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Social Policy Officer (Shock Responsive Social Protection) at UNICEF

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


Temporary Appointment: Social Policy Officer (Shock Responsive Social Protection), NO-2, Lilongwe, Malawi (Open to Nationals of Malawi Only)

Job no: 570614
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, hope…

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 UNSCDF 2024-2028 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 the most vulnerable children through inclusive, evidence-based social protection and social services that are financed efficiently and equitably. As Social Policy Officer (Shock Responsive Social Protection – SRSP) you will be at the forefront of strengthening the social protection policy framework, its operationalization and coordination; enhancing the effectiveness of social assistance targeting; strengthening social protection delivery systems with a focus on innovation and shock responsiveness; establishing linkages between social protection beneficiaries and nutrition services.

 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 where you will be supporting the implementation the Social Protection for Gender Empowerment and Resilience (SP-GEAR) programme aimed at supporting the Government of Malawi in empowering Malawi’s poorest and most vulnerable girls and women.  Interventions will be conducted at central level and in 9 districts (Mzimba, Balaka, Ntcheu, Mulanje, Zomba, Neno, Mwanza, Chikwawa & Nsanje).

One of the specific objectives of the programme is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Malawi National Social Protection Strategy (MNSPS), to support an efficient, effective, and sustainably financed social protection system. SP-GEAR will support the coordination, implementation, gender and shock sensitivity and monitoring of the social protection system and to support improved coverage by social protection programmes for vulnerable people to cope with crises and shocks.  This requires strengthening the governance of the sector through comprehensive and targeted capacity building of relevant government stakeholders, strengthened coordination, evidence generation, and use of innovative digital tools for social protection and accountability/monitoring systems. The Action will specifically support the implementation and enhancement of the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP).

Working under the overall guidance and supervision of the Social Policy Specialist, the Social Policy Officer (SRSP) is expected to provide technical guidance, operational support and coordination throughout all stages of programming to enhance the capacity of the Government of Malawi for policy, planning, strategy development, implementation, and coordination of the social protection sector; enhance coordination, implementation, gender and shock sensitivity and monitoring of the Social Cash Transfer Programme through reforms and innovation; and strengthen capacities of national and district-level officials to design, implement and monitor the MNSPS.

This position therefore offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, motivated and committed individual to make a significant impact on ensuring more vulnerable children in Malawi live in resilient communities and benefit from integrated, equitable, shock-sensitive, evidence-based and efficiently financed social protection and social services. By excelling professionally, you will contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

  • Provide technical assistance to the implementation of the Social Cash Transfer programme (SCTP) at district and central level.
  • Support implementation of social protection systems strengthening (targeting, payment modalities, grievance and redress mechanism and capacity development).
  • Support functionality of social protection systems like Emergency MIS, Grievance and Redress Mechanism MIS, Target MIS, Unified Beneficiary Registry (UBR).
  • Support implementing partners with programme delivery mechanisms using UNICEF requirements.
  • Provide technical expertise in implementing cash plus for social protection programmes like nutrition sensitive social protection.
  • Support emergency related programming for shock sensitive social protection, including vertical expansion for SCTP beneficiaries, and horizontal expansion, for temporary beneficiaries.
  • Monitor implementation of joint UNICEF-government work plans.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Download File TOR TA NOB Social Policy Officer (SRSP)_advert.pdf in order to view the full role and its requirements.

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


  • A bachelor’s university degree in one of the following fields is required: Social Protection, Public Policy, Political Science, Public Administration, Economics, International Relations, Development Studies or related discipline.


  • At least 2 years of professional work experience is required in a national social protection programme.
  • Experience in key social protection delivery systems including grievance and redress mechanism and management information systems desirable.
  • Experience in planning and rolling out cash transfers in humanitarian contexts is preferred.
  • Experience working in the UN or other international development organization desirable.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Essential to have technical knowledge on grievance and redress mechanisms, the administration of cash transfer programmes and functionality of management information systems.
  • Essential to have document production and editing skills.
  • Essential to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, including grassroots community members, religious and youth organizations, and authorities at different levels.
  • Essential to have the ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel.
  • Essential to be committed to the UNICEF’s values and guiding principles.
  • Essential to have the ability to build trust, develop, and maintain effective working relationships with respect for diversity.
  • Essential to have the ability to perform under pressure; ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment.
  • Essential to be conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results.
  • Essential to have the self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision.
  • Essential to have strategic thinking and decision-making skills, with a commitment to excellence.
  • Essential to have the strong interpersonal, teamwork, and self-management skills, as well as mature judgment.


  • Fluency in spoken and written English and spoken Chichewa 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 candidates as well as suitable persons living with disability are encouraged to apply.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Appointments may also be 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 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 all candidates – both internal UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed term appointments and external candidates.

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

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: 22 Mar 2024 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 28 Mar 2024 South Africa Standard Time