Director, Division of Research and Insight (D2), Florence, Italy

This opening expired 6 months ago.

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 6 months ago: Monday 14 Mar 2022 at 01:00 UTC

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This is a D-2 contract. This kind of contract is known as Professional and Director staff. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's a staff contract. It usually requires 16 years of experience, depending on education.


The salary for this job should be between 143,813 USD and 173,332 USD.

Salary for a D-2 contract in Florence

The international rate of 143,813 USD, with an additional 0% at this the location, applies.

Please keep in mind that the salary displayed here is an estimation by UN Talent based on the location and the type of contract. It may vary depending on the organization. The recruiter should be able to inform you about the exact salary range. In case the job description contains another salary information, please refer to this one.

More about D-2 contracts and their salaries.

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.

Job organizational context

The Director of the Division of Research and Insight (working title) will spearhead a new division which will represent UNICEF’s foremost analytical capacity and will serve as a beacon for research and insights excellence on children and child rights within UNICEF, the United Nations, and the global community. This new division has been formed as a result of combining the Office of Research – Innocenti and the Office of Global Insight and Policy, and building on their existing strengths and assets, UNICEF aspires to elevate the profile and impact of its technical expertise in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The position will be based in Florence, Italy.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of the job

Under the general direction of the Deputy Executive Director (Innovation), the successful candidate will provide strategic leadership, overall direction, and sound management to the new office. The Director will unite and inspire colleagues in pursuit of an ambitious common strategy. The Director will shape the office’s priorities, steer the office in their pursuit, and maintain support inside the office and across the organization, all while adhering to UNICEF’s core values and business objectives. The Director will drive continuous innovation and improvement to increase the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the office’s work, including through the careful supervision of its financial resources and skilled staff. The Director will represent UNICEF externally, forging partnerships and serving as a leading voice on child rights and wellbeing. The Director will serve as a senior advisor to the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors, Global Management Team (GMT) and other senior managers across the organization.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. Vision & Strategy

  • Enact the strategic vision and mandate for the Division of Research and Insight (working title) that supports UNICEF’s mandate, strategies, goals, and objectives at global, regional, and national levels.
  • Strengthen UNICEF’s research and insight, policy functions and develop strategies to support the organization’s current and future programme requirements and direction.
  • Oversee the publication of flagship reports and initiatives, including The State of the World’s Children and Report Card on Child Well Being, and create new products with a focus on innovation.
  • Build on the foundations of the current Office of Research-Innocenti in research generation and use; research facilitation, knowledge management and ethics in evidence; convening; and of the current Office of Global Insight and Policy in frontier policy, foresight and intelligence, and strategic advocacy.
  • Translate research and insights into policy and practice through global discourse and by collaborating with UNICEF’s 150 country offices in low- and middle-income countries, maintaining strong links to UNICEF’s National Committees in 37 high-income countries, and partnering with other UN and multilateral organizations and with research institutions, think tanks and funding and implementing partners.
  • Promote the Division as a global knowledge center and advance UNICEF’s reputation as a thought leader for research. Use our wealth of experience, data, and expertise to generate policy-oriented research, analysis, and advice on domestic, international, and emerging issues that enable all stakeholders to make informed decisions in and around the rights of the child and their futures.
  • Establish UNICEF as an intellectual thought leader and research voice for all matters relating to child rights, development, and well-being during the first and second decades of life, do this by investing in individual and institutional capacity to create powerful ideas that spur scientific, social, technological, and institutional revolutions that will impact the future for children.
  • Establish UNICEF’s thought leadership core, which will work to change the way we think about child issues or shed new light on how those issues can be solved - and by doing so, elevate child issues in the global agenda.
  1. Management of People and Resources
  • Provide leadership and direction of the Division of Research and Insight (working title) by effectively managing the human, financial and material resources assigned to the division.
  • Ensure accountability and fiduciary integrity in the Division’s budget development and execution.
  • Foster a unified change culture and build a cohesive team to achieve common goals and objectives by empowering, motivating, coaching, and supporting staff from two teams to come together.
  • Develop workforce planning, recruitment, performance management, learning and career management of staff.
  • Manage staff performance and development through regular feedback, mentoring and career planning.
  1. Representation & Networking
  • Represent UNICEF externally as a leading, intellectual voice on child issues within the research community, the global development sector and with media.
  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with counterparts in institutions/ foundations, development agencies, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations for the purpose of programme co-operation, knowledge sharing, policy, and/or resource mobilization.
  • Advise the Office of the Executive Director in strengthening relations with key partners through evidence informed research, insights and dialogue, and advocacy to mobilize and leverage resources for children.
  • Develop and capitalize on new and emerging opportunities for resource mobilization especially innovative financing and partnership.
  • Serve as the lead advisor to UNICEF senior management of the organization on policy advice related to research and insights functions. Coordinate closely with colleagues in related divisions in support of the organization’s evidence functions.
  • Maintain the relationship with the Government of Italy, the host government of the Division of Research and Insight (working title), the Istituto degli Innocenti, and other Italian counterparts.

    Impact of Results

The Director will generate results that contribute to:

  • The establishment of the Division as a premier global knowledge center on children and child rights issues on research and insights, and the reputation of UNICEF as a thought leader.
  • Cutting edge flagships reports, including The State of the World’s Children and Report Card on Child Well-Being that drive the global agenda for children, and other new reports/products with a focus on innovation.
  • A well-defined, achievable research and policy agenda that complements UNICEF’s programming and advocacy work across the world.
  • UNICEF’s understanding of its external environment and engagement with global debates affecting children's lives.
  • The promotion and use of quality and ethical standards in evidence generation, use and capacity building.
  • Shaping evidence, discourse and thought leadership on frontier issues for children in areas where UNICEF is not yet engaged in programming at scale, including high-income country contexts.
  • Accelerating progress towards the goals of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, and greater advances for children within the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Child Safeguarding

Child safeguarding involves proactive measures to limit direct and indirect collateral risks of harm to children, arising from UNICEF’s work, UNICEF personnel or UNICEF associates. Risks may include those associated with physical violence (including corporal punishment); sexual violence, exploitation, or abuse; emotional and verbal abuse; economic exploitation; failure to provide for physical or psychological safety; neglect of physical, emotional, or psychological needs; harmful cultural practices; and privacy violations.

Certain UNICEF positions present elevated child safeguarding risks (“elevated risk roles”) and candidates and/or incumbents may be subject to more rigorous vetting and training. Roles may be elevated risk roles because of significant unsupervised direct contact with children, their data, having a role in responding to safeguarding incidents, or being otherwise assessed as presenting an elevated risk. This Director position has been identified as not being an elevated risk role and will be supported in its role by the Senior Advisor on Ethics in Evidence that sits in the Division of Foresight and Research (working title).

Note: To appropriately categorize this position, please refer to the Guidance on Identifying & Assessing Elevated Risk Roles for this job profile and remove non-applicable description in the highlighted area above.

Person Profile:

  • Recognized leader with strong management skills in multicultural settings, combined with ability to achieve results through motivating people and influencing partners.
  • Deep analytical expertise in research or policy fields related to children.
  • Results-oriented decision-making ability with an aptitude to address operational challenges and for developing practical solutions.
  • Innovator with risk management ability and a proven track record as a successful agent of change.
  • Rigorous analytical and conceptual thinking.
  • High sense of integrity, trust, and confidence.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English, including the ability to set out a coherent analysis in presentations.
  • Strong diplomatic and communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships with clients and counterparts at the appropriate levels,
  • Ability to represent UNICEF in international fora.

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

  • An Advanced University Degree from an accredited institution in a technically relevant area is required.
  • A minimum of 15 years of experience that combines intellectual and managerial leadership in an international organization or corporation, or in research and research management is required. Engagement in, and familiarity with academic, policy and development institutions and professional networks is essential. Familiarity with the UN, experience heading a research, foresight, or similar institution, is highly desirable. Relevant working experience in the global south is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

Core Competencies

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People
  • Strong Communication
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness
  • Works Collaboratively with others
  • Innovates and Embraces Change
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically
  • Drive to achieve impactful results

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


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.

Added 7 months ago - Updated 6 months ago - Source: