UNICEF Job for an Operations Research Specialist

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – In September 2014 UNICEF began implementing a joint programme with UN Women on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) funded by the European Union (EU). The programme will support the Nigerian Government (Federal level), three Northern Nigerian States namely Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau and selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) to strengthen women’s leadership, advance gender equality and improve protection for women and children in conflict settings.

UNICEF is responsible for implementation of Component 2 of the programme, namely ‘to increase access to reporting mechanisms and protective services for girls and women affected by human rights abuses, including gender based violence, in 3 states of northern Nigeria”. This will entail enhancing avenues for reporting of child rights violation and Gender Based Violence in Plateau and Gombe States, strengthening access to and quality of services for children and women who have experienced violence (including gender based violence (GBV), abuse, neglect and exploitation and strengthening the information management system for collecting data on violations.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Operations Research Specialist (WASH), P-3

Job Number: 494370
Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Purpose of the Position

  • Under the direct supervision of the Chief of WASH, the Operations Research Specialist (WASH) is accountable for formulation, design, planning, implementing, managing and evaluation of the Operational Research component of the WASH programme to ensure overall quality of the research conducted and its application to inform WASH sector policies, strategies and approaches for greater results for children.

Key Expected Results

  • Effectively manage and implement the Operational research component of the WASH Programme including scoping areas of research, refining research questions in-line with the emerging needs & priorities of the WASH program.
  • Effectively manage service providers and contracts as they relate to the research and study component of the WASH program, in accordance with UNICEF guidelines and policy on researches.
  • Operational Research carried out efficiently, rigorously and transparently in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures including on research quality assurance and Ethics (ERIC: Ethical Research Involving Children).
  • Proper and timely UNICEF and Government accountability ensured regarding non-supply assistance as well as disbursement of programme funds for the Operational Research.
  • Effective networking and partnerships with national and international research institutions achieved.
  • Knowledge management effectively promoted through facilitating the systematic capture & synthesis of research findings, sharing trends, good practice, “what works well and what doesn’t” and knowledge/information exchange.
  • Practical application of Operational Research findings to WASH projects, plans, policies, strategies and approaches with a view to improve WASH programme performance and the delivery of quality results with equity .

Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks
Operations Research Planning, Development and Management:

  • Carry out a proper needs analysis based on desk review of available documents to determine the pertinent research needs (with focus on equity and addressing gender issues) to accelerate attainment of WASH sectoral goals.
  • Review the current research plans within the section and update as required.
  • To assist in the development of national capacities for research, with special attention to research ethics and the interest, concern and participation of government, community, and civil society stakeholders.
  • Facilitate macro level integrated planning of research, monitoring activities within the WASH program, with national partners, the UN Country Team and the wider international community, in the context of internal office management plans, the country programme process, the UNDAF, incorporating transparency on gender inequalities and using, where applicable, strategies for gender mainstreaming across sectors.
  • Work with supply and procurement section to ensure that the procurement of research services are effective and efficient, designed to get the best quality for the best value, and aligned with UNICEF supply policy.
  • Develop Terms of Reference for conducting Operational Research; review the proposals from bidders for their technical suitability & capability to conduct the research. Develop guidance and Standard Operating Procedures as relevant.
  • Manage the implementation of the research component by facilitating linkages and providing needed technical guidance.
  • In collaboration with partners manages the formative research, development, pre-testing and production of culturally relevant evidence based WASH knowledge products and communication materials to ensure effective and efficient programme delivery.

Knowledge Management:

  • Maintain an up-to-date database of capable research institutions and service providers in-country and also play a role in strengthening research capacities of existing institutions.
  • Assists in developing outreach and uptake strategies for the wider application of Research findings (briefs, reports, press releases, articles, linkages, social media engagement).
  • Provide synthesis of research results to the country office senior management, the Country Management Team and key programme and operations staff.
  • Facilitate learning from the results of monitoring and evaluation within the Country Office and more widely within UNICEF in the region and globally, as well as among national partners and other key stakeholders, ensuring that gender equality is a standard feature.
  • Undertake documentation and prepare a synthesis of the research findings including best practices, “what works & what doesn’t” for wider sharing with WASH sector stakeholders.
  • Help in the documentation of Case Studies and Field Notes for wider dissemination.
  • Using the research findings provide concrete inputs or recommendations on major programme directions, strategies & approaches and on introduction of new initiatives in the country.

Rights-Based Programme with Results-Based Approach:

  • Promote the quality of rights-based WASH programme and programmes through participation in the formulation of programme/project goals, strategies and approaches.
  • Bring coherence, synergy and added value to programme management processes using a results-based management approach.

Sectoral Work Plan Development, Implementation, and Monitoring:

  • Takes primary responsibility for the development of the sectoral work plan and technical decisions as well as for project management, implementation and monitoring of assigned project/sectoral activity, in compliance with the defined project strategies and approaches.
  • Support maintenance of information system for monitoring gender/sex disaggregated data.

Programme Management, Delivery, and Reporting:

  • Participate in the budget planning and ensure the compliance and the optimal appropriation of allocated programme funds.
  • Participates in and contributes to the budget and programme review and planning. Establishes programme work plans, allocation of resources, and monitors progress and compliance.
  • Monitors the overall allocation and disbursement of programme funds, making sure that funds are properly coordinated, monitored and liquidated.
  • Takes appropriate actions to optimize use of programme funds. Improves programme efficiency, quality and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to programme planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Promotion of UNICEF’s Global Goals:

  • Promote the organization goals of UNICEF through advocacy and policy dialogue through active engagement in communication, networking and participation at every opportunity inside and outside UNICEF, leveraging the strength of UNICEF mission, goals and programmes, and reference to the WASH strategy.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate
Education Background:

  • Advanced University Degree in the Social Sciences, Public Administration, International Relations, Business Administration, Public Health, Civil Engineering, Sanitation Engineering, or other fields relevant to international WASH related development assistance.

Work Experience:

  • Five years of progressively responsible relevant work experience at the national and international levels in research and knowledge management, including in the field of development.
  • Specific experience in the WASH sector will be an advantage.

Language Proficiency:

  • Fluency in English and another UN language (for IP)
  • Fluency in English and local working language of the duty station (for NO).

Competencies of Successful Candidate
Core Values:

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies:

  • Communication
  • Working with people
  • Drive for results

Functional Competencies:

  • Leading and Supervising
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts
  • Analyzing
  • Relating and Networking
  • Deciding and Initiating Action
  • Applying Technical Expertise

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Note: The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receiving an offer.

Application Deadline  30th March, 2016.

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