Policy Specialist in Data, Research & Policy Division

New York City | Washington D.C

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

Job organizational context (Please describe the section’s structure and the location of this position and the supervisor’s position) :

The global development landscape is rapidly evolving and increasingly complex. As one of the major international organizations, UNICEF needs to closely monitor, systematically analyze and strategically influence changes in this landscape with the view to benefit children globally. Working closely with the Policy Planning Unit OIC, the Policy Specialist will provide forward-looking analysis and offer strategic guidance on emerging and long-term trends, their implications for child rights and wellbeing and relevant UNICEF’s strategic positioning.

Purpose for the job (Please outline the overall responsibility of this position)

Engaging colleagues across the organization, the Policy Planning Unit scans and analyses emerging trends to facilitate positioning by UNICEF.

The Policy Planning Specialist will undertake strategic analysis and develop policy options drawing on latest research and expertise as well as practical experience from UNICEF regional and country offices. S/he will keep abreast of the work of global thought leaders-leaders in the field of global development, and interact with relevant think tanks, academia and other stakeholders. S/he will contribute to keeping UNICEF staff well informed of these developments, using appropriate knowledge management tools, innovating as needed.

  1. Scanning. In collaboration with the PPU team and data science consultant, contribute to strengthening UNICEF’s capacity to systematically and timely identify emerging issues and trends. o Identify and test relevant scanning tools, o Strengthen external scanning network, o Develop data mining capacity, and o Leverage internal scanning forces

  2. Flagging and debating. In collaboration with the PPU team and relevant colleagues in other parts of the organization, contribute to the production of thought-pieces and digests on trends and emerging issues relevant to child-wellbeing to information senior management and staff of latest development; and organize debates on key emerging issues and trends engaging thought leaders, UNICEF staff and other partners. o Contribute to the production of 2 Horizons, o Organize 1 Conversation with Thought Leaders, and o Contribute to 1-2 deep dive studies.

  3. Engaging field colleagues. In collaboration with the PPU team and a consultancy firm, working closely with relevant Regional and Country Offices, conduct deep-dive studies on future trends, and support forward looking activities of Country Offices. o With relevant partners, contribute to the development of two scenario planning workshops, and o Support 2 country offices in the development of their next Country Development Programmes.

  4. Perform wide-ranging research and other assignments as requested. As necessary represent UNICEF in relevant conferences and foras as relevant.

The key results will strengthen the way that UNICEF undertakes scanning; debates emerging issues and their implications for its work; and integrates future thinking in its decision making and action as they relate to strategy, operations, and programming.

Advanced university degree in economics, political science, or other related discipline. At least 8 years of relevant professional work experience. Experience in analytical work in organizations concerned with development issues, with a record of technical publications. An understanding of UNICEF's catalytic role in advancing pro-poor, child friendly economic policies. Excellent writing skills necessary. Experience with foresight, trends analysis and system innovation is a strong asset. Fluency in English and another UN working language required


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City | Washington D.C
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2016-03-04

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