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Senior Advisor, Education (Digital Learning) (P5), FT #117475, Education, Programme Group, NYHQ
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: P5, Chief and Senior Professional
Job Expired 4 Oct 2021
Added 1 month ago
Job Description

Note: Programme Group (PG) is currently undergoing organizational changes, therefore the exact location of the post is still under consideration.  As such, the selected candidate has the option of starting the assignment remotely or should the candidate move to New York, s/he would be expected to relocate to another location as the case may be, during the contractual period.  

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.

You will provide technical leadership on the  Reimagine Education (digital learning) agenda.  You will lead the World Class Digital Learning Solutions pillar of Reimagine Education and coordinate all five pillars of the initiative including Digital Learning; Engagement of Young People, Connectivity, Affordability, Devices.  Specifically, Reimagine Education is a cross-cutting UNICEF priority which requires collaboration across the organization, including with GIGA and the Innovations Team to support connecting every school and community to the internet; ICTD and Supply Division to provide guidance on innovative financing and procurement of devices for learning;  PFP and the MNO Working Group to foster partnerships that support sustainable and affordable solutions to data, including zero-rating; and ADAP as part of the new Education Group to engage young people as co-creators and agents of change. Finally, Reimagine Education includes Generation Unlimited as a key role to convene partners around this vision and to support country offices with catalytic investments on digital learning.


For every child, good health……

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Global Director, Education, you will play a technical leading role in advancing UNICEF global results and initiatives on digital learning.  Specifically, you will oversee and provide strategic direction to:

  • Deliver at scale digital learning tools and platforms, including scale-up of the flagship Microsoft-UNICEF Learning Passport;
  • Maintain a focus on quality learning, equity, and access in digital learning and skills, eg. by rolling out digital solutions (including UNICEF’s Digital Learning Toolkit) to enable country offices to reach scale;
  • Work across teams in the Education Group, including ADAP, and collaborate closely with cross-cutting programs, including Disabilities and Gender;
  • Forge key partnerships with the public and private sectors and with other UN agencies, coordinating with Generation Unlimited, supporting the Office of the Executive Director on this corporate priority, and positioning UNICEF as a global thought leader in EdTech in development and humanitarian contexts. 

In addition, this new post will be responsible for supporting key elements of the new Strategic Plan by embracing change strategies, in particular digital transformation and innovation, which will contribute to the long-term result that “every child, including adolescents, learns and acquires skills for the future.”

How can you make a difference?


Tasks will include the following: 

Programme development and planning
- Set priorities, strategic direction, design and implementation plans for the digital learning portfolio. Keep abreast of global development trends to enhance programme management, technical rigor and effectiveness. 

- Participate in strategic programme discussion with education donors and partners on the technical aspects specific to digital learning programming.

- Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the subsector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Education Strategy, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.

- Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for digital learning using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.

- Work closely and collaboratively with internal colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine global priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.  Ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

Advisory services and technical support

- Provide authoritative technical guidance on digital learning across all UNICEF’s education programs, including interaction with regional offices, key government officials, NGO’s, other UN agencies, and partners on policies, strategies, best practices and approaches and other related issues.


- Coordinate and ensure the availability of technical experts (with Regional Offices) to ensure timely support to countries.

- Influence global policy and agenda setting for digital learning.

- Prepare and coordinate policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, advocacy and policy dialogue.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

- Build and strengthen strategic partnerships education through networking and advocacy with national governments, UN system agency partners, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organizations, research institutes and private sector to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities to promote goals and achieve sustainable and broad results on education.

- Prepare communication strategies, develop assets and implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances for sustainable education results and support fund raising for UNICEF Country Offices education programmes and emergency interventions.

- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency discussions and planning on education and related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered. Collaborate with partners across education agencies on planning and preparation of joint initiatives and advocacy.


Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

- Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable programme initiatives through advocacy and technical advisory services.

- Keep abreast, research, benchmark, introduce and implement best and cutting-edge practices on education systems strengthening. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned.

- Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.

- Organize, plan and implement global and regional capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of UNICEF staff to promote sustainable results on Secondary education and related programmes/projects.

Programme and staff management, monitoring of results

- Effectively supervise and manage staff and consultants working on digital learning, including performance management and progress monitoring, ensuring results are achieved according to work plan and critical issues are resolved in timely fashion.

- Establish annual work plan, including developing strategies, determining priorities, and performance measurements.

- Support the overall Education Section through regular participation in relevant meetings, development of briefing material, technical reviews, input to section reports and other documents and processes as needed. 

- Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.

- Actively monitor programmes/projects through country level engagement, and exchange information with stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues

- Manage the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources

To qualify as a champion for every child, the candidate must have…

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, human development, economics, psychology, sociology or another relevant technical field.
  • Ten years of professional experience work experience at national and international levels developing, implementing and supporting education programming. Proven experience in coordination and partnerships including inter-institutional coordination.
  • The following technical competencies: Excellent understanding, expertise and experience in digital learning; good understanding of the overall global development context; good knowledge of global developments in education and international engagement strategies; good ability to support policy dialogue; good education sector planning knowledge/ability; good education and policy sector analysis capacity; good ability to support engagement with partners; good understanding of gender and inequity issues; good understanding of policies and strategies to address issues related to early learning in the context of conflict and emergencies as well as risk analysis and risk management
  • 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 core values of Care, Respective, Integrity, Trust and Accountability.

For more information on remuneration and benefits, please visit UNICEF’s Entitlements’ page.  If you would like to find estimates for entitlements, you may use the online Salary Estimate Calculator


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, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, 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.

“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

This job is no longer available.