Re-advertisement: Programme Manager (Acceleration Facility), P-4, Fixed Term, EDUCATION CANNOT WAIT (ECW), Hosted Funds, New York based function, USA, Post #125481, Req #573140

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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, Education

How can you make a difference? 

The main purpose of this job is to provide quality day-to-day leadership of ECW’s flagship Acceleration Facility (AF) funding window, from both a strategic and operational perspective. The AF is a catalytic fund through which ECW supports the development and uptake of ‘global public goods’ (which ECW defines as both products and organizational entities) in the Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises (EiEPC) sector. As per ECW’s 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, the AF budget will be set at $10 million per year for four years, with funding aligned to the six themes in ECW’s new Learning Agenda. There are three types of grants under the AF: Core funding to strategic partners working in EiEPC e.g. the Global Education Cluster; Funding allocated competitively via Requests for Proposals e.g. on gender; and Flexible funding allocated via grants e.g. to NGOs with a unique value add. Over the last few months, the ECW secretariat has developed a new approach to the Acceleration Facility, drawing on the vision set out in ECW’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026, and in response to recommendations in the Organisational Evaluation.


  • Shape and deliver a new strategic direction for the Acceleration Facility.
  • Ensure that ECW’s new approach to the AF delivers on the commitments made in ECW’s Strategic Plan 2023-2026 and agreed recommendations of the 2022 Organisational Evaluation of ECW, particularly the need to ensure greater linkages with ECW’s two other investment windows. Review and update the approach to ensure it remains relevant.
  • Manage communication with key internal stakeholders (including ECW Secretariat staff, ECW’s Executive Committee, Education Technical Reference Group and Gender Reference Group) to ensure strong buy-in and collective action around the AF’s new direction of travel.
  • Provide ongoing advice and troubleshooting support to ECW staff on external stakeholder management with respect to AF grants.
  • Support ECW’s senior management and Executive Director to deliver a compelling public narrative and supportive communications and advocacy with respect to AF investments.
  • Oversee and coordinate a high-quality Acceleration Facility portfolio.
  • Develop and oversee a dynamic AF portfolio.
  • Set the strategic ambition of the AF in the sector and incentivize reform, innovation and advancement in the sector through the different funding instruments available under the AF (strategic partnerships, calls for proposals and flexible funding).
  • Lead the development of comprehensive requests for proposals, in liaison with the relevant technical teams in the ECW Secretariat and manage and oversee the subsequent selection of organisations and establishment of grants.
  • Proactively identify and make meaningful linkages and connections between the AF and ECW’s other funding windows (Multi Year Resilience Programmes and First Emergency Response grants).
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of a high quality, user-friendly information management system to manage AF grants.
  • Create and improve existing systems to track potential, live and closed grant opportunities.
  • Manage the end-to-end process for all grants under the AF portfolio (from design, through implementation, to closure) ensuring relevant reporting, monitoring and evaluation is completed in a timely and coordinated fashion.
  • Support AF thematic leads to meet key deadlines and manage key processes in line with UNICEF protocol ,e.g. procurement via Requests for Proposals.
  • Coordinate closely with ECW’s Finance and Operations section to ensure AF grant management processes and financial information are appropriately in order.
  • Coordinate closely with ECW’s Monitoring and Evaluation section to ensure a robust monitoring and evaluation system and relevant research questions underpins the new AF portfolio and that this feeds into the Annual Results Report and Learning Agenda Report.
  • Lead the sharing and dissemination of lessons across all AF investments both within the ECW Secretariat and across the EiEPC sector.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with sector partners related to global goods, innovation and capacity building, and keep up to date with relevant developments in the sector.
  • Strengthen and quality assure all AF grants to ensure, where appropriate, they reinforce and accelerate investments made under ECW’s other two investment windows.
  • Coordinate internal governance structures that support the smooth functioning of the AF:
    • Use the AF working group to lead ongoing oversight of the AF portfolio.
    • Coordinate and lead fortnightly/monthly (as required) meetings of ECW’s internal AF Working Group. Set the strategic direction of the group and produce timely and clear analysis and recommendations to the Group for them to make key decisions on AF grants and to set direction for the Fund.
    • Coordinate meetings and decision-making by the 5-person AF Core Group on key AF decision points or bottlenecks.
  • Support ECW’s operationalization of the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan:
    • Support, as needed, the work of the Strategy, Planning and Accountability team, as well as the entire ECW Secretariat, on operationalizing the 2023-2026 ECW Strategic Plan in areas other than the AF

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

Minimum requirements:

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in international development, international relations, social sciences, business or public administration, government, public policy, or other related fields.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible professional experience in planning or coordination, preferably in a United Nations or development organization.
  • Experience working on grant management and/or strategy development.
  • Experience working on education programming and/or policy, especially Education in Emergencies and Protracted Crises.
  • Language requirements: fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.


  • Strong interpersonal skills in being able to lead teams as well develop and maintain effective working relations with a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to set out and deliver user-friendly systems and frameworks to support effective planning and coordination, with limited supervision.
  • Ability to work in a lean structure, which requires flexibility and proactivity.
  • Ability to respond to tight deadlines with a good attention to detail.
  • Very strong written and oral communication skills – the ability to summarize complex information in ways that engage and motivate colleagues, and the ability to create high-quality Word, Excel and PowerPoint document to communicate key information.  
  • Ability to manage upwards, coordinating inputs and engagement from more senior colleagues as needed.
  • Excellent organizational skills: ability to proactively manage different time-sensitive processes and tasks at the same time.
  • Strong competence with the following Microsoft Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint.

The following experience is an asset:

  • Experience leading an Innovation Fund similar to the Acceleration Facility.
  • Experience working in an emergency context.
  • Experience of working on a Strategic Plan for a UN organization.
  • Experience leading or coordinating working groups.
  • Experience as a Fund Manager.

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 

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.


This is a New York based function, not open for remote work, and the incumbent has to report to the duty station.

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 candidates from a Programme Country 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.

Advertised: 25 Jun 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 12 Jul 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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