Under the guidance and general supervision of the Chief, Education Section (Level 5), the Specialist supports the development and preparation of the Education program/s and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting the progress of education programs/projects related to early learning/Early Childhood Education (ECE) and out-of-school children (OOSC) within the country program. The Country Program is implemented in the provinces/areas of the country in a context of devolution.
The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of results on education programs/projects to improve learning outcomes and equitable and inclusive education, especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.
The Specialist contributes to 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.
To make a difference you will be accountable for the following key duties & tasks:
Support to program/project development and planning
- Support the preparation/design and conduct/update of situation analysis for the education programs/projects and/or sector to ensure that current comprehensive and evidence-based data on education issues are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, interventions and development efforts on education programs and to set priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans, with focus on early learning/ECE and OOSC. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance program management, efficiency and delivery.
- Participate in strategic program discussion on the planning of education programs/projects. Formulate, design and prepare programs/projects proposals for the sector related to early learning/ECE and OOSC, ensuring alignment with the overall UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Country Program and coherence/integration with UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
- Establish specific goals, objectives and strategies and implementation plans for the education sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for program review and approval.
- Work closely and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and partners at federal and provincial levels to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national and provincial priorities/competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
- Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programs/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
Program management, monitoring and delivery of results
- Plan and/or collaborate with Country Office and Field Office education staff, and other internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurement to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education programs, i.e. early learning/ECE and OOSC.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
- Prepare/assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in program and management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Actively monitor programs/projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Monitor and verify the optimum/appropriate use of sectoral program resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity and ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare regular/mandated program/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of program progress.
Technical and operational support to program implementation
- Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and country office partners/donors on interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on education and related issues to support program management, implementation and delivery of results.
- Arrange/coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely/appropriate support throughout the programming/projects process.
- Participate in education program meetings including program development and contingency planning to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
- Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic program materials for management use, information and/or consideration.
Networking and partnership building
- Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national and provincial stakeholders and global partners/allies/donors/academia on early learning/ECE and OOSC through active networking, advocacy and effective communication to build capacity, exchange knowledge/expertise and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results on education programs.
- Prepare communication and information materials for CO program advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for education programs.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on education and related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programs/projects ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Apply/introduce innovative approaches and good practice to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable program results related to early learning/ECE
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark and implement best practices in education management. 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 programs and projects.
- Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education and related programs/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An Advanced University Degree in education, economics, psychology, sociology or other social science field is required.
- A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in social development planning and management in education and related areas at the international level, including solid technical knowledge and experience in early learning/early childhood education, some of which preferably in a developing country is required.
- Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset.