Regional Advisor, Adolescent Development - South Asia

Kathmandu, Nepal
Villamayor, Danna Ms_Photo
Role managed by
Danna Villamayor Researcher


Headquartered in New York City, the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund is a United Nations (UN) program that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations in response to the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China. In 1950, its mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953.

Today, UNICEF's work is carried out in more than 190 countries, territories and areas through country programmes and National Committees. Some 88 per cent of the organization's posts are located in the field. There are seven regional offices, numerous country offices worldwide, as well as a research centre in Florence, Italy, a supply operation in Copenhagen, Denmark and other Headquarter offices in Geneva, Tokyo and Brussels.

UNICEF believe and epos the ethos in all their work that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress.  UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path to dignity and well-being.  And, UNICEF advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age and continuing through childhood and adolescence, form the strongest foundation for a healthy future.

UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  They work to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. They work for the Millennium Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. UNICEF strives for peace and security and work to hold everyone accountable to the promises made for children.


UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly 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 is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.

UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children into adolescence, are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress. UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities.

Current Situation in Adolescent Development Space

Adolescents make up 16 per cent of the global population. UNICEF invests in the opportunity for adolescent girls and boys to acquire critical assets as they grow; the abilities, skills, values and experiences to negotiate multiple life domains, to avoid risky behaviors and become economically independent.  Through our global programmes that link health, education and protection, we seek to empower adolescent girls and boys to participate actively within their families, communities and wider society.

There are staggering 340 million adolescents in South Asia – 19 per cent of the total population in the region and 30 per cent of the world’s adolescents. India alone accounts for 250 million adolescents.  Despite representing a large proportion of the population, adolescents are largely invisible as citizens, excluded from decisions that affect them and have limited access to information. They also have few opportunities to acquire and share knowledge and to actively participate in decision-making processes.  In South Asia, girls and boys experience their adolescence differently. Although the situation of adolescent boys and girls do not differ much in terms of accessibility to basic services and their ability to make life choices, boys still tend to enjoy greater freedom, while girls tend to face extensive limitations.  This includes limitations on their movement and decisions affecting their work, education, marriage and social relationships. Pervasive norms and attitudes on the value of girls and women continue to fuel gender-based discrimination and make girls vulnerable to exploitation, child marriage, teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse and violence.   Throughout the region, demographic analysis points to rapidly closing windows of opportunity to reap economic dividends.  Unfortunately, inadequate investments in young people, especially girls, mean that every year millions transition into the labor market without being equipped with proper skills and capacities.  This not only limits the opportunity of young people to realize their potential, but also their ability to contribute to the development of their countries.


Regional Adviser, Adolescent Development

UNICEF is looking for a dynamic candidate to fill the above post. 

For every child, a voice.

UNICEF's Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP) programme contributes toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda, which reaffirms the importance of investing in children and young people and emphasizes their role as agents of change.

Adolescents make up 16 per cent of the global population. UNICEF invests in the opportunity for adolescent girls and boys to acquire critical assets as they grow; the abilities, skills, values and experiences to negotiate multiple life domains, to avoid risky behaviours and become economically independent.  Through our global programmes that link health, education and protection, we seek to empower adolescent girls and boys to participate actively within their families, communities and wider society.


The role of Regional Adviser is critical for the success of UNICEF’s Adolescent Development Programme.  Reporting directly to the Regional Director as well as to the Headquarters in NY, the Person will be responsible for creating, conducting and delivering the development programmes with a strategic awareness of local conditions and culture.


Role Profile:

Duties and Responsibilities:

The selected candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

Technical Assistance, Quality Assurance and Oversight

  • Provide strategic advice and oversight to country offices in the adolescent development and participation area in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programmes of cooperation with government counterparts. In close convergence with other sections, and particularly the Regional Adviser HIV/AIDS and Adolescents provide leadership, guidance and direction for programming with and for adolescents, ensuring that the equity, gender equality and the empowerment of girl’s perspective is mainstreamed. Strategic advice is provided to help develop policies, strategies, programmes, plans and systems which facilitate the translation of the global and regional goals for adolescents into operative processes adapted for each county of the Region.
  • Clear CP documents for HQ and Executive Board on policy and programme matters in the adolescent development and participation area in collaboration with the Regional Director and other advisors. And ensure they meet required quality standards.
  • Provide quality assurance of country programmes and strategies in the adolescent development and participation area, with a special focus on equity, gender dynamics/power relations and social norms, and ensure that adolescent issues are mainstreamed and at the forefront of national and regional agendas.
  • Stay abreast of country programme implementation in the adolescence area, especially when new strategic choices are being made. Proactively brief the RD, DRD and other Regional Advisers on such matters and on the appropriateness of capacity (human, financial, etc.) to deliver results of such programmes.
  • Provide technical and advisory assistance to strengthen and improve equitable response to adolescent development and participation in the country programme. Identify programme priorities and develop effective approaches to programme design and delivery for adolescents in countries of the region, giving due attention to integration within existing programmes. Assist COs in acquiring/accessing advisory and technical expertise as required. In this regard help COs engage the services of the expertise available in research and academic institutions. This requires constant contact with these institutions and a good knowledge of the resources available to them.
  • Develop strong performance standards and accountability mechanisms and systems and develop effective monitoring and evaluation tools and systems with and for adolescents building these into ongoing M&E processes.

Strategic Representation and Partnerships

  • Act as Focal Point with Regional Institutions and develop partnerships with related complementary institutions to ensure increased focus on adolescent development and participation rights and issues. This includes partnership to build capacity of national and civil society organizations in programming for and with adolescents.
  • Represent ROSA regional specific viewpoints and policy positions on adolescent development and participation at regional and international meetings and ensure that "ground" realities are fed into global process and discussions.
  • Build partnerships with UN agencies and other institutions at regional level to ensure UNICEF concerns are mainstreamed in regional and country policy initiatives, and to raise sensitive or cross-country issues. Such partnerships should also be used to leverage resources for results for adolescents. Some priority issues for inter-agency collaboration and partnerships include: children's citizenship and civil rights, adolescents in governance and influencing public decisions (links with broader governance agenda), justice for children (links with access to justice), adolescents' civic engagement (partnership with youth / adolescent’s organizations), leadership and innovation labs.
  • Liaise with HQ to implement global initiatives related to adolescent development and participation key result areas (KRA's) of the MTSP.
  • Develop and update sectoral analysis which can be used for diagnostic, policy and advocacy purposes. Keep the RD, DRD and Regional Advisers informed on progress, trends and issues which will assist in high level strategic representation and partnerships.

Knowledge Leadership

  • Analyze adolescent trends, strategies and methods of national systems and programmes and advise on the most cost-effective approaches with a focus on equity for strengthening national capacity in these areas.
  • Review literature and innovations/good practice in order to improve regional approaches and strategies. Assure development and update of assessments and analyses of their lives, concerns and priorities in the countries of the region through the review of existing sources of evidence and additional research, involving adolescents themselves.
  • Identify research gaps and initiate research to inform programming and UNICEF positioning within the sector.
  • Feed the findings /results of program evaluation and other empirical evidence into policy advice.
  • Promote a knowledge-based culture to help strategically improve results.
  • Promote experience - sharing through issuance of regional publications, research findings and statistical analyses. Collaborate closely with other Regional Advisers in respect to their specific responsibilities for adolescent education, health, protection, HIV/AIDS, social oleic, communication and media, emergencies, M&E/evaluation.


Required Experience and Qualifications:


The ideal candidate will hold a master’s Degree, or equivalent, in Social Sciences or other relevant discipline(s), preferably with a specialization in areas related to adolescents. A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.

Relevant Experience 

  • 10-12 years of relevant professional experience in international development and emergencies in analysis, design, management, monitoring and evaluation in programming for and with adolescents
  • Strong management experience; works with proven analytical, conceptualizing and negotiating skills relevant to human and social development
  • A good Knowledge of economic, social and political history and trends in the Region is required
  • Developing country work experience and familiarity with emergency are considered assets.
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) is considered an asset.

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Functional Competencies

  • Leading and Supervising
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts
  • Analyzing
  • Relating and Networking
  • Deciding and Initiating Action
  • Persuading and Influencing

Technical Competencies

  • Advanced knowledge of one or more of the technical areas of UNICEF programmes
  • Advanced knowledge of latest technology in Adolescent development and participation
  • Methodology of program/project management
  • Programmatic goals, policies and strategies for sectoral programmes and adolescent development and participation
  • Knowledge of global human rights issues, specifically related to adolescents (boys and girls).
  • UNICEF policies and strategies, including those relating to emergency, conflicts, disasters, and recovery.
  • Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action.
  • UNICEF Financial, supply and administrative rules and regulations.
  • Rights-based and Results-based approach and programming.
  • Knowledge and proficiency in the use of corporate office computer system applications and software, including LAN, email, word processing, spreadsheet, database, telecommunications.

Terms of Appointment

This is a fixed-term position where the successful candidate will be contracted on a two-year basis with the possibility of renewal. The overall benefits package is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

Application form