HR Specialist (Learning & Development), P-3, Learning and Development (L&D), Post #124287, Division of Human Resources (DHR), Temporary Appointment (364 days) , New York, USA (requisition # 560675)

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)


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,

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with headquarters in New York City, provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF’s work is carried out in 192 countries through country programmes and National Committees. Some 88 percent of the organization’s posts are in the field. There are 36 National Committees, eight regional offices and country offices worldwide, as well as a research centre in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo and Brussels.

To measurably improve UNICEF’s ability to deliver better results for children, the Division of Human Resources (DHR) will continue its transformational process in several key areas, particularly in the areas of capacity building and learning and development. DHR will now work consistently to ensure that all staff are adequately equipped with core, management and leadership skills to perform effectively in their respective roles, and that staff capacity continues to grow across all regions and countries.

The Global Learning Strategy highlighted the need for strengthened oversight of the learning function, through Governance and Coordination bodies, to ensure that learning investments are prioritized to support Organizational priorities (the Strategic Plan, Action plans following the ITF report) and are monitored accordingly on investment against impact. Learning should also be supported by the evolution of innovative learning approaches to support effective learning implementation in a global, highly decentralized organization.

The ITF recommendations highlighted the need for continuous enhancement of the people management capacities of managers across the organization, so that they can be part of the culture change process, leading towards an enhanced, enabling and empowering UNICEF culture for its staff.  Other priorities include the implementation of the new UNICEF competencies and values into key global learning programmes.

Programmes managed by the Learning and Development (L&D) team include Executive Insight (360 assessments and coaching) for senior leaders in the SSR Cadre, the Strengthening of Personal Leadership and Managerial Capacities, Leadership Transitional Coaching, Deputy Representative Leadership Initiative, Management MasterClass, IMPACT+, Aspire, Mentoring etc.  In addition existing Language programmes and capacity building efforts for HR staff are ongoing e.g. the CIPD accredited programme etc.

Given the need to reinforce the team as it transitions to a new structure and location whilst critical posts are under-recruitment and to contribute to the strengthening of participant self-serve registration on programmes etc, knowledge management and overall strengthening of key L&D functions, this TOR seeks the services of an HR Specialist to provide key support to key identified activities.

How can you make a difference?

The HR Specialist for Learning and Development will develop, coordinate and enhance identified learning initiatives in support of UNICEF’s strategic priorities and learning needs. The incumbent will support the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of global learning activities as well as contribute to knowledge management, efficient contract and vendor relationship management. Additionally, they would research, track and monitor evolving learning approaches and innovations to inform the design of learning solutions with behavioral impact and integrate best practices, across UNICEF.

The incumbent will coordinate with the Chief Learning and Development, and Unit leads to support the global learning function in DHR.  S/he shall cover and deliver on the following activities:

1.   Learning programme Delivery

  • Delivery Coordinate assigned learning programmes and initiatives primarily in the areas of Management and Core learning, as well as supporting the transitioning of staff in key leadership roles in UNICEF.
  • In partnership with other UNICEF learning providers contribute to continuous learning culture/ approach for UNICEF staff. Curate learning content on learning platforms and in the Learning Management System (Agora) and contribute with ideas on further development. Support the creation of learning paths in the LMS. Support social learning and learning communities through digital platforms, and other types of peer-to-peer learning experiences.
  • Lead in the area of enhancing automation and innovation in the areas identified in order enhance learning impact and to support efficiency in the participant nomination, registration, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • Support the design and delivery of in-person and virtual learning solutions to enhance staff capabilities, including providing ad-hoc technical support to virtual learning initiatives, including the design and administration of learning needs analysis, programme design, communication and participant engagement, enrollment/ registration, delivery, reporting, and evaluation
  • Contribute to the mapping of skills and competencies in order to assist in the development of a comprehensive framework in to support the development of talent.
  • Conduct research on new and evolving learning tools, approaches and innovations. Explore evolving learning technology and recommend options for technology-enhanced learning solutions for staff.

2. Contract Management and Budget Monitoring

  • Contribute to an effective contract management system in the Learning and Development team that underpins learning programmes delivery and the team’s relationship with service providers.
  • Ensure efficient contracting of individual consultants and institutional vendors that support learning initiatives identified.
  • Assist in managing the administration and project implementation status of all aspects of external vendor contracts. Monitor and ensure that deliverables are aligned with contract specifications for completion, cross reference charges with activities and support with follow-up actions to ensure efficient delivery of learning initiatives.
  • Support budget monitoring and financial expenditures of the team, ensuring compliance with UNICEF rules and regulations, including budget preparation/revision, implementation status, determination position of funding utilization, operational, and financial closures.

3. Support data collection, analytics,  knowledge management functions – including monitoring, and reporting  and evaluation

  • Support the enhancement of data collection systems to optimize data quality in support of efficient and relevant learning initiatives within the portfolio.
  • Collate up-to-date information to support monitoring, reporting, evaluation and decision-making regarding global learning offering, working collaboratively with all learning focal points in the team and globally to develop regular reports to promote organizational learning.   Ensure that the tools for monitoring and reporting on progress on learning activities and their evaluation are adopted and incorporated in programmes lead.
  • Findings from monitoring and evaluation reports for activities are consolidated with other programmes and where relevant findings are distilled and presentation is developed on key findings aiming a strengthening management decisions and lessons learnt.
  • Contribute to the development of reports and presentations in user-friendly format incorporating graphical / visual aids to support appreciation of content and understanding. Reports cover participant uptake including demographics – grade levels, duty stations, gender, etc.

4. Support to other learning Programmes

  • In collaboration with the P4 lead, support flagship learning programmes as identified. This includes:
  • Setting an implementation plan with key dates, sending the launch email, monitoring participant progress, and sending regular follow up emails, to ensure traction and full completion.
  • Support the development of additional learning tools for centrally managed learning programmes e.g. Creating of online learning paths and other generic resources from LinkedIn courses, etc to facilitate just-in-time learning.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s) in Human Resources Management, Education, Business Administration, Statistics, International Relations or a relevant field. University degree would be accepted combined with additional two years of relevant experience.
  • The individual should be highly proficient in a range of PC/web applications, including but not limited to: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Outlook etc. Sound knowledge in research, design and layout of learning materials and websites or related areas
  • At least five years relevant work experience including a time spent working in learning and development.
  • Fluency in English (written & verbal) is required. Knowledge of an additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish) is considered an asset.
  • Proven ability is managing HR transformational projects. Experience in managing L&D projects will be an advantage.
  • It is preferable that the individual has experience with, or in, multilateral and development institutions.  Knowledge of UN common practices in HR is required. Knowledge of UNICEF context will be an advantage.
  • Knowledge of human resources policies, practices and procedures and ability to apply them in an organizational setting.
  • Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations.
  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and meeting results.
  • Strong organizational, planning, and analytical and reporting skills is essential.
  • Good judgment, initiative, high sense of responsibility, tact and discretion.
  • Demonstrates cultural sensitivity and ability to establish harmonious working relations in a multicultural environment.

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…

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

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.


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

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. 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.

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