Program Specialist (Social Protection) – UNICEF


Job Description

Programme Specialist (Social Protection) P-3 level, Temporary Appointment (364 days), based in Khartoum (with frequent visits to Kassala and Red Sea states)

Job no:542198
Contract type:Temporary Appointment
Categories:Social and Economic Policy
Advertised:19/07/2021 E.Africa Standard Time
Deadline:31/07/2021 E.Africa Standard Time

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

Sudan, surrounded by the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Libya and South Sudan, positioned next to East, West, South and North Africa, is surrounded by complex conflicts in an unpredictable, volatile and rapidly evolving region. Sudan is by size the third biggest country in Africa, with a diverse population of around 42 million people. Sudan’s children make up half of the total population, and the past two decades have seen their lives significantly improve: fewer girls and boys are dying before their fifth birthday, primary school attendance is increasing, immunization coverage is high and the country remains polio free. Still, millions of children continue to suffer from protracted conflict in Darfur, the Kordofan’s, and Blue Nile, from seasonal natural disasters, malnutrition and disease outbreaks, and from under-investment in basic social services. More than three million of Sudan’s school aged children are not in the classroom. UNICEF has been in Sudan since 1952 and continues with a presence in 12 of Sudan’s 18 states. 

How can you make a difference?

UNICEF Sudan is seeking a Programme Specialist (Social Protection), P3-TA with prior experience in design, implementation and M&E of social transfer programmes to provide technical and capacity support for the effective roll-out and implementation of a cash transfer programme supporting the first 1,000 days of life. Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical, coordination and operational support for robust programme design and implementation of integrated and systems-based cash transfers. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as ensuring linkages with other sectors including health and nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and child protection.


Technical and capacity support for robust programme design and implementation of the Mother and Child Cash Transfer Plus (MCCT+) programme: Technical support provided to MOSD / CSSPR and its directorates as well as other relevant national, state and locality level authorities in all aspects of the cash transfer programming to ensure technically robust, risk-informed and effective programme implementation of MCCT+, in line with the government vision of comprehensive and integrated social protection based on life course approach. This includes the following activities:

  • Supporting development, review, updates and adjustments of cash transfers operations manuals and all associated forms for effective programme rollout and implementation.
  • Ensuring risk-informed perspectives are taken into account in planning for programme rollout and during implementation, including in the programme operations manual and risk assessment matrix.
  • Continuous support to strengthen the capacity of MOSD / CSSPR and other sections/directorates and departments vis-à-vis roles and responsibilities for the integrated and effective implementation of the cash transfer in all aspects. This includes preparing and leading trainings on programme implementation and accompanying programme officials during implementation as required.
  • Helping implement the programme communication strategy and accountability framework prior to programme implementation, and adjusted as necessary during implementation.
  • Supporting the implementation of an M&E plan and its various components (baseline, post-distribution monitoring, robust Management Information Systems) as required.
  • Ensure alignment of the MCCT+ programme with the upcoming National Social Protection Strategy.
  • Working with MOSD / CSSPR to ensure appropriate State coordination mechanisms are operational for timely and effective policy and programmatic support and guidance from State level authorities.
  • Provide oversight of the work of the Financial Service Provider for timely, correct and effective implementation of the cash transfers to beneficiairies.
  • Ongoing detailed work planning and costing support to MOSD / CSSPR to ensure coordinated, timely and credible programme planning, budgeting and implementation.
  • Technical assistance in ongoing coordination and capacity support to the MOSD / CSSPR and relevant departments in the overall operations management of the programme, also through participation in relevant working groups and forums. This will also entail advising/assisting State level entities in coordinating the various pillars of the programme (cash, SBCC, M&E / research) and building their capacity to do so.
  • Participate in the Inter-Agency Cash Working Group and other relevant fora; build and maintain partnership with its members and other partners, to identify opportunities for joint approaches and joint programming.
  • Achieve and maintain the partnership and collaboration with UN agencies and the government for technical cooperation, programme management/coordination, information sharing and networking.

2) Knowledge products, tools and technical inputs related to social cash transfers for first 1,000 days of life programme implementation: As the implementation of the cash transfer is also expected to contribute to valuable knowledge and tools for the expansion of the programme in other states Sudan in a phased approach, the incumbent will be responsible for:

  • Leading and/or supporting analyses of programme implementation and impact based on data from surveys, Post distribution monitoring and/or admin data from programme MIS.
  • Provide guidance to the development of the integrated Management Information System in the MOSD; coordinate capacity building exercises to ensure MOSD ownership and ability to host and maintain the integrate the MIS.
  • Developing timely and high-quality knowledge products on lessons learned from the implementation of the cash transfer as an integrated systems-based and life cycle approach to social protection in Sudan. This can include specific case studies in important areas such as: designing a risk-informed social cash transfer programme, identifying and addressing capacity/coordination challenges, improvements in a comprehensive and integrated Management Information System for implementing social protection programmes in Sudan.
  • Advise MOSD / CSSPR and relevant directorates/sections in operational planning for the expansion of the cash transfer supporting the MCCT+ to other States in sync with the UNICEF supported PFM support to MOSD.
  • Provide inputs to MOSD and its directorates in the development and implementation of tools for the cash transfer implementation in other states, in conjunction with other development partners.

3) UNICEF Programme management: Ensure the optimal use of the programme funds

  • Establish and supervise MCCT+ programme work plans and monitor progress and compliance with performance standards.
  • Supervise related staff and consultants and ensure that workplans are aligned with programme objectives.
  • Monitor the overall allocation and disbursement of programme funds, making sure that funds are properly coordinated, monitored and liquidated. Take appropriate actions to optimize the use of programme funds.
  • Ensure programme efficiency and delivery through a rigorous and transparent approach to programme planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Undertake field visits to monitor and assess programme implementation and decides on required corrective action; participate in annual sector review meetings and organize review meetings with partners and counterparts; ensure the timely preparation of annual program status reports.
  • Implement a rigorous and transparent approach to evaluation and participate in the major programme evaluation exercises in consultation with the PME section and other relevant sections to improve efficiency and quality of programme delivery.
  • Support the section with other social protection activities when required.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Development Studies, Business Administration, Public Policy, Political Science, or another relevant technical field. 
  • A minimum of five years relevant professional work experience is required – in particular direct operational experiences of program design and M&E of systems-based social protection (cash transfer) programmes in a developing country context.
  • Knowledge of social protection policy debates and evidence is required; demonstrated knowledge and experiences in working on systems-based approach to social protection (including linkages with social work case management).
  • Understanding of poverty dynamics, social protection principles and their application to current national economic and development issues; demonstrated experience in policy and poverty analyses.
  • Experience of working with national governments and/or international organizations is an advantage
  • Expertise in data and knowledge management.
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency particularly experience of cash transfers in emergency is considered as a strong asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of:

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability

The functional 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)

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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.


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

– Qualified female applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Advertised: 19 Jul 2021 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 31 Jul 2021 E. Africa Standard Time

For jobs from UNICEF visit: UNICEF Jobs Page

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