UNICEF logo Deputy Regional Director, ESARO, D-1, Nairobi, Kenya

Deputy Regional Director, ESARO, D-1, Nairobi, Kenya

  • Full Time
  • Nairobi, Nairobi County, Kenya
  • TBD USD / Year
  • UNICEF profile

  • Job applications may no longer being accepted for this opportunity.


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, dedication.

UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa covers 22 countries, with diverse country typologies ranging from high-middle income country to chronic humanitarian contexts.

By the end of the century, it is projected that Africa will be home to nearly half of the world’s children. In Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF works with partners across the region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. We act at crucial moments in a child’s life, starting where a child’s lifecycle begins, in pregnancy all the way to adulthood.

How can you make a difference?

The Deputy Regional Director advises and assists the Regional Director on matters relating to regional policy formulation and implementation supporting UNICEF programme, emergency, operations, partnerships and communications strategy. Represents the Regional Director within and outside the United Nations system, as required.

The Deputy Regional Director provides oversight for management in the region, providing direction, leadership, and guidance to the multi-disciplinary team of professionals of the regional office to ensure the achievement of organizational mission, strategy, goals and objectives. The Deputy Regional Director may directly supervise the Operational or Programme areas as designated by the Reg. Director.

The Key Functions Are

Effective leadership, advocacy, and managerial guidance and coordination to ensure the achievement of organizational programme goals.

  • Ensure the achievement of programme goals by providing overall leadership and managerial guidance to regional programme teams on policy direction, work plans and control mechanisms and by monitoring compliance and performance standards.
  • Communicate and advocate on behalf of the children at the regional level and create new opportunities to improve the situation of children and women through relationships and networks with regional partners.
  • Establish and maintain highest level of contacts and effective relationships with regional partners, including those of the UN and national partners, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs and civil society.
  • Support the Regional Director and provide leadership and guidance to influence the regional initiatives, support and policies to ensure the well being of women and children as a priority in the regional development effort, including regional legislation, public policy and resource allocations in support of children.
  • As a leading member of the Regional Management Team (RMT), ensure the proper functioning of the RMT and its committees. Provide seasoned advice on regional policies.

Effective leadership and coordination for humanitarian response, resilience and peacebuilding.

  • Initiate and provide high-level policy and programme planning support in matters related to humanitarian action resilience and peacebuilding in the ESAR region.
  • Support to ESAR Country Offices and ESARO in addressing the underlying causes associated with the high vulnerability of populations recurrently or chronically affected by crises and emergencies whilst ensuring close links and a clear continuum between prevention, preparedness, and response activities before, during and after emergencies.
  • Lead the development of risk analyses; guide contingency planning and the development of preparedness strategies; and support emergency responses through technical advice in planning, advocacy, resource mobilization, and coordination of surge capacity.
  • Guide capacity strengthening of ESAR Country Offices and ESARO in risk-informed planning to promote resilience linking humanitarian action with regular development programming
  • In conjunction with Country Offices, provide policy and technical guidance in the development of detailed contingency and preparedness plans and plans for operational and programmatic response in the event of emergency in ESAR countries, considering available resources, and including specific recommendations on actions to be taken by Country Offices, the Regional Office and HQ.
  • Strengthening risk-informed programming approaches including emergency preparedness, resilience programmes, and activities and related operational provisions in country programmes.

Strategic Planning and Policy Development

  • Provide expert technical and policy advice to the Country Offices on strategies, planning and courses of action; provide authoritative interpretation of guidelines and organizational policy, contributing to the development of new guidelines making use of foresights.
  • Manage the development of strategies and human and financial resources allocations, and support the monitoring, implementation and evaluation of regional results and lessons learned.
  • Lead the financial oversight of regional budgets – and where applicable public and private sector fundraising budgets; make analysis and recommendations for Regional Director
  • Guide the strategic management and activities in the region which includes Representatives’ meetings, strategy meetings, country programme previews and reviews, annual report and regional budget review.
  • Participate in regular senior management meetings and share responsibility for the formulation of organization’s regional policies, strategies and overall direction of management and operations, consistent with UNICEF’s mandate and mission.
  • Define and prioritize regional strategies and plans in functional areas, including strategies for emergency situations, in the light of organizational global policies, priorities and strategies in harmony with the rights- and results-based approach.
  • Provide regional leadership to advance achievement of organizational goals and objectives within the region. Provide timely and critical contributions to global policy development based on regional experience and interpret global policies in the regional context.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation regional communication, information and advocacy strategies.

Country Programme, Management and Emergency Support

  • Ensure the formulation of effective regional work plans to support country offices in programming, emergency preparedness and response and management performance and the effective and efficient use of resources.
  • Ensure the availability of technical staff within the regional office for consultation and support to country offices as required.
  • Assess regional resource requirements and funding opportunities, develop regional fundraising strategies, in collaboration with the RMT. Identify and maximize opportunities for fundraising in the region, including negotiations with the private sector.
  • Help guide UNICEF Representatives in preparation of proposals for supplementary funding levels in consultation with Programme Funding Office (PFO) and Programme Division.
  • Facilitate the region’s Programme and Budget Review meetings, assist in coordinating the regional budget review process to ensure planning and implementation of organizational goals and strategies are integrated and translated into regional and country programmes, financial resource allocation, organization structure, human resources planning and capacity building to meet the requirements of the organization in the region.

Operational optimization for maximized efficiency gains in the regional and country offices

  • Supervise selected Regional Office staff and serve as the first reporting officer of UNICEF selected Regional Advisers in the regional office.
  • Support the Regional Director, and efficiently manage the administrative, finance, ICT and supply functions within the regional office in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations and policies.
  • Provide technical advice and support in contributing to decisions making on budgets and operational issues during the deliberations in corporate committees (Programme Budget Reviews, Regional Management Teams, etc.), and ensure timely submission of all required consolidated documentation.
  • Lead the analysis and review of key business processes to minimize cost, simplify and reduce duplication of work and maximize efficiencies while creating an environment of smart controls, to render the organization agile, resilient, and ready to respond to programme needs.
  • Identify/implement ways to shift mindset of staff to optimize systems, explore new ways of working – including in the context of UN Reform – and continuously improve IT-enabled business processes to increase productivity and collaboration, better knowledge management, and ensure effective use of UNICEF assets.
  • Engage stakeholders in the UN Reform, supporting country offices achievements in Business Operating Services (BOS) and proactively paving the way for a potential “one back office” in country offices
  • As a member of the RMT, participate in major organizational discussions and review its human resources requirements including identification, selection, promotion and deployment of staff in the organization.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Oversight and Reporting

  • Monitor progress, effectiveness, and relevance of UNICEF country performance within the region with a view to improving country performance.
  • Assess, evaluate, and report on operations emergency and partnership within the region.
  • Monitor country offices use of resources and management performance and identify best practices and areas in need of improvement.
  • Monitor adherence to organizational policies and procedures within the region. Support Country Offices in implementing agreed audit recommendations, monitor corrective actions taken, provide recommendations on audit priorities for the region and participate in selected country audits as agreed with OIA.
  • Support the Regional Director in monitoring of possible misconduct in country and regional offices; and, where necessary, support investigations in the region and implement corrective and disciplinary action as required.
  • Keep abreast of significant organizational issues such as emergencies, conflicts, developments and/or resolutions in the region which affect UNICEF’s intervention/programmes of cooperation.
  • Monitor to ensure effective human resources management within the region; facilitate the shorter deployment of staff to meet needs and assist in the redeployment of staff in emergency situations; approve regional training plans; and prevent and/or resolve grievances.
  • Monitor to ensure cost-effective procurement operations to meet programme objectives and ensure the appropriate preparation of bid administration and contracting for local procurement

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Social Development, Development Planning, or other relevant disciplines.
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of 13 years of professional work experience in formulation of policy in international or national administration; experience in external aid administration and senior level international development administration.
  • Progressive/demonstrated experience with managing, supporting and overseeing development policy-making, programme , operations and administrative management, resource mobilization and partnerships,
  • Experience as a UNICEF Representative highly desirable. Experience/familiarity with emergency and security.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability(CRITAS)underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF Competencies Required For This Post Are

  • 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. (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people. The required level is level III for each competency.

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.


This position has been assessed as an elevated risk role for Child Safeguarding purposes as it is: a role with direct contact with children, works directly with children, is a safeguarding response role. Additional vetting and assessment for elevated risk roles in child safeguarding (potentially including additional criminal background checks) applies.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children.

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 are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

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.

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

To apply for this job please visit secure.dc7.pageuppeople.com.

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