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.
Job Title: Planning Specialist
For every child,
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, always and in everything, the organization does in programs, in advocacy, and in operations. UNICEF is committed to ensure special protection for the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families and to translate this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, all children should have the opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life – in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions – her or his rights are violated. Evidence shows that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential. It will also lead to sustained growth and stability of countries which can accelerate progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the inclusive and equitable development of the nation.
Ghana is a lower middle-income country experiencing a period of sustained political stability and economic growth, averaging 5.5 percent for 2018-2022. Its underlying political stability is expected to endure and support continued economic transformation. Ghana enjoys relatively positive social development trends, including in the areas of health, education and social protection with reduced rates of infant and under-5 mortality, stunting and child poverty. However, significant disparities in development outcomes continue to disproportionately affect rural populations and especially poor families with children. Ghana continues to be affected by persistent development challenges, including increased inequality, slowed poverty reduction with increased extreme poverty in some parts of the country. Overall, a significant unfinished development agenda for children remains to be addressed in Ghana, particularly for children and young people. 38 percent of Ghana’s population is below 15 years of age. UNICEF partners with the Government of Ghana to strengthen social systems that can advance the realization of children’s rights domestically. Under the framework of the UNICEF-Government of Ghana Country Programme of Cooperation (2018-2022), UNICEF is leveraging national and international capacity, knowledge, and technology in priority areas such as health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, quality basic education, and the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation.
How can you make a difference?
The Planning Specialist will provide appropriate and timely support to ensure the quality comprehensiveness and completeness of country office planning, programme management, programme performance monitoring and reporting processes. This includes support to the development and maintenance of quality assurance processes within and between programme sectors, the provision of technical assistance and the design, production and dissemination of quality Knowledge Management products and processes for the country office. The Planning Specialist will also supervise the implementation of Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) processes in the country office, including Programme Assurance Monitoring visits.
Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
Provide quality and timely support to country office programme management processes.
- Supports a robust system for country programme management and coordination at the country office, comprising programme planning, implementation monitoring, results assessment and reporting.
- Verifies and maintains completeness and accuracy of content in statutory planning and reporting documents and in the document management system for the country programme. Ensures the accurate and timely availability of programme information in various computerized systems, including the Vision Planning Outline and Emergency Response and Preparedness portal.
- Supports the fulfilment of statutory planning and reporting commitments by the country office, including the availability of information through corporate tools and E-Systems.
- Monitors the achievement results and targets of the Annual Work plans and Annual Management Plan priorities.
- Supports the implementation and documentation of Country Management/Programme Management meetings. Prepares programme status reports, briefing notes and other documentation as required for management (and external partners). Ensures availability and dissemination of up-to-date information for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
- Supports the coordination and management of intersectoral programmes.
Supports the functioning of a robust quality assurance system over programme development and performance review
- Supports all country programme development and review processes relevant for UNICEF, including the formulation of results and resources frameworks, programme strategy notes, annual work plans and the annual management plan.
- Provides guidance and technical assistance to country office staff during the development of statutory country programme documents.
- Supports the development, quality assurance and review of programme/ project strategies, proposals and agreements. Ensure the accuracy and completeness of donor reports, verifies compliance with donor obligation and respective UNICEF external reporting standards.
- Supports the preparation for and documentation of all statutory country planning and review events and processes, such as strategic moments of reflection, mid-term reviews, and annual and mid-year reviews, ensuring consistency with results of the country programme.
- Supports the quality assurance of statutory programme documents. Ensures systems for performance management to strengthen Results Based Planning and Management, as well as other key UNICEF and UNDG programming principles.
- Provides assurance on the application of UNICEF programme standards across the country office, including pilot/ model approaches, annual work plan development, monitoring processes and implementation of standard procedures for programme planning, management and (internal and external) reporting.
- Quality assures and consolidates country office inputs to UN (the Common Country Assessment, UN Development Assistance Framework, joint programmes, joint work plans, etc.) statutory programme processes and reports, and to UNICEF in Ghana’s on-going contribution to regional and global priorities for UNICEF.
Serve as focal point to maintain country office capacity in HRBAP and RBM/ RBB
- Provides technical support to key programme staff in HRBAP and RBM/ RBB and identifies and supports related training needs for capacity building.
- Supports country office staff in effectively using relevant corporate performance management systems (namely Vision/ InSight, including Performance Dashboards, RAM and Management reports/ E-tools/ TrackMe etc.).
- Supports the introduction and use of approaches, methods and practices for programme management.
- Supports the training of counterparts and NGO partners on programme development and planning and HACT management.
- Where appropriate, assists in strengthening national planning processes including those at decentralized level to ensure that the needs of vulnerable children, women and families are considered in the planning phase of the development plans.
Supports the country office Knowledge Management function
- Supports the development of a comprehensive knowledge management function at the country office.
- Supports best practice sharing and application of relevant tools and platforms across the country office with the aim of improving programme management practices.
- In collaboration with the M&E Specialist, facilitates the implementation of the Costed Evaluation Plan and the country office PRIME.
- Supports the documentation, packaging and dissemination of key programme results, knowledge, experience, good practices and lesson learned including from UNICEF evaluation and research. Support the development, packaging and dissemination of appropriate communication and advocacy messages and information related to the country programme.
Provides support to Programme Monitoring and Assurance, including the analysis of the situation on of the Rights of the Child
- Supports the progressive development of a comprehensive programme monitoring function at the country office.
- Facilitates the regular analysis of the Situation on the Rights of Women and Children, including by securing robust data, diverse analyses and methodology to enable a comprehensive and periodic analysis.
- Provides supervision and oversight for the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) including the timely planning and implementation of Programme Monitoring Visits.
- Undertakes Programme Assurance and monitoring visits in the field. Identifies problems and provides alternative course of action to accelerate / improve programme delivery. As needed, conducts joint assurance reviews with government counterparts and other partners.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree in social sciences, demography, development planning, statistics or related technical field.
- A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible professional work experience at national level in programme planning, management, monitoring and evaluation. Practical experience in knowledge management.
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The competencies required for this post are….
View our competency framework at
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Advertised: Nov 20 2018 Greenwich Standard Time
Application close: Dec 04 2018 Greenwich Standard Time