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Title: Education Innovation Specialist and Kolibri Product Manager

Location of Assignment: remote (relocation to Kampala, Uganda optional)

Language(s) required: English, another UN language is an asset

Duration of Contract: 6 months (with optional extension up to 11.5 months based on performance, need and available funding)

Level: Individual contract (equivalent to P4)

Section & Unit: Office of Innovation

Supervisor: Stefan Bock, Head of Global Innovation Lab

BACKGROUND

UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. Innovations support the organization’s 135+ country offices in finding solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children. The UNICEF innovation work includes both policy and practice of innovation in UNICEF, and the larger UN. Innovation in UNICEF is defined as “doing something new or different that adds value.” Innovation is a cross-sectoral function that enhances programme and development effectiveness as well as management and is guided in all contexts by UNICEF’s Innovation Principles (http://www.unicefstories.org/principles/). UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

In January 2016, the Executive Director established UNICEF’s Office of Innovation in order to establish UNICEF’s innovation functions in one office and leverage the increasing initiatives across UNICEF.  Through this decision, the Executive Director’s vision is to scale up successes to achieve results for children across the organization. The Executive Director has asked the newly unified innovation team to develop a common, coordinated strategic plan that continues to support creativity and agility while addressing key operational risks and enhances efficiencies and enables increased access to innovations.  The newly established Office of Innovation combines:

  • The Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Bangkok, Kampala and Nairobi: established in 2014, and focusing on Scale Up which looks at expanding the application of proven solutions from one to several countries and regions by UNICEF and partners
  • Ventures in New York which looks at investing in new solutions with a 0-2 year horizon
  • Futures in San Francisco: focusing on what is coming in the 2-5 year horizon and works with big tech partners

UNICEF Scale Up is functioning primarily through UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre and identifies proven solutions with the potential to be implemented at national scale in multiple countries. The GIC provides the leadership and technical support to deploy and scale these up, expanding their application by UNICEF and others from one to several countries and regions, specifically in the following main areas: Real-time information, Youth engagement and Access to Information.

In order to meet the needs of access to quality information and educational resources, UNICEF Office of Innovation is working with partners to develop and roll out Kolibri: a strong, scalable, open source platform for the dissemination of high quality education resources, curated to local needs.

Designed and managed by the Foundation for Learning Equality (FLE) who developed Khan Academy Lite, Kolibri builds on the popular KA-Lite platform which gives access to quality education videos to more than 2 million people a year.  Kolbri extends basic functionality, extensibility, and modularity to be future-proof, performant, and easy to scale in other contexts.  Staying open-source, Kolibri is a cross-platform application and learning platform that provides access to educational materials from global and national providers including KA-Lite, as well as UNICEF’s own content.

UNICEF therefore is seeking a consultant with significant education, communication and innovation experience, to provide expert guidance on how best to engage with digital content in education and to ensure alignment between UNICEF Innovations, Programmes and Country Offices. The consultant will coordinate development and pilot roll-out of Kolibri and also provide guidance and hands-on support to country offices during specific processes of digital content platforms. Guidance for the country offices will be around how to best identify, vet, prepare and localize digital content.

PURPOSE OF THE APPOINTMENT / MAIN ACTIVITIES

  1. To work as the Product Manager for UNICEF’s partnership around Kolibri as a global digital education platform:
  • Coordinate with external vendors and oversee the further development of the application
  • Develop roadmaps for new feature enhancements
  • Liaise with key partners in developing and implementing strategic decisions for Kolibri at global, regional and national levels;
  • Develop and share implementation tools for decision making across UNICEF;
  • Build partnerships with global content providers and other key strategic partners;
  • In collaboration with Country Offices, lead deployment to pilot locations: supporting selection and localization of content; coordinating monitoring and evaluation across global reach;
  • Create a series of assets (ToRs, concept notes, proposals, etc.) for the development of Kolibri and its scale within UNICEF.
  1. To support UNICEF’s use of digital content in innovation-based initiatives.
  • Assess content-focused initiatives underway at UNICEF and their efficacy, needs, etc as required.
  • Provide support to innovations team products – notably Internet of Good Things – in developing approaches, partnerships and tools for content;
  • Develop and build on content strategies for either current priority projects or, if enough commonalities exist across projects, for the Innovation Centre
  • Supporting the sourcing, translation and adaptation of UNICEF content for a digital content strategy
  • Support with content curation, content editing, website design decisions, and other support to the content platforms as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EDUCATION

  • Advanced degree in education, economics, psychology, sociology, other social science, or a related field; or related practical experience.
  • 7+ years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in project planning, management, and/or research in education at the international level, some of which preferably in a developing country

Specialized Experience and Knowledge required for the assignment

  • Experience serving as a strong team lead, able to remotely manage content-based initiatives and projects with diverse stakeholders
  • Experience working with CMSs, OER and content delivery platforms, etc.
  • Experience working at all levels of the content lifecycle: from copyediting to creating high-level strategies and partnerships
  • Experience in creating or managing content for young people and/or learning preferred
  • Experience managing external software vendors and writing technical documentation preferred a strong plus
  • Familiarity with open-source technology, design and development processes preferred
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills with experience in consensus building and in motivating cross-functional teams to meet ambitious project goals and timelines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships;
  • Ability to travel, occasionally to remote locations (specifically to facilitate deployment, on-site trainings and workshops with UNICEF Country Offices)

Languages

Fluency in English. Competence in another UN language preferred.

SUPERVISOR

Stefan Bock, Head of Global Innovation Lab

HOW TO APPLY

Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their applications with Subject “Education Innovation Specialist” to: jobsugic@gmail.com on or before 04 September 2016.

Applications must include the following:

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

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