Social Policy & Development Specialist, NOC, Temporary Appointment, # 00125898, Karachi, Pakistan (364 days)

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Commitment!

Pakistan was the sixth country in the world to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, less than one year after it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. However, children and adolescents living in Pakistan still face acute challenges. 

UNICEF supports the Government of Pakistan to accelerate progress for children, work to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and help children realize their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Children. This will be made through, among others things, strong partnerships with provincial authorities, teachers and health professionals, frontline workers and social mobilizers, communities and families, and of course, the children and adolescents themselves. 

In particular, UNICEF will work so that:

  • Every child survives and thrives — being in good health, immunized, protected from polio, and accessing nutritious food.
  • Every child learns.
  • Every child is protected from violence and exploitation and registered at birth.
  • Every child lives in a safe and clean environment, with access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. 

To learn more about UNICEF work in Pakistan, please visit the country website,, and videos on YouTube and Vimeo.

The role of the Social Policy and Development Specialist is to support UNICEF field office to have an analytical and evidence-based understanding of the political, social, cultural, political economy and overall development context in in the province which affect the programming environment, to help UNICEF to position itself to advance the rights of children. Under the general guidance of the Chief Field Office and technical guidance of the Chief Social Policy, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical support to the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all stages of social policy programme and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (b) social protection coverage and impact on children; (c) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; and (d) governance, decentralization and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, child protection, water and sanitation, and Nutrition. He/ she will also lead on cross-cutting issues such as gender and youth and adolescent development and support the Chief Field Office and other programme sections with advocacy and influencing of public policy making and public budgetary allocations.

How can you make a difference?

To make a difference, the incumbent shall be responsible for following key strategic functions, accountabilities and related duties/ tasks;

1. Analysis of the development context and emerging development issues in the province to position UNICEF in the advancement of children’s rights
  • Undertake robust analysis of emerging development contexts including the macroeconomic, social, political, cultural and political economy issues and dynamics, structures, norms and power relations and how they affect the development, implementation and financing of social sector policies, laws, and to optimize impacts on children especially the most vulnerable.
2. Improving use of public financial resources for children
  • Facilitate and undertake budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to the departments responsible for Finance, planning and budget, and social sector ministries / departments to improve equitable allocations for essential services for children.
  • Monitor and update current information on provincial budgeting and spending patterns for social programs and decentralization status of social service on an ongoing basis to support advocacy for greater public resource and budget allocations for social development, the prioritization of resource allocation for children and universal coverage of essential services for children, to ensure that they reflect best interest of children.
  • Undertake and build capacity of partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability, and effective financial flows for essential service delivery, including through support to district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation.
3. Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
  • Support the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identify, generate and present evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
  • Promote strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.
  • Undertake improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcomes and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.
4. Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
  • Support the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
  • Provide timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitate results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.
5. Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
  • Support correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the social policy programme and the country programme overall.
  • Establish effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Identify other critical partners, promote awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitate effective collaboration within the UN family.
6. UNICEF Programme Management
  • Manage and coordinate technical support around child poverty, social protection, public finance and governance ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensure risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, Cooperating Partners, and governments.
  • Support and contribute to effective and efficient planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of thematic, cross sectoral and the evaluation of the country programme with focus on provincial priorities. Ensure that the social planning project enhances policy dialogue, planning, supervision, technical advice, management, training, research and support; and that the monitoring and evaluation component strengthens monitoring and evaluation of the social sectors and provides support to sectoral and decentralized information systems.
  • Support CFO and provincial sections in maximizing results for children through convergence and integration of programme actions.
  • leveraging external resources through promoting non-transactional partnerships and collaboration with other stakeholders
7. Lead the Gender Equality Agenda
  • Lead UNICEF work on gender equality in the field office through engagement with partners and supporting them to implement gender accelerators, enabling UNICEF to deliver its ambition to integrate gender quality outcomes across its all its programmes and
  • to achieve gender equality targets.
8. Support to the Evaluation and Research function at PCO
  • Support programme sections to identify strategic public sector initiatives and projects for indepth research and impact evaluations, lessons learned, and knowledge building.
  • Provide technical and coordination support to the social policy section in the evaluation activities including close coordination with the government and implementing partners during data collection.
  • Coordinate and provide technical support for any studies planned by the social policy section.

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Political Science, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience around policy, research, advocacy program is required.
  • Solid understanding of the development context in Pakistan, including the country’s decentralized governance structure.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS).

The competencies required for this post are Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2), Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (3), Works Collaboratively with others (3), Builds and Maintains Partnerships (3), Innovates and Embraces Change (3), Thinks and Acts Strategically (3), Drives to achieve impactful results (3), Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)

View our competency framework at Social Policy & Development Specialist, NOC, Temporary Appointment, # 00125898, Karachi, Pakistan (364 days) 1 Competency Framework Brochure.pdf

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

Life at UNICEF

Working at UNICEF is highly rewarding. With attractive remuneration package encompassing competitive pay and benefits, a culture that helps staff thrive and diverse opportunities for personal and professional development, we aim to help you maintain a fulfilling life both at and outside the office.

We make sure you and your loved ones receive the resources and care that you need to thrive. We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. Our contracts, wellbeing policies and initiatives ensure that you are well equipped to effectively deliver for children such as;

  • Tax exemption, family allowances, hardship benefits, 10 UN holidays and annual leave allowance, maternity, paternity, adoption leave, medical and dental insurance, pension etc.
  • Career support, staff wellbeing programme, breastfeeding policy, flexible work arrangements, childcare room, family support, policies & initiatives, security etc.
  • UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements. 

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.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.


  • The vacancy announcement is open both to internal and external candidates.
  • Verified/ attested educational certificates/ degrees by HEC/ foreign institutions are a pre-requisite for employment at UNICEF, as the case may be. 
  • UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates will be prioritized.
  • 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.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 30 Apr 2024 Pakistan Standard Time
Deadline: 14 May 2024 Pakistan Standard Time

Apply now
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