Innovation Officer (Sourcing and Partnerships), P2, TA, Office of Innovation, Stockholm, Sweden (#00117950)

  • Contract
  • Sweden

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, hope

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, open-source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can both shape markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions that can impact the lives of the most vulnerable children. We find these solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: UAVs, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, nano-satellites, and human dynamics. With SD$35M (+ 2267 ETH + 8 BTC) raised to date, the Innovation Fund is scaling its investment portfolio with the aim of investing in 20 start-ups every year and provides funding to CO-led projects. The current portfolio of companies consists of several cohorts developing and piloting solutions in virtual and augmented reality, data science and artificial intelligence, blockchain, UAVs, IoT, and in assistive technology.

How can you make a difference?

1. Provide research and coordination support for each of the Fund’s call for applications

  • Prepare lists of potential eligible start-ups
  • Develop content for social media strategy 
  • Based on inputs provided by Fund team and other relevant focal points, develop 2-pagers with investment focus areas 

2. Coordinate the sourcing strategy of the Innovation Fund to ensure diverse and high-quality pipeline of solutions

  • Identify new networks, accelerators thought leaders, and other relevant stakeholders for sourcing and follow-on collaborations
  • Integrate the Smart Investing Initiative into the sourcing strategy, to build a diverse pipeline of startups, with a focus on women founded companies
  • Measure and track the results of the Innovation Fund in the area of sourcing and selection
  • Collaborate with networks, accelerators, entrepreneurial ecosystems, UNICEF’s Country and Regional Offices and other stakeholders to source new solutions to the innovation fund

3. Coordinate of the investment assessment process

  • Maintain and update systems needed for the application process, including website, implement edits to submission forms and proposal templates as needed 
  • Identify opportunities to increase efficiency and inclusivity of the selection process and systems
  • Coordinate and input into review of online applications received against eligibility criteria 
  • In close collaboration with UNICEF’s Supply Division, coordinate of proposal review process, including collecting inputs from team and subject matter experts, organizing start-up demos, developing summaries for decision, drafting selection matrices
  • Conduct research on technology solutions as needed 
  • Handover key metrics and other company data of companies selected for funding to the portfolio management team

4. Conduct research on emerging technology areas and potential investment areas/companies for the Innovation Fund 

  • Maintain database of start-ups from relevant markets working in frontier technology areas 
  • Update 2-pagers on investment focus areas, with input from relevant team members 
  • Compile research on new focus areas for consideration by Fund team
  • Identify strategies and support the Smart Investing Initiative 

5. Provide support to the management of external partnerships to leverage funding and other resources to the Innovation Fund

  • Support Innovation Fund team to identify opportunities and needs for partnership engagement
  • In close collaboration with the Partnerships Specialist, develop proposals, research new partnership opportunities and serve as the Innovation Fund liaison to partnership building and engagement
  • Coordinate the contributions of the Innovation Fund to donor reporting
  • Support the organization of donor meetings and other partnership engagement events

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

Education: 1st level university degree (Bachelor’s) in finance, economics, entrepreneurship, business administration or other relevant field is required. Master’s degree or higher will be considered as an asset.

Work experience:

  • Two (2) years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience, some of which should be in an international setting. Four (4) years of experience in lieu of an advanced degree.
  • Demonstrated experience in collecting and managing data and information collected from various sources
  • Knowledge of entrepreneurial ecosystems and networks, especially in UNICEF programme countries required
  • Experience in managing large scale application, selection and contracting processes for projects, investments or grants required
  • Experience in entrepreneurship or supporting investments in start-ups desired
  • Experience in developing communications, outreach and representation campaigns/efforts
  • Experience in developing and maintaining partnerships
  • Understanding of open source and frontier technologies, and their applications to UNICEF strategic priorities desired
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills required
  • Knowledge of international development, technology for development and key challenges affecting children in developing countries desired
  • A strong understanding of UNICEF programmes, goals and principles, and experience in a UNICEF programme country desired
  • Experience working in complex, resource poor contexts is a plus.

Language proficiency: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or 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…

  • Builds and maintains partnerships (2)
  • Drive to achieve results for impact (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

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.

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