Consultant: Governance Specialist (anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion), New York, 10 Months

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, Education

Despite commitments to localization and partnership, humanitarian actors have rarely identified the underlying factors impeding localization and addressed power disparities between international and local actors. This is related to the struggle to unpack decolonization and address white supremacy embedded in organizational cultures, structures, and methods of operation. Aid and monetary resources frequently flow from former colonial powers to post-colonial societies, establishing unequal soft power relationships and reinforcing the systems they purport to change and transform. Whether provided by governments, non-profits, or any humanitarian organization, aid can perpetuate paternalistic relationships, enabling a superiority complex in those who receive it. Capacity-building, an important component of humanitarian aid and the localization agenda, can be viewed as a form of ‘neo-colonial education,’ in that practitioners from the donor end frequently impose their western methods on recipients without acknowledging local or indigenous knowledge and expertise.

According to UNICEFs Humanitarian Review, actions at the organizational level must address the structural and systemic nature of racism and discrimination. There should be strategies to systematically promote equity and inclusion, such as how it visually represents UNICEF and its work for and with children to the rest of the world (i.e., in external communications). Also, how to engage and work with local communities and affected populations through programming; and how to source goods, supplies, and expertise in ways that take social justice and equity into account as a selection criterion (e.g., a balance in seeking out vendors from the global south; diversification of suppliers).

While most of the discourse for change in the humanitarian sector revolves around removing unnecessary bureaucracy and intermediaries to ensure that aid reaches those in need directly, such efforts will be futile in the long run unless the underlying structural causes of economic and political inequality are addressed. As a result, the time has come to move away from white saviour rhetoric that portrays beneficiaries in the Global South as passive and, indeed, in need of aid from their former oppressors. Dismantling the charity mindset also entails removing the plethora of communication materials that portrays recipient countries as helpless, resulting in nothing more than elaborate and large-scale fundraising programs that end up being tokenistic.

How can you make a difference?

  • To provide expert advice and guidance on how to advance the decolonization of aid agenda in UNICEF humanitarian work.
  • To work with colleagues across the divisions to ensure a sustainable shift and meaningful engagement in how we approach the implementation of decolonization of aid agenda in humanitarian action in line with localization technical note without propagating racism and discrimination.




Review the proposed anti-discrimination action plan and identify activities specific to localization and decolonization of aid.


Work with UNICEF Headquarters, Regional Office, National Committee, Country Office and UNICEF partners to understand and document different approaches to:

  1. ensure inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist localization and decolonization of aid strategies and implementation across UNICEF, and
  2. current approaches to actively advocate on decolonization of aid.


Provide concrete advice and guidance on how UNICEF can strengthen decolonization of aid agenda in its humanitarian programmes and ensure that it is inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist.


Provide concrete advice and guidance on:

  1. learning from the best examples in promoting anti-racism and anti-discrimination in humanitarian action
  2. rolling-out a sustainable inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist approach in humanitarian action.


Build on the work of the UNICEF programme cone and IASC anti-racism and anti-discrimination action plans to propose improvements to localization agenda and influence humanitarian agencies on the same including the UN system.


Develop a report or research paper that illustrate the impact and outlines approaches for racism and discrimination on children’s life chances, as it relates to the implementation of localization agenda in UNICEF humanitarian action.


Propose a new messaging framework and set of external key messages, and streamlining existing UNICEF messages on the effect of racism and discrimination on UNICEF humanitarian action.

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

  • Education

    • University degree in Public Policy, Political Science, Social Studies, Cultural Studies, International Relations, International Development, Public Administration, or other related field.

    Work experience

    • At least five years’ professional or academic experience in anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, critical race theory or a related field, preferably with a global perspective
    • Experience in operating independently in providing expert advice and support on anti-racism and anti-discrimination
    • Experience working for an advocacy or campaigning organization e.g. international or national NGO, UN or other multilateral organization is an asset
    • Experience working in a developing and emergency environment is an asset

    Skills and attributes

    • Demonstrated strong communication, presentation and writing skills are essential – a clear, concise, compelling writing style, which is adaptable for difference audiences, including mainstream public.
    • Facilitation skills and engaging oral communication style.
    • Strategic thinking and critical analysis.
    • Commitment and drive, with a clear focus on results.
    • Positive, proactive, ‘can-do’ approach.
    • Solutions-focused.
    • Ability to juggle competing priorities, whilst maintaining attention to detail and meeting deadlines.
    • Creative and innovative.


    • Fluency in English (both written and verbal) is required. Working level of French or Spanish is considered a strong 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.

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.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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