UNICEF Job Vacancy : Social Policy Specialist


Categories: Social and Economic Policy, P-4

Pay Grade: P-4

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.

Purpose of the Position

Under the general guidance and direction of the Chief of Social Policy, this post is responsible for managing and supervising all aspects of UNICEF Somalia’s Social Protection engagement, and providing support and oversight to mainstream social inclusion and gender activities across all UNICEF Somalia programmes. This role includes a strong emphasis on programing and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (b) social protection coverage and impact on children; (c) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; (d) governance, decentralization and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services; and (e) policies and programmes to increase the social and economic inclusion of marginalized populations. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, emergency, child protection, water and sanitation, and related areas.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability and increased use for policy and programme action

  • Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
  • Analyzes the macroeconomic context and its impact on social development, emerging issues and social policy concerns, as well as implications for children, and proposes and promotes appropriate responses in respect of such issues and concerns, including government resource allocation policies and the effect of social welfare policies on the rights of children

Providing technical support for gender programming for children in line with UNICEF Gender Action Plan (GAP)

  • Provide management and advisory support to the Country Management Team (CMT), program coordination team and sectoral colleagues to ensure the strategic integration of gender into program documents, planning documents, and program implementation
  • Identify results areas in gender for the country program, and assist sectoral areas in achieving results through technical assistance, and capacity building.
  • Provide high quality gender analysis, programmatic reporting and support to the Country Office, Regional Office and Headquarters as requested, and actively participate in UNICEF’s gender network as well as represent UNICEF in UN/NGO and Government lead gender networks/taskforce
  • Support the development of adequate gender data, monitoring and evaluation processes in the Country Office, including building best practice examples and innovative research in gender programming in Somalia

Providing technical support for strategic planning and direction for social protection programming in Somalia

  • Advises key national and state government officials, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners on policies, strategies, approaches and best practices on social protection, to support program development planning, management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Participates in country program planning, preparation and review to formulate, design, manage, and communicate social protection programmes, including setting priorities and results-based management goals.
  • Leads technical engagement with partners in government and the development community on improving social protection response in protracted crises. This includes advocacy for flexible programming modalities and close cooperation with emergency/humanitarian teams for joint social protection-humanitarian response.

Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children

  • Supports the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
  • Leads social protection coordination forums as a tool for advocacy and technical leadership on social protection in Somalia. These include, inter alia, the social protection component of the Somalia-Donor Aid Coordination mechanisms, an informal social protection donor working group, and a UN-NGO working group focused on moving beyond cash-based programming in prolonged crises.
  • Undertakes improved monitoring and research around social protection’s potential impact on child outcomes, and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.
  • Provides consistent and high-quality training and capacity building for government partners on social protection theory, systems, and programming.

Improving use of public financial resources for children

  • Undertakes budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to Ministries of Finance, planning commissions and social sector ministries to improve equitable allocations for essential services for children. Works with sector colleagues to build capacity to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments.
  • Supports the identification of policy options for improved domestic financing of child-sensitive social protection interventions.

Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy

  • Supports correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the social policy programme and the country programme overall.
  • Establishes effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.

UNICEF Programme Management

  • Manages and coordinates technical support around child poverty, social protection, public finance and governance ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensures risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, Cooperating Partners, and governments.
  • Supports and contributes to effective and efficient planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the country programme. Ensures that the social planning project enhances policy dialogue, planning, supervision, technical advice, management, training, research and support; and that the monitoring and evaluation component strengthens monitoring and evaluation of the social sectors and provides support to sectoral and decentralized information systems.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate


Advanced university degree in Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or other relevant disciplines.


  • Minimum of eight years of relevant professional work experience is required
  • Strong substantive technical, programmatic, and research skills in gender and development, and a proven ability to integrate gender into programmatic responses
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is required.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience leading social protection engagements with government in fragile or low-income states is required.
  • A strong record of high-quality research and/or publications would be an advantage.

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication
  • Working with People
  • Drive for Results

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and supervising (II)
  • Formulating strategies and concepts (II)
  • Analyzing (III)
  • Relating and networking (II)
  • Persuading & Influencing (II)
  • Planning & Organizing (III)

How to Apply

Submit your CV and Application online : Click Here