United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Chief Education P5, FT, Niamey – Niger #11312
Job no: 528229
Position type: Fixed Term Appointment
Location: Niger Division/Equivalent: Dakar (WCAR), Senegal
Department/Office: Niamey, Niger
Categories: Education, P-5
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, a champion
Niger has made progress for children in the past decade, including a drop in the under-5 mortality rate from 109 to 85 per 1,000 live births between 2012 and 2017. However, according to the 2016 Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis, two thirds of children under the age of 5 years experience at least four deprivations simultaneously. The security situation has deteriorated in a number of border areas because of violent extremist groups in Burkina Faso, Mali and north-eastern Nigeria and inter-community conflicts exacerbated by competition for natural resources. Niger has one of the youngest and fastest-growing (almost 4 per cent annually) populations in the world, estimated at 20.65 million in 2017, with 58.2 per cent under the age of 18 years. With the population doubling every 20 years, expanding coverage of social services while increasing quality is a core challenge. Social and gender norms also present significant challenges for children.
In education, as a result of significant investments since 2012, the number of children enrolled in primary school has increased by 35 per cent, which corresponds to the growth rate of the target population. Nonetheless, education levels remain exceptionally low. The preschool enrolment rate is just 7 per cent. Over 50 per cent of children aged 7 to 16 years are not in school (girls: 56.3 per cent; rural: 59 per cent). Fewer than 60 per cent of primary school students enter secondary school, and although enrolment in lower secondary has nearly doubled since 2012, only 20 per cent of students complete the cycle. Gender parity in secondary school remains a distant objective, with a gender parity index of 0.7. Fewer than 8 per cent of children at the end of primary school have acquired acceptable literacy and numeracy skills. Safety concerns, the distance to school and child marriage prevent parents from enrolling their children.
The UNICEF country programme 2019-2021 supports the Government so that all children, especially the most vulnerable, enjoy their rights; adolescents and youth are empowered; communities and systems are strengthened and resilient; and humanitarian assistance and development address the structural causes of fragility and vulnerability. In education, UNICEF supports the Government to improve access to quality education for all children, particularly girls, the most vulnerable and those living in crisis situations, including in the second decade of life. Interventions to improve the quality of education focus on strengthening the monitoring of student learning and improving the pedagogical and leadership capacities of principals and teachers to improve teaching practices. UNICEF advocates for greater efficiency and accountability of the government budget allocated to education and contributes to strengthening capacities to implement the education sector plan at central and decentralized levels.
UNICEF works to boost ministerial capacities, especially at the decentralized levels, to better collect and use data for planning and monitoring and to operationalize strategies on girls education, alternative education for out-of-school children and skills training for youth. Innovative approaches are being modelled and documented for evidence generation and scaling-up. Behavioural and social change interventions, including community mobilization, are emphasized to generate demand for early childhood and girls education.
How can you make a difference?
The Chief Education is responsible for managing and leading all stages of education programs/projects from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of results on strengthening national education systems to improve learning outcomes, universal access to and equitable and inclusive primary/early childhood education and renewing involvement in secondary education especially, for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.
The Chief is responsible for leading and managing and establishing the plans of action to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable programs/projects results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.
Key Accountabilities and Tasks
- Establish the Section’s annual work plan with the education team; set priorities/targets and performance measurement. Monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.
- Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team.
- Supervise team members by providing them with clear objectives and goals and direction and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently.
2)Program development and planning
- Lead and support the planning and conduct of situation analysis to ensure that current comprehensive and evidence based data are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programs and to set program priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans.
- Keep abreast of national/regional/international development priorities on education to leverage UNICEF position and competencies with donors, national governments, communities and constituents to advocate/promote education initiatives and policies.
- Lead, coordinate and supervise the development of education programs/projects (as a full component of the CO and/or UNDAF programs). Establish plans of action, program goals and results, using results-based planning methodology and terminology (RBM).
- Oversee the timely preparation of program recommendation and related documentation for inclusion in the Country Office Program recommendation ensuring alignment with the overall UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
- Consult and collaborate with national/global colleagues/partners/allies to develop partnerships framework to address specific needs and to leverage resources for enhancing up education programs/projects. Ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of programs/projects with UNICEF Strategic Plans and priorities, donors’ development strategies/policies, national priorities/competencies and UN System development interventions/initiatives.
3 ) Program management, monitoring and quality control of results
- Coordinate, plan and/or collaborate with monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on education programs.
- Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to engage stakeholders to take required action/interventions to achieve results.
- 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.
- Monitor programs/projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Plan, approve, monitor and control the use of program resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Submit program/project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on program progress and critical issues.
4)Advisory services and technical support
- Provide technical advice to key government officials, NGO, UN system and other country office partners on strategies and best practices to influence approaches/policies and to support social/economic/political/legal development planning, implementation and delivery of results on education and other related issues.
- Coordinate/ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Office/HQ) to ensure timely support throughout all stages of programming/project processes.
- Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for combating all forms of discrimination against children by advising on and advocating strategies and approaches that promote universal access to and equitable and inclusive education for children in the country.
5)Advocacy, networking and partnership building
- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organization, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities, leverage funds, to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education learning outcomes and equity and inclusiveness.
- Develop communication strategies and implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances for sustainable results and support fund raising for UNICEF and Country Office education programs.
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF development planning and agenda setting process. Collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues the UNDAF planning and preparation of programs/projects including emergency preparedness.
6)Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Promote critical thinking and innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable education programs/projects initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.
- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting edge practices on education programs and management. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned.
- Lead and/or develop policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programs and projects.
- Lead/plan/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 haveÂ…
- An Advanced University Degree (Master’s or higher) in education, economics, psychology, sociology or other social science field is required
- Minimum of ten years of progressively responsible relevant work experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education at the international level, some of which preferably in a developing country is required.
- Experience working in the UN system agency or organization is an asset. Familiarity with emergency response is an asset.
- Fluency in French and English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (e. Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish) or a local language is an asset
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are…
Leading and supervising
Relating and networking
Deciding and initiating action
Persuading and influencing
Technical competencies must be demonstrated in most of the following areas:
- In-depth understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, conflict and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and inter-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Social Policy, Child Protection, Nutrition, WASH, Health and Communications within UNICEF).
- Extensive knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity lens and human rights perspectives to programming.
- Strong ability to undertake policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programmes and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas.
- Strong education sector planning knowledge/ability, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g. ECD, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components and processes, as well as governance issues.
- Strong education policy and sector analysis capacity, including understanding of the core education data sets, indicators, tools for analysis of equity, determinants of student access and learning, budget, cost and financing, education system management, political economy and the ability to apply those to education policy and strategic planning.
- Rigorous programme management in education, including programme design, costing, monitoring and evaluation (including areas like classroom assessment, standardized learning assessment, examinations, impact evaluation) and reporting.
- Strong ability to engage with partners (e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters, Education Provider Forums, Delivering as One, Inter-sectoral partnerships such as in ECD), as well as networking with other key partners.
- Strong understanding of gender and inequity issues in relation to education and development and the application of gender / equity analysis to policy and planning in education.
- Good understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to resilience for CO and RO based post and where relevant: risk analysis and risk management, education in conflict situations, natural disasters, and recovery.
View our competency framework at
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
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.
Advertised: Dec 06 2019 W. Central Africa Standard Time Application close: Dec 21 2019 W. Central Africa Standard Time