Social Policy Officer, NO-2, Lilongwe, Malawi, 6 months, Open to Nationals of Malawi Only

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

Open positions at UNICEF
Logo of UNICEF

Application deadline in 10 days: Saturday 10 Jun 2023 at 15:00 UTC

Open application form


This is a NO-2 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-2 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, social protection…

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with Malawi Vision 2063 and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’. The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication. The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

Through UNICEF’s work on social protection, we aim to ensure that the Government has an integrated child-sensitive social protection system targeting the most vulnerable households. The Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) is Malawi’s flagship social protection intervention. Since 2006, when the SCTP began, UNICEF has supported the Government through extensive technical assistance in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programme. The SCTP is currently operational in all 28 districts in the country reaching about 290,000 households of whom over 600,000 are children.

The evaluation of the programme showed a positive impact on several livelihood outcomes including food security, education, and asset accumulation. However, there is growing evidence in Malawi and beyond on the need to establish and nurture strategic linkages between cash transfer programmes and other interventions (“cash +”) to amplify the impact of cash transfers. In addition, there is a need for social protection programmes and systems to be resilient and adaptable to respond to emergencies to safeguard gains and mitigate household negative coping strategies across the life course.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic Social Policy team where you will be responsible for supporting UNICEF’s efforts in strengthening social protection delivery systems (social registry, harmonized grievance redress tools and electronic payments), policy development, sector coordination and “cash-plus” linkages with social services for recipients of social assistance programmes. In your role as Social Policy Officer, you will be under the guidance and supervision of the Social Policy Specialist (Protection) as well as work in close collaboration with a team of social policy professionals.

This job therefore presents a unique and significant opportunity for a qualified, vibrant, motivated and committed person to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children with professional excellence and by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

  1. Support the effective implementation and monitoring of Government-led social protection interventions at the central and district level with a focus on 9 districts.
  2. Support the implementation, piloting and scale-up of targeting reforms (categorical approaches) and evidence generation on the long-term impacts of the the SCTP.
  3. Lead the scale-up of the cash-plus linkages programme including graduation pathways to sustainable livelihood for SCTP beneficiaries in 9 districts.
  4. Lead the scale-up of the harmonized e-payments and the leverage of the system for emergencies.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Job Description for TA_ NOB Social Policy_25May23.pdf in order to view the full role and its requirements.

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


  • A university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field. An advanced degree is an added advantage.


  • At least 2 years of relevant experience and proven expertise in the area of social protection and/or humanitarian cash-based assistance.
  • Proven experience working on electronic payment systems (Mobile Money Operators (MNOs), financial institutions, Banking) to facilitate large-scale payment to social protection and/or humanitarian interventions is a strong advantage.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with, support and develop the capacity of government institutions both at national and district levels
  • Previous demonstrable experience in working with the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) and/or a resilience and social accountability programmes targeting vulnerable populations.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Awareness of and knowledge of local and international efforts to the digitization of Government to People (G2P) payments and financial inclusion is highly desirable.
  • Proven knowledge and experience in supporting impact evaluations is required.
  • Proven skills in the implementation of livelihood programmes among vulnerable popularization and

    facilitation of strategic linkages is required.

  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency and/or humanitarian is considered as an asset.


  • Fluency in English, both strong verbal and written skills, are essential.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

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

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 and (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 here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic. 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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.


The position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates as well as suitable persons living with disability are encouraged to apply.

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.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at

The vacancy announcement is open to all candidates – both internal UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed term appointments and external candidates.

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

In order to deliver results for the children of Malawi, UNICEF Malawi Country Office works in a fast-paced but impactful environment where creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a safe space and professional development are supported and encouraged. We are therefore seeking individuals who are motivated to make a real difference and serve the children of Malawi with resourcefulness, resilience, creativity, and professional excellence.

Added 4 days ago - Updated 6 minutes ago - Source: