Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Job no: 551050
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Freetown
Level: P-4
Location: Sierra Leone
Categories: Innovation

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, innovation.

Please access UNICEF Sierra Leone information here and  here

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Deputy Representative, the Innovation Specialist provides professional, technical, operational and administrative support in the identification, assessment, and integration of appropriate Innovative approaches and technologies into UNICEF programming. The Innovation Specialist is responsible for strengthening internal capacity to support Innovation related projects and to work in identifying and engaging with Government, UN, NGO and private sector partners on Innovation projects. The Innovation Specialist is responsible for coordinating ongoing Innovation projects and for providing support in the planning and implementation of innovation initiatives, particularly those in support of Project Giga, Reimagine Education and GenU.

Policy and Strategy Development

  • Provide support to the Innovation strategy for the country offices; including assessment of Innovation gaps, opportunities and scale-up strategy in support of the Country Program. 
  • Support the Integration of Innovation into the programme planning lifecycle. Align with programme priorities (AWP etc.). 
  • Oversee development and quality assurance during planning and deployment of Innovation initiatives; participate in establishing and maintaining standards, documentation and support mechanisms for Innovation projects. 

Technical Support to Programmes

  • Manage Business and Programme Relationship services to define high-level requirements; document and match requirements and guide the design, development and deployment of appropriate solutions. 
  • Lead deployment of Innovation and technology processes and products prioritised for UNICEF programming globally.
  • Provide support and technical assistance to the Country Office in the identification, selection, concept design, deployment and sustainability of Innovation interventions to address bottlenecks towards the achievement of country programme results. 
  • Assist programme sections to identify and assess new initiatives, or new phases of on-going initiatives, with immediate potential to improve UNICEF programming in service delivery and/or monitoring evaluation. 
  • Assist the review of technical solutions to ensure UNICEF standards are followed; contribute to project management processes, generation and review of terms of reference and vendor selection. 

Capacity Building

  • Work directly with section chiefs to co-create strategies on how innovation can support the country programme. 
  • Participate as resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies, capacity and knowledge within the programmes on digital development; train UNICEF staff, partners, government counterparts and other end users in digital development and innovation. 


  • Support the Development partnerships and networks with local solution providers, innovators, NGOs, cultural and religious organizations, the private sector, local media and academia to build and provide a space to nurture and test new and innovative technologies and processes and to build local capacity. 
  • Identify opportunities for resource mobilization and new partnerships and lead proposal and partnership development efforts in close collaboration with Country Office and Government focal points. 
  • Provide technical and operational support to a wide range of stakeholders and partners on UNICEF policies, practices, standards and norms on technology for development and Innovation. 
  • Work with stakeholders to help develop standards, procedures and partnerships for T4D interventions and their transition to relevant Government and Civil Society Institutions. 
  • Work effectively with relevant Government MDA(s) to help develop standards, procedures and partnerships for T4D interventions and their transition to relevant Government and Civil Society Institutions. 

Knowledge Management

  • Identify, capture, synthesize and share lessons learned from Innovation for integration into broader knowledge development planning and management efforts including from other countries via the global and regional networks available within UNICEF. 
  • Ensure documentation and clear monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for innovation and Innovation projects including baseline data collection, on-going monitoring, as well as first phase data collection and analysis. 
  • Contribute and share to regional and global digital development and technology innovation networks and activities. 

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An Advanced University degree in information technology management, business administration, international relations, community development or other related social science field. A first University degree in a relevant field combined with ten years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University degree.
  • Eight (8) years professional experience in designing and implementing solutions for large-scale, national level technical projects – including supervising engineers and software developers; responsibility for budgets, contracts and procurement, etc.
  • Experience in supporting and coordinating social development analysis and programming activities across large organizations and with other international partner organizations.
  • Experience with ICT hardware, mobile phones and web-based technologies, particularly designing or deploying tools appropriate to low-bandwidth environments.
  • Experience with RapidPro, OpenSRP, DHIS2, ODK and other global public good technologies, and deploying, maintaining and rolling out these technologies is highly desirable. Experience working in a developing country required, experience in the West African region is considered as an asset.
  • Experience in a UN organization is 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).

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)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.


UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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 may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). 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.


Advertised: 16 May 2022 Greenwich Standard Time
Deadline: 29 May 2022 Greenwich Standard Time