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.
Yet the current pace of progress for children will not get us to children-related SDGs targets. This, if left unaddressed, will leave tens of million children behind. Unprotected. Uneducated. Unfed. Unable to reach their full potential.
For every child, hope
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF’s Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world’s children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
- Connecting children, adolescent, and youth communities (or more broadly — anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
- Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach — in a traditionally risk-averse field — to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
- Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.
The Global Innovation Strategy 2.0 strategy and aims to achieve critical shifts in the way UNICEF currently works on innovation, building on what has been successful, while also addressing lessons learned and capitalizing on new opportunities. These critical shifts are:
- Setting global priorities based on the needs of children and young people, focusing on those areas with the largest need
- Focusing on scaling innovations
- Catalysing inventions where no known solution exists.
- Connecting the organization and convening critical stakeholders to solve the most pressing challenges facing children and young people.
These shifts will be enabled by:
- Taking a portfolio management approach
- Innovative funding and financing and the application of financial engineering
- Ensuring rapid learning and fostering collaboration
- Building innovation culture and competence across UNICEF.
The Office of Innovation is in the process of conducting a Mid-Term Review (MTR) to assess our strategy’s progress and explore potential staff structure adjustments. As a result, OOI is looking for a temporary position to manage the ongoing Health and Nutrition Innovation Portfolio. This role is available as a seven-month Temporary Appointment.
How can you make a difference?
You will work under the general direction of the P5 Senior Advisor, Innovation (Portfolio, Culture and Scale). You will follow guidance and supervision by the P4 Head, Innovation Portfolios & Governance, who leads on the global strategy, guidance, and governance around UNICEF’s innovation portfolios. You will work in close collaboration with other Portfolio Managers and the relevant thematic Programme Group to continue.
The Innovation Portfolio Continuity Manager will focus on the following:
- Sustain the Health & Nutrition innovation portfolios.
- Maintain existing Health & Nutrition innovation partnerships & relationships.
- Continue Health & Nutrition innovation advisory & support to regions and countries.
The post is responsible for:
- (In partnership with Programme Group and relevant stakeholders), maintain and manage the health Innovation portfolios (Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition) from problem identification to pipeline to scale, supporting the identification and scaling of critical solutions that will accelerate outcomes for children using the portfolio discipline and relevant approaches.
- Oversee and facilitate performance management for the portfolios overall, and reporting for specific relevant solutions within the Health & Nutrition innovation portfolios.
- Work with the Partnerships & Comms team to support existing global initiatives, resource mobilization and communications opportunities for the Health & Nutrition innovation portfolios.
- Play a leadership role around Health & Nutrition Innovation, continuing to support the progress made in establishing a potential health innovation hub and related global initiatives.
- Strategic support and other tasks for Office of Innovation.
Under the overall direction of the P5 Senior Advisor, Innovation (Portfolio, Culture and Scale) and supervision by P4 Head, Innovation Portfolios & Governance, the Innovation Portfolio Continuity Manager will:
- Work in close partnership with relevant thematic team in Programme Group, Divisions, Regions, Countries and any other identified OOI focal points to:
- Actively manage and update the problem statements that focus solving and scaling within the portfolios.
- Support the identified solutions in reaching short term goals and objectives.
- Collaborate, consult and have smooth flow of information sharing on an ongoing basis to support alignment of innovation and results for children in the relevant portfolios.
- In line with the parameters agreed by the Innovation Portfolio Approach and Governance Structure actively maintain the Health & Nutrition innovation portfolios, focusing time and resource on the innovation projects with greatest transformative potential. Key activities to achieve this include:
- Implement appropriate sourcing tactics for the portfolios, taking into account factors such as the degree of effective solving for each problem statement i.e. prioritize under-solved problems, and the opportunity to nurture a cohort of solutions that are together solving a problem in distinct ways i.e. manage as a cluster. Sourcing covers both external (non-UNICEF) and internal sources of innovation projects, including internal and external Venture Fund investments.
- Engage the global innovation governance structure for support moving forward.
- Manage the Sourcing & Stage Gates for the portfolios in line with agreed global governance processes.
- Provide, broker and source support for projects within the portfolios, enabling them to accelerate new approaches to solving. This will include generating evidence and insights, developing models for sustainable scale and effectively documenting and disseminating information for scale or replication. This may include providing direct advice or technical assistance to the project team, brokering support from other stakeholders within OOI / UNICEF / externally or oversight of a resource to undertake this work.
- Support the Partnerships & Comms team in ongoing resource mobilization priorities for the portfolios in general and for specific projects in the portfolios.
- Support the Comms team to enable them to identify content, plan for and communicate and regularly showcase the portfolios, global initiatives and their projects across a range of opportunities to raise profile, positioning and engagement and support for these and the Office of Innovation, through opportunities such as stories, media, social media, events, briefings etc.
- Scope and support portfolio metrics, evidence generation, KM and learning opportunities for the portfolios that will (i) generate evidence as to the results being achieved by projects in the portfolios; (ii) accelerate scaling and uptake of new innovations and (iii) support UNICEF’s approach to innovation portfolio management.
- With guidance and support from the MEELR team, undertake performance management, monitoring and reporting functions for the relevant innovation portfolios. This includes i) UNICEF Strategic Plan overall portfolio KPI (H6.1 and H6.2), ii) collaboratively defining and reporting regularly against OOI-defined internal portfolio management KPIs per OMP and other additional measures; iii) contribute to other regular reporting including but not limited to Monthly updates / quarterly / annual and donor reporting on their own schedules, reports at overall portfolio level and for key projects, with a focus on those receiving OOI-enabled funding and investment.
- In line with strategic direction, support the development of a strategic and conceptual design of the forthcoming innovation hub for Health and related global initiatives that addresses problems that UNICEF needs to solve to accelerate outcomes for children in this area. This will be an iterative process under the overall leadership of the Director, OOI, and in partnership with PPD, the relevant member state(s), relevant NatCom / CO, and other key stakeholders.
- Work collaboratively with the other core roles, fellow portfolio managers and Global Innovation Hub Leads to contribute to continuing vision to improve UNICEF’s overall approach to innovation portfolio management to achieve transformative and accelerated results for children through innovation.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: Healthcare (or related fields), Innovation-related field, International Relations, Business Administration, or another relevant technical field.
*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 eight (8) years of relevant professional experience is required at national and international levels in the areas of innovation, healthcare and/or social and economic development and cooperation.
- Experience working with UN agencies in innovation and similar areas.
- Demonstrated experience in innovation practice, spanning start-up to scaling innovations in relevant sector(s).
- Experience of designing and managing innovation portfolios is preferred.
- 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 Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values
UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.
During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.
All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.
Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
In case of any questions, please contact: email@example.com