Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF April, 2024

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The Child Protection – Specialist (legal identity with a focus on Birth Registration) – reports to the Child Protection Manager for guidance and general supervision. The Specialist supports the efforts of National Population Commission and allied entities towards the development and implementation of the national civil registration and vital statistics strategy and plan of action.

In addition, the Specialist will be responsible to lead and manage the UNICEF contribution towards the management, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the Civil Registration programmes with emphasis on Birth Registration within the country programme. The Specialist contributes to the achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Key function, accountabilities, and related duties/tasks 

Support to programme/project development and planning

  • Support the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the Civil Registration -Birth Registration programme to ensure that current and comprehensive data on legal identity issues is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, and design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency, and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of birth registration programme. Formulate, design, and prepare programme/project proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s overall Strategic Plans and the Country Programme, as well as coherence and 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 colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence, and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
  • Employ programme interoperability with other social sectors and strengthen linkages between civil registration with, identity management, health, education, and the private sector.
  • Implement comprehensive programmes to accelerate birth registration for all children, especially children from the most vulnerable communities, starting from birth.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results.

  • Plan and collaborate with colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in child protection 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 actions and interventions to achieve results.
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or 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, surveys and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.

Technical and operational support to programme implementation

  • Support the efforts of the NPC state governments and other civil registration ecosystem stakeholders at community level to reach hardest areas using digital technology to leapfrog outdated, paper-based birth registration systems through social mobilization drives.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of community level actors (village scribes, traditional and religious leaders, Village Community mobilizers, traditional birth attendants etc.) registrars and other stakeholders to promote increased birth registration and certification process in LGAs, wards and communities.
  • Actively monitor birth registration programmes through field visits, surveys, and exchange of information with state and community level actors, assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems on birth registration coverage and proffer viable solutions.
  • Support the establishment of a network of mobile birth registrars as ‘gatekeepers’ to provide active registration services and mobile units in communities, wards and households level to improve birth registration and certification coverage in Nigeria.
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners and donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on child protection related issues to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Arrange and coordinate availability of technical experts with UNICEF Field offices, relevant ministries and agencies to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
  • Participate in child protection programme meetings, including programme development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated, to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and/or consideration.

Networking and partnership building

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

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors, and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
  • 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 results on Birth Registration.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of broad stakeholders to promote sustainable results in birth registration in Nigeria.
  • 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 child protection management and information systems. 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.

The following minimum requirements:

  • Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: international development, human rights, psychology, sociology, international law, or another relevant social science field.
  • Experience: A minimum of five years of professional experience in social development planning and management in child protection related areas is required. Experience working in at international or national level in developing to middle -income countries in the implementation of birth registration programmes is required. Relevant experience in programme development in child protection related areas in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset. Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is considered as an added advantage.

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