UNICEF Social Policy & Economic Specialist Jobs in Kenya

UNICEF Social Policy & Economic Specialist Jobs in Kenya


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, an advocate

Kenya has experienced an impressive economic growth over the last few years.

The economy has been growing at about 6% yearly in a generally stable macro-economic environment.

Kenya, with a GDP per capita of US$1,366 in 2015 has shifted from low income country to lower middle income.

Despite such an enabling environment Kenya’s children remain disproportionately represented among the poor and vulnerable.

According to the 2015/2016 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIBHS), 41.5% of children are living below the national poverty line while a recent Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analyses (MODA, 2014) revealed that 45% of children are deprived in three or more basic needs necessary to their wellbeing.

With a human development index of 0.555, Kenya is ranked 146 globally.

The child poverty and deprivation findings indicates that in 2017, a total of 9.5 million children or 45% of all children under age 18 in Kenya experience severe child poverty.

In that context, UNICEF’s social policy programme aims to support child sensitive policies, strategies and financing to reduce monetary and non-monetary poverty, and vulnerabilities and to promote individual, household and community resilience to shocks and stress.

In the last four years, UNICEF’s support to the Government has led to an improved inclusion of children in national and county plan which is a critical milestone.

How can you make a difference?

  • The Social Policy and economic specialist position will to lead the Public Finance for children (PF4C) work carried out by UNICEF Kenya Country Office.
  • In this regard this position will provide technical and programmatic support with all sections/programmes to support the office in its efforts to leverage greater, more effective, and equitable domestic public investments in children and ensure results in the areas of health, education, HIV, nutrition, child protection, social protection, and WASH.
  • The Social Policy Specialist (Public Finance) will report to the Chief of Social Policy.

    The position will collaborate with:

  • Government counterparts, including the Ministry of Finance (MoF), social sector ministries and Parliamentarians;
  • External partners, including the World Bank, IMF, donors, other UN agencies and civil society organizations; and
  • UNICEF technical staff from program sections as well as from UNICEF’s regional office.
  • Lead data and evidence generation to advocate for greater and better public investments in children (30%)
  • Provide technical leadership for the scaling up of UNICEF's PF4C work in Kenya in line with the Country Programme Document. Develop and apply relevant PFM tools together with government counterparts and development partners, including budget briefs, thematic budget analyses, Citizens Budgets, the Open Budget Survey, subnational budget scorecards, subnational financial dashboards, Public Expenditure Reviews (PERs), Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS), cost efficiency and/or cost effectiveness analyses, expenditure incidence analyses, costing exercises, fiscal space analyses, financing and/or affordability studies, cost-benefit analyses, cost of inaction analyses, etc.
  • Serve as the country focal point of technical expertise in the area of PF4C.
  • Monitor developments in technical area, as well as political and social developments, at the national and county levels. Regularly disseminates national and county budget data as well as information on systems and socio-economic trends and their implications for national and county programming.
  • Provides support in analyzing child poverty and its impact on children and its determinants and proposes appropriate responses in terms of government resource allocation policies and social welfare policies.
  • Lead UNICEF engagement in the national and county level planning and budgeting to influence allocation decisions and improve the performance of spending on children (30%)
  • Serve as the office
    focal point on SDG monitoring. Coordinates UNICEF’s advocacy and contribution to the formulation, review and monitoring of the Medium-Term plans (MTP), sector plans, County Integrated Development Plans, and County Annual Development Plans, etc. to ensure that child priorities are fully reflected. Lead office evidence generation in support of national and sector level development planning
  • Provides comprehensive yearly budget analysis using available national and county level budget information (Budget Briefs) and presents, discusses and advocates for recommendations from evidence generation activities to be adopted by the National Treasury, County Governments and social sector ministries in their annual planning and budgeting.
  • Advocates and provides technical support to the National Treasury to introduce or revise key PFM reforms so that they reflect child-focused priorities and deliver on expected results, including the Standard Chart of Accounts, program- or performance-based budgeting, inter-governmental fiscal transfer formulas and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
  • Facilitates and coordinates the national and county level dialogue with key financial decision makers at all levels of government to raise awareness around child rights and make the case for investing in children.
  • Develops partnerships with the National Parliamentary, Senate, County Assemblies, Office of Control of Budget and the Office of the Auditor General and builds their capacity to initiate child-sensitive legislation, approve the budget and provide effective oversight.
  • Child sensitive (planning and budgeting) capacity building and Empowering citizens (15%)
  • Closely works with the National Treasury Support, social sector ministries and PFM development partners to develop and build nationally owned multi-year PF4C capacity building plan with tools and materials that are embedded into the national PFM capacity development plan. Leverages with the National Treasury and relevant Ministries to ensure that key national and county level PFM stakeholders have the full PF4C capacities.
  • Supports national and county level the citizen participation in the budget process and monitoring and lead the development of easy and accessible tools and methods of reporting. Lead the partnership development with Civil Society organization and communities on budget transparency and accountability. Builds the capacity of communities and citizens in understanding and tracking how and how well public funds are spent, and work with local governments to establish feedback mechanisms.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Economics, Public Finance, Public Policy or other relevant discipline is required.
  • A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience in applications and advisory related to economic and social development and public financial management and development policy. Hands-on experience with PFM issues and development policy issues (poverty analysis, assessment, social sector analysis) is required. Experience in budget analysis, costing and developing investment cases in key sectors for children such as health, education, water and sanitation, social protection, nutrition is an asset. Working experience with multilateral or other non-profit international organizations in economic policy, macroeconomics development is desirable.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

    How to apply

  • Interested candidates should apply online by 11th November, 2018

  • For more information and job application details, see; UNICEF Social Policy & Economic Specialist Jobs in Kenya

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