Consultancy – Assistant Editor, State of the World’s Children report – Global Office of Research and Foresight – approx. 75 working days – remote/work from home

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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, answers

The State of the World’s Children 2024 (SOWC 2024) report team is looking for a highly qualified, energetic and enthusiastic assistant editor to help produce the next edition of UNICEF’s flagship report. The individual will carry out assignments under direction of the SOWC 2024 Editor-in-Chief that provide support for the research, drafting, editing, revising, fact-checking and copy-editing of the report.

The work to be undertaken as part of this contract achieves multiple purposes by:
1. Supporting the Editor-in-Chief with the synthesis of inputs of multiple stakeholders and contributors
2. Providing research required as part of the drafting process.
3. Supporting editing, drafting and revising as directed by the Editor-in-Chief for the SOWC2024 and the executive summary.
4. Supporting and coordinating revisions of report drafts in response to internal and external feedback.
5. Ensuring that the citations and source material cited in the report are accurate and in UNICEF style.
6. Collaborating with the fact-checkers in the Division of Global Communication and Advocacy (DGCA) so the report is cleared for publication.
7. Examining and responding to copy-editing changes, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief to make sure meaning and style remain accurate and consistent throughout the report.

How can you make a difference? 

The assistant editor will provide support for the research, drafting, editing, revising, fact- checking and copy-editing of the SOWC2024 including the executive summary. The assistant editor will:

1. Support the synthesis of inputs


• Under direction of the Editor-in-Chief, provide support for the synthesis of inputs from multiple stakeholders and contributors to the SOWC 2024


• Synthesis of inputs from stakeholders, experts and other contributors to the SOWC that feeds concise draft text.
• Keep track of the review of drafts and feedback from internal and external stakeholders including for Draft 1, Draft 2, technical review day, political review day and OED signoff.
• Coordinate response between Editor-in-Chief and report reviewers.

2. Ad hoc research


• Search for primary and secondary source material that guide and support arguments in the report.
• Fill holes in background papers prepared for the drafting process.
• Provide research if a new direction or topic is added to the report in the middle of the drafting process.
• Undertake any other research requested by Editor-in-Chief.


• Primary and secondary source documents searched and provided to Editor-in- Chief.

3. Supporting editing, drafting and revising


  • Under the direction of the Editor-in-Chief, support the drafting of chapters and sections of the report, including the Executive Summary.
  • Under the direction of the Editor-in-Chief, support the editing chapters and sections of the report for clarity, accuracy and UNICEF style.
  • Revise text based on feedback from internal and external reviewers and from the Editor-in-Chief.


• Edited and drafted chapters and sections of SOWC 2024
• Revised chapters and sections that incorporate feedback from internal and external reviewers.

4. Citations, source material, fact-checking


• Ensure that factual statements in the report are backed by up-to-date source material as defined by UNICEF fact-checking guidance.
• Ensure that citations are accurate according to UNICEF style.
• Shephard draft of SOWC 2024 through the DGCA fact-checking process
• Respond to fact-checking queries.
• Ensure version control as draft is fact-checked and revised.
• Ensure SOWC 2024 clears fact-checking.


• Accurate and up-to-date citations in UNICEF style throughout SOWC 2024
• Document cleared by DGCA fact-checkers.

5. Copy-editing revisions


• Shepherd draft of SOWC 2024 through copy-editing.
• Review copy-edits for accuracy, style, UNICEF style and consistency.
• Maintain version control as drafts make their way through editorial processes concurrently rather than consecutively.


• Clear coordination between Editor-in-Chief and stakeholders


The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Editor-in-Chief of SOWC.

Methodologies and Tools

1. Methodologies to be used:

The assistant editor will follow SOWC’s research methods, which include consultation with a variety of subject area experts and practitioners inside and outside of UNICEF—followed by a synthesis of the information.
The assistant editor will adhere to UNICEF’s style book, aiming for clear, concise and compelling language.

2. Software to be used for data analysis: N/A.

3. Subscriptions that will be required: Materials to be provided by the Editor-in-Chief/SOWC team.

Conditions of Consultancy

1. UNICEF Innocenti does not issue computer equipment to consultants. The consultant will be responsible for providing the necessary computer equipment for the consultancy themselves and should include the cost implications of this responsibility in their bid for the consultancy. The cost of software and subscriptions that may be necessary to complete the consultancy (e.g., Microsoft Word) also needs to be factored into the bid for the consultancy.

2. This consultancy requires the consultant to travel in order to complete the required deliverables effectively and efficiently. The full cost of travel should be included into the bid for the contract. While UNICEF Innocenti does not make travel arrangements for consultants, there are value for money rules that apply to consultant travel. The consultant will arrange their own travel, clear the anticipated cost with UNICEF and invoice UNICEF for the travel cost as soon as the travel has been completed.

3. UNICEF Innocenti will assist consultants with arrangements for visas, work permits, vaccinations, etc.

4. UNICEF does not regard Individuals engaged under a consultancy contract as “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures. Consultants are therefore not entitled to benefits such as leave, pension and medical insurance coverage. Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants.

5. Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant. Prospective consultants are encouraged to ensure that they fully understand (a) the requirements of each deliverable and (b) the workload associated with reaching a deliverable.

6. UNICEF Innocenti recognises that, due to the locations of some of its research, events may occur that either delay deliverables or prevent them from being completed. These events need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the impact on the payment schedule of the contract. It is UNICEF Innocenti’s objective to be fair to consultants in situations where deliverables are delayed or no longer attainable through no wrongdoing of the consultant.

7. Consultants are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Deliverable/Output: Estimated number of working days Deadline (projected)
Support synthesis of inputs 20 15 October 2024
Support editing, revising and drafting 35 8 November 2024
Citations, source material, fact-checking 10 8 November 2024
Copy-editing revisions 5 20 November 2024
Ad hoc research 5 30 November 2024

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in relevant areas of social sciences, communication, journalism, publishing, international development or a related area. 

Essential skills + experience:

• Professional experience of research and advocacy report writing, editing, research, production and coordination
• Strong and demonstrated capacity to translate complex ideas and concepts for non-specialist readers and to write clearly, articulately and persuasively
• Strong and demonstrated capacity to write engaging narratives for multiple kinds of audiences
• Strong and demonstrated capacity to project manage complex processes with multiple internal and external partners
• Experience in international contexts, in particular writing and editing in the United Nations system
• Absolute commitment to rigorous and ethical approach in all aspects of the job
• Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills.

Fluency in English is required.

Desirable qualifications:
• Experience with international contexts, including writing and editing in the United Nations system and/or NGO sector.
• In addition to English, knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate:

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

 To view our competency framework, please visit  here

 UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

Advertised: 14 May 2024 GMT Daylight Time
Deadline: 19 May 2024 GMT Daylight Time

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