Education Specialist needed in Nairobi,Kenya(open to only non Kenyans)

jobsnearmeafric United Nations Children's Fund

Closing date: Thursday, 22 February 2024

Education Specialist, P3, Temporary Appointment (364 Days), Kenya Country Office, Nairobi, Post # 127648 (Open to Non-Kenyans Only)

Categories: Education

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!

The Government of Kenya has allocated a significant budget to education, to implement reforms such as the Competency-Based Curriculum and a 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school. However, issues such as poor-quality teaching and large class sizes still affect the quality of children’s learning. The pupil-to-teacher ratio remains very high in some counties, such as 77 to 1 in Turkana.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide enrollment in primary education stood at 93 per cent, but at the secondary level was only 53 per cent. Kenya has made gains in reaching remote areas and disadvantaged communities at the primary and pre-primary levels. In pastoral communities, high dropout rates reflect a perceived lack of value in schooling, long distances to schools and high rates of child marriage. In 2020, school closures interrupted learning for over 17 million children, who missed more than six months of formal education. They also faced increased risks of violence, child labour and their mental well-being.

How can you make a difference?


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. Therefore, 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.

The Government of Kenya has allocated a significant budget to education, to transform education to enhance access to quality, inclusive and equitable education opportunities to enhance the acquisition of 21st Century skills by learners through implementing reforms such as the Competency-Based Curriculum, ICT in Education as well as inclusion of refugees in the national systems.

The Kenyan government aims to boost economic growth through digitalization, highlighting initiatives like the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) that emphasizes on digital learning, the Kenya Digital Economy Blueprint and Kenya Digital Masterplan 2022 that outlines plans on improving ICT infrastructure, fostering innovation, and enhancing digital skills.

The government of Kenya committed to the inclusion of refugees into the national system, and the current conducive policy environment opens opportunity to ramp up progress on inclusion of refugee learners and education Institutions in the national education system. In addition, the delivery of education services to refugee children and youth must be sustained and strengthened, investing in essential skills for self-reliance is crucial for the refugee community.

Purpose of the role

Under the guidance and general supervision of the Chief of Education (P4), the Education Specialist, (P3) supports the development and preparation of the Education programmes and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting the progress of education programmes/projects within the country programme. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of results on education programmes/projects to improve learning outcomes and equitable and inclusive education, especially for children who are marginalized, refugee, disadvantaged and excluded in society. This will be done in close collaboration with other UNICEF programme sections in UNICEF Kenya Country Office (including Innovation, Child Protection, WASH and Social Policy), respective field offices and involved partners.

The TA Education Specialist will also ensure the quality coordination of UNICEF’s multi-sectoral/ integrated interventions related to education in collaboration with the Education technical leads and Innovation Manager, focusing on refugee education, digital learning, skills development and the overall agenda of “learning to earning”.

The incumbent will coordinate the timely implementation of the activities in line with the approved proposals together with programme sections and field offices and adhering to a Results Based Management (RBM) approach and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Main Responsibilities and Tasks

Support to programme development and planning

 Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the education programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive data on education issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes.
 Help supervisor set priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
 Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of education programmes. Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Country Programme and coherence/integration with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
 Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the sector 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 national priorities 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 programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results

 Plan and collaborate with internal colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education programmes.
 Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.

 Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses in programme management.
 Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
 Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits and surveys, and exchange information with 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 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.
 Prepare regular and mandated programme reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
Technical and operational support to programme implementation

 Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and country office partners and donors on interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on education and related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
 Arrange/coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
 Participate in education programme meetings including programme development and contingency planning to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
 Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use.
Networking and partnership building

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

 Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships and support fund raising for education programmes.
 Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions on education and related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNSDCF planning and preparation of programmes/projects ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNSDCF process in development planning and agenda.
Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

 Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
 Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in education management. 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 programmes and projects.
 Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education and related programmes/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

 Advanced University Degree (Master’s required) degree in Business Administration, Social Science, Public Administration/Policy, International Development, or other related or relevant field. Additional 2 years of relevant experience and an undergraduate degree can be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
 A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience, preferably working for a UN Organization, INGO or similar within, integrated/multi-sectoral programming, monitoring of projects, coordination/management, donor/partner relations.
 Experience working in education programme particularly focusing on skills building and/ or refugee education portfolios is an advantage.
 Experience working in UNICEF is a must.
 Previous experience in managing EU or PROSPECTS projects is an advantage.
 Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

Technical Competencies

 Understanding of the overall global development context, including issues such as: poverty, migration and the impact of these factors on education and vice-versa; and integrated, multi-sectoral approaches to address such issues in collaboration with other sectors (including Innovation, Social Policy, Child Protection, WASH, and Social Behavioral Change within UNICEF).
 Knowledge of global developments in skilling of children and Adolescents and international engagement strategies, including the application of the equity and integration lenses and human rights perspectives to programming.
 Some understanding of the humanitarian development nexus particularly in the refugee hosting areas.
 Experience in programme management in education, including programme design, costing/budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.
 Demonstrated knowledge in x-sectoral issues (gender and disability inclusion and environment)
 Possess excellent planning, coordination, reporting and teamwork skills.
 Excellent management and organizational skills.
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.

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.

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.

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

Advertised: Feb 09 2024 E. Africa Standard Time

Application close: Feb 22 2024 E. Africa Standard Time

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