Role: Evidence and Innovation Scaling Strategist
Job Number: 517560 | Vacancy Link
Locations: Headquarters Locations: United States
Work Type :Consultancy
Duration: 110 days over 11.5 months
Duty Station: Remote
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, innovate….
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF’s Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world’s children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:
- Connecting youth communities (or more broadly — anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
- Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach — in a traditionally risk-averse field — to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
- Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.
The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs – and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.
We’re an interdisciplinary team around the world tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling new technologies and practices. With our partners, we focus on convening and collaborating on new and different solutions, low- and high-tech, by:
- Looking at the 2-5 year horizon to evaluate emerging and trending technologies and to see how UNICEF can work with the private sector on doing better business while improving essential services for children;
- Investing in early stage solutions that show great potential to positively impact children in the 0-2 year future including the Venture Fund that invests in open source technology solutions from start-ups based in UNICEF’s programme countries;
- Identifying proven solutions that can be implemented at national scale in multiple countries – taking the ideas that help thousands in one country, bringing them to dozens of countries across multiple sectors, and impacting the lives of millions of children.
ACCELERATING RESULTS FOR CHILDREN AT SCALE
To date, the Office of Innovation (OoI) supported the scale up of innovations through UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre (GIC). The GIC was launched in May 2015, with a vision to inspire and support the scale-up of new technologies and approaches to UNICEF’s work and that of its partners to achieve powerful impact for all children.
The above UNICEF-adopted IDIA framework for the phases of innovation is especially relevant in understanding the past and future focus of how the OoI supports scale. The OoI focused on stages 4, 5 and 6. Applying a demand-driven, centre-of-excellence model, the OoI managed a portfolio of that was refined over time to focus on 7 innovations. The OoI scaled these from a handful of pilots to robust platforms in 85 countries that as of June 2018, have changed the lives of 115 million people.
The OoI also focused on contributing to building organizational capacity to scale innovation. As a result, UNICEF today is much better positioned to adopt and adapt innovative solutions – hundreds of staff have been through a variety of capacity development opportunities ranging from joint missions to learning programmes, positions have been reprofiled, and new innovation and ICT4D positions (staff and consultancy) have been established in country offices, business analysts in each regional office and new capacity in headquarters.
The OoI will now narrow its focus on the remaining gap between the Proof of Concept and Transition to Scale phases, where the OoI has unique and proven expertise, demonstrated success, and is well placed within the organization to provide this expertise across sectors and regions, provide value in the chain that links to and supports scaling by others.
Accelerate to Scale (A2S) will solve selected problems, shine the light on solutions sourced both internally and externally and help them be successful by doing, demonstrating, documenting and disseminating what can be done. The Office of Innovation (OoI) will allocate A2S resources to supporting specific new innovations that may be both internal and external to accelerate them to scale, directly supporting implementation to produce i) packaged deployment strategy and resources; ii) a validated business model and iii) systematically documented evidence of results. Capturing and disseminating this learning, best practices, processes and tools will support other people to undertake the scaling and sustainable scale of the innovation.
UNICEF is now seeking a consultant with expertise in evidence and innovation scaling to advise on and support thought leadership activities that will underpin and advance strategic frameworks and models at the centre of Accelerate to Scale.
How can you make a difference?
Working closely with the Senior Advisor on Innovation (Scale), the Evidence and Innovation Scaling Strategist will provide strategic direction, support, and facilitation related to evidence building and scaling innovation for impact within UNICEF.
The general objective of this consultancy is to assess and provide recommendations on key barriers and opportunities to capturing evidence of impact, accelerating innovation and scaling for impact — both within UNICEF and within the broader ecosystems that UNICEF operates in. The consultancy will blend strategic advisory support, facilitation, convening, development of resources and thought pieces/ thought leadership.
The assignment will require an ability to understand complex, abstract concepts, and ability to think creatively about approaches and tools for supporting more user-centered design of technology-enabled programmes in a variety of development and humanitarian contexts and for practical options for gathering and documenting evidence of impact.
- Assess current evidence gaps and opportunities.
- Develop, test and iterate approaches, templates and other reusable resources to address evidence gaps using a number of identified current innovations in the ‘Transition to Scale’ phase or approaching it to refine this.
- Contribute to the strategic positioning of UNICEF OI – Scale as a leader in the space of innovation and scaling for social impact
- Provide strategic direction and support to A2S operationalization
- Facilitate convenings within and beyond UNICEF related to innovation and scaling for social impact
- Contribute to thought leadership by UNICEF related to innovation and scaling for social impact
While not included in this assignment, it is important to note the analysis and resources from this consultancy will feed into a following phase of this work, so resources should be gathered with this next phase in mind, which will be to (in collaboration and consultation with stakeholders at HQ, regional and country level):
- Design a learning and development programme derived from the above learning to improve the evidence gathering that can support promising ideas through from pilot/prototype/proof of concept phase to Transition to Scale and beyond, and
- Prepare a plan and facilitate delivery of the learning programme, refining is based on feedback, and mainstreaming it into existing learning so that it can be successfully sustained without the ongoing need of additional people.
- Advanced degree (Master’s or higher) in Social Sciences, International Relations, Social Policy, Social Development, or other relevant disciplines; or equivalent related practical experience.
- At least 8 years of professional experience.
- Significant experience with project management with an ability to translate complex ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance is a must
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Extensive experience working to support the application of human-centred design and design thinking methodologies in the development context
- Experience with processing large amount of information and synthesizing it
- Ability to work in a team and in a diverse work environment
- Knowledge of United Nations – particularly UNICEF – programming, processes and work streams
- Fluency in English
For every child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
View our competency framework at
Application must include
- Cover letter
- A sample of work related to the assignment as described in this Terms of Reference
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Opening Date Fri Nov 02 2018 09:00:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) Eastern Daylight Time
Closing Date Fri Nov 16 2018 23:55:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)