Innovation Manager needed for Employment at UNICEF

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United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Innovation Manager, P4

Job No: 544968
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Contract Type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-4
Categories: Innovation

Recommended: Emergency Programme Specialist, Shock – Responsive Social Protection (SRSP), P3 at UNICEF

How Can You Make a Difference?

  • Under the direct supervision of the Chief of Management for Results, the Innovation Manager will be accountable for providing technical leadership and support to innovation planning/design, implementation, monitoring and documentation across programme sectoral areas and with partners, supporting the achievement of UNICEF’s priorities.
  • They will work closely with programme sections, nine zonal offices, as well as government, UN, NGO and private sector partners.
  • This role aims to manage, lead, and support demand for innovative processes and Technology for Development (T4D) driven programmatic support. UNICEF programmes increasingly leverage digital means for effective programme delivery, systems strengthening and monitoring. S/He will provide:
    • Strategic guidance to programme teams in the identification, assessment and integration of innovative solutions, including ICT and digital innovation, into UNICEF programming,
    • Strengthen internal capacity to lead and support T4D related initiatives,
    • Identify and engage with key partners, building close business relationships,
    • Apply reusable and replicable technical buildings blocks, maximising the potential for the scale-up and sustainability of technology and digital innovation for UNICEF programming.

Key Functions, Accountabilities And Related Duties / Tasks
Effective promotion of innovation across the UNICEF Nigeria Country office through the Innovation Governance Framework and Portfolio management:

  • Review and implement of the office-wide innovation/T4D strategy, based on UNICEF’s global and regional innovation strategies and the work plans
  • Coordinate country-specific development and testing of innovation products and processes that strengthen and improve UNICEF’s programming and results for children and young people.
  • Support the innovation/T4D needs of nine zonal offices in Nigeria by regularly undertake field visits to monitor and assess programme implementation and decide on required corrective action, including in emergencies.
  • Lead deployment of a portfolio approach to solutions prioritised for UNICEF programming
  • Provide capacity building and training to UNICEF and partner staff and end-users in using innovative products and processes.

Policy and Strategic Development of Technology-enabled Programming:

  • Provide leadership to the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the digital development and technology innovation strategy for the country office, including assessment of T4D gaps, opportunities and scale-up strategy in support of CO priorities.
  • Operationalise the digital development and technology innovation into the programme planning lifecycle through the Nigeria CO innovation/T4D Governance Committee.
  • Oversee development and quality assurance during planning and deployment of T4D initiatives; participate in establishing and maintaining standards, documentation and support mechanisms for T4D.
  • Convene the CO Innovation/T4D Governance Committee
  • Finalise comprehensive mapping of planned, ongoing and completed innovation/T4D initiatives in Nigeria and upload in UNICEF’s innovation portfolio database INVENT.

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Innovation and T4D Cross-Sectoral Technical and Programmatic Support:
NCO has several T4D/Innovation initiatives currently being implemented in various operational stages and the Innovation Manager will   support these initiatives. Current examples include:

  • Digital birth registration platform with Child Protection section:
    • Support Child Protection team to hire a qualified institution to conduct a comprehensive SWOT assessment of Nigeria’s existing CRVS platform and birth registration processes.
    • Provide technical guidance to stakeholders on CRVS automation global best practices
    • Select and on-board a competent vendor to kick start the design, testing, implementation of the Nigeria digital birth registration system.
    • Coordinate technical meetings between NCO, WCAR and NYHQ to share information and feedback on CRVS business model implementation in Nigeria.
  • Generation Unlimited Nigeria aims to reach 20 million young people by 2030 through various interventions. Of the 3 GenU Nigeria pillars, the Innovation manager shall lead the Digital Skills Development component
  • Co-lead the integration of the Youth Agency Marketplace to facilitate youth participation in the Child-Friendly Community Initiative (CFCI) programme
  • Support advancement of digital technology capacity for National CDC on COVID-19 Responses with Health, Communication and C4D Section.

Technical Support on Children and Adolescents, Youth Engagement and Advocacy:

  • Under the Generation Unlimited Nigeria pillar, operationalise the Youth Agency Marketplace (Yoma) for youth across Nigeria to build and transform their futures by actively engaging in social impact tasks and learning & earning opportunities
  • Test open-source digital payment system for potential integration with Yoma platform including UNICEF vital social services programme integration
  • Operationalise UReport as the front-end tool for GenU Nigeria to reach youth and have meaningful engagement on the topics and issues that concern them
  • Integrate U-Report into all aspects of the implementation of NCO Communications Strategy with C4D, Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships team
  • Co-lead innovation challenges and human-centred Design (HCD) workshops with GenU Nigeria team to nurture and test new and innovative ideas together with youth network towards enhancing the adolescent programme component through skills training, employment, empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Strategic, Innovative Shared Value Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation:

  • Foster and develop partner networks with local innovators, civil society, academia and private sector to build and provide a space to nurture and test innovative approaches
  • Proactively scout for new, innovative ideas, opportunities and partnerships to deliver better results
  • Lead proposal and partnership development efforts in collaboration with programme teams, the donor management officer and RO.
  • Provide strategic innovation/T4D guidance and inputs to Lagos Office, particularly focused around private sector “shared value partnership” modalities.

Supervise Dynamic Innovation/T4D Team in Nigeria CO:

  • Supervise the Nigeria CO innovation team and provide exemplary management and leadership, motivating and developing people to perform at their best and live the core values
  • Manage performance of the team member by regularly discussing performance, giving timely, constructive feedback, identify learning goals, among others
  • Ensure a supportive work environment for the development of the team including work life balance
  • Develop and maintain a workplace environment in line with the core values of UNICEF.

To Qualify as an Advocate for Every Child You Will Have

  • An advanced university degree in International Development, Business Administration, Information Technology, Innovation Management, or another related field required.
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of 8 (eight) years of relevant professional experience in managing programmes or projects related to information technology for development, communication, education with strong technology components across a large organisation. Experience in start-up companies/organisations is an asset.
  • Experience identifying, designing and implementing solutions for large-scale projects with technical components – including supervising external vendors and software developers; responsibility for business analysis, budgets, contracts, project management and procurement, etc.
  • Experience in Open Source, mobile and emerging technology applied to UNICEF programme areas is extremely desirable.
  • Experience with RapidPro, OpenSRP, DHIS2, ODK and other global public good technologies, and deploying, maintaining and scaling these technologies is highly desirable.
  • Good knowledge of current trends in youth participation and new media
  • Experience in managing internal and external partnerships, including international organisations.
  • Demonstrated experiences on design principles, human-centred design approaches, business modelling from ideas to market and customer services orientations are highly desirable.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

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For Every Child, you Demonstrate

  • UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
  • The UNICEF competencies required for this post are:
    • Builds and maintains partnerships (III)
    • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (III)
    • Drive to achieve results for impact (III)
    • Innovates and embraces change (III)
    • Manages ambiguity and complexity (III)
    • Thinks and acts strategically (III)
    • Works collaboratively with others (III)
    • Nurtures, leads and manages people (III)

Application Closing Date
11th October, 2021; W. Central Africa Standard Time.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • To view our competency framework, please visit here.
  • 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.

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