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Internal & External: Social Policy Specialist - Social Protection and Disability, P-4, FT #117176, PG, NYHQ
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: P-4, Mid-level Professional
Job Expired 24 Jan 2022
Added 3 weeks ago
Job Description

Note: Programme Group (PG) is currently undergoing organizational changes, therefore the exact location of the post is still under consideration.  Currently, the post is based in New York but in case the location of the post will change, s/he would be expected to work remotely 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.

This post sits within the Social Policy and Social Protection Programme team UNICEF HQ, and reports to the Chief,  Social Protection and Poverty Analysis, with secondary supervisor the Senior advisor - Global Lead on Disability in Programme Group Leadership Team.  The Social Policy and Social Protection Programme team contributes to UNICEF’s strategic results on child poverty, social protection, public finance and local governance. It will routinely liaise with regional social policy advisors and the global social policy network; the Disability Global lead and Hub, other Programme Division sections; Public Partnerships Division (PPD); Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring (DAPM); and country offices as appropriate. It will also engage with external partners including the World Bank, the ILO and the Social Protection Inter-Agency Committee Board (SPIAC-B), and the International Disability Alliance and its members among others civil society organizations. The position works in close collaboration with the Disability hub to support specific GA5 Strategic Plan results to improve access to inclusive social protection through effective inclusion of children with disabilities and displaced children in social protection programmes.


For every child, hope…

Under the general guidance of the supervisor, you will provide technical leadership on disability and social protection, including in fragile and conflict-affected contexts by positioning UNICEF as the lead agency on social protection and disability through partnership-building; advocacy and thought leadership; and leading the programmatic work, guidance, technical support and capacity building to meet the core accountabilities laid out in the GA5 Strategic Plan on social protection for children with disabilities. You will support the systems strengthening, partnerships, evidence and knowledge management, and innovation change strategies of GA5.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance of the Chief of Chief Social Protection and Poverty Analysis, and in close coordination with the Disability Hub, the Social Policy Specialist (Social Protection and Disabilities) will be responsible for the following functions:

  1. Support strategy, thought leadership, and policy analysis to lead an organizational change on disability and social protection
  • Monitor and track progress against the strategic results set for organizational change towards disability and social protection, ensuring that UNICEF has a clear vision and is able to measure progress against core accountabilities in the new Strategic Plan Advocate for social protection and disability as a critical component of UNICEF’s work, and central to its mandate to protect and promote the rights of children with disabilities as part of the wider leave no one behind agenda and rights-based agenda of the SDGs.
  • Work closely with the Disability Hub, the gender and shock-responsive social protection specialists to ensure a coherent agenda on inclusive social protection, engaging with cross-sectoral and thematic areas such as migration, adolescence and humanitarian response.
  • Together with disability, health, early childhood development and child protection sections, identify most suitable strategies to develop social protection services for children and adolescents with disabilities supporting inclusion and preventing institutionalization.
  • In close collaboration with Supply Division and the Disability Section, support the capacity of Social Protection programmes and mechanisms (including cash plus) to provide assistive devices as well as disability support services for children and adults with disabilities in UNICEF Programme countries.
  1. Technical support, capacity building, support development of tools, guidance and advocacy materials on disability inclusive social protection
  • Develop global guidance and develop tools on mainstreaming disability in UNICEF social protection programming, including in fragile and humanitarian contexts. Ensure connection and harmonization with products of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), SPIAC-B, Interagency Social Protection Assessment tools (ISPA) and global disability working groups.
  • Provide technical support to countries in strengthening the integration of disability-focused strategies and interventions in social protection systems and providing technical support to partners to improve the design of critical components of social protection programming. This may include data analysis, design or adaptation of in cash and in-kind transfers, support services, needs assessments, information systems, financing as well as linkages with other social protection interventions and complementary services such as community based inclusive development, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.
  • Lead in preparation and delivery of training/orientation on disability inclusive social protection for regional and country offices, including partnerships with universities and other training facilities.
  • Identify and develop strategies to strengthen the evidence base and fill knowledge gaps on disability inclusive social protection and facilitate knowledge sharing, develop tools and mechanisms to collect, synthesize and disseminate knowledge to inform country programmes and policies on disability inclusive social protection.
  • Document best practices related to disability inclusive social protection, including policies and programmes design including adequacy, disability assessments and related information system, linkages with other social protection benefits, referral services as well as costing and financing and CRPD compliant budgeting.
  • Support disability inclusive social protection research and analysis to generate knowledge and inform social protection programming with focus on costs of disabilities, poverty and vulnerability in different contexts, impact of different SP interventions on inclusion. Facilitate dissemination of policy briefs, research reports and lessons learnt.
  1. Strengthened advocacy, partnerships and resource mobilization for inclusive social protection
  • Connect to, and where necessary establish, policy and practice networks for learning and lesson sharing on disability inclusive social protection and leverage partnerships for improved advocacy.
  • Support development of mechanisms to collaborate with partners (ILO, World Bank, IDA and other bilateral partners) in advancing UNICEF agenda on disability inclusive social protection.
  • Support correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children living with disabilities and coverage and impact of child focused disability services for advocacy and partnership development, as well as country support.
  • Establish effective partnerships with bilateral and multilateral resource partners, organisations 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, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Identify other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.
  • Support resource mobilization for disability inclusive social protection including outreach to partners and development or proposals.
  1. UNICEF Programme Management, monitoring and reporting on social protection and disability
  • Manage and coordinate technical support around social protection and disability ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensure risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, cooperating Partners, and governments.
  • Ensure annual reports are submitted in a timely manner, and that SMQs, RAM analysis capture the true sense of UNICEF’s engagement on social protection. Support reporting on UNICEF social protection programmes, including on thematic funds pertaining to disability and social protection.

Perform additional duties as requested

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

  • 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 eight (8) years of relevant professional work experience disability inclusion, social services, social protection, social policy, programme design and implementation.
  • Proven knowledge and experience related to implementation and monitoring of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Familiarity with organisations of persons with disabilities at global and regional level.
  • Experience working in low and middle countries.
  • Working at the international level, including with development partners is desirable.
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as a strong asset.
  • 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, Respect, 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

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.

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.  All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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 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

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