UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.
Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.
And we never give up.
For every child, Health
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.
How can you make a difference?
The Health Specialist supports the development and preparation of the health programme and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the programme progress of a sector of the health programme (e.g. gender, maternal, neonatal, child survival/development) within the country programme. The Health Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), organizational Strategic Plans and goals, standards of performance, and accountability framework.
Key function, accountabilities and related duties/tasks
- Support to programme development and planning
- Support and contribute to the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the sector(s) to establish a strategic plan for development, design and management of health related programmes. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
- Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of health programmes. Formulate, design and prepare a sector of the health programme proposal, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, the Country Programme, as well as coherence/integration with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), regional strategies, and national priorities, plans and competencies.
- Establish specific programme goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans based on results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval.
- Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and competencies to ensure the achievement of concrete and sustainable results.
- Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
- Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
- Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in health programmes.
- Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.
- Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.
- Actively monitor programmes/projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks, potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
- Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
- Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
- Technical and operational support to programme implementation
- Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, and best practices and approaches on health-related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation and delivery of results.
- Participate in discussions with national partners, clients and stakeholders to promote health and development issues, especially in the areas of gender, emergency preparedness, maternal and neonatal health, and child survival and development.
- Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information and consideration.
- Participate in emergency preparedness initiatives for programme development, contingency planning and/or to respond to emergencies in country or where designated.
- Networking and partnership building
- Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with health sector government counterparts, national stakeholders, as well as global partners, allies, donors, and academia. Through active networking, advocacy and effective communication, build capacity and exchange knowledge and expertise to facilitate the achievement of programme goals on child rights, social justice and equity.
- Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support fund raising for health programmes (maternal, neonatal and child survival and development).
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on health-related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNDAF planning and preparation of health programmes/projects, ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNDAF process in development planning and agenda setting.
- Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
- Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results.
- Keep abreast and conduct research to provide evidence for implementation of best and cutting-edge practices in health.
- Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
- Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.
- Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on health related programmes/projects.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health/nutrition, pediatric health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health education, epidemiology, or another relevant technical field.
- A minimum of five years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: public health/nutrition planning and management, maternal and neonatal health care, or health emergency/humanitarian preparedness.
- Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values
UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
- Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (1)
- Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
- Works Collaboratively with others (2)
- Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
- Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
- Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
- Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
- Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)
During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates are encouraged to apply.
UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.