Consultancy: Youth Innovation, Office of Innovation, remote, 11.5 months

  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 29

Position description

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, innovate....

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives.

The Office of Innovation is a creative, interactive, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, and the partners that turn this energy into scalable solutions.
UNICEF's Office of Innovation creates opportunities for the world's children by focusing on where new markets can meet their vital needs. We do this by:

  • Connecting youth communities (or more broadly -- anyone disconnected or under-served) to decision-makers, and to each other, to deliver informed, relevant and sustained programmes that build better, stronger futures for children.
  • Provoking change for children through an entrepreneurial approach -- in a traditionally risk-averse field -- to harness rapidly moving innovations and apply them to serve the needs of all children.
  • Creating new models of partnership that leverage core business values across the public, private and academic sectors in order to deliver fast, and lasting results for children.

The Office of Innovation specifically looks to form partnerships around frontier technologies (like drones and UAVs, blockchain, 21st century skills, urban technologies, new banking tools, wearables and sensors, or 3D-Printing) that exist at the intersection of $100 billion business markets and 1 billion person needs - and to identify how they can grow and scale profitably and inclusively.

Generation Unlimited background

Generation Unlimited is a unique endeavor with an overall goal of ensuring that every young person is in school, learning, training or employment by 2030. The partnership will focus on bringing to scale solutions that address critical issues for unreached adolescents and young people around three identified themes:

  1. Secondary education. More adolescents should be in formal secondary or non-formal alternative learning pathways alongside continuous improvements in the quality of learning. This includes starting with the most disadvantaged, such as adolescents on the move and in situations of conflict, adolescents with disabilities, and the poorest.
  2. Skills development and training. Adolescents and young people should have access to opportunities to develop skills for learning, personal empowerment, employability and active citizenship. This includes support for the transition to work, such as through apprenticeships and internships, as well as skills for the future of work and technology, skills for a green economy and sustainability, and skills that promote leadership, resilience and tolerance among young people.
  3. Empowerment, with a particular focus on girls. Young people should be given opportunities to civically engage, including digitally, to voice their opinions and views in areas that affect them and their communities, including issues of gender equality, addressing climate change and promoting a more sustainable world. Barriers, including child marriage, violence and exploitation should also be addressed to ensure meaningful engagement of adolescents and young people.

Through Gen U we aim to concentrate our efforts on four key strands: identifying solutions; increasing funding; collaborating with diverse partners; and fostering the participation of young people.

Solutions: We will aim to identify solutions that are proven to work and accelerate progress. We will join up efforts among Gen U members and fill in gaps in knowledge, solutions and resources. This includes building on existing international arrangements, current collaboration with governments, specialized agencies, foundations and NGOs, but also going beyond these. Integrated and new partnerships with the private sector and academia will also be sought. Ultimately, our success will be based on the scale and depth of improvements in the lives of young people.

Resources: We will generate funding for some of the best and most promising solutions, through both established and innovative modalities, including leveraging domestic financing.

Collaboration: Global level efforts will be reinforced by and reflect, action at regional, country and sub-national level. We will work with partners across public, private and civil society sectors to build a package of evidence-based solutions and support. We will also identify opportunities for joint advocacy, at international and national levels, to support young people.

Participation: We will prioritize mechanisms to include and support young people to lead in identifying the solutions, building the evidence base, implementing solutions, and monitoring and evaluation. Platforms, such as social media, will be put in place to ensure that young people are supported in these actions at the national, regional and global levels.

We would like to bring together partners at all levels and across all sectors to join our effort, lend expertise, innovation and market reach to develop, accelerate and scale-up solutions to support young people everywhere. We invite adolescents and youth to join too, so that they not only have a greater chance to succeed but can also shape their path to success. The proposed global youth co-creation contest is one of the ways we will achieve this.

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