Child Protection Specialist

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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, protection…

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’.  The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication.  The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

The Malawi Country Office’s Child Protection section partners with the Government of Malawi, UN agencies, civil society organisations and communities to prevent all forms of violence against children and support the most vulnerable with mental health and psychosocial support and access to justice.

Your role as Child Protection Specialist will not only supervise one of the two units in the Child Protection section but also work closely with other teams to ensure child protection is visible in all settings and all ages of the child.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic Child Protection team where you will be responsible for the formulation, design, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of core aspects of the Child Protection programme. As the Child protection Specialist, you will support national efforts to have an operational National Child Protection System that protects children from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. You will furthermore be primarily accountable for supporting national capacities to strengthen three components of the National Child Protection System. These components are: 1) Legal and regulatory; 2) Coordination, governance and accountability; and 3) Capacity building, infrastructure and funding. The  programmatic areas which will fall under your responsibility are: Justice, Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening, Birth Registration/CRVS, Advocacy/Budgeting for Child Protection, Safe School UN Joint Programme and Emergency.

In your role as Child Protection Specialist, you will report to the Chief Child Protection.

This job therefore presents a unique and significant opportunity for a qualified, vibrant, motivated and committed person to be to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to – you are however encouraged to read the attached and detailed job description (please click here    Generic JD – P3 Child Protection Specialist.pdf ) in order to  view the full role and its requirements:

  1. Support to programme/project development and planning
  2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  3. Technical and operational support to programme implementation
  4. Networking and partnership building
  5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

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

Education :

An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: child protection, social sciences, law or another relevant field.


  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required in Child Protection, including international work
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered is highly desirable
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as an asset
  • Experience in supervising a small team is highly desirable
  • Documented experience working in the field of access to justice, birth registration and prevention and response to violence against girls and boys is preferred
  • Experience in supervising cross-sectoral programmes is an asset

Language :

  • Fluency in English is required, both verbal and written

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

Core Competencies

  • 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)

Functional Competencies   

  • Analyzing (3)
  • Deciding and Initiating action (2)
  • Applying technical expertise (3)

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