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, Protection
Eliminating child poverty and ensuring access to social protection have been recognized as critical priorities of the Agenda 2030. An explicit requirement to measure and monitor multidimensional child poverty is included under SDG 1.1.2, and similarly, the need to accelerate progress around public spending for poverty reduction under SDG 1.a.2, and SDG 1.b.1 for which UNICEF has recently become a custodian. The effective scale-up of social protection, with a specific attention to children, is included as part of ensuring access to social protection, a core target of SDG 1 (Elimination of poverty), and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Moreover, social protection is also an accelerator for multiple other goals. Addressing the multiple and compounding deprivations experienced by children requires an explicit commitment to understand their drivers and to scale-up comprehensive strategies to address them. The full realization of the right of children of access to social protection and adequate standard of living will not only ensure that every child lives free of poverty, but also prevent those at risk or vulnerable to poverty due to exclusion and discrimination, or facing environmental and conflict-related risks, from falling into poverty.
Reducing child poverty, enhancing access to gender-transformative, and inclusive social protection, promoting efficiency, transparency and equity of financing, while strengthening capacities at subnational level, including in urban contexts, is critical. It accelerates 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 equitable development for every child.
UNICEF has articulated its contribution to this agenda and added value across various instruments including, the Social Protection Strategic Framework, the Call for Action on Inclusive Recovery and roadmap, the Urban Evaluation and Management Response, the social protection commitments to the Core Commitments on Children (CCS), as well as - most recently - in the new Goal Area 5 of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025, “Every Child has Access to Inclusive Social Protection and Lives Free of Poverty”.
Job Organizational Context
Montenegro is in the process of accession to the EU. Leaving no one behind is one of the cornerstones of Montenegro’s development agenda. UNICEF Country Office in Montenegro supports the Government of Montenegro in reforms for the progressive realization of the rights of children in Montenegro, with a special focus on children affected by poverty, adversity and exclusion The support is agreed in the Country Programme Document for 2023 – 2027. UNICEF is providing technical assistance for the full alignment of relevant social policies and legislation with international standards, the development of more accessible and adequately financed social services, evidence-based policymaking, and the promotion of changes in social norms and public sector organizational culture and practice to make them more conducive to the protection and realization of child rights.
Montenegro has a strong social and child protection system, comprising non-contributory social assistance, contributory social insurance, social and child protection services. The Law on Social and Child Protection (2013) is the main legal framework for social and child protection services and social assistance in the country. The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) is the main institution in charge. However, some forms of social assistance are the are the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management (cash benefits for the elderly and payments in lieu of contributions to the pension system) and Ministry of Education (free textbooks, free meals for children attending pre-school education which come from families who receive social assistance). Moreover, in the context of a decentralized system of governance, at the municipality level decisions are made to offer and deliver a range of forms of social services and social assistance.
The current social challenges in Montenegro are poverty, social exclusion, adversity, unemployment (especially among young people and women), internal migration, social polarization, and socio-demographic trends such as aging population. In order to better respond to the social challenges, Montenegro has been carrying out comprehensive reform of the social and child protection system over the last 10 years. The initial incentive for the reform was the expert support of UN agencies (UNICEF and UNDP) and the significant financial support of the European Union (IPA 2010 and 2014), which resulted in the harmonization of the legal and strategic frameworks with international documents and standards, establishment of the Institute for Social and Child Protection (in charge, inter alia, for quality assurance), establishment of an Integrated Social Welfare Information System), establishment of the Division for Development of Social Services; strengthening of intersectoral cooperation and professional capacities of relevant sectors for the prevention of family breakdown; and expanded family and community based services, implementation of a comprehensive reform of the Centres for Social Work, as well as intensification of the deinstitutionalization and decentralization processes, which resulted in a significant reduction in the number of beneficiaries of residential care and the expansion of the number of services provided at the family and community levels. One of the most significant results of the reform is the reform of the CSWs, aimed at introducing case management methodology into the work of the CSWs, changing the organization of the work of the centres and the introduction of supervision.
In 2019, at the request of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare UNICEF Montenegro conducted Social and Child Protection System Assessment in Montenegro. The assessment resulted in a Roadmap of reforms to guide further reform processes in social and child protection in the country. In 2021, the Government of Montenegro adopted universal child allowance (for all children), which was rolled out in 2022. The newly introduced policy gives an opportunity to identify children left behind and reach them with sufficient and appropriate services.How can you make a difference?
Purpose For The Job
Under the general guidance of the Child Protection Officer, the Social Policy officer is accountable for providing technical support and assistance in all stages of social policy programming and related advocacy from strategic planning and formulation to delivery of concrete and sustainable results. This includes programmes aimed at improving (a) public policies to reduce child poverty; (b) social protection coverage and impact on children; (c) the transparency, adequacy, equity and efficiency of child-focused public investments and financial management; and (d) governance, decentralization and accountability measures to increase public participation and the quality, equity and coverage of social services. This encompasses both direct programme work with government and civil society partners as well as linkages and support to teams working on education, health, child protection, water and sanitation, and HIV.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Summary of key functions/accountabilities:
- Improving data on child poverty & vulnerability for increased use for policy and programme action
- Supports the collection, analysis and user-friendly presentation of data on multidimensional and monetary child poverty, including strengthening national capacity to collect routinely, report and use data for policy decision-making.
- Provides timely, regular data-driven analysis for effective prioritization, planning, and development; facilitates results-based management for planning, adjusting, and scaling-up specific social policy initiatives to reduce child poverty.
- Analyzes the macroeconomic context and its impact on social development, emerging issues and social policy concerns, as well as implications for children, and proposes and promotes appropriate responses in respect of such issues and concerns, including government resource allocation policies and the effect of social welfare policies on the rights of children
- Strengthening social protection coverage and impact for children
- Supports the development of social protection policies, legislation and programmes with attention to increasing coverage of and impact on children, with special attention the most marginalized. Identifies, generates and presents evidence to support this goal in collaboration with partners.
- Supports strengthening of integrated social protection systems, providing technical support to partners to improve the design of cash transfers and child grants and improve linkages with other social protection interventions such as health insurance, public works and social care services as well as complementary services and intervention related to nutrition, health, education, water and sanitation, child protection and HIV.
- Supports improved monitoring and research around social protection impact on child outcomes, and use of data and research findings for strengthening programme results.
- Improving use of public financial resources for children
- Undertakes budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to Ministries of Finance, planning commissions and social sector ministries to improve equitable allocations for essential services for children. Works with sector colleagues to build capacity to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments.
- Supports the identification of policy options for improved domestic financing of child-sensitive social protection interventions.
- Undertakes and builds capacity of partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability and effective financial flows for essential service delivery, including through support to district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation
- Strengthening capacity of local governments to plan, budget, consult on and monitor child-focused social services.
- Where national decentralization processes are taking place, collaborates with central and local authorities to improve policies, planning, budgeting, consultation and accountability processes so that decisions and child-focused service delivery more closely respond to the needs of local communities.
- Collaborates with the central and local authorities to strengthen capacity on quality data collection, analysis for policy development, planning, implementation, coordination, monitoring of essential social services, with emphasis on community participation and accountability.
- Strengthened advocacy and partnerships for child-sensitive social policy
- Supports correct and compelling use of data and evidence on the situation of children and coverage and impact of child focused services – in support of the social policy programme and the country programme overall.
- Establishes effective partnerships with the Government, bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs, civil society and local leaders, the private sector, and other UN agencies to support sustained and proactive commitment to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and to achieve global UN agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Identifies other critical partners, promotes awareness and builds capacity of partners, and actively facilitates effective collaboration within the UN family.
- UNICEF Programme Management
- Helps manage and coordinate technical support around child poverty, social protection, public finance and governance ensuring it is well planned, monitored, and implemented in a timely fashion so as to adequately support scale-up and delivery. Ensures risk analysis and risk mitigation are embedded into overall management of the support, in close consultation with UNICEF programme sections, Cooperating Partners, and governments.
- Supports and contributes to effective and efficient planning, management, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the country programme. Ensures that the social planning project enhances policy dialogue, planning, supervision, technical advice, management, training, research and support; and that the monitoring and evaluation component strengthens monitoring and evaluation of the social sectors and provides support to sectoral and decentralized information systems.
For every Child, you demonstrate...
- University degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant field. Advanced degree will be considered as an asset.
- A minimum of two years of professional work experience in strategic and operational aspects of social protection systems is required.
- Experience in programme design and management and policy advocacy is required.
- Experience working in developing countries / contexts is considered as a strong asset.
- Background and/or familiarity with emergencies and humanitarian contexts is considered as a strong asset.
- Previous experience in working with UN/UNICEF will be considered as an asset;
- Fluency in Montenegrin and English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.
UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF ValuesUNICEF Competencies Required For This Post Are…
- Builds and maintains partnerships (1)
- Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (1)
- Drive to achieve results for impact (1)
- Innovates and embraces change (1)
- Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)
- Thinks and acts strategically (1)
- Works collaboratively with others (1)
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.Remarks
UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable persons with disability are encouraged to apply.
Job applicants can disclose their disability and accommodation needs in the application form, which will be seen by the recruiter. If you are a candidate that has been shortlisted for a position at UNICEF and you need accommodation during the hiring process (namely, for a test or a job interview) and you have not disclosed it in the applicant form, make sure you raise it with the recruiter once you are invited to an assessment.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. 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 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.