The Adolescent and Youth Technical Specialist post is located at the UNFPA West Africa Regional Office (WCARO) and works under the overall direction and leadership of the Regional Director. The specialist will provide thematic leadership and technical guidance for policy and strategy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes related to adolescents and youth in the region, such as regional initiatives, youth policies, laws pertaining to ASRHR and access to services, youth data, adolescent pregnancy, adolescent responsive health systems and youth friendly health services, comprehensive sexuality education, menstrual health, child marriage and other harmful practices, in particular Female Genital Mutilation, youth participation, leadership and accountability and contributing to aspects of youth in humanitarian action and youth, peace and security. The specialist will focus on engaging the political and technical arms of intergovernmental sub-regional and regional organizations as well as sub-regional and regional academic and research institutions, relevant Civil Society Organizations, professional associations and international development agencies to promote the inclusion of adolescents and youth related matters relevant to the ICPD and SDG agenda, and the AU agenda 2063 into their policies and programmes.
The specialist will be part of the Human Rights and Gender unit of the WCARO and will work under direct supervision of the Gender and Human Rights Technical Advisor.
How you can make a difference:
UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.
In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.
UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.
Adolescents and youth laws and policy, youth participation, leadership and accountability are at the core of UNFPA’s mandate and the three transformative results. Sexual and reproductive health and the enjoyment of related human rights is an integral part of young people’s transition into adulthood and decisions about these are closely tied to their education, employment and participation in decision making processes. UNFPA is one of the pioneering agencies in working with young people and has contributed to shaping the youth space in the UN system. As such, UNFPA’s work on youth leadership and participation provides a crucial backbone for its focus on young people across the board. Through its Strategic Plan 2022-2025 and the UNFPA’s Strategy on Youth, My Body, My Life, My World, UNFPA supports youth regional and national networks and organizations in their work on development issues, human rights, humanitarian affairs and peacebuilding.
West and Central Africa’s population is predominantly young, with more than 64% being under the age of 24. Young people and particularly young girls in the region face considerable challenges of child marriage, teenage pregnancies, and lack of access to comprehensive sexual and life skills education and youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services. Such challenges need to be overcome to ensure positive social and gender norms for bodily autonomy and women’s empowerment to allow young people to realize their full potential. UNFPA plays a critical role in supporting governments and other partners to prioritize, strategize and invest in young people through policies and programmes that will improve their lives and result in the harnessing of the demographic dividend.
It is in this context that the Adolescent and Youth Programme Specialist will contribute to the coordination and management of innovative, quality, timely and integrated technical and programme support to regional entities and country offices, ensuring that country programmes are implemented in the context of the ICPD Programme of Action, Agenda 2030 and UNFPA Strategic Plan 2022-2025 as well as national development processes, frameworks, UN reform and AU Agenda 2063. S/He will monitor country level technical support progress and needs and work with a team of regional Technical Advisers for accelerating the achievement of the UNFPA’s transformative results.
Qualifications and Experience:
Advanced university degree in Public Health, Medicine, Social Sciences, Sociology, Demography, Gender, Economics, International Relations, International Development, Public Administration, Management, Communications or other related fields.
Knowledge and Experience:Seven years of increasingly responsible professional experience in management and/or programme development related to Adolescent and Youth, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, of which at least three at the international level; Hands-on experience in participating or leading a youth-led organization or network is an asset; Substantive knowledge and practical experience in population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender; Experience in programme and/or technical assistance within the UN System; Field experience is required;
Fluency in English is required, and French is desirable to enable effective communication with English speaking and French speaking country coordination groups and local organizations (West and Central Africa region).
Compensation and Benefits:
This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.
UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline http://www.unfpa.org/help/hotline.cfm
In accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.
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