Download the complete Terms of Reference here
Title: Innovations Specialist
Work Type: Fixed Term Staff
Location: Malaysia
Level: P-3

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.

Since 1954, UNICEF Malaysia Country Office (MCO) has worked with the Government and the people of Malaysia and has helped to transform the lives of children across the nation. While much progress has been made towards the development, well-being, and rights of children in Malaysia, significant challenges remain and new barriers are continuously emerging.

Purpose of the Position

Innovation is a core UNICEF strategy for delivering better, faster and more impactful results for children. As a global champion of child rights and well-being, UNICEF has a unique ability to convene partners from across both public and private sectors – offering a powerful opportunity to shape Malaysia’s social innovation landscape around the greatest challenges facing children and young people.

Under the supervision of the Country Representative, the Innovation Specialist is responsible for developing the innovation portfolio, building in-country capacity in design thinking, managing activities under the cross-cutting innovation strategy (including U-Report, RapidPro and the Social Innovation Lab) and mainstreaming innovation as a core strategy across each of the UNICEF programme sections within the Country Office.

Key Expected Results

1. Provide on-going technical support to programme and communication colleagues to support mainstreaming innovation as a core strategy of the Country Programme. More specifically, assist in the identification of appropriate products or processes to accelerate the attainment of specific results for children which address identified issues, promote their Rights, development and wellbeing; Build the capacity of UNICEF staff, partner staff, government counterparts and other end users in the country in the use of these products and processes – notably design thinking to ensure sustainable solutions to issues affecting children.

2. Coordinate and support development and testing of innovation products and processes to strengthen and improve efficiency and effectiveness of UNICEF’s programming, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and communication. More specifically, oversee deployment and national scale-up of U-Report, a mobile-based youth participation and advocacy platform, and provide technical support for deployment of RapidPro, to enable real-time information collection (including negotiations with mobile network companies and other service providers).

3. Develop partnerships and network with local innovators, youth organizations, NGOs, cultural and religious organisations, the private sector, local media and academia to build and provide a space to nurture and test new and innovative ideas, develop the next generation of thought leaders and build local capacity.

4. Proactively scout for new, innovative ideas, opportunities and partnerships to deliver better, faster, more impactful results within the context of the new Country Programme 2016-2020 and, in collaboration with the Representative, promote UNICEF as a major player in innovation and social financing in Malaysia.

5. Coordinate and provide support on overall innovation strategy/action plan, including formulation, design, planning and implementation in close collaboration with Global Innovation Centre, NYHQ Innovation Unit and Regional Office where applicable.

6. Advise on and lead, in cooperation with PM&E and the Chief, C4D and Public Advocacy, effective and innovative ways to present and package data to promote evidence-based decision-making and support C4D objectives.

7. Co-lead implementation of Social Innovation Lab activities in Malaysia, including actively looking for funding and partnership opportunities and support other partner organizations innovation lab outcomes as they pertain to children, through coaching and mentorship.

8. 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.

9. Represent the Country Office in the UNICEF global/regional innovation network for information sharing and leverage experiences of innovation colleagues in other Country Offices as well as at the global level.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advance university degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, Information Technology, or other relevant disciplines*.
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at the national and international levels in programme management, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience in programme design, management and direct implementation of Innovation initiative(s) is required. Experience implementing U-Report and/or engaging with young people would be an asset.
  • Experience in applying design thinking to social sector challenges is essential. Experience in start-up companies/organisations is considered an asset. Entrepreneurial failures are considered as valuable experience.
  • Experience in project management and rolling out of large scale projects especially in hard to reach areas in developing countries is highly desirable. Familiarity with the UN system is an asset.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required. Knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) and/or the local language of the duty station is considered 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.

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.

Opening Date 26 Sep 2016 Singapore Standard Time
Closing Date 11 Oct 2016 Singapore Standard Time

Download the complete Terms of Reference and read about required competencies here

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