Job Opportunity: Senior Technology Specialist
Job Opportunity: RapidPro Community Manager and Deployment Consultant

Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist

Duration: 7.5 months

Duty Station: Remote

Level: Individual contract (equivalent to P4)


UNICEF has been innovating for children for more than 60 years. Innovations support the organization’s 135+ country offices 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. Innovation in UNICEF is defined as “doing something new or different that adds value.” Innovation is a cross-sectoral function that enhances programme and development effectiveness as well as management and is guided in all contexts by UNICEF’s Innovation Principles ( UNICEF is engaged in testing and scaling up new partnerships, technologies, and collaborations in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments.

In January 2016, the Executive Director established UNICEF’s Office of Innovation in order to establish UNICEF’s innovation functions in one office and leverage the increasing initiatives across UNICEF.  Through this decision, the Executive Director’s vision is to scale up successes to achieve results for children across the organization. The Executive Director has asked the newly unified innovation team to develop a common, coordinated strategic plan that continues to support creativity and agility while addressing key operational risks and enhances efficiencies and enables increased access to innovations.  The newly established Office of Innovation combines:

  • The Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Bangkok, Kampala and Nairobi: established in 2014, and focusing on Scale Up which looks at expanding the application of proven solutions from one to several countries and regions by UNICEF and partners
  • Ventures in New York which looks at investing in new solutions with a 0-2 year horizon
  • Futures in San Francisco: focusing on what is coming in the 2-5 year horizon and works with big tech partners

UNICEF Scale Up is functioning primarily through UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre and identifies proven solutions with the potential to be implemented at national scale in multiple countries. The GIC provides the leadership and technical support to deploy and scale these up, expanding their application by UNICEF and others from one to several countries and regions, specifically in the following main areas:

  • Youth Engagement: The ability for young people to connect to each other and counsel each other – through both social technologies and technologically enabled social networking – allows them to share and scale their own solutions. When aggregated, this empowers youth to have their voices heard even at the highest levels of government, influencing necessary change. The following innovations will be scaled up by the GIC: U-Report, Youth entrepreneurship, Innovation challenges. Due to the nature of innovation, other complementary solutions will be identified over the period that is currently not known.
  • Real-time information: Data or real-time user behavior increasingly drives the decisions we make about our programmes, our businesses, and our lives. One of the main challenges in international development and poverty reduction work is the ability to know where disparities are the greatest, who we are not reaching, who is not using essential services, and why this is the case. The theory of change, therefore, is that real-time information can immediately shed light on what works and what does not. The following innovations will be scaled up by the GIC: RapidPro, mTrac, eduTrac, mHealth / 1,000 days monitoring. Due to the nature of innovation, other enhancements will be identified over the period that is currently not known.
  • Access to Information and Infrastructure: Access to information, particularly basic, life-enhancing information is a human right, and all individuals in a society regardless of location, literacy level, or income should be able to acquire such information. Sustainable development – social, economic, and political – relies on an informed society. The theory of change is that developing products, services, and processes that provide access to information for children that suffer the worst deprivations in society can save lives and contribute to children and adolescents being better positioned to fulfill their potential. The following innovations will be scaled up by the GIC to achieve this intermediate result on access to information: Internet of Good Things and Kolibri
  • Emerging areas of innovation at scale: Continue to develop concepts and support prototyping of innovative applications, processes, methodologies, and service models to support results for children across UNICEF’s areas of work.

In order to ensure effective deployment of solutions and innovation practice across these areas of focus, the UNICEF Innovation team seeks to hire a Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist. The Specialist will provide strategic guidance and support towards global deployment and roll-out of Innovations across UNICEF. The consultant will work with UNICEF Country Offices and support the programmatic and technical deployment of RapidPro and other globally-supported innovations. Furthermore, the consultant will support the identification, conceptualization and prototyping of new innovations based on new programmatic demands from UNICEF and partners, as well as emerging trends and opportunities in the innovation for development space. As the Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist, the consultant will, therefore, need to work on multiple projects, partners, vendors, and ongoing as well as new initiatives simultaneously.

In addition to these specific areas of responsibility, the Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist will work closely with the Deputy of the Global Innovation Centre to evolve and activate strategies for scaling innovation in support of results for children. This work will include providing overall guidance to a strategy for country-level implementation or deployment of innovation programs, including specific advisory support to Office of Innovation counterparts regarding their engagement with UNICEF Country Offices and implementation of country-level initiatives. This advisory support will be provided to product / area leads from all core GIC or Scale-Up portfolios.


  1. Under the supervision of the Senior Advisor on Innovation / Scale-up Lead, provide strategic guidance and support towards global deployment and roll-out of Innovations across UNICEF
  2. Responsible for devising and overseeing the implementation of UNICEF Innovation deployment support model for UNICEF and partners at the country level, including strategies for incorporating innovation practice into core programming models of UNICEF
  3. Coordinate with Office of Innovation counterparts to ensure alignment and leveraging of respective partnerships and Country Office engagements
  4. Overall coordination of the global roll-out of Innovations identified for scale-up, including all GIC portfolio areas (real-time information, youth engagement and access to information), with a focus on priority countries with complex development and humanitarian programming environments
  5. Oversee and coordinate improvements in the process and products/tools for supporting the deployment of key innovations by UNICEF and partners, including initial assessments, technical contracts with external vendors, orientation workshops, design and business analysis, on-site and remote support, and oversight of user community management
  6. Monitor progress on country-level deployments, including regular updates to UNICEF Innovation management and public documentation of key milestones
  7. Prepare regular progress and final project reports
  8. Represent UNICEF Innovation during high-level visits and development partner meetings (Working Groups, Task Forces, etc) when requested


  • University degree in a relevant field; or related practical experience
  • At least 7 years of experience supporting and coordinating project activities across a large organization and with other international development organizations.

Specialized Experience and Knowledge required for the assignment

  • Proven experience in translating complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance.
  • Progressively responsible professional work experience in relevant field, some of which should be in an international setting.
  • A strong understanding of UNICEF programmes, policy, and principles, including knowledge of communication, technology, user-centered design
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with UNICEF programmes and partners, including government, universities, UN organizations, NGOs, and the private sector.
  • Proven skills in communication, networking, strategic thinking, advocacy, negotiation, and ability to relate this to new media and young people.
  • Proven capacity to work with and lead collaborative teams across different locations and with different technical skills
  • Experience managing projects with strong technology components
  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences
  • Experience working in complex, resource-poor contexts is a plus


Fluency in English. Competence in at least one other UN language is preferred.


Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their applications with Subject “Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist” to: on or before 21st July 2016.

Applications must include the following:

Incomplete applications will be disqualified. Applicants must clearly indicate the position applied for and use this order to name file attachments: Firstname_Lastname followed by document e.g. Gold_Mukasa_CV or Gold_Mukasa_CoverLetter. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

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Job Opportunity: Senior Technology Specialist
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