Innovation Specialist (Sustainable WASH), P-3, Office of Innovation, Copenhagen, Denmark #127802

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, clean water

he vision of the UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub (WASH Hub) is to be a global home for building, accelerating and scaling transformational climate resilient solutions for a WASH secure future of universal and equitable access to services, addressing the full ambition of the SDG6. WASH Hub will source, pilot and scale transformational and frontier climate resilient innovations that respond to key programmatic challenges that, if solved, will unlock faster progress for a water secure future for children and young people. One of the key global challenges that the Hub will address through exploration and scale of innovative solutions will be tackling foreseen climate change impacts on WASH services and delivery access. The Hub will also support research and innovation on the links between climate change and water, sanitation and hygiene.

The hub will bring together a passionate community of strategic partners including children and young people, academia, private entrepreneurs, public policy makers, social development and humanitarian actors, and our global UNICEF WASH / CEED and innovation colleagues in 150+ countries. Collectively we will co-create, advocate, enable, convene, and motivate for innovative sustainable solutions to long-standing barriers and emerging opportunities for a WASH secure and climate resilient future for every child.

The WASH Hub will be part of a distributed network working in close partnership with child impacted local ecosystems in countries across the world, while simultaneously engaging some of the most impactful global innovation ecosystems.

How can you make a difference? 

The Innovation Specialist will work under the supervision of the Innovation Manager (WASH Hub). They will need to work in an environment that will evolve requiring adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to creatively respond to rapidly changing innovation landscapes. The post will need to ensure strong connections between the WASH hub, Regional Advisors and Country WASH teams and the relevant communities of practice to share the results of the WASH innovation portfolio.

The purpose of this role is to support Country Offices working on innovation projects, to support their work, facilitate documentation of best practice, help navigate the challenges of innovation projects at scale and address issues when they arise. The Innovation Specialist will be responsible for supporting the day-to-day management of the WASH Innovation portfolio projects and driving climate resilient WASH innovations to accelerate results for children and young people.

The Innovation Specialist (Sustainable WASH) will have the following key functions and accountabilities:

  1. Support Country Offices implementing Innovation projects as part of the WASH portfolio.
  2. Actively support the WASH innovation portfolio process
  3. Explore resource mobilization needs for country office support
  4. Support the sharing of Innovation projects experiences and results
  5. Support innovators in climate resilient WASH across UNICEF
  6. Provide support to Innovation Manager in respect to managing grants in support of portfolio solutions
  7. Any other duties or assignments as requested by the supervisor

If you would like to know more about this position and the key activities, please review the complete Job Description here: Download File JD_Innovation Specialist_Sustainable WASH P3.pdf

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

Minimum requirements:


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: Environmental Science, Sustainability or related fields, Innovation-related field, International Relations, Water & Sanitation or another relevant field. A first degree plus an additional 2 years’ experience may be accepted in lieu of a master’s degree

Work Experience:

  • At least 5 years of relevant professional work experience is required at national and international levels in the areas of innovation, sustainability, water & sanitation, climate change, development and cooperation.
  • Understanding of climate resilient WASH / CEED innovations and programming within the UNICEF context.
  • Demonstrated understanding of innovation practice in humanitarian, development or low resource settings, this could include start-up to scaling innovations in relevant sector(s).
  • Demonstrate experience of supporting and advising country offices remotely and/or in country throughout the project management cycle.
  • Experience of working in a UNICEF programme country.


  • Demonstrable capacity to work with stakeholders and communities at all levels in a range of cultures, to strategically identify and address challenges and bottle necks to deliver results.
  • Ability to work with others in a range of settings

Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in English is required


  • Demonstrated knowledge of UNICEF’s processes and procedures is considered an asset.
  • Experience of working within innovation portfolios is desirable.
  • Experience in supporting development of communication materials for internal and external publication is desirable.
  • Experience in managing grants as well as commissioning and managing contractors is desirable.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.
  • Knowledge and fluency of another UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships

(2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness

(3) Drive to achieve results for impact

(4) Innovates and embraces change (Level 2)

(5) Manages ambiguity and complexity

(6) Thinks and acts strategically

(7) Works collaboratively with others 

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

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.

We offer a wide range of measures to include a more diverse workforce, such as paid parental leave, time off for breastfeeding purposes, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). 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 is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

UNICEF’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable Male candidates from Programmatic Countries are encouraged to apply.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Contact: For any queries, please contact: [email protected]

Advertised: 10 Jun 2024 Romance Daylight Time
Deadline: 24 Jun 2024 Romance Daylight Time

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