Innovation specialist

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 4 months ago: Thursday 6 May 2021 at 23:59 UTC

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This is a UNV International Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as International UN Volunteer. It is normally internationally recruited only. More about UNV International Specialist contracts.

Eligibility criteria

Minimum age: 25 years old. Nationals of the country of assignment are not eligible, except the assignments in Headquarters duty stations.

Description of task

Under the supervision and technical guidance of the Chief Social Policy, and in close cooperation with the multi-disciplinary programme team, the UNV – Innovation Specialist will be responsible of the development, coordination, and monitoring of innovations, and will provide ongoing technical support to each programme team in the design and implementation of their respective Innovation flagship initiatives.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Infuse an innovation lens into the program development, planning and management:

  • Technical and operational support to program implementation
  • Networking and partnership building
  • Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building.

Infuse an innovation lens into the program development and planning:

  • Research and report on innovation trends and data for use in program development, management, monitoring, evaluation and delivery of results.
  • Provide support to an overall cross-sectoral innovation strategy/action plan, including formulation, design, planning and implementation.
  • Proactively scout for new innovative ideas and opportunities.
  • Contribute to the development/mainstreaming of innovation into sectoral program goals, objectives and strategies and results-based planning
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes by executing/administering a variety of technical, program, operational and administrative transactions, preparing related materials/documentations and complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support program planning, results-based planning (RBM) and monitoring and evaluating results.
  • Prepare regular sectoral program/project reports related to innovation initiatives for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of program progress.

Provide technical support to program implementation:

  • Support the development, coordination and testing of innovation products and processes to strengthen and improve efficiency and effectiveness of UNICEF’s programming, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and communication. More specifically, work closely with sectoral programmes and support the deployment of Rapid-Pro and other ongoing innovation solutions.

Closely and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and partners to discuss operational and implementation issues, provide solutions, recommendations and/or alert appropriate officials and stakeholders for higher-level intervention and/or decision. Keep record of reports and assessments for easy reference and/or to capture and institutionalize lessons learned.

  • Participate in regular program field visits and surveys and/or exchange information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress and provide technical support, take appropriate action to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for resolution. Report on critical issues, bottlenecks and potential problems for timely action to achieve results.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess programs/projects and to report on required action/interventions at the higher level of program management.

Establish networking and partnership building:

  • Contribute to developing partnerships and network with local innovators, youth organizations, government, NGOs, cultural and religious organisations, the private sector, local media and academia to build and provide a space to nurture and test new and innovative ideas, develop the next generation of thought leaders and build local capacity.
  • Support the identification of opportunities for resource mobilisation and new partnerships and support proposal and partnership development efforts in close collaboration with NYHQ Innovation Unit, Global Innovation Centre and Regional Office where applicable.

Ensure knowledge management and capacity building:

  • Document tested innovation projects and processes and ensure effective sharing and generation of knowledge around innovations in the Country Office as well as with UNICEF global innovation network.
  • Represent the Country Office in the UNICEF global innovation network for information sharing and leverage experiences of innovation colleagues in other Country Offices as well as at the global level. Research and report on best and cutting-edge practices for development planning of knowledge products and systems.
  • Participate as resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders.


Required degree level:

Master degree or equivalent

Education - Additional Comments:

An advanced university degree (Master’s) in Social Development, Social Sciences, Community Development, data science or Information Technology, ICT, media/communications, a social science or related field is required.

Required experience:

36 Months

Experience remark:

  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience at the national or international levels in innovative projects, programme management, monitoring and evaluation
  • Experience in start-up companies/organisations is an asset.
  • Entrepreneurial failures are considered as valuable experience.

Language skills:

  • French(Mandatory), Level - Fluent
  • English(Mandatory), Level - Working Knowledge

Area of expertise:

Development programme management, IT architecture and IT project management, Monitoring and evaluation

Driving license:


Competencies values:

Accountability, Adaptability and Flexibility, Commitment and Motivation, Commitment to Continuous Learning, Creativity, Integrity, Planning and Organizing, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity, Technological Awareness, Working in Teams

Application procedure:

* Not yet registered in the UNV Talent Pool?

Please first register your profile at Important: After creating your account, complete all sections of your profile and submit it. Then go to ‘My Page’ at and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink. Lastly, select the special call to which you would like to apply.

* Already registered in the UNV Talent Pool?

Please first update your profile at Then go to ‘My Page’ at and click on the ‘Special Calls’ hyperlink to select the special call to which you would like to apply.

Application deadline: 06-05-2021

Added 4 months ago - Updated 4 months ago - Source: