Latest jobs in Malawi

Innovation Specialist (Drones and Data for Development) at UNICEF

  • Temporary
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary: 00


TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT: Innovation Specialist (Drones and Data for Development), (P3), Lilongwe, Malawi#123525, 364 days, (Open to Non-Malawian nationals)


Job no: 558638
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Duty Station: Lilongwe
Level: P-3
Location: Malawi
Categories: Innovation

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 fulfil 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, empowerment…

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi in meeting its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realise their rights’.  The programme focuses on early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralised services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication.  The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realising ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

Innovation is an essential strategy to deliver results for children. Given the current and emerging programming environment, Malawi Country Office (MCO) has committed to streamlining innovation to support ongoing UNICEF and Government efforts to strengthen national systems and improve results for children across the critical social sectors. MCO is enhancing technology and non-technology-enabled programming, ranging from planning, deploying and providing quality assurance to developing opportunities for innovative data collection and mapping and scale-up strategies that may be required to support the MCO Country Programme Document (CPD) priorities. New programming approaches to use drones and innovative data solutions for child rights programming offers an exciting opportunity for using real-time data to respond to child right deprivations.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity where you will manage and implement the Drones and Data for Development portfolio, including social innovation with adolescent/youth engagement, digital development, and technology innovation.

This is a role for someone who has a passion for capturing and using data in innovative and compelling ways, who can see the bigger picture but also dive into granular levels of details when it comes to developing, using and disseminating data creatively and visually.  You can tell a story, sell an idea, and present a compelling case to people through data. You understand airspace regulation, civil aviation authorities and who is building the best open-source Unmanned Aircraft Traffic Management (UTM) systems. Join us in our Innovation team and help us accelerate proven and novel solutions using drones and data in UNICEF programmes while building new products and partnerships around a set of open-source solutions to improve the world. In your role, you will report and be  under the overall guidance and supervision of the Innovation Specialist (Technology for Development). 

This job, therefore, presents a unique and significant opportunity for a qualified, vibrant, motivated and committed person to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children with professional excellence by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

a). Strategy Development:

Collaborating with the Programme team, develop and execute the engagement strategy for Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) as a priority frontier technology area.

b). Technical support to the programme:

Project manage and support UAV initiatives and emergency technologies supported by UNICEF.

c). Advocacy and partnership building

Maintain and create solid partnerships to institutionalise the use of drones and accelerate the use of data for development to drive results for children.

d). Capacity Building

Ensure internal and external partners understand and use data for development strategies

You are, however, encouraged to read the attached detailed job description Download File Job Description_P3 Innovations Specialist (Drones and Data 4 Development) 11Jan2023.pdf to view the full role and its requirements.

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


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in engineering, physics, aeronautics, business administration or other relevant fields.

*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.

  • Specific coursework or training on Drones/UAV technology will be an advantage.


  • A minimum of five/seven years (depending level of qualification) of relevant professional experience in technology product development, project, and partnership management.
  • Demonstrated experience in project management related to unmanned aerial technologies.
  • Experience with government relations (Civil Aviation Authorities, Telecommunication Authorities, Ministries of Health, Transport, and Education, among others).
  • Demonstrated experience in the commercial drone/aviation industry and with UAS regulations and frameworks.
  • Experience working in the private sector or managing corporate partnerships.
  • Experience engaging with stakeholders from different backgrounds and coordinating multi-stakeholder activities.
  • Experience working in a decentralized team.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate clearly complex issues for a non-technical audience.
  • Experience implementing and scaling new projects or technologies in UNICEF programme countries is an asset
  • Experience and/or familiarity with humanitarian contexts is considered an asset.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Familiarity with open-source principles and digital public goods.
  • Demonstrated outstanding analytical and quantitative skills, and the ability to conduct independent research.
  • Effective presenter, including the ability to adapt the message and visual aids for multiple audiences to deliver concise, impactful presentations.
  • Knowledge of business processes such as supply chain management and operations is an asset.
  • Proven capacity to work with and lead collaborative teams across different locations and with different technical skills.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government ministries, youth coalitions, universities, intellectual leaders, UN organisations, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Aptitude to handle competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences.


  • Fluency in English, both solid verbal and written skills, is essential.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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 Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.

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.


The position is not considered an elevated-risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

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 organisation.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to delivering the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  The visa issuance by the duty station’s host country, which UNICEF will facilitate, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID).

Government employees considered for employment with UNICEF usually must 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 visa or medical clearance is not obtained or necessary inoculation requirements are not met within a reasonable period for any reason.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognised in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at

The vacancy announcement is open to all internal and external candidates.

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

In order to deliver results for the children of Malawi, UNICEF Malawi Country Office works in a fast-paced but impactful environment where creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a safe space and professional development are supported and encouraged. We are therefore seeking individuals who are motivated to make a real difference and serve the children of Malawi with resourcefulness, resilience, creativity, and professional excellence.

Advertised: 14 Jan 2023 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 20 Jan 2023 South Africa Standard Time

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