22 May 2016

Entry Level Early Childhood Development Officer Jobs - United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Organization: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Duty Station: Gulu, Uganda
Reports to: Chief of Learning
Vacancy Number: 495987

About Us:
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is mandated by the UN general assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Job Summary: The Early Childhood Development Officer will offer technical support to the Gulu Zonal Office in implementing the IECD Policy and Action Plan.  The TA will also work as the IECD focal person for the Zonal Office in close collaboration with ALIVE, Learning and Safe teams to ensure integration of services across the sectors involved. The TA will engage with the local authorities of the focus districts to support the operationalization of the national ECD Plan though integration of IECD in facility- and community-based and household services.

Scope of Work: Integration of different components of ECD services into the existing programme at facility levels and households will be supported. This will be done in close collaboration with implementing partners as selected by the coordinating body. Implementation may be in 3 different stages with three core elements for each stage. The different stages will include mobilization and awareness creation; capacity building; and implementation. At each of these stages, three core elements will have to be supported: developing and using a coordination body / infrastructure to lead implementation efforts; collecting and using data and implementation reports to support decision making and continuous improvement; and formation of and developing sustainable implementation teams that support the capacity of individual local government staff, CSOs, FBOs and communities to provide the services.

Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
1. Mobilization and Awareness Creation:
  • Current situation: Absence of guiding framework for standards on IECD activities. The focus is primarily on early childhood education rather than early childhood development. No structured inter-sectoral collaboration mechanism within the local government. Limited access for 0-3 year olds. Varying advocacy and implementing groups, sometimes with overlapping roles. There are different sector specific ECD activities but these are not well coordinated. These different actors will have to be mobilized and oriented to bring about a conceptual shift from ECE to a more comprehensive and holistic ECD; to establish a coordinating body within the local government and develop a district multi-sectoral plan in line with the NIECD policy and action plan. Terms of reference for this coordinating body will be formulated, clarifying roles and responsibilities and division of labour.
2. Capacity building:
  • Current situation: ECD is understood from a specific sector perspective and in some cases sector linkages are not easily understood. Complementarity within the ECD service delivery is not easily recognized by the service providers. The integrated ECD policy is new in the minds of the implementers and for many it has not been explained.  The different actors both from the district local government and the civil society organizations will have to be educated on the new policy to enable them to understand the concept of integrated ECD programmes and services. They will also be trained on the delivery mode. The training can be in form of workshops, learning exchanges, demonstrations or practical experiences with emphasis on strategies for adopting and implementing IECD service delivery as per the standard guidelines. Working with partners to train on systems for communities, facilities, health workers, caregivers, nutrition educators, advocates and data collectors and other direct services and leadership roles. Training on the care for child development and family care practices will have to be streamlined.
3. Implementation:
  • At this stage service delivery of the integrated ECD package will be passed on to the implementation teams. The key support activities will focus on strategies that will promote continuous improvement and sustainable service delivery.  In order to support the implementation, the TAs will support, and monitor the teams as they play their roles. The teams will be supported to work together especially in reviewing data and planning. Subsequent reviews and mentoring of the teams will be necessary, aimed at integrating practice into the sub county and district planning and service delivery systems, and ensuring that the implementing team members are providing the integrated package effectively. The system and organizational arrangements for coordination that will be supported to become functional. Mentoring of the coordinating body will be critical in order to increase the competency of the staff on organization, monitoring systems and alignment of programmes. Issues of scale up will be considered timely, as with arrangements for training additional staff to increase the number of providers. Data systems will be needed to facilitate information sharing, and for scale-up.

Key Deliverables:
  • Training of implementing teams on the service delivery package, roles and responsibilities, delivery channels, coordination issues, reporting etc.
  • Reports of the Training sessions for the implementing teams from each of the participating districts, including roles and responsibilities for each member as well as the undertakings to be done jointly by member for the service delivery. 
  • Conduct training sessions and facilitate consensus building between IECD stakeholders on the various approaches, plans tools and materials.
  • Roles and responsibilities of sectors/partners agreed on implementation of the IECD capacity development plan; resources identified and time frame agreed for service delivery through the structures agreed upon.
  • Conduct training sessions and facilitate consensus building between IECD stakeholders on the various approaches, plans tools and materials.
  • Modalities for IECD/implementation, integration and implementation modalities agreed among stakeholders in the districts.
  • Facilitate exchanges and consensus building between stakeholders for the establishment of coordination structures and support to implementation of the IECD policy, Action Plan and other related plans.
  • Division of labor between districts stakeholders
  • Partnership and coordination frameworks  agreed in each district
  • Training of the implementation teams and other organized groups on the integrated package in districts
  • Report on training for the implementation teams
  • Report on the implementation roll out at the identified sites  initiated in each district
  • Report on gaps in meeting the national minimum operating standards identified for existing IECD centers; and areas of supplement identified and advocated  for
  • Report on community structures and actors involved in IECD implementation coordination mechanisms identified and agreed for each district – status report
  • Mechanism for establishment of a model IECD Center identified; and required resources and capacities identified.
  • Modalities for participation of local structures in IECD implementation agreed by stakeholders of each district
  • Report on modalities for  joint planning and reporting agreed upon by stakeholders of each district
  • Report on monitoring and reporting based on ECD indicators by individual district authorities as required by MoLG.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The applicant for the United Nations UNICEF Early Childhood Development Officer job placement should hold a University Degree in education, public administration/health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or other social science field is required.
  • At least two years of professional experience in social development planning and management in early childhood development related areas at the international and/or in a developing country is required.
  • Relevant experience in ECD related areas, program/project development and management in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
  • Fluency of the local language of the duty station as well as proficiency in English.

Personal Competencies:
  • Core Values: Commitment, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrity
  • Core Competencies: Communication, Drive for Result, Working with People
  • Functional Competencies: Formulating strategies and concepts, Analyzing, Applying technical expertise, Learning and researching, Planning and organizing

NB: UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff; qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. UNICEF is a smoke free environment.

How to Apply:
All suitably qualified and interested candidates who wish to join the United Nations UNICEF in the aforementioned capacity are encouraged to visit the link below to Apply.

Deadline: 2nd June 2016

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