Research & Evaluation Specialist

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Research & Evaluation Specialist

  • Post Date:February 1, 2022
  • Views 609
0 Applications
  • Career Level Specialist
    Qualification Degree
    Experience 5-10 Years
  • Industry Non Governmental
Job Description

Job no: 547439
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: NO-3
Location: Zimbabwe
Categories: Social and Economic Policy

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, an opportunity!

UNICEF has been operating in Zimbabwe since 1982. We are a team of passionate professionals committed to the protection and fulfillment of children’s rights.

Supporting the Government’s vision of a prosperous  and  empowered upper-middle-income society, the country programme is aimed at contributing to sustainable socioeconomic development that provides all children, including adolescents, with opportunities to fulfil their potential, lead a healthy life, access quality learning and protection and meaningfully participate in society.

For more information about UNICEF Zimbabwe please click here

You can also access and explore all new UNICEF vacancies and create job alerts via the UNICEF Zimbabwe website link below:

How can you make a difference?

A challenging and exciting opportunity has arisen within UNICEF Zimbabwe’s Social Policy, Inclusion, Data, Evaluation and Research Section, for a passionate and committed Research & Evaluation Specialist (NO-3). The Research and Evaluation Specialist is responsible for contributing to the design and effective conduct and uptake of researches and evaluations in accordance with the UNICEF Policies policy, reporting to the Chief Social Policy, Post No. 15739. He/she ensures that the standards for research, as well as the UNEG Norms and Standards for evaluation as well as well UNICEF evaluation coverage benchmarks and quality standards are upheld.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  • Evaluation and Research Leadership
  • Evaluation and Research Conduct and Use
  • Evaluation and Research Capacity Strengthening and Partnership Building
  • Coordination and Networking

1.Evaluation and Research Leadership

Support the Country Office and their national partners to develop and implement a plan of evaluation activities that will provide relevant and strategic information to manage Country Programmes and relevant national policies and programmes toward achieving results for children in both humanitarian and non-humanitarian environments.

  • Guide the office and partners to identify priority evaluation and research topics in accordance with the UNICEF Evaluation Policy, the UNICEF Strategic Plan, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Country Programme Document and national policies and programmes.
  • Identify the Evaluation and Research objectives, priorities, and activities required for effective Country Office and partner Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans, adjust the evaluation plans in EISI in accordance with the transition through the stages of transition and recovery.
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and work with sector managers to ensure these are addressed. Facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration in the execution of these efforts.
  • Provide technical support to ensure that a set of evaluation and research performance indicators is monitored and fed into decision-making processes in the context of the multi-year and annual evaluation plans in EISI, as well as associated office-wide management plans and work plans, ensuring close follow up on the implementation of planned evaluative activities .
  • Ensure that evaluation and research findings and lessons learned are incorporated in country programme, Programme Strategy Notes and other planning, and reporting documents. Support the conceptualization of MTRs (where applicable) from an evaluation perspective.
  • Support Country Management Teams (CMTs), Country office Annual Reports and, where applicable, Mid-term Reviews (MTR), as well as other review moments that lead to plan revisions.

2. Evaluation and Research Conduct and Use

Ensure that UNICEF-supported evaluations are designed and implemented to established UN quality standards, and the results are disseminated in a timely fashion and used by stakeholders in order to improve programme performance and contribute to wider learning.

  • Undertake an evaluability assessment of themes listed in costed evaluation plans, as required, and make recommendations on changes to improve the evaluability of the programs.
  • Assist Country Office and partners to formulate Terms of Reference and evaluation and research designs of high quality – signing off on the TORs before they can advance to recruitment of the evaluation and research team.
  • Closely monitor the implementation of evaluation and research, and quality review the deliverables and will indicate when the quality is high enough that it can be accepted.  As part of this role, she/he will help establish and manage the necessary governance bodies (Steering Committee; Reference Group, TREG) for their inputs into the quality assurance process.
  • Work closely with external evaluation and research consultants/teams to enable them to deliver results according to the agreed Terms of Reference. Exercise sufficient oversight that quality is assured, and any quality problems are detected soon enough that timely remedial action is possible.
  • Develop and implement a multi-method communication plan to disseminate the evaluation and research report to intended audiences via user-friendly methods. Fosters organizational accountability and learning based on the outcomes of the evaluations and researches
  • Support stakeholders to prepare a formal management response that reflects their reaction/views on the evaluation recommendations.

3. Evaluation and Research Capacity Strengthening and Partnership building

Ensure that evaluation and Research Capacities of Country Office staff and national partners – including government and civil society – are strengthened, enabling them to increasingly engage in and lead evidence generating processes.  Ensure that the Country Office is effectively linked to wider UNICEF capacity building developments in a way that both contributes to and benefits from organizational learning.

  •  Build and strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with local/national governments and sub-regional governmental bodies, UN system agency partners, donors, NGOs, funding organization, research institutes, including universities, and the private sector. Promotes joint Govt/UNICEF evaluations that rigorously assess national policies, programmes and innovative models.
  • Ensure that sufficient systems and procedures are in place within the CO for appropriate ethics reviews of evidence activities as per the UNICEF Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation and Data Collection and Analysis.
  • Foster policy-level and academic partnerships to support national evaluation and research capacity development initiatives. Ensure that evaluation and research capacities of country office staff and national partners – government and civil society – are strengthened enabling relevant Government units to increasingly engage in and lead evaluation and research processes.

4. Coordination and Networking 

Ensure that the UNICEF office is effectively linked to wider UNICEF Evaluation and Research developments in a way that both contributes to and benefits from organizational learning on effective Evaluation and Research management.

  • Collaborate with Regional Evaluation and Research Advisers and HQ Evaluation Office for overall coordination of priority research and evaluation activities, especially those of regional scope requiring the coordinated effort of multiple countries.
  • Undertake lessons-learned reviews on successful and unsuccessful evaluation and research practices and experience at the national level, and ensure they are shared as appropriate.
  • Pay attention to evaluation and research knowledge networks to identify innovations and lessons learned that may be relevant for the CO and partners to improve their evaluation and research function.

Please refer to the attached job description for more information: Job Description Research and Evaluation Specialist.pdf

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


  • An Advanced University Degree in the social sciences, economics, public policy, statistics, operations research, or in research methods is required.
  • A degree or certification/accreditation in Evaluation is a significant advantage.


  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the implementation of equity-focused evaluations and the management of the evaluation and research function at national and international level is an added advantage.
  • Experience in supporting national evaluation capacity and working with professional evaluation associations.
  • Experience in evaluation design and in conducting evaluations and researches as per UNICEF and UNEG norms and standards for Evaluation in the UN System.
  • Familiarity with methods used in conducting both ‘up-stream’ evaluations and researches (e.g. focusing on policies, strategies and systems), as well as ‘down-stream’ evaluations (e.g. focusing on delivery of programmes and projects) is an asset.
  • Experience in related evidence functions is an asset, including Social Policy, Public Policy, Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis, Research, Programme Audit, and Programme Planning and Monitoring.  Experience in these areas cannot be substituted for the Evaluation experience but is an advantage.

 Language requirements: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a local language is an asset.

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.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

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

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

Deadline: South Africa Standard Time