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Youth Participation Lead, UNICEF

Toronto, Ontario
Deadline Octobe 15, 2016

At UNICEF, we work tirelessly to ensure children survive, wherever children’s lives are at risk. As part of the UN, we are active in more countries and have saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization.

By embarking on an ambitious campaign, we will reach every child, even those in the most remote and hard-to-reach places with the essentials that every child and every family needs to survive.  Because no child is too far.

Consider joining us as our:

Youth Participation Lead (12 month contract, Full-time, Based in Toronto)

Reporting to the Director, Policy and Advocacy, the Youth Participation Lead will design and deliver opportunities for child and adolescent participation across UNICEF Canada’s innovation lab to further our goals and those of the youth participants. The Youth Participation Lead will combine theory, practice, relationships and experience in exciting new ways to inspire and lead the participation of children and youth to fulfill their rights and advance their well-being.

The Youth Participation Lead will have a ground-breaking and unique role in UNICEF Canada – leading our commitment to youth participation within the organization and in the wider community.

You will work in a highly collaborative environment and jump into dynamic and sometimes complex projects as an experienced member of the team. You will not have staff that report to you but you’ll be mentoring and supporting those around you – both youth and team members. Your experience in youth participation and related education will be called on to design exciting ways for youth to participate in UNICEF Canada’s innovation lab. You’re agile enough to figure those out without us telling you in this Job Description; you want to solve problems in novel ways. The work can be challenging and deeply meaningful—but not always, and you’re good with that. You will joyfully manage all aspects of youth participation from inception to completion because you have an uncommon ability to think strategically and deliver practically. You get the realities of a growing and changing organization, or you’re willing to embrace them. Because you’ll have an exceptional opportunity to learn and apply human-centred design as you pursue your passion to inspire young people - including building robots (seriously).

The responsibilities of the position will include:

Design and deliver youth participation (75%)

  • Cultivate a variety of meaningful and effective youth participation approaches, strategically integrated in all aspects of UNICEF’s innovation lab including design studio, data, policy and public engagement.
  • Design youth participation opportunities in collaboration with team members and youth – identify the opportunities, create the capacity and inspire and engage diverse youth.
  • Lead and manage all aspects of the development and implementation of organizational child and adolescent participation initiatives including research, process design, multimedia communications, resource creation, event planning, facilitation and logistics.
  • Support, mentor and act as a role model for youth who design and participate in diverse projects and activities.
  • Manage the work of youth interns, student placements and volunteers.
  • Establish and guide the consistent application of rights- based principles for youth engagement and prioritize the safety, well-being and inclusion of diverse youth including Aboriginal youth, newcomer youth and youth with special needs and diverse gender identities.
  • Engage youth through youth-focused communications channels, presentations, forums, networks, meetings, events and media.

Collaborate to achieve team goals (10%)

  • Play an expert role on project teams to define objectives and find strategic approaches for youth participation, participating in Agile planning, team meetings, events and other tasks.
  • Collaborate with and coach the people around you to develop products, services and experiences with and for youth.
  • Bring to the team youth-focused research and knowledge about emerging trends and opportunities, helping to link them to principles, processes, practices and projects.
  • Support a youth-centric perspective and produce results/deliver value every day.
  • Ensure integrity with the organizational mission and values in all activities.

Communicate and engage (15%)

  • Develop interesting collaborations and strengthen relationships with national and local youth organizations and initiatives, including those engaging diverse youth and youth-focused design.
  • Identify funding opportunities in support of youth participation and steward partnerships, including managing budgets, evaluating impact and contributing to reports.
  • Represent UNICEF Canada at community events and in other public forums.
  • Develop presentations and other multimedia communications; share stories that help the youth sector and youth understand and engage in the work we do
  • Forge relationships with youth-focused human-centred design studios/initiatives in Canada and worldwide.
  • Cultivate relationships with youth participation focal points in the UNICEF family.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A post-secondary degree or diploma in a relevant field.
  • Experience working with diverse youth in a leadership or facilitation capacity (e.g., coach, counsellor, program director, instructor).
  • A minimum of five (5) year’s relevant work experience in designing youth participation (processes, programs and projects).
  • Familiarity with theory and practice in child and youth development and participation.
  • Established relationships with youth organizations/groups and professionals in Canada.
  • Inspiring communication skills both written and oral, particularly with children and youth.
  • Experience with child and youth ethical frameworks and protection requirements, principles, approaches and responsibilities.
  • Collaborative team/group work skills – flexible and adaptable, able to manage a room and resolve conflict, willing to use a good sense of humour, open to coaching.
  • Strong project initiation, organization and management skills.
  • Great judgment, strategic insight and problem-solving ability.
  • French or Indigenous cultural competency, including relevant language skills.
  • Comfortable with standard office software and with social media platforms for program promotion and youth engagement.
  • A valid Ontario driver’s license (an asset).
  • Experience in supporting education in a field related to child and youth/community development and children’s rights (an asset).
  • Experience with human-centred design, Design Thinking and other innovation approaches (an asset).

For consideration, please submit your resume and cover letter to by October 15, 2016.  Please attach your cover letter (including salary expectations) and resume as one document and reference “Youth Participation Lead” clearly in the subject heading.

UNICEF Canada sincerely thanks all applicants for their expressed interest in this opportunity, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Consistent with our Child Protection Policy, the successful candidate must receive clearance by a police background check, including a vulnerable sector screen.

UNICEF Canada is an inclusive workplace and is committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process providing the applicant has met the requirements for the position.