Child Protection Specialist (Harmful Practices) at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Child Protection Specialist (Harmful Practices) NO-C, FT

Job no: 540898
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Level: NO-3
Categories: Child Protection, NO-3
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment

Job Summary
For every child, Protection

  • In Nigeria, UNICEF works in a complex humanitarian and development setting to fulfill and protect children’s rights in partnership with government, civil society, children and families.  UNICEF Nigeria is one of the largest UNICEF Country Offices globally – click the link to learn more about UNICEF in Nigeria: https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/.
  • We are looking for a Child Protection Specialist, to become part of a highly motivated and committed team of over 400 staff who work to bring visible changes in the lives of the most disadvantaged children in Nigeria.

Job Description
How can you make a difference?

  • Under the supervision and guidance of the Child Protection Manager, you will support the development and preparation of the Child Protection programme(s) in relation to Harmful Practices and be responsible for the management, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the child protection programmes/projects within the country programme.
  • You will provide technical guidance and management support throughout the harmful practices and gender programming processes, facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable contributions to national and international efforts to create a protective environment for children against all harm, and to protect their rights to survival, development and wellbeing as established under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international treaties/frameworks and UN intergovernmental bodies.
  • You will contribute to the achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key Responsibilities
Support to harmful practices programme/project development and planning:

  • Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the child protection programmes/projects to ensure that current and comprehensive data on child protection issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, and design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Track developments and trends in the data (both qualitative and quantitative) and consolidate and analyse the data to inform the Harmful Practices programme, results reporting and technical assistance needs.
  • Support in developing data collection efficiencies and synergies on child marriage across gender, child protection, education, C4D, social protection, and health indicators and systems.
  • Effectively participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of child protection programmes/projects to ensure the inclusion of evidence and programming on elimination of harmful practices.
  • Formulate, design and prepare programme/project proposals related to elimination of harmful practices, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s overall Strategic Plans, Gender Action Plan and the Country Programme, as well as coherence and integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans related to elimination of harmful practices using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results on elimination of harmful practices.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results on harmful practices:

  • Plan and collaborate with colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in child protection programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required actions and interventions to achieve results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management. Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
  • Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits, surveys and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations, procedures, donor commitments, as well as standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.

Technical and operational support to harmful practices programme implementation:

  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners and donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on  elimination of harmful practices related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Arrange and coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
  • Participate in child protection programme meetings to ensure integration of harmful practices, in programme development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated, to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration in relation to elimination of harmful practices.

Networking and partnership building on harmful practices:

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders, global partners, allies, donors, and academia – through active networking, advocacy and effective communication – to build capacity, exchange knowledge and expertise, and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results in child protection.
  • Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances and to support fund raising for child protection programmes and emergency interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on child protection related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects. Ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process for development planning and agenda setting.
  • Develop and maintain inter-agency relationships supporting the development of enhanced policy frameworks for the work around elimination of harmful practices.
  • Proactively build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with governments, UN system agency partners (UNFPA, WHO, UN Women), donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and the private sector in order to leverage these partnerships to achieve elimination of harmful practices.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building:

  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in context specific and  evidence informed interventions to scale up the response on elimination of harmful practices. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients and stakeholders to promote sustainable results in child protection and related programmes/projects.
  • Advance research, and identify research gaps, with key partners (e.g. UNFPA, WHO, UN Women), in the area of elimination of harmful practices, specifically in the formulation of policy and good practice
  • Tap effectively into girls’ empowerment and child marriage research, evidence, trends, and research networks in the fields on gender, child protection, education, health, C4D, and social protection.
  • Promote critical thinking and innovative approaches for elimination of harmful practices, keeping abreast of current research and introducing and implementing cutting-edge practices on child protection management information systems. Work to institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned, including in post-emergency and fragile settings.

Job Requirements
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • An advanced University Degree (Master’s or higher) in  International Development, Human Rights, Psychology, Sociology, International Law, or another relevant Social Science field related to harmful practices and gender issues.
  • *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection and gender related areas is required.
  • At least one year of professional experience in evidence-based programming on gender and harmful practices, with a cross-sectoral and adolescent girl focus is required.
  • Relevant experience in programme development in child protection and gender related areas in a UN system agency or organization is considered an asset.
  • Experience in research and analysis, and especially monitoring and evaluation on gender, adolescents and harmful practices is considered an asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

  • UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

Core Competencies
The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Application Closing Date
6th July, 2021. (W. Central Africa Standard Time)

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Important Information and Notice

  • UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
  • 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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles.
  • All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
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