Job vacancy: Social Policy Officer, (NO-B), Colombo, Sri Lanka

          Social Policy Officer

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, how can you make a difference?

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
1. Improving use of public financial resources for children (PF4C)

• Supports budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to Ministry of Finance, planning commissions and social sector ministries to improve equitable allocations for essential services for children, and supports the preparation of budget briefs analyzing budget allocation trends for key social sectors.

• Contributes to technical notes on public finance for children to enhance knowledge, bring emerging issues and lessons learnt to light, and support increased investment for children

• Supports the identification of policy options for improved domestic financing of child-sensitive interventions.

• Works closely with government and other stakeholders to support the implementation of planned activities under PF4C stream and coordinates with external partners (government, CSO, researchers), including technical backstopping of studies and reports.

• Undertakes and builds capacities of partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability and effective financial flows for essential service delivery, including through support to district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation.

• Works with sector colleagues to build capacities to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments.

• Actively contributes to enhancing and further developing the Country Office’s PF4C workstream and advocacy strategy.

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

• Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty and on the situation of children in general, including strengthening national capacities to routinely collect, report and use data for policy decision-making.

• Supports timely and regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.

• 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

3. Strengthening the capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services
• Collaborates with central and local authorities to improve policies, planning, budgeting, consultation and accountability processes so that decisions and child-focused service delivery more closely responds to the needs of local communities.
• Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen capacity on quality data collection, analysis for policy development, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of essential social services, with emphasis on community participation and accountability.

4. Strengthening advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy and public finance
• 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.

5. Strengthening social protection coverage and impact on children

• Supports improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcome and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.

• Contributes to supporting the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention on the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
• Contributes to strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.

6. UNICEF Programme Management and supporting evidence generation initiatives and evaluations

• Helps manage and coordinate 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 the 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.

• In close coordination with the Regional Office, acts as evaluation manager/focal point for evaluations in the Country Office. Activities include

o Support to programme sections and the Country Office in conducting thematic evaluations, providing quality inputs to terms of reference, selecting consultants/service providers, reviewing key documents.

o Support to programme sections in in the drafting of evaluation management responses, follow up on the evaluation management responses with the programme sections for their completion, report the evaluation report and the management response on the studies and evaluation platform.

• Ensures quality inputs to end of the year reporting processors.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
• A university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.
• A minimum of two (02) years of relevant professional experience is required. Background and/or familiarity with emergencies is considered as a strong asset..
• Fluency in English and one local language (Sinhala or Tamil) is required. Knowledge of a second local language or an official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) 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…
• Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
• Works Collaboratively with others (1)
• Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
• Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
• Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
• Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
• Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

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. All selected candidates will, therefore, 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.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable applicants are encouraged to apply.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments are also 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 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.

If you think this position might be for you, please take the time to review our Country Office Mutual Agreements before you apply.

If you believe you can team member that can uphold these everyday, then we look forward to receiving and reviewing your application.

This is a re-advertisement and those who applied to the initial advert need to re-apply

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