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Social Policy Officer (Child Poverty) at UNICEF

  • Temporary
  • Lilongwe
  • Applications have closed
  • Salary: 00


TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT: Social Policy Officer (Child Poverty), (NO-2), Lilongwe, Malawi, # 127874, 364 days (Open to Malawian Nationals Only)

Job no: 570125
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Duty Station: Lilongwe
Level: NO-2
Location: Malawi
Categories: Social Policy


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, empowerment…

The UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2024-2028) works through a One-UN approach based on the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSCDF) Strategic Priorities. 2024-2028).  All four strategic priorities of the UNSCDF2024-2028 hold significance to UNICEF and the priorities identified for children: i) Economic Development, ii) Governance, iii) Human Capital Development, and iv) Climate Change. UNICEF co-leads the further elaboration and results in developing the Human Capital Development strategic priority. The intent of the UNICEF CPD 2024-2028 is fully aligned with these priorities, which are also directly linked to the pillars of Malawi Vision 2063, and the Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP, 2030). To this extent, UNICEF’s strategy for the CPD includes Child Survival and Development (Health, Nutrition and WASH), Education, Learning and Child Protection, Social Policy (Social Protection and Public Finance for Children), Gender Equality, Inclusion, and Innovation within a robust evidence-informed environment. These are focus areas under the Human Capital Development Enabler of the MIP (2030). The Country Programme envisages the progressive fulfilment of the rights to survival, development, education, protection, and participation of all children, including adolescents, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of being left behind, in an inclusive, resilient, and protective environment. Besides Malawi’s 2063 vision and 2021–2030 implementation plan (MIP), the African Union’s Agenda 2063; UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, Gender Action Plan III, Innovation Strategy; and the SDGs. The country programme includes child survival and development, learning, skills development and protection, and social policy. All components are supported by the programme and operational effectiveness and efficiency imperatives. Risk-informed programming across the humanitarian and development nexus in all three outcome areas will strengthen disaster preparedness, enhance climate adaptation/mitigation and response, and increase the resilience capacity of institutions, communities, and young people. Programming aligns with UNICEF Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Transformative Agenda.


The Social Policy Programme in Malawi aims to safeguard the rights of Malawi’s most vulnerable children through inclusive and evidence-based social protection and efficiently financed social services. The programme is in full alignment with the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) articles 4, 6 and 27, with the country’s own development framework (Malawi 2063 and its multi-year implementation plan, MIP-1) and with Agenda 2030. The programme focuses on three main areas, namely social protection, public finance for children (PF4C) and child poverty. Working within the Social Policy team as Social Policy Officer (Child Poverty), you will be at the forefront of improving data on child poverty, strengthening social sector financing, advocating for child-sensitive social policies, and enhancing budget transparency and oversight at national and district levels.

This work will involve collaboration with various government entities and stakeholders. These include the National Statistical Office (NSO), the National Planning Commission (NPC), the National Audit Office (NAO), the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA), the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW), Parliament, including the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), Local Councils, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the Academia as well as UNICEF programme staff. This collaborative approach aims to ensure effective implementation and impact of the programme across different sectors and levels of governance.


How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic Social Policy team under the supervision and guidance of our experienced Social Policy and Economics Specialist. As Social Policy Officer (Child Poverty), you will be responsible for providing technical and programmatic support for the Public Finance for Children (PF4C) programme, specifically under the EU-Ireland-funded social protection for gender economic empowerment and resilience (SP-GEAR) initiative.  Your role will be involved in various aspects of the programme, from supporting strategic planning and formulation to the delivery of tangible and sustainable outcomes, including engaging in related advocacy efforts.


This position therefore offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, motivated, and committed individual to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children within the social policy domain by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

  • Technical support to improve data on child poverty and vulnerability for effective policy and programme implementation.
  • Support to strengthen social sector financing, with a focus on social protection and its impact for children. This includes conducting budget and expenditure analysis related to thematic social sector areas, namely social protection, child protection, early childhood development (ECD) and disability.
  • Draft UNICEF products e.g., budget briefs, reports, etc. and support with the quality assurance of the reports produced for UNICEF beneficiaries.
  • Strengthen advocacy and partnership-building for child-sensitive social policies.
  • Enhance budget transparency, accountability, and oversight, at both national and district levels. This includes leading UNICEF’s engagement with Parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

You are however encouraged to read the attached and detailed job description to view the full role and its requirements.

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…


  • A university degree in one of the following fields is required: Economics, Public Policy, Social Sciences, International Relations, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.


  • A minimum of two years of relevant professional experience in analysis and applications related to poverty and vulnerability analysis, social, economic, public finance management (PFM) and development policy is required, more specifically having worked in policy, planning and budget preparation within line ministries (in the social sectors), Ministry of Finance or Public Sector.
  • Proven experience in socio-economic research, surveys, or other evidence generation activities to inform poverty reduction policies and improved investments in social protection and other social sectors is required.
  • Experience in parliamentary engagement and strengthening civil society oversight capacity is considered a strong asset.
  • Proven experience in upstream PFM, including understanding of the functioning of Malawi’s budget process and decentralized systems is required.
  • Hands-on experience with development policy issues (poverty and vulnerability analysis, assessment, socio-economic analysis) is required.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset.
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as an asset.

Expected technical knowledge and skills:

  • Proven knowledge of social sector financing, particularly in relation to social protection, child protection, early childhood development (ECD,) immunization and nutrition or disability is required.
  • Understanding of key deprivations and vulnerabilities faced by children in Malawi and experience of providing socio-economic analysis of child policies is considered an asset.
  • Knowledge of Malawi’s decentralized systems, sectoral financing, management practices, and budget process work is essential.
  • Knowledge of STATA or other statistical analysis programmes is required.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills are required, particularly in poverty, macro-economics, PFM, and financing of social sectors.
  • Strong drafting skills are required.
  • Excellent skill in report writing specifically for budget, donor and UNICEF beneficiaries briefs is required.
  • Ability to work under pressure and in a multicultural environment is required.


  • Fluency in English and local working language (Chichewa) of the duty station is required.

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 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’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates as well as suitable persons living with  disability are encouraged to apply. 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 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/recognized 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 both internal UNICEF staff members and external candidates.

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

UNICEF Malawi is seeking individuals who are motivated to make a real difference and serve the children of Malawi with resourcefulness, resilience, creativity, and professional excellence.

To effectively contribute to the delivery of results for the children of Malawi, the UNICEF Malawi Country Office operates within a dynamic and results-oriented setting. We foster an environment characterized by creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a commitment to professional growth, and a safe workspace. Consequently, we are actively searching for individuals who are driven to enact tangible change and dedicated to serving Malawi’s children with resourcefulness, resilience, agility, and a commitment to professional excellence.

Advertised: 07 Mar 2024 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 20 Mar 2024 South Africa Standard Time