UNICEF logo Social Policy Specialist, Fixed Term, NO-3, Kyiv, #120593 (Open for Ukraine Nationals Only)

Social Policy Specialist, Fixed Term, NO-3, Kyiv, #120593 (Open for Ukraine Nationals Only)

  • Full Time
  • Kyiv, Kyiv City, Ukraine
  • 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, hope

UNICEF Ukraine

How can you make a difference?

Eliminating child poverty and ensuring access to social protection have been recognized as critical priorities of the Agenda 2030. An explicit requirement to measure and monitor multidimensional child poverty is included under SDG 1.1.2, and similarly, the need to accelerate progress around public spending for poverty reduction under SDG 1.a.2, and SDG 1.b.1 for which UNICEF has recently become a custodian. The effective scale-up of social protection, with a specific attention to children, is included as part of ensuring access to social protection, a core target of SDG 1 (Elimination of poverty), and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Moreover, social protection is also an accelerator for multiple other goals. Addressing the multiple and compounding deprivations experienced by children requires an explicit commitment to understand their drivers and to scale-up comprehensive strategies to address them. The full realization of the right of children of access to social protection and adequate standard of living will not only ensure that every child lives free of poverty, but also prevent those at risk or vulnerable to poverty due to exclusion and discrimination, or facing environmental and conflict-related risks, from falling into poverty.

Reducing child poverty, enhancing access to gender-transformative, and inclusive social protection, promoting efficiency, transparency and equity of financing, while strengthening capacities at subnational level, including in urban contexts, is critical. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development for every child.

UNICEF has articulated its contribution to this agenda and added value across various instruments including, the Social Protection Strategic Framework, the Call for Action on Inclusive Recovery and roadmap, the Urban Evaluation and Management Response, the social protection commitments to the Core Commitments on Children (CCS), as well as – most recently – in the new Goal Area 5 of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025, “Every Child has Access to Inclusive Social Protection and Lives Free of Poverty”.

Job Organizational Context

Social policy and social protection have a key role to play in UNICEF Ukraine’s portfolio. As a well-established UN agency in this field with close working relationships throughout the country even prior to the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation in February 2022, UNICEF has since used its position to continue leading the coordination of social protection technical assistance with the Ministry of Social Policy but has also intervened as a humanitarian actor with humanitarian cash transfers at unprecedented scale (exceeding USD 300 million in 2022). Through its prominent positioning at the nexus between humanitarian intervention and early recovery, with its presence throughout the country and across several sectors, UNICEF is well-placed to contribute to a child-focused recovery in Ukraine while continuing to respond to the ongoing emergency in conflict-affected areas.

Purpose For The Job

Under the general supervision and guidance of the Chief Social Policy, the Social Policy Specialist engages in social protection dialogue for programme development, advocating for increased public resource allocation and improving linkages between social protection and essential social services to support the UNICEF Ukraine country office to continue working towards the realization of children’s right. Specifically, the Social Policy Specialist models approaches, conducts analysis, adapts or designs new programmes where possible, and advocates for gender-transformative, disability-inclusive and migrant-inclusive social protection programmes and systems.

This position is the senior national officer position in the Social Policy section in Kyiv, with touchpoints with all of the sections’ priorities and strategic relationships. The position focuses on Social Protection systems strengthening and reform, and on sector coordination with key government and international stakeholders. However, as the most senior national officer in the section, the incumbent would be expected to also contribute to the section’s other areas of work, incl. child poverty, public finance management, local governance and humanitarian cash transfers.

Summary Of Key Functions/accountabilities

  • Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
  • Oversight of Humanitarian Cash Transfer programme implementation
  • Improving use of public financial resources for children
  • Strengthening capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services.
  • Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
  • Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
  • UNICEF Programme Management
  • Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
  • Supports the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
  • Promotes strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.
  • Undertakes improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcomes, and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results
  • Oversight of Humanitarian Cash Transfer programme implementation
  • Liaises regularly with all key organizational stakeholders – internal and external – through the established coordination mechanisms to ensure follow-up actions at the respective levels are taken.
  • Improving use of public financial resources for children
  • Undertakes and builds capacity of partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability and effective financial flows for essential service delivery, including through support to district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation. Works with sector colleagues to build capacity to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments
  • Supports the identification of policy options for improved domestic financing of child-sensitive social protection interventions.
  • Strengthening capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services.
  • Where national decentralization processes are taking place, collaborates with central and local authorities to improve policies, planning, budgeting, consultation and accountability processes so that decisions and child-focused service delivery more closely respond to the needs of local communities.
  • Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen capacity on quality data collection, analysis for policy development, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of essential social services, with emphasis on community participation and accountability.
  • Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
  • Establishes effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.
  • Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
  • Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
  • Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.
  • Analyzes the macroeconomic context and its impact on social development, emerging issues and social policy concerns, as well as implications for children, and proposes and promotes appropriate responses in respect of such issues and concerns, including government resource allocation policies and the effects of social welfare policies on the rights of children
  • UNICEF Programme Management
  • Manages and coordinates technical support around child poverty, social protection, public finance and governance ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensures risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, Cooperating Partners, and governments.

Impact of Results

The strategic and effective advocacy, planning and formulation of social policy programs/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, contributes to achievement of goals and objectives to create a protective environment for children and thus ensure their survival, development and well-being in society. Achievements in social policy programs and projects in turn contribute to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide program services for mothers and children that promotes greater social equality in the country.

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


An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.


  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset.
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as a strong asset.

Language Requirements

Fluency in English and Ukrainian is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (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…

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

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.


UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable women are encouraged to apply.

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.

All selected candidates will 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.

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.

This position is based in Kyiv and the incumbent will be expected be work on-site. However, depending on the security conditions and advisory, s/he will be required to relocate within Ukraine.

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

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