Social Policy Officer (Public Finance for Children)

UN Volunteers

Lilongwe, Malawi

Mission and objectives

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 Malawi Country Programme (2019-2023) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ”all girls and boys in Malawi especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights”. The programme focuses on early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication. The programme is based on “leaving no child behind”, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.


The overall goal of the UNICEF Malawi Country Programme of Cooperation, 2019-2023, is to contribute to the Government of Malawi’s efforts to implement and decentralize policies related to children, focusing on the most disadvantaged and deprived, to have their rights progressively respected and fulfilled so they can survive, grow and develop to their full potential in an inclusive and protective society. The country programme is aligned with country and UNICEF regional and global priorities and expected to contribute to Malawi Vision 2063, MIP1, and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), 2019-2023, while concurrently working toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Social Policy Officer reports to the Social Policy and Economic Specialist under the leadership of Chief of Social Policy Section. Under the guidance and supervision of the Social Policy and Economic Specialist, the Social Policy Officer will provide support evidence generation and provide capacity building for Government and CSOs in the areas of (a) child poverty; (b) social sector financing; (c) budget transparency, accountability, and oversight; and (d) fiscal decentralization and sub-national Public Finance Management (PFM). Specifically, the Social Policy Officer will: Assist in generating evidence and analysis on size, composition, equity, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of local and national budgets to influence social sector spending. Support in identifying and implementing system strengthening activities in the area of upstream PFM at national and sub-national level. Support in generating and analyzing evidence on child poverty and vulnerability to inform Government and UNICEF programming. Assist in advocating for more efficient, effective and sustainable financing for social sector service delivery with Government, Parliament and other relevant stakeholders.

Task description

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of Social Policy and Economic Specialist the UN Volunteer, Social Policy Analyst (PF4C) will perform the following tasks:

A. Budget Analysis, Tracking and Influencing

  • Regularly support the collection, analysis, and user-friendly presentation of data on macro fiscal and social sector variables, with a bearing on child wellbeing.
  • Support updating of budget trackers with new budget and expenditure data on social sectors such as health, education, WASH, social welfare, child immunization and nutrition.
  • Support rapid analysis of the National Budget to identify key budgetary trends and issues for engagement with Parliament.
  • Assist in the production of the 2023/24 national and sectoral budget briefs analyzing the size, composition, and equity of national budgets and offering insights on efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of public spending on social sectors.
  • Undertake regular macro-fiscal analysis and monitoring to inform UNICEF’s work on public finance for children (PF4C)
  • Support in advocacy and influencing activities with Parliament, Ministry of Finance, Line Ministries, and other relevant stakeholders.

B. Support UNICEF’s work on Fiscal Decentralization

  • Support the strengthening of local government authorities (LGAs) budgets and alignment to the Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP-1) and Malawi Vision 2063
  • Support in capacity building of key Local Government staff on planning, budgeting and reporting

C. Support UNICEF’s work on the Disability Trust Fund

  • Support the MoGCDSW in the operationalization of the Disability Trust Fund (DTF), including development of strategic and investments plan.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to integrate the UN Volunteers programme mandate within their assignment and promote voluntary action through engagement with communities in the course of their work. As such, UN Volunteers should dedicate a part of their working time to some of the following suggested activities:

  • Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark International Volunteer Day)
  • Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country.
  • Provide annual and end of assignment self- reports on UN Volunteer actions, results and opportunities.
  • Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.
  • Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly arrived UN Volunteers.
  • Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

Eligibility criteria


27 – 80


Candidate must be a national or legal resident of the country of assignment.


Required experience

  • 3 years of experience in the field of Public Finance, Economics or related fields
  • Demonstrated experience in working with multiple stakeholders across government and civil society in the areas of PFM and decentralization.
  • Experience in macro-economic modelling or economic statistics is considered a strong asset.
  • Good coordination and negotiating skills, project management and time management skills.
  • Proven experience in the preparation of costing models, investment cases, surveys or other evidence generation activities to support improved investments in social sectors.
  • Ability to assess and present mac-economic situation to influential audience is a strong asset.
  • Takes responsibility to respond to service needs promptly and proactively.
  • Demonstrates a high degree of integrity, reliability and honors matters of confidentiality.
  • Ability to handle work quickly and accurately under time constraints.
  • Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment.
  • Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines.

Area(s) of expertise

Economics and finance


English, Level: Working knowledge, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in social sciences, preferably economics.

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