International Individual Contractor – Youth Policy, Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Unicef

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Background, 

Ghana is a lower middle-income country experiencing a period of sustained political stability and economic growth. However, significant disparities in development outcomes continue to impact disproportionately on vulnerable groups, including on about 10 million young people (10-24 years), who are reliant on equal and expanded opportunities for quality education and training, employment, entrepreneurship and engagement to break age-related and other socio-economic barriers.

UNICEF continues to partner with the Government of Ghana and development partners to strengthen social systems that can advance results for children and young people. Under the framework of the UNICEF-Government of Ghana Country Programme of Cooperation (2018-2022), UNICEF is supporting programmes for children in health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, quality basic education, the protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation, and social protection. It does so by leveraging national and international capacity, knowledge, and experience in priority areas for children. Over successive programme cycles, UNICEF Ghana has also supported multisectoral programmes advancing the wellbeing and rights of adolescent girls, and the second decade of life more broadly.

Notable progress for young people in Ghana has been made in recent years. Ghana introduced the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy in 2017 and initiated TVET programmes to support young people attend SHS, technical school, or vocational institutions, and participate in the economy with strengthened skill sets. The country also embedded youth commitments in the Ghana Beyond Aid Charter, and Ghana’s Medium-Term Development Framework,  “An Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All” (2018-2021), and other key strategies which were geared towards improving the quality of post- basic education skills training; developing young people’s employability skills; and strengthening the links between education and the labour market. In 2020, the country also updated its 10-year National Youth Policy (NYP) for the period 2020-2030 placing the economic empowerment of young people, education and skills development, youth participation and governance at the center of the youth agenda and the targeted policy and programme efforts undertaken across government institutions. The implementation of the NYP is led by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and its implementing Agency, the National Youth Authority (NYA). Institutions such as Ghana’s Education Service, the TVET Council, and Ghana’s Youth Employment Agency have also played key roles. However, inherent political and institutional challenges continue to temper progress and delivery on the youth agenda. Strengthened institutional vision, coordination, capacities and resources are required from state bodies as well as better collaboration between government and non-government actors to realize a transformative progress on outcomes for young people.

UNICEF is now seeking to accelerate initiatives that support an enabling environment for young people specifically in terms of their engagement, empowerment and future employability. Through the global GenU initiative, UNICEF is advancing opportunities to accelerate positive outcomes for young people and leverage overall support from diverse stakeholders in shaping and mobilizing and leveraging existing resources and new investments for young people needed to increase empowerment, education, training, and employment opportunities, and to identify and support the acceleration of high-impact and transformative initiatives which can reach young people at scale. UNICEF is also seeking to support positive policy and programme initiatives by government, development partners, private sector, civil society and young people respectively. UNICEF is advocating for greater coordination and information exchange among all stakeholders on investment programmes for young people, while also seeking to build on and strengthen existing coordination mechanisms for young people, such as the Private Sector Working Group (chaired by Ministry of Trade and Industry), the Employment Working Group (chaired by the World Bank), as well as its subgroup on skills development and TVET, under the Ministry of Education.

UNICEF is also exploring several prospective pathways for meaningful, innovative and shared-value partnerships with the business sector in Ghana that can leverage resources for young people. For example, within the GenU initiative, UNICEF is exploring several opportunities to work across multiple sectors including the technology sector and related startup ecosystem. Through the UNICEF Startup Lab, UNICEF is actively engaged in supporting a growing portfolio of early-stage, social-impact startups working on innovative, solution-oriented businesses in areas impacting young people, and provides a six-month entrepreneurship and incubation programme for young entrepreneurs along with networking, mentorship and access to investment opportunities. Ghana also recently joined the Digital Public Goods[1] Alliance (DPGA)[2] as a Pathfinder Country, and UNICEF will support the discovery, development, use of, and investments in DPGs of high relevance to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such initiatives provide entry points for wider business sector engagement and investment for young people, including through policy commitments and scaled investments.

Purpose and Objectives

The overall purpose of the contract is to strengthen the contribution of UNICEF to youth policy, employability and entrepreneurship in Ghana and to accelerate the development, management and implementation of partnerships and with key stakeholders that leverage political and economic support for results for young people through the GenU and DGA initiatives. The contractor will serve as a focal point and resource for UNICEF on second decade programming, and specifically on youth policy, employability and entrepreneurship (GenU) and DPGs.

Specific tasks

Under the supervision of the UNICEF Deputy Representative, and in close collaboration with relevant UNICEF staff, the contractor will i) advance institutional policy support to national youth policy and entrepreneurship initiatives aligned with the GenU initiative, ii) seek and promote new strategic, shared value partnerships to advance  GenU and DPGs iii) engage in both financial and non-financial resource leverage opportunities in the technology sector. Specifically, the contractor:

  • Provides day-to-day coordination on 2 nd decade programming including GenU and technical support to all work on youth policy and youth employability and entrepreneurship across the country office and within the scope of GenU and DPG initiatives and ensures that they are strongly grounded in the experience and insights of the programmes that UNICEF’s supports.
  • Supports engagement in policy advocacy and respective institutional support. Monitors trends in in partners’ respective policies, systems and actions around youth. Ensures that UNICEF’s interests, perspectives, and knowledge on young people are considered in relevant youth policy advocacy. Engages with development partners, UN agencies and the business sector on relevant youth initiatives and policy advocacy. Supports and contributes to improved co-ordination among development partners and government activities around youth policy and programmes. Attends relevant meetings of strategic partners, to influence GenU-relevant priorities, initiatives and resources, including through the UN Youth Group.
  • Maintains and expands UNICEF’s network and relationships with the business sector, including the technology sector, and other relevant constituencies around GenU. Develops and supports implementation of partnership engagement and private sector investment strategies for GenU and DPG initiatives for 20201-2022. Scans the external environment and conducts iterative analysis to identify sources of related partnership and leverage opportunities and risks, and shares information with relevant UNICEF staff in a timely fashion. Supports establishment of formal agreements and engagement modalities and terms, consistent with UNICEF’s mandate, business model and Rules and Regulations. Coordinates the development, implementation and monitoring of partnership deliverables and activities.  Establishes systems to regularly monitor and assess the effectiveness of UNICEF’s partnerships on GenU and DPGs including their reach and outcomes and monitors the contribution of related channels to the country programme.
  • Supports the advancement of a national investment agenda for young people through GenU, mobilizing young people and relevant stakeholders to play leadership roles within a coordination/steering committee and to facilitate their contribution to shaping the national investment agenda for young people . Supports related engagement and coordination of key stakeholders, especially private sector organisations.
  • Identifies 2-3 relevant existing DPGs from that could be leveraged for country programme priorities such as remote learning, connectivity, financial services, and digital skills. Defines needs and requirements for scale, including technical specifications, feasibility/ pilots and compatibility with existing systems. Through the DPGA, facilitates inter-country connections.
  • Engages with the entrepreneurship ecosystem with technical assistance to increase the startup portfolio and the pool of DPG candidates through the UNICEF StartUp Lab. Leverages calls for proposals by the UNICEF Venture Fund to seed fund relevant startups to further engage the startup ecosystem. Utilizes the Open source accelerator model and curricula available for adaptation to national context. Manages the day-to-day operations of the UNICEF StartUp Lab, including the portfolio of startups in-training and alumni, and the implementation of related innovation strategies, including its respective partnerships.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by the supervisor, as needed.

 

Deliverables

  • Regular stakeholder meetings and youth consultations on GenU and related youth policies and strategies conducted and documented.
  • Finalized institutional landscape analysis on youth-focused polices, programmes and enablers drawing on multiple sources of evidence.
  • Finalized Programme Strategy Note on second decade programming, incorporating current and emerging focus areas, and considering equity, including and gender-equality principles.
  • Timely and appropriate support to coordination of 2nd decade relevant activities within UNICEF and contribution to related coordination systems across the UN in Ghana.
  • Timely and appropriate technical assistance provided, including for research, youth skills, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Periodic consultations held with key DPs in support of GenU to coordinate investments in young people.
  • Engagement with key business sector stakeholders undertaken periodically, including with young people, to initiate and co-create the investment agenda for young people and a National Roadmap.
  • Identification of a national investment portfolio for young people supported, including potential PPPs to advance scalable solutions. In accordance with an agreed timetable, to be facilitated.
  • Support proved to establish a national monitoring framework to track implementation of investment in young people and against key GenU-aligned indicators on education & training, employment, entrepreneurship, equity and engagement.
  • Support provided to convene a functioning coordination/ steering committee in coordination with Government, UN RC, UN Youth Group and other stakeholders.
  • Assessment of priority needs for DPGs in programme, such as Health, Education, Child Protection etc. Needs would necessarily relate to programme results accelerators.
  • A comprehensive list of DPGs/DPG candidates is developed and matched with the priority programme needs identified.
  • Participation in Communities of Practice in vetting DPGs.
  • Coordinated and facilitated regular opportunities for related engagement, and document and compile key expertise provided.
  • Ghana’s DPG experience shared with DPGA and other pathfinder countries undertaking similar initiatives.
  • Regular engagement events for private investors and public donors to build interest in DPGs organised and implemented
  • Review of the current and previous engagements between UNICEF and MEST (and other related partners and prospects) and propose a modified scope of engagement to enhance the creation of DPGs locally, including through a specialized startup support programme.
  • Promote the UNICEF Venture Fund locally to improve the number and quality of submissions.
  • Analyze similar partnerships such as the MENA Accelerator, as well as the Fintech Accelerator in partnership with ING and utilize the tools/ curricula created to strengthen the partnership with MEST and other Entrepreneurship Support Organisations.
  • Provide ongoing support to the alumni and portfolio companies of the UNICEF StartUp Lab, including to promote opportunities for their engagement on DPGs.
  • Day-to-day operations of the UNICEF StartUp Lab managed.
  • Review the pathfinder support model components and provide feedback and recommendations for improvements.
  • Document all activities undertaken within the pathfinding scope, capture stakeholders’ feedback and generate lessons learnt
  • Further deliverables related to production and dissemination of investment cases, proposals and engagement materials will be elaborated and agreed
  • Monthly activity reports of work undertaken and progress, including the analysis of various approaches employed. The record will be supported by electronic and hardcopy documents, stored centrally.

Supervision, reporting arrangements, payment and payment schedule

The contractor will be supervised by the Deputy Representative.

The contractor shall receive a monthly payment upon satisfactory submission of monthly deliverables as agreed with the supervisor. Monthly payment shall be a negotiated lumpsum.

[1] Open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices.

[2] Pathfinder countries pilot initiatives that aim at a) meeting demand for DPGs; b) supporting supply/creation/strengthening of DPGs; c) supporting the related policy environment and d) supporting entrepreneurship ecosystem for DPGs.

 

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

  • An Advanced university degree in international development, public affairs, public administration, international relations, political science, social policy, communication, business administration and management or another related field.
  • At least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience is required, preferably in policy and strategy development, partnership building, an/ or entrepreneurship support.
  • Proven experience in effectively engaging partnerships and a track record working with the business sector. Experience in technology related partnerships and engagements, with entrepreneurship ecosystems and in the social impact space is an asset. Knowledge of the landscape for Ghanaian startup ecosystem in the technology sector is also an asset.
  • Demonstrated strategic, planning, communication and research experience. Fluency in English is required along with very strong writing and editing skills. Candidates may be asked to provide writing samples such as publications and/ or policy briefs.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and implement projects in coordination with multiple stakeholders. Adept at turning complex projects and concepts into easy-to-understand, accessible content.
  • Familiarity with emerging technology areas is a strong asset, including solid understanding of the role technology plays in the development and humanitarian sectors. Experience and familiarity with grant and seed funding approaches, including loans and other relevant financial instruments.

Method of Application

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website : Click Here Closing Date : 23 Oct, 2020
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