;
  • Keep abreast of national, regional and international development priorities to identify opportunities where ECD can enhance inter-sector partnership, integration and linkages ;
  • Work with Deputy Representative on CO programme discussion to determine areas for ECD integration/intervention. Contribute to the formulation, design and preparation of the Country Programme to ensure integration of ECD in a holistic manner across programme areas and to ensure alignment of ECD programmes with MSTP, UNICEF Strategic Plans and coherence/integration with UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies ;
  • Establish specific goals, objectives and strategies and implementation plans for the ECD pre-primary and early grades programmes/projects using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required ECD documentations for programme review and approval ;
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national priorities/competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results ;
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure ECD integration, coherence and harmonization with other UNICEF programme sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programmes :

  • Plan and/or collaborate with internal 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 on ECD programmes ;
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results ;
  • Prepare/assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in programme management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals ;
  • Actively monitor ECD, pre-primary and early grades programmes/projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/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 ;
  • Monitor and verify the optimum/appropriate use of ECD, pre-primary and early grades programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity and ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources ;
  • Prepare ECD regular/mandated programme/project reports for Deputy Representative, 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 country office partners/donors on interpretation, application and understanding of policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on ECD to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results ;
  • Participate in programme meetings including programme development and contingency planning to provide technical and operational information, advice and support ;
  • Draft ECD policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration.

Networking and partnership building :

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders and global partners/allies/donors/academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication to build capacity, exchange knowledge/expertise and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results on ECD programmes ;
  • Prepare communication and information materials for ECD programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and promote increased investments in ECD programmes and projects ;
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on ECD related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities on ECD are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting including emergency preparedness.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building :

  • Apply/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 on ECD ;
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark and implement best practices on early childhood development. 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 ECD programmes and projects ;
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on ECD related programmes/projects.


Competencies and level of proficiency required :

Core Values :

  • Commitment ;
  • Diversity and inclusion ;
  • Integrity.

Core competencies :

  • Communication (II) ;
  • Working with people (II) ;
  • Drive for results (II).

Functional Competencies :

  • Leading and supervising (I) ;
  • Formulating strategies and concepts (II) ;
  • Analyzing (III) ;
  • Relating and networking (II) ;
  • Deciding and Initiating action (II) ;
  • Applying technical expertise (III).


Recruitment Qualifications :

Education :

An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required : education, public administration, public health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or another relevant technical field. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Experience :

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in social development planning and management in early childhood development related areas is required ;
  • Field experience is considered as an asset ;
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.

Language Requirements : 

Fluency in English is required as well as in a local language of the duty station.


How to apply :

  • Interested and qualified candidates are requested to submit their application to the following link : Here by 21February 2019 ;
  • This notice will appear on here and on UN Job List, UN Jobs.


Qualified women are encouraged to apply :

This vacancy announcement is opened to qualified Lesotho Nationals Only.

If you have not been contacted within 2 months of the closing date please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Regret emails will be sent only to shortlisted/contacted candidates.

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 : South Africa Standard Time

Apply here

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