Early Childhood Development Specialist, NO-C, Prishtina, Kosovo

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Application deadline 4 months ago: Friday 9 Sep 2022 at 20:55 UTC

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This is a NO-3 contract. This kind of contract is known as National Professional Officers. It is normally only for nationals. It's a staff contract. More about NO-3 contracts.

I. Post Information

Job Title: Early Childhood Development (ECD) Specialist (Health and Early Childhood Education), Head of Section Contract: Temporary Appointment / Local Length of contract: 364 days Duty Station: Prishtina/Kosovo

II. 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’s 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’s 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:

UNICEF in Kosovo works to ensure that the rights of children are respected, and that children, adolescents and youth are healthy, protected and included so they can reach their full potential.

UNICEF works together with our partners to ensure every young child has access to quality health services and nurturing care, that all children have access to quality learning from pre-primary to secondary education, that all children, but particularly the most vulnerable, are protected from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, and that adolescents and young people acquire the right skills for active participation in work and life. UNICEF in Kosovo works in these areas by supporting the development of policies, providing technical assistance and advice for implementing these policies, and by advocating for more public investment in children and families. UNICEF in Kosovo works in an integrated manner to address the challenges facing children, adolescents and youth at different stages of their growth and development. Our work for 2021–2025 is organized around three key programme areas.

  • The first decade of life
  • The second decade of life
  • Social inclusion and child rights monitoring

UNICEF in Kosovo is also working to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and their families.

Purpose for the job:

Under the supervision of the Deputy Head of Office, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) (Health, Early Childhood Education) Specialist and Head of Section is responsible for oversight, development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and administration of the First Decade of Life or Young Child Well Being (ECD) Outcome within the Kosovo programme, with outputs both on maternal and child health and early childhood education as well as COVID-19 and a team of staff.

They are accountable for the effective technical and programme support to facilitate the application and adaptation of UNICEF policies and strategies and to achieve strategic priorities and objectives of the UNICEF assisted Health & ECE interventions, including the COVID-19 response and mitigation. They contribute to the achievement of concrete and sustainable programme/project results on ECD related programmes/projects according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM).

The Early Childhood Development Specialist, Head of Section is also responsible for the provision of timely and effective advocacy and technical support to national counterparts for the design, implementation and monitoring of ECD policies, promoting the rights of the younger children as established under Kosovo national strategies, the SDGs and other relevant frameworks.

III. Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Technical leadership in ECD programming
  2. Strategic management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programmes
  3. Advisory services, quality oversight and technical and operational support to programme implementation
  4. Advocacy, networking and partnership building
  5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building Technical leadership in ECD programming
  • Design and update the situation analysis and assessments on ECD/ First Decade of Life related issues to establish evidence-based data to support holistic policy and programme development, as well as coordinated planning, implementation and monitoring of early childhood development programmes/projects within the Kosovo programme.
  • Keep abreast of Kosovo, regional and international development priorities to identify opportunities where ECD can enhance inter-sector partnership, integration and linkages.
  • Participate in Kosovo programme planning to determine strategic areas for ECD integration/intervention. Contribute to the formulation, design and preparation of the Kosovo Programme to ensure integration of ECD in a holistic manner across programme areas and to ensure alignment of ECD programmes with the UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and coherence/integration with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021–2025 (Cooperation Framework), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the ECD/ First Decade of Life programmes/projects using a results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations on ECD related issues (health and early childhood education) for programme review and approval.
  • Promote and provide technical expertise to major monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with institutions and other counterparts to assess ECD/ First Decade of Life progress and to engage stakeholders to take required action/interventions to achieve results.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national priorities/competencies to promote inter-sectoral partnerships and a holistic approach to ECD/ First Decade of Life.
  • Provide authoritative technical and operational support throughout all stages of the programming process to ensure ECD integration, coherence and harmonization with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
  1. Strategic management, monitoring and delivery of results on ECD programmes
  • Plan and/or collaborate with monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on ECD/ First Decade of Life programmes/projects.
  • 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.
  • Monitor ECD programmes/projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Plan, monitor and control the use of ECD programme resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Submit/prepare ECD/ First Decade of Life programme/project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.

    Advisory services, quality oversight and technical and operational support to programme implementation

  • Provide technical advice and/or written guidance to key government officials, NGO, UN system and other Kosovo office partners on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches on ECD issues to support programme development planning, implementation and delivery of results.

  • Participate in strategic discussions, meetings and other international/national meetings and workshops to provide ECD evidence based papers and inputs to influence policy and agenda setting on ECD.
  • Prepare ECD policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration in programme development discussion and planning.

    Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes, universities, private sector and communities to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on ECD// First Decade of Life.

  • Prepare communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for ECD initiatives for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and promote increased investments in ECD interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNKT) discussions and planning on early childhood development to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities on early childhood development are fully considered and integrated in the UN Cooperation Framework planning and agenda setting process. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues in the UN Cooperation Framework planning and preparation of programmes/projects including emergency preparedness.

    Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for ECD/First Decade of Life programmes/projects initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.

  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting-edge practices on ECD. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned to support development planning and implementation.
  • Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Organize/plan/implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of a wide range of internal and external partners/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on ECD programmes/projects.

IV. Impact of Results The strategic and effective advocacy, planning and formulation of holistic ECD/First Decade of Life programmes/projects and the achievement of concrete and sustainable results from ECD programmes contributes to the achievement of UNICEF goals for care and protection of children from the early stages of their life and promotes/protects their rights to survival, development and wellbeing in society. Achievements in programmes and projects in turn contributes to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide programme services for mothers/caregivers and children that promotes greater social equality in Kosovo.

V. UNICEF values and competencies required

i) Core Values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability
  • Sustainability

ii) Core Competencies (For Staff with Supervisory Responsibilities)

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

VI. Technical Competencies Technical competencies must be demonstrated in the following areas:

  • Excellent understanding of ECD programmatic area (health and early childhood education) and key factors affecting it
  • Good understanding of sectoral contribution to ECD and inter-sectoral approaches to address ECD (including health, nutrition, social policy, child protection, education and communications within UNICEF)
  • Knowledge of ECD policy analysis, including familiarity with the core data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of equity, determinants of access to services, budget, cost and financing, key system management, as well as policy and strategic planning
  • Good ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programmes and policy discussions around ECD with partners, including institutions, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas
  • Good ability to support engagement and networking with partners, including government partners, civil society organisations, UN partners, etc.

VII. Recruitment Qualifications

Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Public Health, Health, Child Development, Education, Early Education, Social Policy, Social Development, Sociology, Community Development, Psychology or any other relevant discipline.

Experience: A minimum of five years of professional experience in management, planning, programming, implementation monitoring, and evaluation of technical cooperation programmes related to Early Childhood Development (Health, Public Health, and/or Early Childhood Education) is required. Experience working in Health and ECD specifically is considered as an asset. Relevant experience in a UN system fund, programme or agency is considered as an asset. Professional work experience in a managerial position, or as a technical expert in child survival & development, health and early education including supervisory responsibilities, is considered an asset.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.

Added 5 months ago - Updated 4 months ago - Source: unicef.org