Programme Adviser (Capital Fund) (P-5), Office of Innovation (Giga), Geneva, Switzerland, #128917 (Temporary Appointment 364 days)

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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, hope

Launched in 2019 as a joint initiative between UNICEF and ITU, Giga has set the ambitious goal to connect every school in the world to the internet.  Half of the world’s population has no regular access to the Internet. Millions of children leave school without any digital skills, making it much more difficult for them to thrive and contribute to local and global economies. This has created a digital divide between those who are connected and those who are not, a divide that has become even wider during the Covid-19 pandemic. UNICEF and ITU have therefore joined forces to create Giga, an initiative to connect every school in the world to the Internet and address this new form of inequality.  

Giga focuses on connecting schools so that children and young people have access to information, opportunity, and choice. It also uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect the school, you can also connect local businesses and services. This creates opportunities for service providers to generate revenue from paying users, making connectivity more sustainable. A 2021 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that a 10% increase in school connectivity can increase effective years of schooling by 0.6% and increase GDP per capita by 1.1%.  

Based in Switzerland with an open-source technology centre in Barcelona, Giga not only aims to provide children and young people with access to information but also envisions schools as anchor points to uplift entire communities

How can you make a difference? 

Giga has a strategic vision to connect every school worldwide to the internet by 2030. The Giga Fund focuses on creating a financing facility prototype, establishing a pipeline of investments for telecommunications infrastructure, and setting up a project preparation facility to accelerate school connectivity, especially in underserved regions.

Under the guidance of the Senior Adviser (Giga Financing and Market Shaping), the Programme Adviser (Capital Fund) will play a crucial role in these innovative financial strategies, helping to build and implement the Giga Fund, which is designed to attract and manage substantial investment in digital infrastructure for educational environments across developing nations.

The Programme Adviser has the following key functions: 

Managerial leadership

• Lead the strategic setup of the Financing Facility Prototype, ensuring alignment with Giga’s long-term connectivity goals.
• Manage relationships with IFI/DFI partners who want to use Giga mapping and tooling to support monitoring of their work
• Manage WB/IFC/Giga collaboration where IFC will be supporting portfolio companies and WB helping on government engagement for key connectivity projects, with Giga providing project monitoring.
• Manage relationships with donors like the EU, which is giving to Giga programmatically, for both monitoring and programmatic implementation.
• Work with UNICEF Innovative Financing to craft new financing vehicles to support school and health center connectivity.
• Where necessary, support the external Giga Fund process through shared communications and technical assistance.
• Manage the relationship with ITU around their Digital Infrastructure Initiative work and ensure key roles and responsibilities are maintained.
• Work closely with the Senior Innovation Adviser to synchronize these new strategic areas with the broader goals of the Office of Innovation.
• Establish and uphold effective communication channels among the leads of other areas, ensuring synchronization with Giga’s overarching goals and objectives, as well as with broader OoI strategic initiatives.
• Oversee the recruitment of specialists in Financing and Investment, ensuring a balanced skill set and expertise to achieve program objectives, ensuring the right mix of skills and expertise to drive Giga’s goals.

Programme development and planning

  • Develop strategic plans for each new functional area: IFI/DFI Support, Multilateral Donor Financing, New Financing Vehicles
  • Through the team leads meeting update to the Senior Adviser (Giga Financing and Market Shaping), highlighting achievements, challenges, and recommendations for moving forward.

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Monitor the execution of these strategic plans, ensuring timely achievement of outcomes and adapting strategies as necessary to respond to evolving challenges and opportunities. Leverage the expertise and insights from cross-sectoral OoI teams for a more robust and adaptive approach.
  • Develop and manage a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework to track and assess the progress and impact of Giga financing activities.
  • Promote a culture of continuous learning and continuous improvement within the teams, leveraging insights from M&E activities to refine and enhance program strategies.

Advisory services and technical support

  • Provide technical guidance and support for financial modeling and project preparation strategies.
    Align finance and funding utilization strategies with global best practices and the specific needs of emerging markets

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Engage with external stakeholders, including investors and government agencies, to enhance visibility and support for Giga.
  • Negotiate and lead discussions with potential partners to secure donor resources for large scale implementations and align them with programmatic objectives.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches, and best practices for sustainable financing and investment strategies in support of Giga’s mission, through advocacy and technical advisory services. Institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned within the realm of digital infrastructure financing.
  • Contribute to the generation of evidence through research, evaluations, and implementation science to advance technical excellence of connectivity programs. Lead the planning and updating of the situation analysis to ensure that current and comprehensive data on issues related to school connectivity are available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts, and to set program priorities, strategies, design, and implementation plans.
  • Coordinate with all necessary stakeholders to ensure that all innovative financing strategies and activities adhere to UNICEF, ITU, and other relevant regulations and standards.
  • Facilitate capacity-building initiatives specifically aimed at enhancing financial modeling, investment strategies, and project preparation skills within the team, fostering a collaborative and inclusive work culture that values diversity and encourages professional growth.

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

Minimum requirements:


  • Advanced degree in Business Administration, Finance, Economics, Technology, or related field.

Work Experience:

  • At least 10 years of relevant work experience in strategic program management, investment banking, or related areas. Strong expertise in financial modeling and project management in the development sector is preferred.
  • Proven experience in managing multi-disciplinary teams and driving programmatic initiatives to achieve set objectives.
  • Strong understanding of open-source technologies, blockchain, and other emerging tech platforms.
  • Experience in budget management, financial analysis, and reporting.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively within large organizations, navigating complex structures and processes to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage effectively with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Experience in the delivery of connectivity and infrastructure projects at national and regional levels.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, agile, and flexible environment, adapting strategies and operations as needed to achieve programme goals.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, with a proactive approach to identifying and addressing challenges.
  • Commitment to promoting a culture of respect, inclusivity, and team collaboration.

Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required


  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.
  • 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 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

(5) Manages ambiguity and complexity

(6) Thinks and acts strategically

(7) Works collaboratively with others 

(8) Nurtures, leads and manages people

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. 

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.

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.

Advertised: 07 Jun 2024 W. Europe Daylight Time
Deadline: 16 Jun 2024 W. Europe Daylight Time

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