Download the complete Terms of Reference here

Title: Innovations Specialist

Work Type: Fixed Term Staff

Location of Assignment: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Level: P-3

REMARKS: This is an extension of the application deadline in order to expand the candidate pool. Previous applicants need not reapply as their original application will be duly considered.

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Position

In Bangladesh, the UNICEF Innovations portfolio will focus on social innovations that will enhance the COs adolescent programming framework and address some of the key underlying inequities which includes gender, disabilities, and hard to reach areas. One of the key components of the job will be to reinforce adolescent participation and engagement and empower young girls and boys to come up with solutions that affect their lives. And to connect them to a range of partners from the government, to the UN, the private sector, academia and research organizations and others.

UNICEF Bangladesh is exploring the potential of launching U-Report, which is a mobile platform that is designed to empower young people in developing countries to speak out on issues that they care about in their communities, encourage citizen-led development and create positive change. With the new CPD focusing on adolescents at an outcome level, there will be an increased focus on ensuring adolescent participation and thus different platforms for engagement are being envisaged. The other area where innovations will be important is to address existing gender inequities in society. For instance, the CO has selected ending child marriage as its gender targeted priority. In line with the Regional Office’s innovations priorities (ending child marriage, birth registration and 1000 days of childhood to combat stunting), the CO aims to prioritize innovations to address the overall issue of adolescent participation and engagement with other solutions to address persisting inequities. Finally, this work will align itself with ongoing engagements on innovations which links with the Governance and Innovations Unit and the Access to Information Unit situated in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks

Under the general guidance of the Gender and Development Specialist and overall supervision of the Deputy Representative, with support provided by the Social Policy, Evaluations and Research section, as well as a connection to the global Office of Innovation, the incumbent will perform the following duties:

  • Coordinate BCO’s innovation portfolio which will include design and implementation of the CO’s innovation strategy/action plan in support of the 2017-2020 CPD.
  • Support the Outcome 3 programme group on adolescents to scale-up of Indonesia’s U-Report initiative, especially through active engagement and partnerships with local innovators, youth organizations, NGOs, cultural and religious organisations, the private sector, local media and academia towards increasing the user-base and effectiveness of the platform at a national level.
  • Coordinate with mobile telephone network service providers to ensure uninterrupted flow of incoming and outgoing messages for U-Report Bangladesh.
  • Identify opportunities for resource mobilisation and new partnerships and support proposal and partnership development efforts in close collaboration with the CO Communications and CSR Cluster, NYHQ Innovation Unit and Regional Office.
  • Proactively scout for new innovative ideas and opportunities, develop the space to nurture and test new and innovative ideas together with universities, youth networks and local entrepreneurs towards solving development challenges specific to UNICEF’s areas of work.
  • Train UNICEF staff, partner staff, government counterparts and other end users in the country in the use of innovation products and processes.
  • 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.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, Information Technology, or other relevant disciplines*.
  • At least five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in programme management, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Proven experience in working with adolescent and/or on youth related programmes.
  • A strong understanding of UNICEF’s mission and vision as well as its programmes through direct or indirect work experience with UNICEF.
  • Experience in project management 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 lead collaborative teams across different locations and with different technical skills.
  • 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.
  • Training and/or familiarity with information systems and communication technologies is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of an additional UN language (Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.

*A relevant first-level university degree (Bachelor’s), in combination with 2 years of additional relevant work experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication – Level II
  • Working with People – Level II
  • Drive for Results – Level II

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and Supervising – Level II
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts – Level II
  • Analyzing – Level II
  • Relating and Networking – Level II
  • Persuading and Influencing – Level II
  • Creating and Innovating – Level II

To view our competency framework, please click here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.


Advertised: Bangladesh Standard Time
Applications close: Bangladesh Standard Time

Download the complete Terms of Reference here

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