Re-advertisement: Child Protection Specialist, NOC, Abuja #18294 – Fixed Term

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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 champion

How can you make a difference?


Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) with emphasis on Birth registration and Legal Identity is one of the key programmatic priorities in the UNICEF Nigeria Country Office and is one of West and Central Africa Region’s (WCAR’s) eight Key Results for Children (KRCs). UNICEF Nigeria has made significant progress in birth registration coverage, with a high annual rate of change, in 2023 UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria through the National Population Council (NPC) and allied ministries, departments and agencies to register over 11 million births of children under the age of five years old.   

Informed by the Regional KRC#7 Multi-Country Formative Evaluation (2021), Nigeria implements three priority strategies endorsed by the AU Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS) to accelerate universal birth registration: digitisation of systems, interoperability, and decentralisation of service delivery. UNICEF Nigeria’s visionary support materialized in 2023 with the establishment of a digital Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system. This transformative platform facilitated digital birth registration services at healthcare points and within communities across 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Complemented by a robust legal framework ensuring data protection and identity theft prevention, the integration of birth registration with primary health care services became a reality. Collaborative efforts with the National Population Commission and National Primary Health Care Development Agency enhance the synergy between civil registration and health, significantly advancing birth registration coverage nationwide.

Ensuring a fixed term staff capacity at the country level to coordinate and support the Nigeria CRVS and legal identity agenda is critical to sustain results in Nigeria by ensuring high quality technical assistance, management of country-wide programmes and initiatives, management of political and financial partnerships, and ensuring coordination between the different UNICEF sections, government Ministries and Departments that contribute to this multi-sectoral agenda.

The Child Protection – Specialist (legal identity with a focus on Birth Registration) – reports to the Child Protection Manager for guidance and general supervision. The Specialist supports the efforts of National Population Commission and allied entities towards the development and implementation of the national civil registration and vital statistics strategy and plan of action.

In addition, the Specialist will be responsible to lead and manage the UNICEF contribution towards the management, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the Civil Registration programmes with emphasis on Birth Registration within the country programme. The Specialist contributes to the achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key function, accountabilities, and related duties/tasks 

1. Support to programme/project development and planning

  • Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the Civil Registration -Birth Registration programme to ensure that current and comprehensive data on legal identity issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, and design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency, and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of birth registration programme. Formulate, design, and prepare programme/project proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s overall Strategic Plans and the Country Programme, as well as coherence and integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence, and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
  • Employ programme interoperability with other social sectors and strengthen linkages between civil registration with, identity management, health, education, and the private sector.
  • Implement comprehensive programmes to accelerate birth registration for all children, especially children from the most vulnerable communities, starting from birth.

2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results.

  • Plan and collaborate with colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in child protection programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required actions and interventions to achieve results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management. Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
  • Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits, surveys and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.

3. Technical and operational support to programme implementation

  • Support the efforts of the NPC state governments and other civil registration ecosystem stakeholders at community level to reach hardest areas using digital technology to leapfrog outdated, paper-based birth registration systems through social mobilization drives.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of community level actors (village scribes, traditional and religious leaders, Village Community mobilizers, traditional birth attendants etc.) registrars and other stakeholders to promote increased birth registration and certification process in LGAs, wards and communities.
  • Actively monitor birth registration programmes through field visits, surveys, and exchange of information with state and community level actors, assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems on birth registration coverage and proffer viable solutions.
  • Support the establishment of a network of mobile birth registrars as ‘gatekeepers’ to provide active registration services and mobile units in communities, wards and households level to improve birth registration and certification coverage in Nigeria.
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners and donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on child protection related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Arrange and coordinate availability of technical experts with UNICEF Field offices, relevant ministries and agencies to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
  • Participate in child protection programme meetings, including programme development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated, to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration.

4. Networking and partnership building

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders, global partners, allies, donors, and academia – through active networking, advocacy and effective communication – to build capacity, exchange knowledge and expertise, and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results for birth registration in Nigeria.
  • Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness on birth registration, establish partnerships/alliances and to support fund raising for birth registration programmes and interventions.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on birth registration related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects. Ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process for development planning and agenda setting.

5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors, and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable results on Birth Registration.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of broad stakeholders to promote sustainable results in birth registration in Nigeria.
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in child protection management and information systems. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.

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

The following minimum requirements:

Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law, or another relevant social science field.

Experience: A minimum of five years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection related areas is required. Experience working in at international or national level in developing to middle -income countries in the implementation of birth registration programmes is required. Relevant experience in programme development in child protection related areas in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset. Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is considered as an added advantage.

 Language Requirements: Fluency in English is required. 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 [add the 8th competency (Nurtures, leads and manages people) for a supervisory role]. 

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.  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 female candidates 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.

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: 26 Apr 2024 W. Central Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 27 Jun 2024 W. Central Africa Standard Time

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