Social Policy Specialist (Public Finance) at UNICEF


Social Policy Specialist (Public Finance), P3, Maseru, Lesotho

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, 

I.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:

The Social Policy Specialist (Public Finance) will be reporting to the Chief of Social Policy who is at level 4.

Purpose for the job:

Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social policy 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) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; and (d) governance and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity in public finance management. 

II. Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks 

Summary of key functions/accountabilities: 

1. Improving generation of data on budget allocation, expenditure, transparency and accountability for increased use for policy and programme action.

• Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on budget allocation and spending, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.

• Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis to track equity in public expenditure to inform improved budget prioritization, planning, and spending.

• 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 effects of social welfare policies on the rights of children.

2. 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 services interventions.

3. Strengthening capacity of national and sub-national structures for improved budget processes

• 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 respond to the needs of local communities.

• Undertakes and builds capacity 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.

• Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen their 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.   Strengthened Networking and partnerships for child-sensitive budgeting

• 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 child sensitive budget that is transparent. 

• Promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates participation of citizens in budget processes.

• Collaborates and works with civil society to influence budget transparency, accountability and equitable allocation for children.

• Collaborates with UNICEF sectoral colleagues to facilitate participation of citizen especially children to influence implementation of equitable allocation and spending, including accessibility of budget  information.

5.   UNICEF Programme Management

• Manages and coordinates technical support around 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.

III. Competencies and level of proficiency required 
Core Value

 Commitment 
 Diversity and inclusion
 Integrity

Core competencies

 Communication (II)
 Working with people (II)
 Drive for results (II)

Functional Competencies:

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

IV. Recruitment Qualifications


An advanced 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 five years of relevant professional work experience is required. 

Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset.

Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as a strong asset.

Language Requirements: 

Fluency in English is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is considered as an asset

V. How to apply

Interested and qualified candidates are requested to submit their application to the following link: by 20 January 2019.

This notice will appear on, and on UN Job List, UN Jobs.

Qualified women are encouraged to apply.

This vacancy announcement is opened to qualified Internationals Only.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

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.

Opening Date Thu Dec 20 2018 09:00:00 GMT+0200 (South Africa Standard Time) South Africa Standard Time
Closing Date Sun Jan 20 2019 23:55:00 GMT+0200 (South Africa Standard Time) 

Apply here!