Job no: 569293
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Lilongwe
Level: P-3
Location: Malawi
Categories: Education

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, education…

The UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2024-2028) works through a One-UN approach based on the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSCDF) Strategic Priorities. 2024-2028).  All four strategic priorities of the UNSCDF2024-2028 hold significance to UNICEF and the priorities identified for children: i) Economic Development, ii) Governance, iii) Human Capital Development, and iv) Climate Change. UNICEF co-leads the further elaboration and results in developing the Human Capital Development strategic priority. The intent of the UNICEF CPD 2024-2028 is fully aligned with these priorities, which are also directly linked to the pillars of Malawi Vision 2063, and the Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP, 2030). To this extent, UNICEF’s strategy for the CPD includes Child Survival and Development (Health, Nutrition and WASH), Education, Learning and Child Protection, Social Policy (Social Protection and Public Finance for Children), Gender Equality, Inclusion and Innovation within a robust evidence-informed environment. These are focus areas under the Human Capital Development Enabler of the MIP (2030). The Country Programme envisages the progressive fulfilment of the rights to survival, development, education, protection and participation of all children, including adolescents, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of being left behind, in an inclusive, resilient and protective environment. Besides Malawi’s 2063 vision and 2021–2030 implementation plan (MIP), the African Union’s Agenda 2063; UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, Gender Action Plan III, Innovation Strategy; and the SDGs. The country programme includes child survival and development, learning, skills development and protection, and social policy. All components are supported by the programme and operational effectiveness, and efficiency imperatives. Risk-informed programming across the humanitarian and development nexus in all three outcome areas will strengthen disaster preparedness, enhance climate adaptation/mitigation and response, and increase the resilience capacity of institutions, communities and young people. Programming aligns with UNICEF Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Transformative Agenda.

The Education & Adolescents Development and Participation (EADP) Programme in Malawi aims to ensure that  school-aged girls and boys, especially adolescents, acquire essential learning outcomes and practice skills for life. This year marks the first year of implementation of the 2024-2028 country programme and as Education Specialist (Systems Strengthening) is expected to provide technical leadership to ensure the programme delivers for young children, specifically with improvements in the enabling environment for education and strengthening sector-wide planning, scale-up and implementation.

Among others, the portfolio includes leading the implementation of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) System Capacity Grant (SCG) and additional GPE grants (Multiplier and System Transformation Grant) if UNICEF is selected as grant agent. You will also provide technical and operational support to the Education Services Joint Fund (ESJF), which is a pooled funding source for development partners in Malawi. Your expert technical advice will also contribute to the re-design and implementation of a functioning Education Management Information System (EMIS), including open-source and offline functionality requirements. In addition, you will provide support to the Ministry of Education (MoE) on education sector disaster risk management, digital education, and climate smart education, which will ultimately result in a sustainable and resilient system that improves learning outcomes of school learners in Malawi.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic EADP team where you will be responsible for managing a team of two professional staff members to deliver a multi-sectoral programme to assist learners to reach their full academic potential in life.  You will also contribute to sustainable and scalable results to further strengthen foundational learning, enhance education system strengthening and improve the safety of learners in and around schools. In your role, you will be under the overall guidance and supervision of the Chief of EADP.

This position therefore offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, motivated and committed individual to make a significant contribution to the overall achievement of transformative results for children with professional excellence and by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

  1. Build and sustain partnerships with relevant government counterparts, donors, development partners and other key stakeholders.
  2. Build capacity of government counterparts and implementing partners to guide national policy, innovative strategies and sustainable results-based interventions to enhance foundational learning and equitable access to quality education for improved learning outcomes and the delivery of concrete and sustainable EADP programme results at scale.
  3. Provide technical guidance, advice and support to government counterparts, NGO partners, Civil Society Organisations and UN system partners.
  4. Prepare results-based funding proposal and reports for management, donors and partners.
  5. Conduct effective and efficient programme management, including monitoring of implementation and delivery of results.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Download File GJP Education Specialist Level 3.doc in order to view the full role and its requirements.

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…


  • An advanced university degree in at least one of the following fields is required: Education, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Development Studies, or other related social science field.


  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required in social development management and planning in Education and related areas at the international level, preferably in a developing country is required.
  • Proven experience working with Government at the national and sub-national levels is required.
  • Experience working in a developing country is required.
  • Experience in managing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) projects (System Capacity, Multiplier and System Transformation Grants) or similar large and complex education projects is required.
  • Experience in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of disaster risk management interventions is required.
  • Background and/or familiarity with Education Management Information System (EMIS) is considered highly desirable.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Ability to manage an education or multi-sectoral social development programme, including design, costing, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting is required.
  • Ability to support engagement with partners e.g. Sector Wide Approaches, Global Partnership for Education, Education in Emergency Clusters is required.
  • Knowledge and proven skills to support policy dialogue in education or other areas of social development, including development of policy papers and other sector planning documents, is required
  • Proven skills in exemplary management and leadership, motivating and developing people under your supervision to perform at their best and live the core values (care, respect, integrity, trust and accountability) is required.
  • Knowledge of education sector planning and skills in managing Global Partnership for education projects (System Capacity and System Transformation Grants) or similar projects is required.
  • Proven management and technical skills in the planning, implementation, and monitoring of disaster risk management interventions is required.
  • Knowledge of global and regional developments in EMIS is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge and proven skills in providing strategic support to government counterparts on pooled funding arrangments and engagement with partners (Donors, Development Partners, NGOs, CSO) is highly desirable.
  • Proven technical skills in Gender analysis, programming, and mainstreaming is highly desirable.
  • Ability to support sector and policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programme and policy discussions around equity and learning with partners, including government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas is highly desirable.
  • Education sector planning knowledge/ability, including the range of modalities for delivering education, linkages between different sub-sectors (e.g., ECD, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Inclusive Education), cost-effectiveness and efficiency issues, key institutional structures, components, and processes, as well as governance issues is highly desirable.
  • Education and policy sector analysis capacity, including the understanding of the core education data sets and indicators; tools for analysis of equity; determinants of student access and learning; budget, costing, and financial management in education systems; political economy; and education policy and strategic planning is highly desirable.


  • Fluency in English, both strong verbal and written skills, is essential.

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: https://uni.cf/UNICEFValues

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 and (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

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 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 promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, 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.


The position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable females as well as suitable persons living with  disability are encouraged to apply.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID).

Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government 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 only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/.

The vacancy announcement is open to internal UNICEF staff, i.e. UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed term appointments, including individuals holding Temporary Appointments.

Priority consideration will be given to staff on the mobility lists, staff on abolished post and staff returning to service and on SHA.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

To effectively contribute to the delivery of results for the children of Malawi, the UNICEF Malawi Country Office operates within a dynamic and results-oriented setting. We foster an environment characterised by creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a commitment to professional growth, and a safe workspace. Consequently, we are actively searching for individuals who are driven to enact tangible change and dedicated to serving Malawi’s children with resourcefulness, resilience, agility, and a commitment to professional excellence.

Advertised: 31 Jan 2024 South Africa Standard Time

Deadline: 13 Feb 2024 South Africa Standard Time