UNV Innovation Specialist, At UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund

Closing date: Wednesday, 8 May 2024


Description of assignment title: UNV Innovation Specialist

Assignment country: Ghana

Expected start date: 06/01/2024

Sustainable Development Goal: 3. Good health and well-being

Volunteer category: National UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity: UNFPA

Type: Onsite

Duration: 12 months

(with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Accra


Mission and objectives

UNFPAs mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. The agency works to achieve three transformative goals which are: zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices.


UNFPA in Ghana has just started implementation of its 8 Country Programme Cycle (2023 –

2027). The focus of this programme covers:

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  •  Strengthening institutional and community systems capacity for quality of SHR and GBV information and services.
  •  Addressing discriminatory gender and social norrs, including actions to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and harmful practices

– Adolescents and youth empowerment and engagement.

The 8* Country Programme will be implemented with relevant central and local government ministries, departments and agencies, civil society organisations and women and youth groups, as well as with private sector, academia, faith-based groups and development partners.

The youth component of the 8* Country Programme draws on UNFPA global strategy for youth, “my body, my life and my world” and focuses on these priorities: Reproductive health information/education (Comprehensive Sexuality Education).

Youth friendly reproductive health services.

Youth empowerment and participation in decision making.

Mainstreaming youth issues in sectoral policies, plans and budgeting.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Country Representative, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: Innovations is one of the key accelerators of the 8th Country Programme. it is in this context that UNFPA Ghana Country Office is seeking for suitable candidates to drive the innovations agenda of the 8th CP cycle.

Monitor latest trends and developments in the knowledge and innovation area and seek opportunities for UNFPA’s involvement in innovative initiatives.

Map existing innovation processes and products in UNFPA Ghana programme implementation, undertaking field visits, identifying and recommending apply/develop corrective action as necessary, including in emergencies.

Help catalyse the generation of ideas, developing innovation skills, and products.

Support the Country Office (CO) for the identification, development and implementation of innovative products and services. Promotion of Innovation and technology use in programme planning and delivery, and for improving Operations functions.

Support development of country office innovation strategy to accompany the Country Programme and Operations. Using technology and innovation, support ensures optimum use of UNFPA resources for achievement of results.

Support programme and communication colleagues for mainstreaming innovation and technology as a core strategy.

Promote and lead development and testing of innovative technologies, products, processes, and practices to strengthen and improve efficiency and effectiveness of UNFPA’s programming, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and communication, and operations.

Support the institutionalization of a culture of Innovation within the CO, with well established internal and external innovations eco-system.

Monitor, report on innovation initiatives and support scaling up of successful innovations. partnership and capacity building.

Promote innovation learning through supporting capacity building of UNFPA staff, partners, government counterparts and other end users of innovation products and processes.

Explore new methods and identify partners who are testing new ways of engaging with complex policy and programme problems and dealing with uncertainty, with a particular focus on systems thinking, portfolio approaches, and ways to understand power dynamics and involve marginalised groups.

Facilitate Innovation process across Implementing Partners and the CO. Design and visualisation of various products and processes.

Develop compelling visual products (e.g., diagrams,

system maps, data visualisations.

animations) that can help programme and operation colleagues make sense of emerging trends from innovation work.

Help develop a distinctive visual identity for the innovation artefacts: templates, training materials, visualizations, interactive sessions, timelines, etc.

Generate new (digital, visual, analogue) forms in which to represent UNFPA Ghana work both internally and externally.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 – 80


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


Required experience

5 years of experience in or demonstrated interest in: Good interpersonal, networking and communication skills.

Willingness to contribute and work as part of a team.

Flexible and open to learning and new experiences.

Respect for diversity and adaptability to other cultures, environments and living conditions.

Previous experience in an area of innovation and development of innovation products would be highly regarded.

Computer skills which include Microsoft Office suite especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Also preferable is use and knowledge of online ERP Applications and cloud-based applications.

Good social media skills.

Ability to write good quality reports.

Creative/innovative background.

Area(s) of expertise

Development programmes, Administration, Communication

Driving license


English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Development Studies, Communications, Business Administration, Public Relations and related fields

Competencies and values


Adaptability and Flexibility

Building Trust

Client Orientation

Commitment and Motivation

Commitment to Continuous Learning



Empowering Others

Ethics and Values


Judgement and Decision-making

Knowledge Sharing


Managing Performance Planning and Organizing


Respect for Diversity


Technological Awareness


Working in Teams

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Ghana is on the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) lying along the coast of Atlantic Ocean in the south and extending into the interior bordering the Sahel in the north. At sea level, the climate of the country is tropical hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27C (80F) and little daily variation. At the interior’s higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20C (68F), and nights are generally cool. Annual rainfall varies from 500 centimeters (200 inches.) on the southwestern slopes to 100 centimeters (40 inches.) in the northern lowlands. The rainy season runs from October to May.

Ghana is a peaceful and democratic country. The total population of Ghana is about 30.8 million with 50.7 percent of the population being females. The population under 15 years (children) is 35.3 percent, 15-64 (working aged) is 60.4 percent and the aged 65 years and over represent 4.3 percent of the population. The population residing in the urban areas is 56.6 percent an increase from 2010 of 50.9 percent. Currently the country is youthful with 73.4 percent of the population aged 0-35 years.

Ghana is classified as category A country and a family duty station. The cost of living in Accra, Ghana, is relatively higher compared to other countries in the Western and Central Africa sub-region, mainly as a result of exchange rate fluctuation. Therefore, transport, medical, education and other services are at a higher cost compared to other countries in the region. Houses and apartments can be rented from $800 to $1500 per month and meals at the restaurant cost between $10 and $40. Food, household commodities and clothing can be found in shops-and local markets at reasonable prices. Markets within the capital include Mokola, Kaneshie, Agbogbloshi, etc.

The Cedis is a local currency and according to the UN exchange rate system, a USD 1 is equivalent to and 12.9 USD as of February 2024. Some commercial banks are operating in the country and Visa cards are accepted in very limited hotels.

An entry visa is required for all travelers and must be obtained prior to arrival from the nearest Ghanaian embassy to your country if there is none from the country of travel

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy


May 2024