Senior Evaluation Specialist- P5, Evaluation Office, UNICEF, New York

Job no: 545040
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-5
Location: United States
Categories: Monitoring and Evaluation

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, Evaluate

This position is based in UNICEF’s Evaluation Office in New York, which serves as the steward of UNICEF’s evaluation function. Its Director reports to UNICEF’s Executive Board through an annual report on the evaluation function and on selected evaluations. The Evaluation Office commissions and manages independent corporate evaluations and other evaluative exercises (e.g., evaluability assessments, syntheses, reviews), usually conducted in collaboration with external consultants but sometimes embedding Evaluation Office staff in the evaluation teams. It also leads in the development and implementation of evaluation policy, strategy and systems; oversees evaluation quality assurance processes; undertakes evaluation capacity development activities within and outside the Organization; actively promotes an enabling environment for evaluation and a strong evaluation culture; and ensures transparent access to evaluation information. The Office works closely with the Regional Evaluation Advisers in each of UNICEF’s seven regions to ensure a well-coordinated, collaborative, whole-of-organization evaluation effort and to continue to build the Organization’s community of practice. Working in a complementary manner with UNICEF’s other data, evidence and research functions, the Evaluation Office aims to deliver consistently timely, credible and useful independent analyses that harness knowledge that helps the Organization deliver results for children.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direction of the Director of Evaluation Office, the Senior Evaluation Specialist is responsible for the Evaluation Office’s global portfolio of institutional effectiveness evaluations – i.e., those evaluations that transcend individual sectoral areas (e.g., health, education, WASH, child protection) and assess UNICEF’s overall organizational performance on measures of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and other evaluation criteria. Examples of areas covered by this portfolio are evaluations and other evaluative exercises that examine the Organization’s internal operations, institutional and structural arrangements, policies, support functions, results-based management systems, and overarching partnership approaches. The incumbent also serves as Evaluation Office focal point on external reviews of UNICEF’s overall performance (e.g., that of the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network, United Nations Evaluation Group peer reviews, and others), and on overarching inter-agency and system-wide evaluations that assess collective results achieved by the UN system. S/He provides thought leadership within this portfolio; directly manages evaluations; supervises and guides a small team within the Institutional Effectiveness Section and undertakes quality assurance of all evaluations in the portfolio; updates and advises the Director of Evaluation on issues affecting the portfolio both generally and on specific evaluations; and contributes to the inter-sectional work of the Evaluation Office, the evaluation function, and the Organization more broadly.

The incumbent will be responsible for ensuring that all evaluations in the Institutional Effectiveness portfolio are of the highest relevance, timeliness, quality, credibility and utility possible in meeting the learning and accountability needs of UNICEF and its key stakeholders (e.g., Executive Board, partners, donors, governments). S/He will also be expected to provide senior-level contributions to the broader aspects of the Evaluation Office and evaluation function and practice described above.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

1. Provide thought leadership and senior-level management, guidance and direction to independent evaluations of UNICEF’s overall institutional effectiveness.

  • Lead efforts to identify, and either utilize or pilot and bring to scale, creative and innovative approaches to the evaluation of institutional effectiveness, from best-in-class methodological approaches to alternative modalities for disseminating evaluation results and engaging with key stakeholders in ways that foster evaluation buy-in, learning and ultimately uptake at every stage of the evaluation process. Identify and deploy best practices to the wider evaluation function as appropriate.
  • Undertake systematic due diligence to identify the highest-priority and most institutionally relevant evaluation themes in the portfolio, conduct internal and external consultations to refine and finalize these topics for inclusion in the UNICEF Plan for Global Evaluations, and present these topics to key stakeholders inside and outside the Organization.
  • Directly manage independent institutional effectiveness evaluations from start to finish, ensuring that these are as timely, credible and useful as possible in keeping with the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) revised norms and standards.
  • Undertake final quality control of all outputs produced in the section before these are shared with the Director of Evaluation and others.
  • Manage the Institutional Effectiveness Section human resources, providing overall technical and strategic direction to portfolio, exercising active and positive management of the team, and recruiting highly qualified new staff as necessary, with a view to maximizing the timeliness, relevance, quality, credibility and utility of every evaluation produced in the portfolio. Provide active, positive feedback on an on-going basis that contributes to their professional development and motivates them to perform their best.
  • Exercise fiduciary responsibility over the Institutional Effectiveness Section, ensuring that evaluation resource in the portfolio are managed efficiently and that these evaluations remain on budget.
  • Undertake on-going consultation and coordination with headquarters divisions, regional offices, country offices and external partners, all in close collaboration with Regional Evaluation Advisers and where necessary Multi-Country Evaluation Officers.

2. Serve as Evaluation Office focal point for externally conducted evaluations and other assessments of UNICEF’s overall institutional effectiveness, and of joint, inter-agency, system-wide evaluations within the direct purview of the Institutional Effectiveness portfolio.

  • Serve as Evaluation Office focal point for externally conducted evaluations and other assessments of UNICEF, such as the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN), United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) peer reviews, and other exercises, ensuring that these teams have full access to the information and stakeholders necessary for their analysis and that these analyses are as accurate and well-triangulated as possible.
  • Partner with other agencies in the UN system and with other evaluation partners on selected joint, inter-agency and/or system-wide evaluations within the direct purview of the Institutional Effectiveness portfolio, providing active and positive contributions to these exercises and helping to ensure their maximum timeliness, quality and credibility as well as their relevance and utility to UNICEF.

3. Contribute to office- and function-wide initiatives and to the smooth overall functioning of the Evaluation Office and evaluation function.

  • Advise the Director of Evaluation on issues of strategic and technical significance, especially but not exclusively those directly related to the Institutional Effectiveness portfolio, in the implementation of the UNICEF Evaluation Policy.
  • Contribute to technical and strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening the work of the Evaluation Office and the evaluation function more generally, and of the evaluation culture within the Organization.
  • Contribute to office-wide processes, products and other outputs (e.g., strategic planning processes, drafting of annual reports, meeting agendas, syntheses, capacity development activities).
  • Lead and/or contribute to efforts by the management team (Director and Section Chiefs) to guide, supervise and oversee the smooth functioning of the Evaluation Office.
  • Collaborate closely with other Evaluation Office colleagues, Regional Evaluation Advisers, and UNICEF’s other knowledge and evidence functions to ensure a maximally efficient whole-of-Organization approach to planning, managing, conducting, and communicating on evaluations.

4. Undertake special assignments as required by the Director of Evaluation.

  • At the request of the Director of Evaluation, lead individual initiatives to enhance the evaluation function and evaluation culture within UNICEF and among its partners.
  • Represent the Director of Evaluation at select meetings.

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

  • Advanced university degree or higher in organization management, organizational behaviour, evaluation, public policy, economics, statistics, social science, or another field relevant to Institutional effectiveness.
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible professional experience as an evaluator or in a comparable role examining institutional effectiveness in multilateral agencies or equivalent large-scale public- or private-sector organizations. Experience with institutional evaluations in UNICEF and/or other agencies of the UN system is highly desirable.
  • Solid track record for leading and managing mixed-method evaluations that rely on both qualitative and quantitative approaches and a variety of data collection modalities (surveys, interviews, focus groups, direct and indirect observation, desk reviews).
  • At least 5 years of senior-level experience providing managerial and technical leadership in the area of evaluation, including a strong track record for effectively and positively managing staff as well as external evaluation teams through support, guidance, supervision to deliver evaluations that are on time, on budget, and on point.
  • Demonstrated track record working collaboratively in a team environment to contribute positively to shared results.
  • Fluency in English and one other UN language required.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

Core values

  • Care
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Trust
  • Accountability

Core competencies

  • Builds and maintains partnerships (3)
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3)
  • Drive to achieve results for impact (3)
  • Innovates and embraces change (3)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)
  • Thinks and acts strategically (3)
  • Works collaboratively with others (3)
  • Nurtures, leads, and manages people (3)

Functional competencies:

  • Leading and Supervising (3)
  • Relating and Networking (3)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (3))
  • Analyzing (3)
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts (3)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF is currently undergoing organizational changes; therefore, the exact location of the post has yet to be determined. Selected candidates may be required to commence duties remotely until the location is confirmed. If reassigned or relocated to New York, candidates may be expected to relocate to a new location again during the initial contract or assignment period. When working remotely, the candidate will be expected to fulfill their functions during NYHQ core working hours (10AM-4PM) unless agreed otherwise by the Hiring Office.

UNICEF is committed to achieving gender balance at P5 level by end 2021 and will prioritize eligible and suitable female candidates.

Advertised: 04 Oct 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 04 Nov 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

How to apply…