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, hope
UNICEF's vision and ambition is that financing for development in all its facets – public and private – work together to enable significantly greater volumes of funding and financing to flow to where it will make the most difference, in order to radically accelerate results and impact for children. Public finance is the basis for financing for development, driving key programmatic priorities, while innovative financing/alternative financing is a vital tool. Innovative financing should be deployed alongside, and in complement with, efforts to leverage existing development finance instruments by UNICEF. Innovative finance is also a key enabler of public-private partnerships that accelerate results for children and progress towards the SDGs.
The importance of public finance for children and alternative/innovative finance to achieve results for children is referenced throughout the Strategic Plan (2022–2025). Alternative/innovative finance for children (IF4C) refers to financing approaches and mechanisms that: (i) leverage additional resources for children through new financial structures, or existing structures applied in a new way; (ii) make resources more efficient; and/or (iii) make resources more results-oriented, to accelerate programmatic and operational solutions for children. UNICEF's strategy for IF4C is to amplify financing, align private capital, accelerate additional private capital, and access global insurance and risk finance markets.
In mid-2021, a stocktaking exercise and review to assess how UNICEF can best organize itself in the field of financing for development was undertaken in preparation for the launch of the new Strategic Plan and in the context of the development of the Office Management Plans of HQ divisions for 2022-2025. The objective of the exercise was to look across the organization's existing capacities and determine how UNICEF could best leverage billions of additional US dollars, with a portion through UNICEF, and a larger portion not necessarily through UNICEF.
The exercise resulted in the endorsement of the 'Finance Today for Impact Tomorrow: Maximizing financing for development for children value proposition' by the Office of the Executive Director. It was decided that UNICEF should retain current structures but strengthen work across teams, with the creation of an agile "squad team" across divisions with a Director-level convener of alternative/innovative finance (IF4C for ease of reference) housed in the Partnerships Cone.
The Principal Adviser (Alternative/Innovative Finance for Children) will act as this Senior Convener.
Under the overall supervision of the Deputy Executive Director (DED) Partnerships, the Principal Adviser (Alternative/Innovative Finance for Children) will work with all key divisions/offices and stakeholders to coordinate the work around alternative/innovative finance (hereafter IF4C, for ease of reference) across divisions and offices, to optimally complement the work and efforts on public finance, with a view to foster a cohesive and impactful organizationa financing for development approach for UNICEF.
In particular, the incumbent will:
- Act as the global convenor of UNICEF's IF4C work across divisions/offices.
- Lead and coordinate global organization-wide strategic planning for IF4C work and coordinate the effective implementation of the Global IF Strategy through an inter-divisional Operational Plan. This includes, inter alia, rollout, monitoring, reporting and results-based budgeting of: (i) the organization-wide IF4C Strategy; (ii) the organization-wide Operational Plan, with specific attention to priority initiatives across divisions; (iii) a responsibility assignment matrix (RACI) with clear metrics of accountability; and (iv) the optimal use of existing resources.
- Facilitate cross-divisional collaboration and mobilization required for UNICEF to swiftly harness opportunities and tackle challenges to advance the organization's IF4C agenda, with the support of an inter-divisional 'Core Team'.
- Support efforts to strengthen the internal and external visibility, communication and positioning of UNICEF's work on IF4C, in collaboration with relevant lead divisions/offices. This includes ensuring coordinated engagement with the Executive Board on IF4C.
- Support global engagement with other UN organizations on IF4C, in consultation with frontline IF4C divisions/offices (DFAM, OoI, PFP, PPD, SD), Programme Group and other relevant divisions/stakeholders.
- Collaborate with key divisions/offices in development and rollout of a global investment case to mobilize additional resources to enable and scale up IF4C work in UNICEF.
- Act as secretariat for the IF4C inter-divisional governance structure (IF Committee), under the oversight and sponsorship of senior management (DED Partnership and DED Field Results and Innovation) and in close partnership with frontline IF4C divisions/offices.
The incumbent will work in close partnership with the Directors of (alphabetically):
- Financial and Administration Management (DFAM)
- Office of Innovation (OoI)
- Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS)
- Office of the Chief Legal Counsel
- Office of the Executive Director (OED)
- Private Sector Fundraising and Partnerships (PFP)
- Programme Group (PG)
- Public Partnerships (PPD)
- Supply Division (SD)
The incumbent will also engage with, and support, field initiatives where these involve multi-divisional elements and where the engagement and connection/coordination add value.
The Principal Adviser will report primarily to the Deputy Executive Director (Partnerships) with clear accountabilities to DED Field Results and Innovation, DED Management, and DED Programmes.
The incumbent will work closely with, and have a dotted reporting line to, the Directors of PFP, OoI, DFAM, and PPD, as the frontline divisions most closely involved in IF4C.
How can you make a difference?
Main funcitons of the role are:
- Act as the global convenor of UNICEF's IF4C work across divisions and regions, in close partnership with Deputy Executive Directors and Division Directors. The incumbent will build on the additionality of resources across UNICEF – people and funding – in support of the IF4C elements of the overall organization financing for development portfolio. The incumbent will also serve as an adviser to the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors, and relevant Division Directors on high-level strategic matters related to IF4C, in consultation with colleagues across the organization. Ultimately, this will help ensure that, by 2025, UNICEF fulfils its aim to align, amplify, accelerate and access billions of dollars of funding and financing across the spectrum of capital, and apply new alternative solutions to drive priorities for children under the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Lead and coordinate global organization-wide strategic planning for IF4C work, and coordinate the effective implementation of the Global IF Strategy through an inter-divisional Operational Plan. This includes, particular focus on rollout, monitoring, reporting and results-based budgeting of:
- The organization-wide IF4C Strategy;
- The organization-wide IF4C Operational Plan, with specific attention to priority initiatives across divisions;
- A responsibility assignment matrix (RACI) with clear metrics of accountability, delivery, and measurement; and the optimal use of existing resources (staff and funding).
- IF4C for organizational planning processes such as the development or the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan.
Note: The Global IF4C Strategy (finalized and to be issued as of November 2021), will be a key guiding reference and framework for the work of the incumbent and all colleagues engaging on IF4C across divisions/offices.
- Facilitate cross-divisional collaboration and mobilization required for UNICEF to swiftly harness opportunities and tackle challenges to advance the organization's IF4C agenda, with the support of an inter-divisional ‘Core Team’. This will include targeted support to help divisions secure new partnerships, explore opportunities and address bottlenecks in a coordinated manner. This includes working in close collaboration with the Programme Group in enhancing the linkages and complementarities with work on Public Finance for Children.
- Ensure that UNICEF's IF4C work operates under an agile and efficient governance structure with improved and streamlined processes and senior management's full oversight and sponsorship. Act as the secretariat of the governance structure and ensures smooth communication and decision-making and follow up.
- Support efforts to strengthen the internal and external visibility, communication and positioning of UNICEF's IF4C work as part of the overall financing for development agenda – in collaboration with relevant lead divisions/offices. This will include:
- Together with relevant HQ Divisions, National Committees, Regional Offices and Country Offices, develop and coordinate the implementation of an external engagement and communication plan to position UNICEF as a global leader in IF4C. This would include the creation of key advocacy and global moments/initiatives with UNICEF as lead partner, participating in events, seeking advocacy or cultivation opportunities with partners (current and prospective), and engaging with the media (in close collaboration with DGCA and relevant offices/divisions). As needed, represent UNICEF in such global events, in coordination with relevant divisions.
- Support and help guide internal communication, knowledge management and engagement to build a common understanding among UNICEF staff and foster the demand and enabling environment for IF4C solutions to help implement the Strategic Plan and country programmes around the world. This will also include targeted outreach (complementing existing capacity building programmes for staff, to the extent possible), webinars, and relevant internal fora (such as Regional Management Team meetings) to ensure that managers and staff understand IF4C and how to access the enabling and supporting systems in place at HQ and RO levels. Approaches to strengthen knowledge management and the sharing of best practices will also be explored and supported, including through existing communities of practice.
- In partnership with relevant divisions, ensure that UNICEF's coherent and coordinated engagement with the Executive Board on matters related to IF4C.
- As needed, support and facilitate global engagement with other UN organizations on IF4C, in consultation with frontline IF4C divisions/offices (DFAM, OoI, PFP, PPD, SD), Programme Group, and other relevant divisions and stakeholders. This will include coordinating IF4C aspects of the global partnership with UNDP and collaborating with key divisions/offices in pursuing other partnerships and exchanges with other UN organizations and international financial institutions. The incumbent may be requested to also represent UNICEF in relevant UN fora and help coordinate inputs and contributions to system-wide initiatives related to IF4C, including potential requests from the UN Development Coordination Office or the UN Secretariat.
- Collaborate with key divisions/offices in development and rollout of a global investment case to mobilize additional resources to enable and scale up IF4C work in UNICEF. This will aim to mobilize funds to invest in new initiatives and scale up existing ones; mobilize additional capacity, including through sourcing secondments and/or pro bono expertise; and identify resources for capacity building of staff. This will be done in close coordination with OoI, PFP PPD, and PG and, as needed, regions and Country Offices.
- Act as secretariat for the IF4C governance structure (IF Committee), under the oversight and sponsorship of senior management (DED Partnership and DED Field Results and Innovation) and in close partnership with frontline IF4C divisions/offices.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
An advanced university degree in Finance, Economics, Business Administration, Political Science, International Relations, or another relevant technical field.
- A minimum of 13 years of relevant work experience, with at least some in areas related to innovative finance and with proven track record.
- Experience in finance and/or financing in either the public or private sector is required. Significant experience in both public and private sector finance combined would desirable, including Public Private Partnerships.
- Superior interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and writing) are a must, with the ability to easily communicate complex ideas to non-expert audiences.
- Demonstrated track record in driving collaboration across organizational layers and silos to deliver results.
- Relevant experience the private or public sectors, International Financial Institutions and/or other UN organizations in the areas of alternative/innovative finance, including venture capital and funds, is an asset. Experience and knowledge of UNICEF, and its National Committees, is an added advantage.
- Experience working at the international and/or global level is strongly preferred.
- A strong network of contacts in the private sector, international financial institutions, academia, United Nations organizations, and other key stakeholders in the field of innovative finance is an asset.
- Fluency in English is required with advanced written and oral proficiency. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is a strong asset.
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...
- Nurtures, leads and manages people (3)
- Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3)
- Works collaboratively with others (3)
- Builds and maintains partnerships (3)
- Innovates and embraces change (3)
- Thinks and acts strategically (3)
- Drives to achieve impactful results (3)
- Manages ambiguity and complexity (3
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.
*Due to HQ Efficiency Exercise, the location of this position may change.
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.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.