Title: Innovation Partnership Coordinator
Location of Assignment: San Francisco, California
Languages: Excellent knowledge of English (knowledge of other languages a plus)
Travel: Travel anticipated, destination(s) TBC
Duration of contract: 11.5 months
Section & Unit: Global Innovation Centre
Consultant reporting to: Senior Adviser on Innovation and co-lead, Innovation Unit

Background & Rationale

UNICEF is the world’s leading organization for children, promoting the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children. UNICEF has a long history of engaging with the corporate sector and philanthropic communities including on resource mobilization, corporate social responsibility, programme delivery and innovation.  With the unprecedented growth of the technology sector, technology companies are emerging as a new thought partners and investors in philanthropy and international development. As UNICEF looks towards continuing to engaging donors, partners and supporters in high-growth transformative industries and new demographics that can help deliver results for children, we wish to continue to expand our work with the technology sector and increase their support and investments to bring about the best results for children most in need.

UNICEF believes that partnerships and collaborative relationships are critical to deliver results for children and to realize their rights. UNICEF works with a broad range of partners, including the private sector, all over the world in order to achieve such outcomes. For decades, UNICEF has been involved in win-win alliances with hundreds of companies across the globe working together to meet challenges in child health and nutrition, providing quality basic education for all, and protecting children from violence, exploitation and AIDS.  In this regard, UNICEF has strategies, systems, processes and capacities in place to support its corporate resource mobilization and corporate social responsibility activities. Considering the private sector’s leadership in innovations and innovative approaches, UNICEF has recently established capacity for more systematic engagement with current and new partners in support of innovations for the most disadvantaged children.  The private sector both small and large are leaders in innovations and innovative approaches, and  have an important contribution to make by tapping into their core business and expertise to address social issues.

UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. Over the past several years, it has been actively investing in piloting and implementing technology-based and design solutions.  The work in this area is led by an Innovation Unit in New York that supports the organization – and particularly our 135 country offices – in finding solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children. The work includes both policy and practice of innovation in UNICEF, and the larger UN.

UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments. Since 2007 UNICEF’s Innovation Unit has worked with partners to develop open-source, equity-focused solutions including those that have created nationwide systems for realtime information on children in countries throughout East Africa, realtime tracking of the distribution of more than 25 million insecticide treated mosquito nets in Nigeria; and mentored and supported more than 1,000 youth entrepreneurship projects through the Kosovo Innovation Lab.

UNICEF has a system of innovation facilities throughout the organization including:

  • Innovation Unit in New York: to support UNICEF programmes on the ground and the organisation at large through partnerships, technologies, and connections
  • Innovation node in San Francisco: to build partnerships with the technology sector
  • Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi: to scale-up and implement proven, successful innovations globally and foster collaboration among entities in the global south
  • A network of Innovation Labs around the world: to bring together the private sector, academia, and the public sector to develop solutions for key social issues, and ensure we are always watching for new ideas from unexpected places.

 Purpose

A key pillar of Innovation work at UNICEF is partnership with the private sector, academia, and other civil society actors. The Innovation Partnerships Coordinator is responsible for providing support for the private sector portfolio in close coordination with the NYHQ Innovation Unit and Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi and colleagues across the world.

Main Responsibilities

  1. Provide coordination of a key UNICEF partnership with a strategic technology company, including the development and implementation of a pilot innovation product incubation programme for the winners of the Wearables for Good Challenge.
  2. Coordinate research and development of select future technology areas alongside Senior Advisor and partnerships team.  Provide support and coordination to market research activities with chosen partner. This includes examining urbanization as a theme against the 5 future areas selected:  wearable/sensor technology, mobile financial services, transport/logistics, learning and identity.
  3. Work with key partner (frog) to author design handbooks on future areas that will address criteria for products created with social need and impact in mind.
  4. Support design thinking across innovation work including support of partnership with firms such as frog and academic institutions to explore integration into UNICEF’s projects.
  5. Produce, write, edit and organize materials related to associated partnerships, as well as for internal stakeholders. Support events work with provision of concepts, content, participants.
  6. Provide expertise on innovation activities when requested including communications, monitoring and evaluation efforts, speaking engagements, etc.

Expected results: (measurable results)

Under the supervision of the Senior Adviser, Innovation and in close collaboration with the innovation partnerships team based in San Francisco, the consultant will be responsible of fulfilling the following deliverables:

1. Coordination of ARM Partnership
a) Coordinate all incubation activities of Wearables for Good Winners including partnership activities such as field visits, partner update, documentation, integration with Innovation fund activities, etc.
b) Oversight of incubation programme activities including partnership engagement
c) Package incubation programme for external audiences and presentation
d) Support SF team and UUK in finalization of reporting for Year 1 ARM project
e) Develop and execute workplan for Y2 activities including field testing of WFG products, scale up, employee engagement, etc.
f) Revision of budget, reporting and other items as needed.

2. Coordinate research and development of urbanization alongside Senior Advisor and partnerships team. (25 days)
a) Conduct research and consultation interviews inside and outside UNICEF on Urbanization and various solutions to address urban problems. Prepare 10 page document that outlines findings.
b) Document (5-10 pages) that defines use cases of urbanization and present long-term plan to organization
c) Authorship of handbooks on “future of” technology areas, with urbanization as first theme  (50 days)
d) Define use cases from future areas
e) Coordinate work with frog for resources allocated and project management
f) Conduct consultations with various experts on each topic
g) Author use cases in conjunction with country offices
h) Determine which topics for 2016 and assist with authorship of content for associated handbooks, alongside frog and possible writer resource.
i) Assist with determining plan for external communication, including media partners, etc.

3. Support design thinking across innovation work including support of partnership with firms such as frog to explore integration into UNICEF’s projects.

a) Develop concept for frog in a box
b) Develop field testing plan for design workshops with country offices
c) Support academic endeavors, when requested

4. Support internal/external communication efforts as needed including developing materials for required for partnership meetings, pitches, field visits scheduled in 2016, conducting design workshops, giving presentations, etc

5. Complete other tasks as assigned by the Partnerships team, and Senior Advisor.

Duty Station

San Francisco, California, USA

Deliverables:

  • Regular coordination of ARM partnership
  • Publish blog on incubation programme and progress (1)
  • Urbanization research summary completed (5-10 pages)
  • Support proposal preparation for sensor activities to Innovation Fund (w/Kenya Country Office)
    Due date: End of month 1

Deliverables:

  • Regular coordination of ARM partnership
  • Draft outline of handbook (Urbanization) completed (1 page)
  • Complete workshop/presentation on sensors and incubation programme at RMT
  • Complete presentation and update for steering committee meeting
  • Support documentation for U-report scale up around storytelling, potential impact and pitch to partners (2-4 pages)
    End of month 2

Deliverables:

  • Regular coordination of ARM partnership
  • Draft package of  incubation programme, including lessons learned to share externally (3-5 pages)
  • Draft of implementation plan completed for field testing for wearables products with support of selected country offices, proposal to innovation fund
  • Define use cases for urbanization
  • Creation of content and materials for White House Global Entrepreneurship Summit
    End of month 3

Deliverables:

  • Regular coordination of ARM partnership
  • Participation in field visit for partnership and preparation of associated materials including briefing documents
  • Presentation of incubation programme results to internal and external audiences
  • Conduct consultations (internal/external) for urbanization across topic areas
  • Support M&E activities and production of scale up report for U-Report app
  • Mid-year report on progress for activities within ARM
    End of month 4

Deliverables:

  • Regular coordination of ARM partnership
  • Prepare draft of urbanization handbook
  • Prepare presentation for long term plan to organization on urbanization, including executive summary document
  • Participation in field visit for partnership
    End of month 5

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Present initial draft of design thinking, i.e. frog in a box
  • Present V.1 of urbanization handbook draft to partners for review
  • Prepare draft outline for next handbook (topic TBD)
  • Complete presentation and update for steering committee meeting
    End of month 6

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Collate and execute on revisions of V.1 of urbanization handbook
  • Prepare presentation for external audiences on roadmap for innovation products (i.e. General Assembly, etc.)
  • Prepare presentation of initial findings from field testing, including baseline data (TBD) for internal/external partners
    End of month 7

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Support update on scale up of U-Report app, and next steps
  • Prepare proposal of urbanization and market research findings for external presentation (WEF, Davos, etc.)
  • Conduct needs assessment exercise for Y3 of ARM partnership and present findings
    End of month 8

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Publish blog on incubation programme and progress for 2016 (1)
  • Prepare Y3 workplan for ARM partnership
  • Reconcile Y2 budget for ARM partnership and associated innovation activities
  • Complete draft of V.1 of urbanization handbook
    End of month 9

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Prepare executive summary and complete Y2 reporting for ARM partnership
  • Support presentation of market research findings for Davos 2017 (TBD)
    End of month 10 

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Complete presentation and update for steering committee meeting
  • Support of preparation of materials and presentation for Silicon Valley event series launch for 2017
  • Present V.1 of design handbook (topic TBD) draft to partners for review
    End of month 11

Deliverables:

  • Regular oversight of ARM partnership
  • Complete presentation and update for steering committee meeting
  • Support of preparation of materials and presentation for Silicon Valley event series launch for 2017
  • Present V.1 of design handbook (topic TBD) draft to partners for review
    End of month 11.5

Deliverables: 

  • Support internal/external communication efforts as needed including developing materials for required for partnership meetings, pitches, field visits scheduled in 2016, conducting design workshops, giving presentations, etc
  • Communicate with supervisor providing regular progress reports and responding to information requests
    Deadline: ongoing

Key competences, technical background, and experience required:

  • Advanced degree in relevant field of international development, public health, public policy, and or communications
  • 10 or more years of relevant, progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in programme and relationship management
  • Experience in start-up companies/organisations combined with established relevant and extensive network in Silicon Valley.  Direct work experience with technology sector, social enterprises and foundations is an asset.  Entrepreneurial failures are considered as valuable experience.
  • Experience in project management, development of project management tools and rolling out of large scale projects especially in hard to reach areas in developing countries is highly desirable.
  • Proven capacity to work with and encourage collaboration among teams across different locations and with different technical skills
  • Capacity to support coordination and participation in events with multiple stakeholders
  • A strong understanding of UNICEF’s mission and vision as well as its programmes through direct or indirect work experience with UNICEF.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government ministries, youth coalitions, universities, intellectual leaders, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector
  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences
  • Understanding of mobile technology for development, familiarity with information systems and communication technologies is an asset.
  • Entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative thinker who can also translate ideas into practical applications
  • Ability to think strategically, and act with initiative to deliver results
  • Strong nuanced teamwork skills – balancing initiatives with the collaborative approach that is required for the distributed team and network of partners
  • Proven communication and ability to manage complex partnerships
  • Analytical, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills
  • Project management skills including task prioritization, budget monitoring, regular progress updates to all stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the organization
  • Understanding of UNICEF corporate engagement dimensions an asset
  • Familiarity with UNICEF Innovation work an asset
  • Prior experience in working on children’s issues an asset

How to apply:

Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their applications with Subject “Lead Research Scientist” to: jobsugic@gmail.com on or before 18 March 2016.

Applications must include the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. P11 (http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc)
  3. CV
  4. Expected monthly rate (gross rate)

Incomplete applications will be disqualified. Applicants must clearly indicate the position applied for and use this order to name file attachments: Firstname_Lastname followed by document e.g. Gold_Mukasa_CV or Gold_Mukasa_CoverLetter. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Visit us at www.unicefstories.org and www.unicef.org/innovation

UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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