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Programme Manager for Market Influence & Procurement Centre

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Contract type: Temporary appointment

Level/grade: P4

Duration: 364 days

Application deadline: 5 February 2024, 11:55 pm CET

Link to apply via UNICEF Portal

Summary

The Programme Manager for Market Influence & Procurement Centre will be a key player in Giga’s strategic and operational efforts. This role is responsible for guiding UNICEF Country Offices and their government partners in efficient procurement for school connectivity. Working with UNICEF’s Supply Division, ITU, and other stakeholders, the Programme Manager will lead the development and execution of market-influencing strategies to enhance government access to affordable and high-quality school connectivity. The Programme Manager will also oversee the creation and operation of the Giga Global Procurement Hub. This hub aims to transform public procurement for last-mile school connectivity infrastructure and services. Drawing on expertise from UNICEF’s Supply Division and external partners like UNOPS, UNDP, and the World Bank, the hub will act as a central platform for expanding technical assistance across UNICEF programme countries.

The Procurement Hub aims to achieve significant cost savings for governments through strategic market interventions, economies of scale, and bulk purchasing. These savings will enable ministries to redirect funds to other essential programs for children and adolescents. Additionally, the hub will concentrate on project preparation and contract execution, ensuring alignment with Giga’s standards for fast, high-quality, and sustainable connectivity.

Your main responsibilities will be…

Lead Giga’s procurement team: Provide leadership to Giga’s procurement team in delivering technical advice and support to UNICEF Country Offices, and their respective government counterparts for efficient school connectivity contracting:

  • Tool development and maintenance: Guide the procurement team to develop and continuously update the necessary tools for providing technical support to UNICEF Regional and Country Offices. This includes procurement documents, technical requirements and standards, model contracts, templates for service-level agreements, among others.
  • Needs assessment and strategy development: Evaluate the procurement needs of UNICEF Regional and Country Offices and their respective governments regarding school connectivity. Where necessary conduct market assessment exercises and quantify demand over time. Based on this evaluation, develop a tailored procurement strategy for each region or country, considering their unique characteristics.
  • Coordination with UNICEF Supply Division: Collaborate with UNICEF Supply Division teams to ensure Giga’s school connectivity procurement tools and guidance reflect and utilize the knowledge, expertise, and insights from procurement practices across UNICEF.
  • Data collection and analysis: Coordinate the collection of data relevant to understand procurement and school connectivity contracting processes in a country, and perform subsequent analysis to inform decision-making processes. Building on UNICEF’s commitment to transparency, utilize market information and intelligence tools to influence local and regional markets and support informed government, supplier and partner decision making.
  • Lead school connectivity procurement focal point: Act as the primary contact point for Giga countries in the stage of procuring affordable, high-quality, and sustainable school connectivity solutions.

Set-up the Giga Global Procurement Hub: Lead the establishment and initial operation of the Giga Global Procurement Hub, aimed at centralizing technical assistance and achieving significant cost savings through strategic market interventions.

  • Staffing and Expertise: Establish a three-part office within the Procurement Hub to handle market shaping, negotiation blocks, and contract support. Staff the hub with a team of specialists and the broader procurement practice.
  • Stakeholder Collaboration: Initiate the process of bringing together key Regional and Country Office teams and other stakeholders to develop platforms for bulk negotiation and other market shaping activities.
  • Project Preparation & Execution: Lead the preparation and execution of contracts and bids, ensuring alignment with Giga’s school connectivity standards and KPIs.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Develop a framework to assess the effectiveness and impact of the Procurement Hub, including estimated savings and improvements in market conditions.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Facilitate the sharing of best practices and lessons learned from the Procurement Hub to other parts of Giga and UNICEF, ensuring a cohesive approach to school connectivity procurement.
  • Transparency and Reporting: Maintain records of all Procurement Hub activities and report progress to Giga’s senior management, ensuring full transparency and accountability.

Lead the development of a strategy for improved market access: Take the lead in crafting a strategy to enhance market access to affordable, sustainable, and high-quality school connectivity, prioritizing the most disadvantaged and remote areas globally.

  • Stakeholder engagement and coordination: Actively engage all key stakeholders including UNICEF, ITU, global and regional organizations, other UN agencies, and governments. Coordinate their efforts in developing comprehensive market assessments of the school connectivity solutions markets and defining interventions to improve access to this essential service for children and youth.
  • Support the establishment of agreements to implement the strategy: Lead the processes of formalizing global and regional agreements for the implementation of the market access interventions that have been defined.
  • Monitoring and evaluation framework: Guide Giga’s procurement team in designing a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the market access interventions.
  • Knowledge management: Lead the development of documents and guidelines collecting the lessons learned from these interventions to provide recommendations for scaling up supply and demand of school connectivity and enhancing market access to it.
  • Communication: Lead the elaboration of inputs for the Giga communications team to publicize the progress achieved through this strategy.

Provide strategic input as part of the global Giga team: Coordinate with multiple internal teams (Mapping, Finance, Country Engagement, Partnerships, Communications, and other cross-cutting teams) to deliver insights from the school connectivity procurement processes in different countries, which can help enhance Giga’s products.

  • Progress tracking and data maintenance: Monitor the progress status of school connectivity procurement processes in each country and region and manage the process of maintaining up-to-date data to inform global decisions.
  • Needs identification and strategy adjustment: Identify specific needs at country level, assess lessons from school connectivity procurement processes, and adapt global market access strategies as needed.
  • Reporting and accountability: Report progress regularly to Giga’s senior management and be accountable for all responsibilities associated with the role. This includes documenting all activities, decisions, and results, as well as ensuring transparency of all operations.
To qualify for this position, you will have…
  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in technology, social sciences, development sciences, public administration, business administration and management or related degree is required.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in managing projects and providing strategic guidance to governments at a ministerial level on open-source frontier technology and open social innovation, particularly in addressing inequity challenges in developing countries, is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in leading the design and coordinating the implementation of school connectivity prototypes in various developing countries’ contexts is required.
  • Experience within government will be necessary for this role. The Candidate has led technology or frontier work, including guidance on organizational and policy frameworks, within a government context, with UNICEF Programme context experience being highly desirable.
  • Proven experience in supporting UN supply teams at the country level and formulating strategies for efficient procurement of school connectivity, leveraging elements like economies of scale, demand aggregation, market information, and transparency, among others, is required.
  • Experience structuring new frameworks or mechanisms in or with governments for the uptake of new technology. This entails both a deep technical understanding of the fields in which the Candidate has previously worked, but also an ability to engage government regulators in these fields, and experience taking new gov-tech initiatives from startup to scale.
  • Extensive experience leading market research and intelligence gathering on school connectivity solutions for developing countries, especially in remote-rural areas, and assessing different markets’ capacity to deliver affordable, sustainable, and high-quality school connectivity is required.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is required.
  • Knowledge and experience in UNICEF’s programmes, policy, and principles is required.
  • Proven ability to convert technical telecommunications infrastructure data and analysis into policy insights for decision-making is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage relationships with UNICEF programmes and partners, including government agencies, universities, other UN organizations, donors, NGOs, and the private sector is an asset.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with teams across different locations, within various UNICEF country offices, and across different technical skills sets is essential.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset
About Our Team

We are a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary team of software engineers, finance specialists, data scientists, policy experts, and much more. Our team is a distributed workforce and plans to remain distributed into the foreseeable future. We are growing fast. Our team has grown by over 400% in the last 6 months as we rapidly scale to meet our stated mission.

About Giga

Giga is a joint initiative of UNICEF and ITU to connect every school in the world to the Internet by 2030. Working with corporate and non-profit partners, Giga maps schools’ Internet access in real time, creates models for innovative financing, and supports governments contracting for connectivity. It is part of ITU’s Partner2 Connect Coalition, UNICEF’s Reimagine Education initiative, and the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda and Roadmap for Digital Cooperation 

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About UNICEF

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. 

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. 

About ITU

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations.