Megan Jones, Child Protection Consultant, UNICEF Nepal
I am a Child Protection Consultant for the UNICEF Nepal Country Office. I am also a Coordinator for DevQuest.org, a website providing interviews and advice to assist those trying to transition into the field of international development.
In summary, I started my career in the finance sector in London. I transitioned into development by later undertaking a Master in International Development, while at the same time conducting research and teaching on behalf of Australian universities. I also spent time before and throughout my masters volunteering in the development sector in Nepal. Through this, and by participating in a human rights field school, conducted in Nepal, I was able to apply for a position with UNICEF.
Currently I live in Kathmandu, Nepal and have been working with the Child Protection team at UNICEF for almost one year. I work on the Alternative Care program, which predominantly deals with addressing child protection issues for children living away from their families. My role in particular focuses on research and making recommendations for future action.
Being involved in establishing DevQuest has also been very exciting. The aim of the website is to provide advice to development new starters on how to enter the sector, based on the experiences of others. We found that people were having trouble knowing where to start or how to “get a foot in the door” so we hope that the site will be helpful in providing information for those trying to get started with a career in the sector.
Full details of my transition into development can be found here on the DevQuest.
A few questions from The Development Circle for Megan
1. How important do you consider networking to being successful in your field?
“I think it’s very important but I also think you have to have the right skills for the positions that are available.”
2. What advice would you give to somebody interested in pursuing a career in international development similar to yours?
“Talk to as many people in the development sector as possible to find out what they do and how they got there. There are many roles in development and half the trouble is figuring out which one is suitable for you. Once you have an idea, try and gain experience in that area by volunteering or taking an internship until you get a paid role. I would suggest building on or using the skills you already have, as it will be far easier to enter the field this way. Finally… don’t give up!”
If you have questions for Megan, please submit them using the form below!