Job no: 569311
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: NO-2
Location: Malawi
Categories: Social Policy

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, Social Protection

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.

Social protection in Malawi has significantly evolved over the years and key design improvements have been introduced to enhance the impact of social support, including a social registry, innovative e-payment systems shock sensitive features and the integration of tailored cash-plus socio-economic interventions to amplify the impact of cash transfer on livelihood outcomes and support households to graduation out of ultra poverty.   This expansion and the related innovations, in particular the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (MSCTP), have revealed capacity gaps at the national and district levels that need to be addressed for the programme to effectively deliver social assistance across the life cycle. There is therefore a need to focus on the provision of specialized technical support and backstopping at the district and national level to ensure effective programme implementation and better results for children.

The MSCTP is Malawi’s nationwide Social assistance programme, and through the Social Protection for Gender and Resilience (SP-GEAR) project, UNICEF would like to augment the impact of cash transfers on households and ensure that social support programmes better address lifecycle vulnerabilities. As a Social Policy Officer (Cash+) you will be atthe forefront of  supporting  the implementation of integrated gender-transformed cash-plus economic empowerment interventions through scaling up the Savings & Loans Groups (SLGs) across 10 districts, strengthening linkages between social protection and other social services including Nutrition, Early Childhood Development, and Education.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic Social Policy Section team where you will be responsible for implementing integrated and gender-senstive integrated cash plus solutions for vulnerable households, focusing on building resilience and providing opportunities for graduation out of ultra-poverty.

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Social Policy Specialist (Protection), the Social Policy Officer (Cash +) is expected to provide technical guidance, operational support, and coordination in strengthening intergrated and gender transformed cash-plus economic empowerment interventions and  linkages to social services for recipients of social assistance programmes in Malawi.

This position therefore offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, motivated and committed individual to make a significant impact on ensuring that  more vulnerable children in Malawi live in resilient communities and benefit from integrated, equitable, shock-sensitive, evidence-based and efficiently financed social protection and social services by 2028. By excelling professionally, you will contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

  1. Provide  technical support to the design and implementation of the EU – Ireland-supported Social Protection for Gender and Resilience (SP -GEAR) programme, focusing on integrating the gender transformative approaches across the interventions.
  2. Support the gender-transformative Savings and Loan Groups (SLGs) scale-up, including liaising with the UNICEF sections and government to leverage the platform to enhance child protection, ECD, SBC and Nutrition outcomes.
  3. Support the linkages of the social protection programme adolescents to education including support to secondary bursaries and vocational skill training.
  4. Support the implementation, piloting and scale-up of targeting reforms (categorical approaches) and evidence generation on the long-term impacts of the  Social Cash Transfer Programme  (SCTP)
  5. Support the section’s broader knowledge management, documentation and continued resource mobilization for social protection.
  6. Produce knowledge products on gender transformative programming changes realised in targeted households and communities to inform gender advocacy work.
  7. Provide technical support to the SP-GEAR coordination and ensure strategic alignment with the broader social support programme structures at all levels.
  8. Support the implementation of the SP-GEAR advocacy and communication strategy, innovation of delivery systems including SLG Management Information System and process digitization.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Download File GJP – Social Policy Officer Level 2.docx in order to view the full role and its requirements.

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


  • A University degree or equivalent in social sciences, Gender,  Economics, Development Studies, or another relevant discipline (s).


  • A minimum of two years of relevant professional work experience is required in the area of social protection and/or humanitarian cash-based assistance.
  • Proven experience in integrating gender transformative approaches for livelihood programmes, monitoring and reporting on changes in gender norms and practices is a strong asset.
  • Proven work experience in coordination with development partners,   government departments and ministries (MDA) and district councils on issues related to social protection, and/or humanitarian is desired.
  • Demonstrated experience in the Social Cash Transfer Programme (MSCTP) and/or livelihood programming including women-focused economic empowerment interventions and Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Accountability (MEAL) is a distinct advantage.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with, support and develop the capacity of government institutions both at national and district levels is an asset.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Excellent writing skills, analytical skills as well as good computer skills.
  • Proven skills in project planning budgeting and monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Prove skills in Gender transformative knowledge and approaches.
  • Proven skills in advocacy planning, and facilitation.
  • Strong communication skills, including with and across diverse teams.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to multi-task and handle work in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate tasks to meet the deadlines is necessary.


  • Fluency in English and Chichewa both strong verbal and written skills, are 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.

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 female candidates as well as suitable persons living with  disability are encouraged to apply.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  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 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 qualified and experienced internal UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed-term appointments and external candidates.

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