Closing Date : 2020-02-23
Duty Station : Rome, Italy
Application : Apply for the job

Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Italy
Closing date: 23 Feb 2020

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.

And we never give up.

For every child, Data

Organizational Context and Purpose for the jobJob organizational context: The Office of Research-Innocenti (OoR-Innocenti) is the dedicated research office of UNICEF. It undertakes and commissions research on emerging or current issues of relevance for children in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programmes of UNICEF, Governments and their partners. The Office identifies research gaps, brings together existing researchers, and supports or undertakes research and data collection to address critical questions at country and global levels.Every Child has the right to learn. However, 53 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries cannot read and understand a simple story by the end of primary school-age. In poor countries, the learning poverty rate is as high as 80 percent. UNICEF vision for education is that every child learns , articulated in the 2019-2030 Education Strategy across three inter-related goals: (i) equitable access to learning opportunities; (ii) improved learning and skills for all; (iii) improved learning and protection for children in emergencies and transitions. The generation and use of robust research are key for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Education Strategy and the UNICEF Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 as reflected in the Priorities for research and data in support of UNICEF s Strategic Plan Using the power of evidence to drive change for children.

Data Must Speak (DMS), a programme led by UNICEF headquarters and implemented with Governments and UNICEF Regional Offices and Country offices since 2014, provides country-specific technical support and capacity strengthening to Ministries of Education and school communities for more effective and transparent data use at school and system levels. DMS also includes a research component whose new phase -led by OoR-Innocenti - has been approved for funding as part of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE)/International Development Research Center (IDRC) global programme for Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX).

Despite the learning crisis, even in the most difficult contexts, there are some diamonds, the positive deviant schools, those that are outperforming (in terms of learning, gender and equity) other schools in the same context and with the same resources. Unfortunately, most of the time, the positive deviant schools are not identified and very little is known about the positive deviant practices and behaviours active in those schools (or around) that make them performing better than the others. And even less is known about the implementation gap in service delivery: how to incentivize and scale up these positive deviant practices and behaviours in the less performing schools.

The DMS new research component has been designed to address these gaps in evidence generation and use at country level for policy and implementation changes, using mixed-methods including quantitative research, behavioral and scaling science and implementation research.Purpose of the post:The Office aims to strengthen its capacity and resources to deliver the production and use of high-quality research within the DMS global programme. The post holder will coordinate and manage the implementation of the DMS research component in the eight participating countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Nepal, Niger, Togo and Zambia). The post-holder will work with Governments counterparts, DMS partners (GPE, IDRC and others) and UNICEF colleagues in the Office of Research, Headquarters, Regional and Country offices to build on the existing research and to develop new ones. The role will also involve mobilizing additional resources for the generation of DMS research and data and their utilization by decision and policy makers at country level.The position will report to the Chief, Education, Office of Research, Florence Italy

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks:1. Coordination and management of the DMS research component (60%) Plan, implement and coordinate DMS research in the participating countries. Plan and implement research design -including ethical implications- through co-creation with Government counterparts, implementing partners and other potential beneficiaries of the research. Supervise and coordinate research field work in the participating countries. Manage researcher consultants to deliver research in a timely and efficient manner, including through quality assurance of concept notes, research proposals and deliverables.2. Resource mobilization and partnerships for DMS research (20%) Develop proposals and mobilize resources to support DMS research and its use. Establish and maintain partnerships and participate in networks of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the areas supported by DMS (education management information systems/administrative education data; learning assessment; education sector analysis; education sector planning; school typologies). Prepare inputs and participate in relevant conferences, workshops and meetings, including through effective dissemination of key research outcomes for effective use at country level.3. Technical guidance and support to Governments and UNICEF Regional and Country Offices and (15%) Strengthen the capacity of Government counterparts and UNICEF field offices for co-creation design and implementation of research in the areas supported by DMS. Provide guidance and quality assurance of DMS research to Governments and UNICEF field offices. Strengthen and support the use of DMS research for policy dialogue and capacity strengthening of Government and Implementing partners at country level.4. Contribution to the Office of Research work programme and support to the cross-cutting research agenda (5%) Contribute to the overall research activities of the Office and to the use of their findings by policy and decision makers at country level. Participate in and/facilitate interdisciplinary research through involvement in selected cross functional teams and consultations, including Annual Results report and participation in office seminars. Contribute to the development of joint proposals and contribute to fundraising for research and evidence. Act as a resource person for key UNICEF meetings and advocacy activities as requested by the supervisor.Impact of Results: Evidence is used to inform Government s, Implementing Partners and UNICEF s education policies and programmes. The post holder will ensure that research findings are reliable and can be used to inform the achievement of UNICEF and UN mandates related to child rights in all settings. The incumbent will contribute to expanding the evidence base around the design of effective DMS programmes and policies. This rigorous evidence will inform governments, the international community in general, and UNICEF in particular, on how to strengthen education systems and improve their impact on learning and other development outcomes.

Recruitment Qualifications:

Education:Advanced university degree in education, economics, social policy or other social sciences.Experience:A minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional work experience at national or international levels in education, with low/middle-income country level experience essential; Demonstrated experience in management and coordination of complex programmes; Demonstrated experience and knowledge of some of the education areas related to DMS research: education management information systems/administrative education data; learning assessment; education sector analysis; education sector planning; school typologies; Experience in statistics, quantitative and qualitative research design (incl. behavioral and scaling science, and/or implementation research) an asset; Demonstrated experience in fundraising and resource mobilization; Demonstrated ability to work well as part of a team and to forge and manage partnerships; Excellent written and oral communication skills; Commitment to UNICEF s core values of care, respect, integrity, transparency and accountability; Ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment. Experience working in the UN or other international development organization an asset.Language Requirements: Fluency in English required; Fluency in French highly desirable as four out of the eight countries are francophone.

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

Competencies and level of proficiency required:Drive for results (2)Working with people (2)Communication (2)Leading and supervising (2)Formulating strategies/concepts (2)Analyzing (3)Relating and networking (2)Deciding and initiating action (2)Applying Technical Expertise (3)Planning and Organizing (2)

View our competency framework at

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.

How to apply:

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 organization. To apply, click on the following link

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