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Background and justification
The Social Policy and Research Section of UNICEF’s Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) has created an internship opportunity for self-motivated postgraduate students.
The internship aims at providing the Section with additional human resources support to implement planned activities in 2020. With only three programme staff, the section requires additional human resources support to execute all projects lined up till the end of the year, many of which relate to COVID-19.
Through the PF4C programme area, the UNICEF ESARO Social Policy Section works with country offices in the region to make public resources work better for children.
Work under this programme stream can be broadly organized into four areas:
(i) measuring and monitoring government spending;
(ii) maximizing the impact of public investments;
(iii) increasing investment in sectors and programmes which improve the well-being of children, and
(iv) advocacy for an enabling environment.
The 21 countries that constitute the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) are characterized by alarming levels of child poverty. Recent estimates indicate that two out of every three children in this region are multi-dimensionally poor.
This means that they do not have access to basic things like primary healthcare services, adequate nutrition, clean drinking water, or safe housing conditions. At the same time, the region is experiencing unprecedented population growth that is overstretching governments’ capacity to deliver quality services to all children.
Regrettably, children are not viewed as public investment priorities.
A rapid review of government spending compared against education and health financial benchmarks shows that only a few countries in the 21 countries in ESAR have met the Education for All spending target of 20 percent of the national budget for education and 15 percent of their national budget for health under the Abuja declaration.
Even if governments have increased investments in sectors that matter for children there are challenges related to efficiency, effectiveness and equity of spending.
Moreover, COVID-19 has added extreme pressure on public finances of all countries in ESAR.
As governments focus on health sector responses and mitigating the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, there is a clear risk that spending on human capital sectors will reduce in the immediate term. Chances are high that austerity measures detrimental to the well-being of children will be introduced in the post-COVID era.
It is therefore important for UNICEF ESARO to continuously monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on public finances. Even before the pandemic, many countries were failing to invest sufficiently in critical child-focused sectors such as child protection, education, social protection, nutrition, water, and sanitation.
Scope of work and objectives
The overall objective of the internship is to support analytical work as well as the development of knowledge products on PF4C and child poverty by the Social Policy Section. To guide planning and programming by Country Offices, the Section periodically undertakes analysis on public finance, child poverty, and social protection related topics for which additional human resources support is required. The Section also produces knowledge and guidance products for use by Country Offices.
- Support the Social Policy Section to conduct research activities on topics related to public finance, child poverty, and the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on households.
- Support surveillance activities on the public finance situation in the ESAR, including the collection of country information on public finance management indicators.
- Assist in the review and quality assurance of research and knowledge products.
- Support the organization of webinars and other regional social policy events to influence policy agendas and promote greater and better investments in child-focused sectors.
- Support with the development of knowledge products, guidance document and capacity building modules.
- Assist in the documentation of social policy work in the region.
Reporting and work relationships
The Social Policy (PF4C) Intern will be under the direct supervision of the Social Policy (Public finance) Specialist. Whilst at UNICEF, the Intern will interact with Social Policy focal points in the 21 ESAR countries, other sections within UNICEF ESARO as well as external partners such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the International Budget Partnership.
- To be considered for an internship with UNICEF, applicants must meet the following requirements:
Be enrolled in a degree programme in an undergraduate or graduate school, or be a recent graduate
- Be proficient in at least one of UNICEF’s working languages: English, French or Spanish and fluent in the working language of the office they are applying to;
- Have strong academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institution records or, if not available, a reference letter from an academic supervisor
Desired competencies, technical background and experience
The suitable candidate should:
- Be working towards an advanced degree (Masters/ PhD) in economics, finance, public policy, international development, statistics or any other relevant social sciences.
- Have strong quantitative analysis skills, including in budget analysis and econometric modelling.
- Ability to work independently and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner.
- Strong organization skills, attention to detail, and ability to contribute to a team.
- Excellent research and writing skills.
- Must be reliable, creative and able to work with little supervision.
- Excellent spoken and written English, working knowledge of French advantageous.
Given the COVID situation, the Intern is expected to telework from home using his/ her laptop until a time when everyone resumes working from the UN compound. When the Intern starts working on-site in the ESARO office in Nairobi, Kenya he/ she will be issued with a UNICEF laptop, subject to availability.
The successful candidate will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.
Qualified candidates are requested to submit a one-page cover letter motivating for the internship along with their CV.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are…
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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.
Internship: Social Policy Intern – UNICEF ESARO (3 Months)
Job no: 533587
Position type: Internship
Division/Equivalent: Nairobi Regn’l(ESARO)
School/Unit: Regional Services Div (ESAR), Nairobi
Department/Office: Reg Serv – Prog Section, Nairobi Regn’l
Categories: Social and Economic Policy
Advertised: Aug 07 2020 E. Africa Standard Time
Application close: Aug 21 2020 E. Africa Standard Time