Child Protection Specialist, Rome

Organization: Unicef

Country: Italy

City: Rome

Office: UNICEF Rome, Italy

Closing date: Friday, 13 January 2023

Child Protection Specialist, P-3, FT, #98169 - ECARO O/P Rome, Italy

Job no: 556843

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Italy Division/Equivalent: CEE/CIS

School/Unit: Regional Services Div (ECAR), Geneva

Department/Office: National Response Coord, O/P Rome

Categories: Child Protection

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, Protection

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.

UNICEF is operating in Italy based on formal agreements with national authorities aimed at providing technical support for the protection and social exclusion of refugee and migrant children, including those arriving as a consequence of the crisis in Ukraine, and for the implementation of the third phase of the EU Child Guarantee - including piloting of models to counter social exclusion and child poverty address to the most disadvantaged children (namely (i) homeless children or children experiencing severe housing deprivation; (ii) children with a disability; (iii) children with a migrant background; (iv) children with a minority racial or ethnic background (particularly Roma); (v) children in alternative (especially institutional) care; and (vi) children in precarious family situations).

In Italy, a two-pronged approach combines humanitarian service delivery with capacity building, policy reform and technical assistance for the protection and social exclusion of refugee and migrant children and adolescents with partner organizations and governments. The response enables the target population to emergency protection interventions, alternative care solutions, and lifesaving information and skills-building opportunities. In particular, the Child Protection programme in Italy contributes to:

Promoting protection and reception minimum standards, and provide migrant and refugee children and women with life-saving information, psychological first aid, and referral at borders and transit points

Strengthening the national alternative care and guardianship systems to provide quality tailored solutions for children and young care leavers in need

Strengthening the normative and policy framework around violence against children and adolescents

Strengthening supply and demand for GBV comprehensive services

Strengthening the standardization of procedures and specific considerations for women and girls in national plans and policies, with a focus on migrant and refugees

Strengthening systems to provide age, gender and cultural appropriate Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for vulnerable children.

As for the implementation of EU Child Guarantee, UNICEF in Italy is supporting the line Ministries to:

Generate and disseminate knowledge on the capacity of the national social protection system - including programmes, plans, policies and laws - in preventing poverty and social exclusion of most disadvantaged children and make response services more inclusive;
Test, monitor and evaluate pilot models of interventions addressed to disadvantaged children, able to reduce the risk of child poverty and social exclusion;
Map and analyses the ongoing national good practices in combating inequality and enhancing inclusiveness of serviced, to be shared at national, European and international level for their replicability;
Implement, monitor, coordinate and ensure participation of children and youth in the process of implementation of the Child Guarantee National Action Plan.

Job organizational context: The post will be under the supervision and guidance of the Child Protection Specialist, P-4.

The purpose of the job: Under the supervision of the Child Protection Specialist (P4), the Child Protection Specialist (P3) will provide technical support and will be responsible for providing high quality technical assistance to the Ministries, and key partners and stakeholders in order to strengthen policies and actions related to the protective care of above-mentioned vulnerable children, including prevention and response in case of trafficking, exploitation and abuse. The Specialist supports the development and preparation of the Child Protection programme(s) and is responsible for the management, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the child protection programmes/projects within the country programme. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes. H/She facilitates the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable contributions to national and international efforts to create a protective environment for children against all harm, and to protect their rights to survival, development and wellbeing as established under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international treaties/frameworks and UN intergovernmental bodies. The primary focus of this post is to contribute to UNICEF’s agenda on alternative care and implementation of the Child Guarantee in Italy, with a focus on migrant and refugee children, while at the same time providing support to the different components of the overall CP programme (emergency interventions, MHPSS, Guardianship systems strengthening, etc.), and ensuring synergies between all areas of intervention. This position requires significant technical qualification in the field of child protection and law, a deep knowledge of the Italy context and humanitarian and child protection principles, as well as substantial experience working at a policy and strategic level with senior government staff. In addition to working closely with key government counterparts, the Child Protection Specialist is expected to work closely with numerous government ministries and specialized government agencies in charge of child protection (including Ombudsperson, Asylum Office, First Reception Service, Police and security organs); UN officials (UNHCR, IOM), and international organisations.

How can you make a difference?

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

Support to programs/projects development and planning

Program management, monitoring and delivery of results

Technical and operational support to program implementation

Networking and partnership building

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

1. Support to program/project development and planning

Support the preparation/design and conduct/update of situation analysis for the child protection programs/projects and/or sector to ensure that current comprehensive and evidence-based data on child protection issues are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection and to set program priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of refugee and migrant trends to enhance program management, efficiency and delivery.

Participate in strategic program discussion on the planning of child protection programs/projects. Formulate, design and prepare programs/projects proposal for the sector, ensuring alignment with the overall UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.

Establish specific goals, objectives and strategies and implementation plans for the sector/s using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for program review and approval.

As part of the implementation of the Child Guarantee, provide technical support to the development of innovative and sustainable models of interventions on child protection issues for the most disadvantaged children, including documentation and evaluation of the models in view of their potential scale-up/replication.

Provide support to the different areas covered by the Child Protection programme in Italy, including emergency interventions, MHPSS, guardianship, with the goal of ensuring complementarities and synergies between the different areas of the programme.Work closely and collaboratively with internal and external colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies and to determine national priorities/competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.

Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programs/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

2. Program management, monitoring and delivery of results

Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurement to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in child protection programs.

Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, program reviews and annual reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.

Prepare/assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths/weaknesses in program and management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for programme planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.

Actively monitor programs/projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.

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

Prepare regular/mandated program/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of program progress.

3. Technical and operational support to program implementation

Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and country office partners/donors on interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on child protection and related issues to support program management, implementation and delivery of results.

Arrange/coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely/appropriate support throughout the programming/projects process.

Provide technical support to contribute to the advocacy strategy on migration and asylum, ensuring respect of human and child rights approach in line with international standards, promoting the access to protection and the mainstreaming of the protection of migrant and refugee children and youth within the national policies, guidelines and programmes;
Liaise with the National Committee for UNICEF to ensure programmes and operations are aligned with its strategy and agenda, also providing technical support to the National Committee aimed to ensure child protection concerns and recommendations are included and mainstreamed in the advocacy, communication and fundraising internal programmes;
Participate in child protection and emergency program meetings including program development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.

Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic program materials for management use, information and/or consideration.

4. Networking and partnership building

Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders and global partners/allies/donors/academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication to build capacity, exchange knowledge/expertise and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results in child protection.

Prepare communication and information materials for CO program advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for child protection programs and emergency interventions.

Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency discussions and planning on child protection and related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on related planning and preparation of programs/projects ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated.

5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

Apply/introduce innovative approaches and good practice to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable program results.

Keep abreast, research, benchmark and implement best practices in child protection management and information systems. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.

Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programs and projects.

Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results in child protection and related programs/projects.

Impact of Results:

The strategic and effective advocacy, planning and formulation of child protection programs/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, contributes to achievement of goals and objectives to create a protective environment for children against harm and all forms of violence and ensures their survival, development and well being in society. Achievements in child protection programs and projects in turn contribute to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide program services for mothers and children that promotes greater social equality in the country.

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

An Advanced University degree in international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, anthropology, international law and other social science field is required.

A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection and/other related areas at the international level some of which preferably were served in a developing country is required.

Relevant experience in child protection and related areas, program/project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.

Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is an added advantage.

Fluency in English and Italian is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

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

UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

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)

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.

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 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.


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 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.

Disclaimer that priority will be given to all the eligible candidates participating in 2022 Mobility Exercise and Staff on Abolished post.

Advertised: Nov 04 2022 W. Europe Standard Time Application close: Jan 13 2023 W. Europe Standard Time

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Closes Jan 13 2023

Child Protection Specialist, P-3, FT, #98169 - ECARO O/P Rome, Italy in Italy

UNICEF ECARO O/P in Rome, Italy is looking for a Child Protection Specialist P-3 who, under the supervision of the Child Protection Specialist P-4, will provide technical support and will be responsible for providing high quality technical assistance to the Ministries, and key partners and stakeholders in order to strengthen policies and actions related to the protective care of above-mentioned vulnerable children, including prevention and response in case of trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

Link to the organization’s job posting: