Social Policy Specialist, Baghdad, Iraq

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Iraq

City: Baghdad

Office: UNICEF Baghdad

Grade: NO-C

Closing date: Thursday, 26 August 2021

Social Policy Specialist, NO-C, Baghdad, Iraq (Temporary Appointment) (Open to nationals of Iraq only)

Job no: 543619

Position type: Temporary Appointment

Location: Iraq Division/Equivalent: Amman(MENA)

School/Unit: Iraq

Department/Office: Baghdad, Iraq

Categories: Social and Economic Policy

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, hope

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does - in programmes, 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.

How can you make a difference? Under the general guidance of the Chief of Social Policy, the Social Policy Specialist 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) social protection coverage and impact on children; (c) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; and (d) governance, decentralization and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, child protection, water and sanitation, and HIV.

Iraq continues to face heightened socio-economic challenges due to the financial and economic crises and the ramifications of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. Sharp increases in poverty and disparities put at risk the progress Iraq achieved before 2019. Children and adolescents are at a higher risk as families struggle to meet their basic needs and the decrease (disruption) in the availability and quality of health, education, and essential services. In response, UNICEF’s scaled up its support to the reform of social protection and system strengthening and established a strategic partnership with the European Union, ILO and WFP to accelerate the reform process. This culminated in a joint programme closely developed with the government and funded by the European Union. The joint program presents an actionable roadmap for the government of Iraq over a 4-year period (2021-2025) aiming at building Iraq’s strategy for social protection and the reform roadmap, rolling out and scaling up child-focused and employment-related social protection schemes, and building up a unified national registry with linkages to the Public Distribution System. The present vacancy will primarily support the implementation of the joint program with focus at federal level and close partnership and advocacy with relevant ministries.

Key Accountabilities, duty and tasks expected of the Social Policy Specialist.

1. Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children

Supports the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.

Promotes strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.

Undertakes improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcomes, and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.

2. Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action

Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.

Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.

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

3. 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 protection interventions.

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

4. Strengthening capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services.

Where national decentralization processes are taking place, 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.

Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen capacity on quality data collection, analysis for policy development, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of essential social services, with emphasis on community participation and accountability.

5. Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy

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 and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.

6. UNICEF Programme Management

Manages and coordinates technical support around child poverty, social protection, 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.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have... Education: 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. Experience: A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required. Experience working in social protection or the development of public policies, and/or provision of technical assistance to the government in relevant fields to the scope of assignment is a strong asset. Language Requirements: Fluency in English and Arabic is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

The competencies required for this post are....

Core Values Care Respect Integrity Trust Accountability

Core competencies Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1) Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2) Works Collaboratively with others (2) Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2) Innovates and Embraces Change (2) Thinks and Acts Strategically (2) Drive to achieve impactful results (2) Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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 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.

Remarks:

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

Advertised: Aug 05 2021 Arabic Standard Time Application close: Aug 26 2021 Arabic Standard Time

Link to the organization’s job offer: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1628202190139