Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally


United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF is an organization that “promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do…we advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future” (UNICEF, n.d.). UNICEF also strive to make sure that girls receive a proper education and part of their mission is “to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential” (UNICEF, n.d.). I chose UNICEF because they believe in putting the children first and making sure that their basic needs are met and they believe in the rights of children. There are an ample of job opportunities within this organization worldwide. There were several jobs that stood out to me but the one that I chose is an Education Specialist, in Ankara, Turkey.

Purpose of the Position

Under the guidance and general supervision of the Chief, the Education Specialist supports the development and preparation of the Education (or a sector of) programs/projects and for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting of progress of education programs/projects within the country program. The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of results on education programs/projects to improve learning outcomes and equitable and inclusive education especially for children who are marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded in society.

The Specialist contributes to achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • An Advanced University Degree in education, economics, psychology, sociology or other social science field is required.
  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in social development planning and management in education and related areas at the international level, some of which preferably in a developing country is required. Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is an asset.
  • Fluency in English and another UN language.


Save the Children

The second international organization I chose is Save the Children. I chose Save the Children because I believe in everything that they stand for and believe in their cause of supporting children rights as well. I also love the fact that the well-being of children is their main concern. Their staff and representatives commit to protecting children and respecting their rights, both at work and in their personal lives (Save the Children, 2011). Their mission is “to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives” (Save the Children, 2011). Save the Children also had a lot of job opportunities that resonated with me but I decided to look into the position of Child Protection Manager and this position is on a 6-month term.



  • Significant Child Protection management experience working in an emergency response contexts or fragile states
  • Previous experience, four years’ minimum, in designing and implementing child protection programs in complex emergencies is essential.
  • Education to MSc/MA/MEng level in Social Work, Child Welfare, Human rights Law or similar or equivalent field experience.
  • Ability to identify the main gaps in child protection in the given context to inform a holistic response for children.
  • Good knowledge of and experience in using established inter-agency standards and guidelines in child protection, such as the Inter-agency Guidelines on Separated and Unaccompanied Children, the Paris Principles, MRM, SC Child Friendly Spaces Handbook, and the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Settings.
  • Previous experience of managing a team and of project management
  • Experience of working in urban and rural programming, including liaising with local authorities and CBOs on program design and implementation.
  • Experience of and commitment to working through systems of community participation and accountability.
  • Ability to work both in an Advisory and a hands on implementation capacity
  • Experience in capacity building and in strengthening various duty bearers understanding of and response to child protection.
  • Experience of representation and ability to represent SC effectively in external forums.
  • Experience of preparing successful funding proposals for donors
  • Ability to write clear and well-argued assessment and project reports
  • Strong influencing skills and experience in advocacy
  • Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
  • A high level of written and spoken English
  • The capacity and willingness to be extremely flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.
  • Commitment to and understanding of child rights, the aims and principles of Save the Children, and humanitarian standards such as the Sphere Charter, he Code of Conduct, Child Protection and Child Safe Guarding. In particular, a good understanding of the Save the Children mandate and child – and family focus and an ability to ensure this continues to underpin our support


  • Language skills in Arabic
  • Good working knowledge of the Inter-Agency Child Protection Information Management System
  • Experience or knowledge of working and living in relevant regions/contexts


 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

I chose UNESCO due to the fact that they believe in equality education for boys and girls. “UNESCO strives to build networks among nations that enable this kind of solidarity, by: Mobilizing for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development” (UNESCO, 2011). Their mission is “to promote education as a fundamental human right, to improve the quality of education and to facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building” (UNESCO, 2011). There were 11 career opportunities that are available and reading through them, the one that I would like to work if I was to go international would be the position of an Associate Programme Specialist in Paris.



  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of culture, social or human sciences or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant professional experience in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage or a related field, such as heritage management or cultural policy, or cultural programme management and implementation, of which at least one year acquired at the international level.


  • Capacity to elaborate and manage programmes/projects in the field of culture.
  • Ability to collect, synthesise and analyse information from various sources.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relations within a multicultural environment and to work effectively in team environment.
  • Ability to effectively convey and share ideas with others adapting the style, content and tone to suit the audience.
  • Strong sense of ethics, integrity, diplomacy.
  •  Excellent communication skills (oral and written), with ability to draft clearly and concisely.
  • Strong IT skills including knowledge of standard office software.


  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and good working knowledge of the other language (English or French).


Save the Children. (2011). Retrieved from

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2011, from

United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2011). Retrieved from


4 thoughts on “Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

  1. Hi Dionna,

    UNESCO sounds interesting and I love the work this organization is doing to promote a quality education for both boys and girls. This is especially important since in many countries it is extremely difficult for girls to receive an education. The idea of working in Paris also sounds fascinating and makes me look at France in a new light. When I think of children not having a quality education France was never even on my radar but I suppose I may have developed a romanticized idea based on what I’ve seen on television. When it’s all said and done I guess there’s a lot to done worldwide.



  2. Dionna,
    I, too, spent some time searching the job opportunities with Save the Children. I noticed that many of the positions are available in countries outside of the U.S.. Like the job you chose to highlight, their terms were short. Given the line of work we are in, what do you think would be the most challenging implication of working on a strictly 6-month term? I would imagine it could be effective in light of crisis, though wonder how challenging it would be to take a position that does not carry longevity.


  3. Hi Dionna – thanks for sharing about these places! I live in Michigan and my agency’s service area includes Genesee County and the city of Flint. I know that Save the Children has done some work there on the water crisis, so I know they do “practice what they preach”. 🙂 I was intrigued too by the United Nations organization and the job in Paris that you noted. I would absolutely love to do some early childhood work internationally, and somehow your post gave me a feeling of urgency – I need to become bilingual! If I were to work internationally, I would not want to have to rely on a translator. I would want to engage in conversations in the language of children and families! I think that creates a much more trusting and intimate relationship. Hmmm…my schooling may not be quite done! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and sparking these thoughts for me!


  4. Dionna,

    UNICEF is also a great organization to highlight. I chose this one also, and the job I wanted was an assistant director position located in New York, New York. Can you imagine how great the world would be if everyone put children first?


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