To download the job description, click: Operations Assistant GS-5 New York

Job Title:
Operations Assistant
Job Level: GS-5
Supervisor Title/ Level: Co-Lead Innovation Unit and Senior Adviser on Innovation to the Executive Director, P5
Organizational Unit: Innovation Unit
Post Location: New York
Application Close: 7 August, 2015


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 60 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Position

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 has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. Over the past several years, it has been actively investing in piloting and implementing technology-based and design solutions. The Innovation Unit in New York supports the organization’s 150+ country offices and territories – in finding solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children. The UNICEF innovation work includes both policy and practice of innovation in UNICEF, and the larger UN. UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

UNICEF’s system of innovation throughout the organization includes:

An Innovation Unit in New York that supports UNICEF programmes on the ground and the organization at large through partnerships, technologies, and connections

An Innovations node in San Francisco that builds partnerships with the technology sector, and will help scale social innovation start-ups.

A Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi that identifies and field tests scalable innovations;

A network of Innovation Labs around the world that bring together the private sector, academia, and the public sector to develop solutions for key social issues, and ensure we are always watching for new ideas from unexpected places.

Purpose for the job

Under the close supervision and guidance of the Senior Advisor on Innovation to the Executive Director/Co-lead of the Innovation Unit, the Operations Assistant will oversee and streamline the daily operations of the newly established Innovation Fund, the main financing instrument supporting innovative projects undertaken by Country Offices, and provide ongoing administrative support to the Innovation Unit and the Global Innovation Centre.

Key Expected Results

1. Assist the co-leads of the Innovation Unit in the area of operations for the Innovation Fund, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Develop and maintain systems for timely fund transfers to Country Offices and external partners
  • Develop and maintain systems for and implementation of monitoring of financial expenditure from the Innovation Fund
  • Generate of financial reports for donor reporting according to partnership agreements
  • Coordinate regular conference calls and meetings across a high-level and complex set of stakeholders, locations, and time zones
  • Provide administrative and logistical support to meetings of Innovation Fund recipients and donors
  • Draft and finalize contracts and agreements for suppliers, vendors and/or partners related to the Innovation Fund

2. Assist the co-leads of the Innovation Unit in the area of office management and operations, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Arrange travel for the Co-Leads of the Innovation Unit – including, but not limited to arranging travel itineraries, booking accommodation and transportation, processing transactions, submitting invoices and reimbursements, etc.
  • Oversee preparation and management of contracts for the Innovation Unit
  • Support members of the Innovation Unit in arranging travel.
  • Coordinate and participate in meetings on day-to-day administrative matters
  • Provide administrative and logistical arrangements for meetings, workshops, seminars, brown-bags, and speaking
  • engagements for the Co-Leads by coordinating invites, conference rooms, audio-visual equipment, etc.
  • Provide scheduling support, including communication with internal and external colleagues and partners; and managing meeting requests and arrangements
  • Advise the Unit on new or revised UNICEF administrative procedures and practices
  • Assist the Operations Assistant of the Global Innovation Centre in processing invoices and arranging travel for members of the Global Innovation Centre based in NYHQ.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Secondary education required, with completed university courses in finance, accounting, human resources, business administration, office management, ICT, or any other relevant field highly desired.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible administrative and logistical work experience
  • Track record of working on developing innovative solutions and initiatives
  • Strong leadership and office management skills
  • Experience in supply operations, logistic, and purchasing administration
  • Administrative service management goals, vision, position, policies, and strategies
  • Principles of office management, operations, programme management, and administration
  • Capacity to prioritize and manage a diverse range of projects and activities
  • Ability to set high standards for quality of work and consistently achieve project goals
  • Familiarity with UNICEF Innovation’s work an asset
  • Prior experience with UNICEF administrative policies and procedures desired
  • Demonstrated research, planning, communication and writing skills
  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of another UN language an asset.

Competencies of Successful Candidate

  • Core Values
  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication (I)
  • Working with people (II)
  • Drive for results (I)

Functional Competencies:

  • Relating and Networking (II)
  • Planning and Organizing (I)
  • Following Instructions and Procedures (I)
  • Adapting and Responding to Change (I)
  • Coping with Pressure and Setbacks (I)


All qualified candidates must apply via the UNICEF e-recruitment portal by Friday, August 7, 2015. This also includes submitting a cover letter to complete the application. First time users must register and create an e-recruitment profile. Click here to register on the UNICEF employment site.

Internal (UNICEF) candidates need to apply here:
Internal Reference code and link: I-VN-2015-001740

External candidates need to apply here:
External Reference code and link: E-VN-2015-001741

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.