Education&ECD Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Slovakia



Job no: 560756
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Bratislava
Location: Slovakia
Categories: Education, Early Childhood Development
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

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Slovakia has seen a rapid influx of persons fleeing hostilities and seeking protection. More than one million of individuals from Ukraine and third country nationals (TCNs) have crossed the borders into Slovakia, 77 per cent of whom are women and children (as of 15 December). The refugee population and population on the move also include unaccompanied and separated children and those with disabilities and urgent health needs. The Government of Slovakia has generously kept the borders open, and national, district and local authorities have rapidly responded to the large numbers of arrivals. Local communities have taken a welcoming stance, with humanitarian actors, civil society, the private sector and community volunteers complementing the government-led efforts by providing significant support at border reception points and urban areas.

Temporary protection (TP) status has been accessible to refugees arriving from Ukraine and their families since 1 March 2022 and as of 15 December, over 105,500 individuals have applied for Temporary Protection in Slovakia, with the Government estimating that an additional 10,000 Ukrainians are benefiting from tolerated stay, within the legal framework, and hence are not registered for protection in Slovakia.

Despite the favorable protection environment for refugees in the country, there remain major challenges in addressing areas including education and healthcare. Such gaps include comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, preventative mother and childcare, including immunization, education, available social protection mechanisms, ensuring specialized services for GBV survivors, and access of persons with disabilities to existing assistance mechanisms.

The risk of further displacement from Ukraine remains high, and new arrivals of refugees in Slovakia are expected in the context of escalating attacks on and damage to civilian infrastructure and evacuation of civilians in areas affected by the conflict.

While Slovakia welcomed the refugees, moving beyond providing immediate support has posed significant challenges of promoting their integration. Among the main challenges have been to ensure the refugee children equal access to education. The Ministry of Education has developed several educational policies and practices that respond to the needs of refugee students and promote their inclusion in schools. Measures aimed at promoting the enrollment of Ukrainian refugee children in Slovak schools included expansion of preschool capacities, summer camps, language courses for Ukrainian children, as well as new systemic funding scheme (so-called EU normative for Ukrainian children). At the same time, the Ministry allowed refugee children to continue learning in the Ukraine syllabus by accessing online platforms. Approximately 10,000 refugee children have been enrolled in Slovak schools for the 2022-2023 school year, however, many more continue to learn online with very limited opportunity for peer interactions with the host community.

UNICEF is working with national systems and institutions in the Slovak Republic to welcome and integrate Ukrainian children in education, through (1) ensuring supportive school environments in pre-primary, primary and secondary education (including provision of learning supplies; capacity building of teachers around inclusive, safe and intercultural learning environments; capacity building aimed at psychosocial support to students and teachers; acquisition of Slovak language; learning support, etc.); (2) improvement of social inclusion and peer relations through organisation of summer camps, buddy programmes and non-formal learning, etc; (3) increasing institutional capacities to plan, implement and monitor the integration of Ukrainian learners in education systems; and (4) supporting the expansion of preschool capacities and introduction of diversified early learning provisions in affected/selected municipalities.

How can you make a difference?

Under the guidance and general supervision of the Chief, Education (Level 5/4), or Education Manager (Level 4), the Specialist supports the development and preparation of the Education and ECD (or a sector of) programmes and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting the progress of education programmes/projects and ECD within the country programme. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of results on education and ECD programmes/projects to improve learning outcomes and equitable and inclusive education, especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.

The Specialist contributes to achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance, and accountability framework.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. Support to programme development and planning

Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the education and ECD programmes to ensure that current and comprehensive data on education and ECD issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy, advocacy, intervention and development efforts on education programmes.
Help supervisor set priorities, strategies, design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
Participate in strategic programme discussion on the planning of education and ECD programmes. Formulate, design and prepare programme proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans and Country Programme and coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
Work closely and collaboratively with internal colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes and to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.

2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results

Plan and collaborate with internal colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to assess/strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector on education and ECD programmes.
Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses in programme management.
Identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits and surveys, and exchange information with stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems, and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution
Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
Prepare regular and mandated programme reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.

3. Technical and operational support to programme implementation

Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and country office partners and donors on interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices and approaches on education and ECD and related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
Arrange/coordinate availability of technical experts with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
Participate in education and ECD programme meetings including programme development and contingency planning to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use.

4. Networking and partnership building

Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with relevant government counterparts, national stakeholders, global partners, donors, and academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication to build capacity, exchange knowledge/expertise and to reinforce cooperation to achieve sustainable and broad results on education and ECD programmes.
Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships and support fund raising for education and ECD programmes.
Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions on education and ECD and related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of programmes/projects ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting.

5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices in education and ECD management. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders to promote sustainable results on education and ECD and related programmes/projects.

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

– An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, economics, psychology, sociology, or another relevant technical field.

– A minimum of five years of professional experience in programme planning, management, and/or research in education is required.
– Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
– Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.

Language Requirements:
– 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, 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…

(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.

[add the 8th competency (Nurtures, leads and manages people) for supervisory role]

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 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). 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.

Advertised: 03 Apr 2023 Central Europe Daylight Time
Deadline: 16 Apr 2023 Central Europe Daylight Time

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