Senior Executive Associate, GS6, Office of the Director - UNICEF Innocenti Research and Child Futures Centre - Florence, Italy

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Sunday 31 Jul 2022 at 21:55 UTC

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This is a G-6 contract. This kind of contract is known as General Service and related categories. It is normally only for nationals. It usually requires 6 years of experience, depending on education. More about G-6 contracts.

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, Research.

How can you make a difference?

Under the supervision of the Director, the Senior Executive Associate is responsible for providing administrative, programme and secretarial support services to the Director's office.

The present announcement is for a 2 year Fixed Term contract with a possibility of extension.

Anticipated start date: 1 September, 2022

Organizational Context and Purpose for the job

In September 2022, the former UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and the Office of Global Insight and Policy will be officially merged into a joint UNICEF Innocenti Research and Child Futures Centre (working title). The merger brings together the organization’s leading research and foresight expertise to establish a single unified authority that will deepen UNICEF’s knowledge base and its capability to act on the basis of evidence. UNICEF views research and foresight as complementary functions that can deepen the organization’s understanding of complexity in the present, and our planning for the future of children. Working with related offices in UNICEF, the new entity will generate knowledge on children, nurture a culture of evidence within UNICEF, and help position the organization as an intellectual powerhouse on the rights and futures of children around the world, with the aim of driving further progress for children.

The new entity will be driven by three overarching goals:

• Research and insights for children: We will shape the current and future agenda for children by undertaking cutting-edge research across countries and engaging in the development of global policies in select areas. This goal builds on two functions of the existing offices: generating evidence and crafting policies on frontier issues.

• Research and insights for UNICEF: We will build a more evidence-informed, strategic organization that’s better equipped to fulfil its programmatic and normative roles. This goal builds on the prevailing functions of facilitating the uptake and use of research, conducting foresight, and gathering intelligence on external trends and events.

• Research and insights in the world: We will position UNICEF and children at the center of the global conversation through prominent external engagement, communication, and influence. This goal builds on the prevailing functions of convening and generating analytical advocacy products to shape the global discourse.

Purpose of the Job:

The Senior Executive Associate is accountable for ensuring the smooth running of the Director’s office. This involves management of information and coordination of matters within a core team. The post is a key interface with a broad range of contacts including high-ranking officials, both within and outside the Organization and performs an important institutional memory function for key UNICEF Innocenti sensitive and confidential materials. The post prioritizes tasks and organizes work independently based on general direction from the Supervisor.

Key functions, accountabilities, and related duties/tasks

1. Administrative, executive assistance and secretarial support to the Director’s Office to facilitate smooth running of the Office and effective processing of information and data.

• Helps manage the immediate Director’s Office operations with respect to communications, meetings, and workflow; identifies sensitive subjects, and contacts, as well as priority issues that need to be brought to the Supervisor’s attention. As appropriate, follow up on established deadlines to ensure timely submission of reports and other documents.

• Drafts routine correspondence in English and Italian some of which are confidential, attaches necessary background information and maintains follow-up system.

• Maintains a record management system containing confidential records and reference documents as required.

• Monitors budgets and financial expenditures of the Director’s Office, keeping Supervisor and Deputy Director informed and advises on actions for decision/follow up.

• Participates in the organization and preparation of staff meetings, regular Office Management Team meetings, mid/end year review meetings and other special meetings and takes action points, as required,

• Supports the coordination of high-level meetings including invitations, travel arrangements the production and distribution of documentation. Distributes meeting reports and information and ensure follows-up on required actions.

• Collects and prepares briefing materials for Supervisor and other members of the Director’s Office team concerning official trips or special meetings.

• Organizes official travel arrangements for Supervisor, Deputy Director and other team members, including arranging itinerary, visas, and hotel reservations. Ensure offices are informed of travel arrangements and requirements. Briefs Supervisor and Deputy Director of important developments upon return to the office.

• Broad range of contacts maintained at all levels throughout the Organization, with regard to coordination of work, follow-up matters, meeting arrangements, dissemination of information and sharing.

2. Professional image projected through in-person and telephone interaction. Discretion exercised with confidential information and complex and sensitive subject matter.

• Arranges appointments and maintains Supervisor’s and Deputy Director’s calendars, receiving high ranking visitors, places and screens telephone calls and answers queries with discretion.

• Keeps abreast of activities of importance, latest policies, procedures affecting UNICEF Innocenti and the research function across UNICEF more broadly

• Prepares briefing materials for supervisor concerning official trips or special meetings; drafts responses on routine questions, and coordinates responses to sensitive inquiries on behalf of the Supervisor.

3. Effective preparation and knowledgeable delivery of correspondence and communications, documentation and reports contributing to achievement of work objectives

• Prepares correspondence for the supervisor’s signature both in English and Italian. Draft non-substantive correspondence based on first-hand knowledge of work schedule or events, rough notes, or verbal instructions, for supervisor’s approval.

• Follows up on the preparation of correspondence, briefing notes and other documents for the Supervisor’s reference. Reviews these documents for appropriate format and style, in accordance with standard practices. Undertake searches for information as directed.

• Supports the Planning Manager in establishing and maintaining an internal tracking system for key Innocenti documents to allow easy retrieval.

4. Well managed and effective office operations, systems and procedures that facilitate teamwork and the work of the Director’s Office ·

• Verifies that the documents are finalized in accordance with UNICEF and UNICEF Innocenti standards and within established deadlines before the Supervisor’s signature, monitors cases of concern to the Supervisor.

• Works closely with team colleagues and provides support in achievement of work priorities and objectives.

• Facilitates the processing of contracts for consultants and external partners that provide a service to the Director’s office. This includes preparing and filing documents, completing necessary forms and templates (Terms of Reference, support to the selection processes and Note for the Record). Support contract management, raising Purchase Orders in VISION, including uploading of relevant documentation payments. Evaluations and closures).

• Undertakes any other duties assigned by the Supervisor or Deputy Director.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have the following recruitment qualifications:

Education: Completion of secondary education is required, preferably supplemented by technical or university courses related to the field of work.

Experience: A minimum of six years of relevant administrative or clerical work experience is required. Work experience with the UN is considered an asset.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Italian is required. Knowledge of another UN language is considered a strong asset.



• Trained in and experienced user of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other UNICEF software such as SharePoint; knowledge of integrated management information systems required. • Organizational, planning, and prioritizing skills and abilities. • Ability to work independently and to take initiative. • Ability to deal patiently and tactfully with visitors. • High sense of confidentiality, discretion, and good judgment. • Ability to work effectively with people of different national and cultural background. • Ability to work in a team environment to achieve common goals and to provide guidance to more junior support staff. • Ability to juggle multiple competing priorities and deadlines. • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with an ability to act as first point of contact for the office at the highest levels in both English and Italian.

Not essential:

  • Thorough knowledge of UNICEF’s organizational structure, administrative policies, and procedures is highly desirable
  • Familiarity with organizational systems and the history of UNICEF Innocenti and its key resource documents is highly desirable.
  • Some prior exposure to and knowledge of child rights principles and key stakeholders across the UN system is highly desirable.


• Non-Italian candidates must be in possession of a valid work permit for Italy. • Candidates will be recruited locally and hence must live in Florence or within commuting distance from the office

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability (CRITA) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter:

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework 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.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

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.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

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