Duty Station: Florence
Level: P-2
Location: Italy
Categories: Partnerships

Position : Knowledge Management Officer

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, Research

Job organizational context

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does. The leave no one behind principle of the SDGs and UNICEF’s equity agenda translates this commitment on children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination.

In September 2022, the former UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and the Office of Global Insight and Policy will be officially merged into a joint UNICEF Innocenti Research and Child Futures Centre (working title). The merger brings together the organization’s leading research and foresight expertise to establish a single unified authority that will deepen UNICEF’s knowledge base and its capability to act on the basis of evidence. UNICEF views research and foresight as complementary functions that can deepen the organization’s understanding of complexity in the present, and our planning for the future of children. Working with related offices in UNICEF, the new entity will generate knowledge on children, nurture a culture of evidence within UNICEF, and help position the organization as an intellectual powerhouse on the rights and futures of children around the world, with the aim of driving further progress for children.

The Research Facilitation & Knowledge Management (RFKM) unit within which this post is located plays a leading role in building an evidence and learning culture across UNICEF and partners by strengthening generation, communication, use of evidence in decision-making and capturing its subsequent impact. RFKM is comprised of sector-agnostic methodological experts in research and knowledge management. In its research facilitation capacity, the unit oversees the formal governance of research across UNICEF, provides cross-cutting technical advisory support and capacity-strengthening in research tools, processes and methods, and incubates emerging research areas in support of evidence-informed decision-making. In its knowledge management capacity, the section supports roll-out of UNICEF’s Knowledge Management Strategy by embedding use of research-based knowledge and evidence in UNICEF’s programming and business processes, strengthening evidence-based knowledge management and organizational learning, supporting identification and enhancement of impact of UNICEF and UNICEF Innocenti’s research and strengthening UNICEF’s ability to exercise its thought leadership externally through synthesizing and two-way knowledge brokering with evidence for children, produced both by UNICEF and by external partners.

The position will report to the Chief, Research Facilitation & Knowledge Management, UNICEF Innocenti Research and Child Futures Centre.

Purpose of the post

The main purpose of this post is to enhance ongoing documentation of emerging, current and potential future impacts of UNICEF-Innocenti research to better enable demonstration of the value of investing in research in terms of results for children. In recognition of the need to strengthen the link between research findings and evidence-based advocacy, policy and programming, the post will have also have a particular emphasis on learning from Implementation Research experiences where research is embedded within programmes to enable real time course correction, adaptive learning, co-creation and local ownership.

Under the general guidance of the Chief of RFKM, the incumbent is responsible for providing support in the following areas:

(i) Supporting the development of a conceptual framework, process and suite of tools to systematically capture the ongoing impacts of UNICEF-Innocenti’s research;
(ii) Working in support of independent specialists hired to validate impacts of UNICEF-Innocenti research through acting as a key resource person as required
(iii) Providing capacity-strengthening advisory support on Research and Evidence Uptake, Use and impact to colleagues across UNICEF
(iv) Conducting global reviews on the value-add of UNICEF’s research investments
(v) Capturing and documenting process learning, innovations and adaptations occurring across RFKM’s Implementation Research portfolio
(vi) Managing and monitoring the impact of UNICEF Innocenti’s Fellowship Scheme and other research facilitation activities as required.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

Working under the supervision of the Chief, Research Facilitation & Knowledge Management (RFKM), the incumbent will be responsible for supporting the following six areas of responsibility:

(i) Developing a conceptual framework, process and suite of tools to systematically capture the ongoing impacts of UNICEF-Innocenti’s research
The current UNICEF Innocenti definition of Research Impact, spans 5 interlinked areas to ultimately benefit individuals, organizations, communities and countries:
a. Academic impact: Contributing to the long-term global scientific evidence base through publishing high-quality, relevant research in peer-reviewed books, journals, working papers and discussion papers.
b. Conceptual impact: Influencing and reframing discourse, debate and dialogue amongst key stakeholders (academics, policymakers, NGOs, media) to affect their knowledge, understanding and attitudes.
c. Capacity-building impact: Building capacity at individual, organizational and systemic levels so that individuals and institutions can engage in all aspects of designing, collecting, interrogating and sharing research evidence in the most timely and relevant way for their contexts.
d. Collective impact: Brokering new partnerships, networks or strategic alliances to develop joint commitments and common agendas to foster longer-term social change.
e. Instrumental or direct impact: Demonstrating a plausible contribution to changes in behaviour, policies, programmes, practice, service provision, or legislation.

Drawing upon and adapting the above definition, and the 2021 UNICEF Innocenti Research Uptake and Impact workshop, the incumbent will support the development of a framework for identifying and prioritising potential impacts of current and former UNICEF Innocenti research and identifying relevant tools, methods, metrics and processes to objectively verify these on an ongoing basis. They will also work with UNICEF Innocenti research teams to support their research impact data collection through ongoing programme monitoring processes and to collect additional evidence of impact using the common framework. The postholder will then supplement this activity through aggregation of impact data at the office-wide level. The post will also include close liaison with the UNICEF Innocenti Communication team in order to jointly develop monthly and annual digital metrics reports and to explore new and novel ways to undertake media monitoring and policy impact monitoring of Innocenti-led research undertaken in programme countries in collaboration with country offices.

(ii) Working in support of independent specialists hired to validate impacts of UNICEF-Innocenti research through acting as a key resource person
In addition to supporting improved capturing of self-reported impact through systematic processes, it is also important that such impacts are validated through independent processes. For the UNICEF Innocenti Research and Child Futures Centre’s larger portfolios of work and/or projects that have been running for several years, independent research impact case studies may occasionally be commissioned. In such instances, the incumbent will support design and delivery of terms of reference for independent teams, act as a key informant, help to identify appropriate resources, facilitate stakeholder engagement across UNICEF and partners and provide other support to source evidence of impact as required.

(iii) Supporting capacity-strengthening advisory services on Research and Evidence Uptake, Use and Impact to colleagues across UNICEF
Support rollout of UNICEF Innocenti’s Research Management and Methods training and linked technical advisory support on the topic of research uptake, use and impact. Identify barriers to and incentives for enhancing the uptake, use and impact of research findings and support the provision of technical advisory assistance to UNICEF colleagues conducting or managing research initiatives to do the same. Collaborate with the Evaluation Office and DAPM to design and deliver regular webinars about new and emerging methods to capture the ongoing monitoring, uptake and impact of evidence generation activities

(iv) Supporting global reviews on the value-add of UNICEF’s research investments
Support the coordination and facilitation of global stocktakes or ‘retrospectives’ of UNICEF research evidence, impacts and lessons learned such as in the Best of UNICEF Research Retrospective, or in thematic areas in collaboration with Programme Group or other HQ, regional and country offices, such as Gender Solutions: capturing the impact of UNICEF’s gender equality evidence investments (2014–2021).

(v) Capturing and documenting process learning, innovations and adaptations occurring across RFKM’s Implementation Research portfolio
Implementation Research (IR) is a growing area of interest to UNICEF Innocenti and to the organization more broadly. A core part of IR involves acknowledging the expertise and active roles played by research users in making impact happen and developing a good understanding of the policy/practice contexts in which research is taking place. Building upon an initial workshop on Cross Sectoral Lesson Learning in Implementation Research and the evolving IR portfolio of the team, the incumbent will be responsible for facilitating space and time within RFKM IR projects for collaborative reflection on emerging lessons regarding the IR design and approach, documentation of emerging impacts, process learning and adaptation and strengthening the evidence base on the added value of Implementation Research to enhance results for children. In particular, the incumbent will support the development of IR case studies associated with UNICEF’s human-centred design and applied behavioural science support to increase community uptake of primary health services in Gavi-eligible countries.

(vi) Managing and monitoring the impact of UNICEF Innocenti’s Fellowship Scheme and other research facilitation activities as required.
Support the RFKM Chief to reinvigorate the Innocenti Visiting Fellowship Programme in its different streams, support selection and onboarding of fellows and management of the Programme. Document process learning from individual experiences and develop and track a network of alumni Fellows to help assess the overarching long-term impact of the Innocenti Fellowship experience. Co-ordinate and contribute to the preparation and writing of high-quality publications for peer-reviewed journals; working papers; policy reports and briefs; web stories, blogs and other relevant outputs as appropriate. Work with the UNICEF Innocenti Partnerships Specialist to produce research impact profiles of Innocenti work in support of future fundraising and profiling.

Competencies, Values and level of proficiency required

i) Core Values

• Care
• Respect
• Integrity
• Trust
• Accountability
• Sustainability

ii) Core Competencies

 Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
 Works Collaboratively with others (1)
 Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
 Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
 Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
 Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
 Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

Recruitment Qualifications

Education: • Advanced university degree with a background in Social Sciences, Education, Political Sciences, Disability, Research, Evaluation, Knowledge Management, Humanitarian, or Child Rights.

Essential Experience:
• A minimum of 2 years of progressively professional experience at the international level in social science research, knowledge management, evidence synthesis, research impact, organizational learning, or another related area, ideally in the child rights sector.
• Demonstrable understanding of how to develop a systematic approach to capture research impact in a complex and dynamic environment.
• Knowledge of key tools and methods to assess research impact in online and offline environments.
• Proven experience in using qualitative data collection and qualitative data analysis software (e.g. NVivo).
• Demonstrable understanding of the barriers to research uptake experienced by decision-makers as well as the challenges of communicating research.
• Experience in documenting process learning in a systematic manner to strengthen organizational learning.
• Knowledge (and ideally some experience) of the theory and practice behind implementation research, adaptive programming and evidence-informed decision-making.

Desirable Experience:

• Prior experience of working with UNICEF or the UN system is deemed an advantage but not essential.
• Some prior experience in conducting evidence syntheses and experience in the narrative or thematic synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data is desirable but not essential

Language Requirements:
• Fluency in English language required. Knowledge of other UN working languages is considered an advantage (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).


• Excellent project management and time management skills, working within academic settings and the public sector.
• Strong research and analytical skills.
• Strong planning and organisational skills, with an ability to work independently as well as a team member.
• An ability to develop effective working relationships with colleagues and partners in a multicultural environment
• Good attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
• Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and an ability to summarize complex scientific information in a straight-forward way for non-specialists.


UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for personnel with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application on case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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 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 a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Advertised: 12 Aug 2022 W. Europe Daylight Time
Deadline: 28 Aug 2022 W. Europe Daylight Time

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