Skip to Job Description
Programme Manager, (P-4), Fixed Term, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT (ECW), Hosted Funds, Geneva, Switzerland, Post #124259 Req # 567912
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
P-4 Mid-level Professional Full-time Internationallly Recruited
Job Expired 15 Dec 2023
Posted 3 months ago
Job Description

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, Education 

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first global multilateral fund dedicated to supporting education for children and youth in countries affected by wars, disasters, and crises. It was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 by a broad coalition of international aid agencies and public and private donors to usher in faster and more sustainable education responses in crises settings. ECW inspires political commitment to financing education in humanitarian contexts, catalyzes financial resources, facilitates joint programming between humanitarian and development actors, empowers local partners and seeks to strengthen quality and accountability.

ECW is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure that provides strategic guidance and oversight to its investments. ECW’s day-to-day activities are carried out by a Secretariat under the direction of the Education Cannot Wait Director.

ECW has developed its new Strategic Plan for the next three years (2023-2026).

The Programme Manager role is a new position created to deliver the goals and direction set out in ECW’s new Strategic Plan (2023-2026). It will oversee a portfolio of ECW investments in several countries covering both First Emergency Response (FER) grants – used at the early onset of a crisis and Multi Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) investments, used in protracted crises.


The position provides an exciting opportunity to work dynamically across the secretariat and oversee delivery in several country contexts.

The purpose of the role is to lead day to day engagement on country programmes across five to six geographies; be the focal point for all communication between ECW and the in-country partners, including in ensuring that grantees respond to contractual obligations and reporting; facilitate multi-disciplinary engagement across the Secretariat and draw on technical expertise; lead on policy engagement and in-country representation and dialogue to deepen engagement and provide consistent messaging and direction; oversee MYRP delivery and be the primary point of contact for MYRP implementation issues to enable ECW to have a stronger role in the implementation of programmes; and  share learning across regions and portfolios.

It is intended that the role will help to deepen ECW’s understanding of contextual issues and strengthen support and oversight of implementation of ECW grants, in particular on technical issues and risk and safeguarding and enable more portfolio level management of grants and connections between country contexts on common issues.

How can you make a difference?

The programme Manager is expected to:

Lead day to day engagement on country programmes across five to six geographies

  • Support to and oversight of MYRPs in up to six countries, involving day to day engagement with relevant grantees and stakeholders, including government, donors and humanitarian and development actors
  • Leading and facilitating set up and design of programmes, monitoring implementation and performance, providing guidance in budget revisions and reprogramming decisions, and ensuring reports are submitted, reviewed and approved, liaising with relevant ECW Secretariat teams.
  • Focal point for identifying and supporting capacity development activities (particularly in ECW’s thematic areas such as gender, disability inclusion, and mental health and psychosocial support), following up on required assessments, such as risk assessments, and facilitating grants management decisions.

 Facilitate multi-disciplinary engagement across the Secretariat and draw on technical expertise

  • Work flexibly and dynamically to provide clear strategic and technical direction
  • Set clear priorities on a regular basis, and ensure consensus at ECW Secretariat and country level
  • Draw on expertise from ECW’s technical specialists, finance, and operations teams. This will include serving as the interface between these individuals and in-country partners to provide coordinated and consistent direction, and
  • Review and approve annual and final reports (narrative, financial and results).
  • Facilitate grant-related request processes (costed and no-cost extensions, reprogramming requests)
  • Work collaboratively and dynamically across the ECW Secretariat, including with other Country Managers and ECW’s technical experts to ensure that programmes are drawing on latest evidence of teaching and learning and protection to deliver the best quality outcomes for children in a safe environment

Lead on policy engagement and in-country representation and dialogue to deepen engagement, and provide consistent messaging and direction

  • Stay abreast of humanitarian trends and developments globally and in country, drawing on appropriate situation analysis where available and ensure delivery is aligned to changing contexts
  • Keep up to date on latest evidence and implement best practices in education in emergencies. Share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Support engagement with partners including. Global Partnership for Education and Education Coordination Mechanisms (e.g. Clusters, Sector, Refugee Education Working Groups, etc.) to ensure ECW investments are coherent in the wider delivery context and continue to add value
  • Work closely and collaboratively with internal ECW Secretariat, Education Coordination Mechanism coordinators and partners to problem solve and determine priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results for children affected by emergencies.
  • Strengthen engagement with local NGOs to increase their representation in dialogue

Oversee MYRP delivery and be the primary point of contact for MYRP implementation issues to enable ECW to have a stronger role in the implementation of programmes

  • Actively monitor programmes e.g., through field visits and exchange information with stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues.
  • Coordinate Annual Performance Assessments and decision making around continuation of investments and new investments.
  • Handle multiple issues and manage a complex workload. Make judgement calls about priorities and engage proportionately across contexts.

Share learning across regions and portfolios

  • Identify opportunities to learn and apply lessons across ECW programmes and between country contexts. Work with internal and external partners to influence thinking and action on education in emergencies.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree in education, economics international development, or another relevant technical field, ideally with modules completed on education in emergencies
  • At least eight years of progressively responsible experience in fragile and crises contexts
  • Previous experience of overseeing large and complex programmes in challenging contexts
  • Proven ability to build effective relationships, deliver difficult messages, collaborate, matrix working and working through others to achieve results
  • Proven ability to lead and provide clear strategic direction and take decisive action
  • Proven experience of managing risk (fiduciary, safeguarding), demonstrating resilience, problem solving and adaptive programming in emergency or crisis situations.
  • Excellent communication skills in speaking and writing in English and French to engage and represent ECW and to maintain partnerships with stakeholders.
  • Experience working in a developing country in emergency context is considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in French and English is required. Additional fluency in other UN languages considered an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic. For this particular position, PROGRAMME COUNTRY NATIONALS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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 appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

The appointment for this position is limited to ECW, a UNICEF hosted fund. While UN staff regulations and rules, as well as UNICEF policies and procedures, apply to you during your appointment, certain provisions therein may apply to you differently due to the limited scope of your appointment. In particular, you will not be subject to rotation exercise as per the Executive Directive on Staff mobility and rotation (CF/EXD/2015-002) or any revision thereof. In addition, during your appointment in ECW, you will not be considered eligible for conversion to a Continuing Appointment as per UNICEF Administrative Instruction on Continuing Appointment (CF/AI/2017-002) or any revision thereof. In the event that your post is abolished, the priority granted, and other support provided to staff on abolished posts in staff selection processes will only be extended to posts within ECW and not to other posts in UNICEF.

UNICEF Internal candidates: To return to a UNICEF appointment outside ECW, you will need to be selected in a competitive recruitment exercise. Upon selection for a UNICEF post outside of UNICEF-hosted funds, the period you have served with the UNICEF-hosted fund will count towards the calculation of the tour of duty in your duty station and eligibility for a continuing appointment.

External Candidates: To secure a UNICEF appointment outside ECW, you will need to be selected in a competitive recruitment exercise. Upon selection for a UNICEF post outside of UNICEF-hosted funds, the period you have served with the UNICEF hosted fund will count towards the calculation of the tour of duty in your duty station and eligibility for a continuing appointment.

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

This job is no longer available.