About UNICEF: Employment

Representative, P-5, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

If you are a passionate and committed professional and want to make a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

UNICEF, the world’s leading organization working for the rights of children, seeks a Representative, P-5, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.


• Under general supervision by the Regional Director, responsible for overall development, formulation, conception and management of UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation (Medium to large size CO), approved by the Executive Board. 
• Represents the Executive Director in all aspects of UNICEF's co-operation with the Government/Country Office.  Collaborates as part of the UNCT in this regard.
• Accountable for the formulation and management of the UNICEF Country Programme of Co-operation, as approved by the Executive Board. 
• Accountable for UNICEF's advocacy with the government and other partners for the enhancement of the survival, protection, development and participation of children and women in national development efforts. 
• Responsible for all aspects of office management of the UNICEF country office. 
• Supports implementation of the UNICEF supported emergency programme, ensuring that the Situation Analysis and EPRP are regularly updated. 
• Participates in organizational and institutional initiatives to strengthen UN Coherence. Ensuring that joint programming (including joint programmes) and common services are achieved to the extent possible.
• Provides policy support, guidance and advocacy on the development and establishment of common services arrangements agreed to by participating organizations/agencies at the country level.  To ensure that these joint operational arrangements, assists UNICEF in its objective to provide efficient and economical support services to the implementation of the country programme.
• Provides policy support, guidance and advocacy as required in emergency situations and other humanitarian programme implementation. Collaborates as part of the UNCT in this regard.


• Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, or other relevant disciplines.
• Ten years of relevant professional work experience.  Experience in programme/ projects management and building strategic alliances and partnerships/resource mobilization.
• International and Developing country work experience and field work experience. 
• Background/familiarity with Emergency.
• Rights-based and Results-based approach and programming in UNICEF.
• Integration and synthesis of various programme activities in accordance with professional practices and UNICEF programme policy, procedures and guidelines.
• Expert knowledge of advanced concepts in primary discipline, with a broad knowledge of   related disciplines, in-depth knowledge of relevant organizational policies and procedures.
• Building strategic alliances and partnerships/Resource mobilization: leverages the larger resources of national governments and other development partners.
• Fluency in English and French.


Burkina Faso’s population is estimated at 17.2 million inhabitants. Landlocked country with increasingly high population density estimated at 59 inhabitants per square kilometers. Significant urbanization has occurred in recent years. One-fifth of the population lives in urban areas today, but agriculture still constitutes the main source of income for 80% of total population.

Burkina Faso has very few natural resources and fragile a human capital. The country is frequently affected by internal and external shocks such as scarcely rains, drought and floods. In 2012 the well-being of children in Burkina Faso was severely affected by the regional food insecurity and nutrition crisis affecting the entire Sahel region and the influx of Malian refugees following the socio-political instability in the North of Mali.

After the decline of gains in economic growth linked to the recent global economic crisis, Burkina Faso economic growth is increasing again with 8% in 2012. Nevertheless, this gain will have a little impact with the demographic growth of 3.1% per annum. In fact, such increase in national economic growth is unlikely to have an important impact on people’s lives as average per capita incomes may tend to stagnate. The annual inflation rate is projected at 3.6%. This prices increase related to food and oil crisis impact negatively most vulnerable population’s lives. However, good harvest prospects are likely to reduce inflation rate about 2% in December 2012 (compared to 2011) according to the IMF.

Despite efforts made by Burkina Faso and its partners in improving service delivery, child development indicators in Burkina Faso are among the lowest in the world. Under five mortality is estimated at 129 per 1,000 live births. Some 70% of these children die at home of four main killers namely malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and malnutrition. The gross enrolment rate at primary school is estimated at 72% (76.8% boys and 67.9% girls); but only 41% (44.7% for boys and 36.3% for girls) complete primary school. Some 52% of children aged 7-14 work in the worst conditions and girls are forced to marriage before they reach 18 years, and almost 4% as younger as 15 years old

Children represent 53% of the population of Burkina Faso, with a youth bulge of 20% representing young people aged between 14-25.  An estimated 81% of them are living in rural areas. UNICEF’s 2012 analysis of profile of poverty and inequality in Burkina Faso estimated that 52% of children are poor compared to 42% of adults. Rural areas are home to 90% of poor children. The child mortality rate in these areas is 50% higher than in urban areas. 10 % of children under five suffer from acute malnutrition, while chronic malnutrition is the main underlying cause of 35% of child mortality.  The regions of North (73%), Centre-South (70%), Boucle du Mouhoun (64%), South West (62%) and Centre-East (61%) record the highest rates of child poverty.


Poorer groups continue to suffer high exclusion from basic services due to cost and regional inequalities in service delivery. According to the “National Survey on Living Conditions of Households” 2009-2010 almost one out of three Burkinabe lives below the poverty line estimated at 1.5 US dollars per day. In rural areas, nearly six out of ten Burkinabe are trapped in poverty. The lack of financial resources hampers people’s access and use of basic services. Households still pay a significant share of health costs, about 40% of total expenditures.


The current Country Programme was developed in 2010 with the ambitious aim of contributing to the acceleration the achievement of the MDGs and national priorities developed in the Accelerated Strategy for sustainable development (SCADD) with focus on:  i) the implementation of the African accelerated child survival and development, ii) support quality education for all and iii) reduction of poverty and vulnerability of children.


Specific requirements

·         Fluency in French is absolutely required.

·         Previous experience as a Country Representative, with a strong policy and advocacy record with the host government, member states, and the UN system.

·         Very strong management and people skills.

·         Capacity to manage/strategize and build capacity of UNICEF staff, with sound professional knowledge of UNICEF issues/priorities and excellent team building skills.

·         Very strong understanding of program development in low level emergency setting,

·         Capacity to work in a team and in close relationship with the UNCT and the evolving Integrated UN Mission.

·         Ability to establish and maintain high level contacts with the country's decision and policy-makers, including the head of state, as well as with representatives of donors, and other external aid agencies present in the country.

Experience as a Deputy Representative in a large country office or as a Representative in a mid sized country office.
Excellent managerial and interpersonal skills to foster a good working environment within the office and with external partners.
Ability to build consensus and form alliances and inspiring others to form alliances for concerted actions.
Excellent strategic, leadership, managerial and analytical skills.
Multicultural sensitivity.

Applicants are requested to submit a CV, cover letter and P. 11 form, or eRecruitment Profile to recruit.ssr@unicef.org by 15 May 2013.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.






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