| May 29, 2024

Innovative Finance Manager for WASH Initiatives

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Website UNICEF

About the job

UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, a future

UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships, and technologies that support the realization of children’s rights are key to improving children’s lives. Worldwide, we innovate to tackle the most pressing problems faced by the most vulnerable children. We take a systematic approach to innovation, applying skills and energy across new tools and technologies, products, innovative financing, and new ways of working to boost our impact.

The Office of Innovation (OOI) is a creative, unique, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organization that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, the tools, the know-how and the partners that turn ideas and energy into scalable solutions for children.

The UNICEF Sustainable WASH Innovation Hub (WASH Hub) is to be a global home for building, accelerating and scaling transformational innovative climate resilient solutions for a WASH secure future of universal and equitable access to services, contributing to the UNICEF Strategic Plan Goal 4 ensuring that “every child lives in a safe and clean environment” and looking to facilitating the full ambition of the SDG6.

The WASH Hub will source, pilot and scale transformational and frontier climate resilient innovations that respond to key programmatic challenges that, if solved, will unlock faster progress for children and young people.

The WASH Hub lead is part of UNICEF’s Global Technical Team on WASH led by UNICEFs Global WASH Programme Team (PG WASH) which leads on programming support, evidence generation, thought leadership, and policy advocacy in support of UNICEFs regional and Country implementation work.

WASH is a capital-intensive sector; however numerous studies have identified global underinvestment as a significant constraint on achieving sustainable, universal access to safely managed WASH services. Innovative Finance (IF) offers the potential for additional investment to address some or all investment shortfalls. Leveraged together with innovative solutions to WASH problems, IF offers a potentially catalytic approach to addressing several of the world’s largest WASH challenges.

In the context of this role, IF refers to financing approaches, tools and mechanisms that: (a) leverage additional resources for children through new financial instruments or apply existing instruments in a new way; (b) make resources work more effectively and efficiently in the interest of children; and/or (c) make resources more results-oriented to accelerate programmatic and operational solutions for children.

How can you make a difference?

Based in Copenhagen, the Innovative Finance Manager (WASH) (the ‘IF Manager”) will bring her/his expertise in support to the Senior Adviser Innovation (WASH Hub) to offer expert advice and guidance around the Innovative Finance work of WASH Hub.

The IF Manager will also be a key resource for PG WASH in New York and will ensure that technical IF Support is available to support UNICEF regional and country offices.

More specifically, there is a need for the IF Manager to provide expert guidance to UNICEF WASH and OOI teams and to lead the development of tools to support IF application in WASH, identify and document innovative case studies with potential for scaling up and strategies for leveraging IF approaches to provide catalytic funding for innovative WASH approaches.

Under The Guidance Of The Chief Of WASH (WASH Hub) With Matrix Reporting To The Senior Adviser Innovative Finance, The Innovative Finance Manager Will Work Closely With Other Divisions On Innovation And WASH, Particularly With PG WASH, Including

  • Provide technical support for IF solutions in the WASH Hub Portfolio
  • Provide technical and strategic advice on IF to the WASH Hub, PG WASH and the UNICEF WASH network and whilst representing UNICEF
  • Lead the development of key resources to accelerate the integration of IF into WASH programming
  • Lead the development of a UNICEF WASH network capacity strategy to incorporate IF into WASH programming in partnership with PG WASH

If you would like to know more about this position, please review the complete Job Description here: IF Manager (P4) Profile.pdf

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

The Following Minimum Requirements

Education: An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Public Policy, Business Administration, Finance, Development, or related degree.

Work Experience

  • At least 8 years of relevant work experience at national and international levels in project management, consulting, research, budget, development
  • An in-depth understanding and relevant experience of direct impact investing, venture capital or private equity is essential.
  • Experience working in deal structuring, due diligence process is strongly preferred.
  • Experience of working with finance institutions in UNICEF program countries required.


  • Familiarity with existing standards/frameworks adopted by financial institutions – including Equator Principles, ESG criteria, etc.
  • Strong capacity to work effectively in inter-divisional teams.
  • Strong capacity to distill and translate multifaceted and critical issues for organizational attention.
  • Strategic and global thinking and analytical ability.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communications skills.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English (verbal and written) is required.

The Following Desirables

  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.
  • Experience in/knowledge of the UN system and knowledge of UNICEF’s work would be an asset.
  • Experience of establishing WASH IF projects a strong asset.
  • Knowledge of an additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is considered an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF Competencies Required For This Post Are…

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • Works collaboratively with others
  • Nurtures, leads and manages people


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