Programme Specialist – Adolescent Girls (P-3), PGLT – Gender Equality, outposted in Nairobi (Temporary Appointment 364days) # 00128826

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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, … a better life,

While advancements have been made in recent years across a range of gender equality outcomes, the COVID-19 pandemic, increasingly complex and extended humanitarian crises around the world and the ongoing catastrophe of climate change all threaten to reverse gains made towards gender equality. Adolescent girls are on the frontlines of these crises. Nearly 1 in 4 girls aged 15-19 is not employed, in education nor training compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age. Globally adolescent girls 10-14 years spend 50% more of their time on household chores than boys of the same age, while only 35% of STEM students in higher education are women. An estimated 10 million additional girls are at risk of child marriage over the next ten years following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, also increasing their risk of early pregnancy. Globally, 15% of girls give birth before the age of 18, while girls account for the majority (3/4) of all new HIV infections amongst adolescents. Yet these numbers can be turned around. More than 600 million adolescent girls are poised to take on the future and have already begun leading change and building more gender equal, just futures for their communities. UNICEF’s global frameworks now recognize this time of life as critical for intervention. UNICEF has launched a new Adolescent Girls’ Programme Strategy which aims to accelerate action against these commitments, and articulates a vision for moving forwards, with and for adolescent girls’, to deliver multi-sectoral, girl-targeted programming, working in partnership with other partners, especially girl-led and girl-focused organisations. Critically, girls’ voice, agency and empowerment is at the core of the new strategy.

How can you make a difference?

In alignment with UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan and UNICEF’s new Adolescent Girls’ Programme Strategy, UNICEF’s Gender Equality section is seeking an Adolescent Girls’ Programme Specialist, with supervision from the Senior Advisor, Gender Equality, focused on adolescent girls. The role is primarily technical and programmatic, with the policy, advocacy and coordination roles serving a secondary function. The team currently oversees or supports a live portfolio of 46 country programmes working to promote adolescent girls’ wellbeing, empowerment and leadership through multisectoral models, particularly on skills, protection and health. Whilst some of these programmes are well-established under UNICEF’s Skills4Girls programme, many of the programmes have just started in 2023, offering a fantastic opportunity in this role to get to grips with and support a new and growing portfolio and make a real difference in girls’ lives. Advocacy, learning and building the evidence base for this agenda are also key components of the strategy described above. This role will play a critical role in supporting the delivery of this agenda, with the programme management portfolio focused on leading programme management on Skills4Girls and active support to the HPV+ portfolio.

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

High quality programme management of a large portfolio of programmes to progress adolescent girls’ rights, wellbeing and leadership.

  • Support for the development, implementation, and monitoring of high-quality programming, including leading programme management of the global Skills4Girls programme and support to the POWER4Girls programme, including responsibility for excellent and detail-oriented monitoring of budget and results, and regular reports for different audiences. This requires close attention to detail, excellent organisational skills and ability to deliver at pace, as well as strong writing skills; 
  • Support and work with programme colleagues and management so that gender results are effectively defined, measured, and reported, and high-quality assessment, research, evidence generation and evaluation on gender programming is undertaken and utilized;
  • Support for cross-sectional collaboration and coordination on key programmatic results on gender, ensuring coherence, maximization of synergies and efficiency in utilization of resources and delivery of results

Advisory services and technical support on adolescent girls

  • Technical guidance/operational support throughout all stages of programming to facilitate the management and delivery of results contributing to gender equality in alignment with the Gender Action Plan. This includes:
  • Actively participate in or support others in efforts to provide technical support as demanded by country offices, including triaging support demands proactively, or researching and responding to requests depending on thematic area;
  • As requested, provide gender analysis and review of programme proposals so that technical components are designed to (as a minimum) respond to girls’ and women’s needs, and ideally address the root causes of gender inequality, and so that the overall programme is aligned with the strategic shifts outlined in the Adolescent Girls’ Programme Strategy
  • Work with sectoral counterparts and senior management to incorporate sound gender indicators and measures in programme/project and policy initiatives, proposals, and advocacy efforts and assist in developing gender-sensitive theories of change models for sector and cross-sectoral programming – aligned with the Strategy’s overall M&E Framework and Theory of Change.

Support policy efforts to further adolescent girls’ rights, wellbeing and leadership, with a special focus on the HPV+ initaitve

  • Support programme and sector colleagues in health and immunization to advance the HPV+ agenda with support from the Senior Gender Adviser, with a focus on holistic adolescent girls’ health services (including for example guidance, learning and policy work to address teenage pregnancy, HIV and advance sexual and reproductive health rights), to be further defined depending on the successful candidate’s background.
  • Provide briefing for key advocacy and communications moments for adolescent girls. This includes:
  • Support documentation and sharing of the country-level experience in gender programming and lessons learned, which will be shared with internal network and external partners
  • Bring best practices in gender programming and measurement to the attention of senior management and sectoral colleagues, as well as Regional Gender Advisor and gender section staff at HQ
  • Provide briefing for senior staff based on the programme portfolio and priority GAP area the Programme Specialist is engaged on.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Support implementation of a policy and advocacy strategy with key messages on working with and for adolescent girls, building from existing work
  • Support building and maintenance of internal and external partnerships and networks as relevant for the portfolio of programmes
  • Support building and maintenance of strategic alliances for gender equality with various partners, including institutional links with UN agency teams focused on adolescent girls, and other relevant entities.
  • Support mapping of potential new partnerships and input into programme proposals to accelerate GAP implementation with and for adolescent girls globally as required
  • Provide support to the Global Girl Leaders Advisory Group, supporting this group to execute their vision and meaningfully participate in shaping UNICEF’s programmes with and for adolescent girls.

The following minimum requirements:

  • Advanced university degree (Masters or higher) in the social sciences (i.e. sociology, demography, psychology, political science, social policy or economics), public health, public policy, public administration, international development, or in an area relevant to UNICEF’s sectoral work (e.g. Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education, Child Protection, Social Protection, Inclusion, HIV/AIDs, etc.) is required.
  • Academic credentials in gender are a strong asset.
  • Minimum five years of progressively responsible professional experience and demonstrated track record of having undertaken and led substantive programming on gender and development in key issue areas that are the focus of UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan is required.
  • Experience in managing programmes/projects is essential, including budget and knowledge management
  • Excellent written communication skills are essential
  • Experience  at country/field level is an asset..
  • Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of another UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is considered 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…

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • 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 benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, 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.

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 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 30 Jun 2024 E. Africa Standard Time

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