Senior Immunization Specialist, (P-5), FT, #119470, LAC Regional Office – Panama

$131,585 - $161,274 / YEAR Expired 3 weeks ago
This job has expired.


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, health

In the Latin American and Caribbean region, recent assessments indicate a stagnation in the coverage of essential health services across countries in the region, attributed in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. To expedite progress in primary health care and nutrition, UNICEF’s programmatic focus on strengthening health systems, with a focus on community-based healthcare targeting the most vulnerable populations, remains paramount in the region. LACRO will enhance its capacity and expertise on health systems to guide COs in scaling up efforts in this area.

How can you make a difference?

The Senior Immunization Specialist reports to the Regional Advisor, Survive & Thrive, for general guidance and direction. The Senior Specialist is the authoritative and expert adviser to the Regional Advisor, Survive & Thrive, Country Offices and governments in developing policies, strategies, programmes and systems for UNICEF’s support to immunization in the context of the regional Survive & Thrive Programme. The Senior Specialist is responsible for providing technical leadership, management advice, advocacy and programme support and capacity building to Country Offices throughout the region. Facilitates application, adaptation and achievement of UNICEF global and regional goals, polices, and strategies in the area of Immunization programme in countries of the region. Provides UNICEF Immunization (EPI) programmes and interventions with innovative leadership including managerial advice, vision, oversight, knowledge management, policy development, strategy articulation, situation appraisal, harmonization of programme strategies, capacity building, monitoring & evaluation support, representation, networking and strategic partnership creation.

1. Advisory Capacity and Policy Development:

Immunization Programme policies, strategies, and approaches for the region are developed and advocated for.  In coordination with the Regional Adviser, Survive & Thrive, other relevant LACRO sections,  Country Offices and the staff are well advised on Regional programme strategy, policy, and advocacy guidelines of immunization programmes in the context of primary health care, with emphasis on systems strengthening, preventing backsliding and reducing the number of zero-dose children.
Exercises advisory role and provides guidance, coordination and initiatives in policy and strategy development, in the context of oversight of the implementation of regional UNICEF Immunization interventions in the context of the Survive & Thrive programme.  Advises and supports the Regional Director, the Deputy Regional Director, Representatives and other Advisers and managers on immunization programme strategy, policy, and advocacy.  Submits recommendations and position papers for use in the development of UNICEF global/regional programme policy.  Leads the formulation, refinement, adaptation, articulation and communication of UNICEF’s regional immunization programme strategies, priorities and approaches.

2. Knowledge Management:

The most relevant and latest technical expertise is maintained, generated, , and disseminated throughout the Region and the  Organization, and shared with the regional/national institutions/partners.
Maintains technical expertise, including open knowledge sharing with the HQ Advisors and Specialists and regional/national institutions. Serves as regional focal point of technical expertise. Monitors developments in technical area, as well as political and social developments, at the national and regional levels.
Ensures establishment, maintenance and improvement of a) quality programme information management; b) information of the situation and trends of immunization; c) documentation and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned; d)  updates of global and regional policies, technical standards and strategies; e) sharing of a database of regional consultants and institutions; and f) promotion of relevant research, innovative approaches and programme design.

3. Capacity Building:

Country Offices, Regional Office staff and national partners adequately lead regional programme development, implementation and management processes due to continual, effective capacity building.
Designs a regional programme with Regional and HQ colleagues to upgrade the capacity of UNICEF Regional and Country Office staff as well as key counterpart staff, in the area of Immunization (including cold chain management, data analysis, and others as relevant).  Provides technical guidance and direction for capacity development of UNICEF staff in country offices and of their partners, in the integrated immunization/child health/PHC strategy planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of immunization/health related SDGs.
Facilitates support to respond to needs and opportunities, creating a work environment which promotes and facilitates team work and demands ongoing learning and development, setting high standards for measuring success towards reaching health related SDGs in the region. Remains current in related fields to ensure an integrated approach toward immunization/health related SDGs.

4. Technical Leadership and Support:

Regional and Country Offices expand, lead and deliver programmes at a high quality standard in area of expertise due to strong technical leadership.
Combines cutting-edge technology and programme innovation with operational and political perspectives that empower and position UNICEF programmes in immunization/health as a leader in the field and support immunization/health SDGs. Advocates and provides leadership for the scaling up of UNICEF’s immunization strategy implementation, through a results based approach.
Leads a team of regional immunization specialists to ensure the highest quality and relevance of a) countries’ situation analyses; b) programmatic response; c) capacity building; d) advocacy; e) monitoring and evaluation; f) documentation and sharing of best practices and lessons learned, ensuring a supportive oversight  conducive to the achievement of goals and planned results by the UNICEF country offices and ensuring that UNICEF maintains and strengthens its technical leadership in the area of immunization.
Provides  technical support on immunization to Country Offices, government counterparts and to other programme partners, identifying entry points for implementation of effective interventions, including community-based actions, to improve health/immunization in the Region. Contributes to the promotion of the development of appropriate programme communication strategies. Ensures effective collaboration with other sections and units at the Regional Office, including with the rest of the Survive & Thrive team, Social and Behavour Change, , Gender, Communication & Advocacy, Monitoring, Evaluation, Supply , Emergency and other groups, to optimize regional support to the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Country Offices’ work on immunization.

5. Strategic Partnership and Representation:

UNICEF is effectively represented and programme goals and strategies are widely advocated through networking and strategic partnerships with high level and senior government officials, multi-lateral agencies, bi-lateral agencies, NGOs, other UN agencies, and donors.
Represents and advocates for UNICEF in meetings with high level and senior government officials, agencies, NGOs, and donors, forging internal and external partnerships and stakeholders in the development of harmonized programme interventions, through high level representation in regional forums, with emphasis on middle income country strategies and approached. Contributes to better consultative processes and networking with donors. Builds strategic alliances with various international and regional partners, national associations, entrepreneurs, academics, religious organizations and NGOs.
Guides a team of regional and national immunization specialists and focal points and network to strengthen and expand strategic partnerships and institutional relationship building, ensuring that UNICEF is recognized and solicited as a trusted partner, developing networks and relationships for expanding programme collaboration.
Consolidates and sustains networks (including UNICEF staff, WHO, GAVI, WB, bilateral agencies, regional experts, professional associations, academic institutions. etc.) to exchange experiences, case studies and data on immunization. Builds relationships with key immunization partners in the Region, and supports dissemination of successful programming strategies, with emphasis on those from middle income countries. Promotes advocacy and collaborative work with UN Agencies as well as other development agencies to promote immunization efforts in the Region. Participates in the regional inter-agency meetings in the collaboration with the UN country team in support of the attainment of the SDGs in the areas of immunization/health.

6. Advocacy and leveraging:

Regional financial resources for immunization (EPI) are enhanced by effective advocacy and leveraging.
Utilizes most effectively the financial resources available for immunization and newborn/child health activities in the region, by advising and influencing supporting country offices, Governments and donors on the preparation of project proposals, in close consultation with public and private partnerships experts.
Facilitates and coordinates (multi-) Country Office results-based funding proposals; advises and assists Country Offices in the preparation of results-based project proposals for  Immunization/health/PHC; facilitates UNICEF’s contribution from Regional and Country offices to Governments’ and partners’ efforts in leveraging large funding for immunization/health/PHC, including from funds targeting middle income countries.

7. Regional Monitoring and Assessment:

Accurate, coherent and reliable regional information is collected, analysed and reported for monitoring, evaluation and programme report purposes.
Partners with HQ colleagues, the Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Advisors/ Specialists and Country Monitoring and Evaluation Officers in the development and review of indicators and participatory approaches for programme monitoring and evaluation. Monitors regional trends, and evaluates the impact of the programmes and strategies in EPI related areas to achieve the defined goals. Ensures that current information about the situation of children and women, immunization programme performance and evaluation, the attainment of the SDGs, and best practices is available to UNICEF country and regional offices.
Participates in the preparation of programme reports for management, board and donors, in budget reviews, programme analysis, annual reports, progress reports on SDG etc.

8. Communication, Networking and Partnership:

Strategic collaboration, communication, partnerships, and networking are forged to develop harmonized programme interventions and broaden UNICEF engagement.
As the credible voice of the Region for a technical sector, forges internal and external partnerships in the development of harmonized programme interventions. Develops and maintains partnerships with the Communication and Advocacy unit and Partnerships colleagues to develop innovative strategies for information, advocacy and resource mobilization.
Builds strategic alliances with various international and regional partners, national associations, entrepreneurs, academics, religious organizations and NGOs, and broaden UNICEF engagement to the related programmes.
Ensures inter-sectoral, cross-cutting collaboration within the Region, particularly with the Survive & Thrive,   Social Policy,  Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Advocacy groups to achieve that all immunization related activities are planned, implemented and monitored in an integrated way.

9. Emergency Preparedness and Response:

The role of immunization in emergency preparedness is assessed, needs for emergency support are identified, and emergency responses with effective coordination are provided.
Ensures that immunization is adequately reflected in emergency/ humanitarianpreparedness measures and provides technical support to immunization activities in humanitarian settings as needed. Participates in needs assessments as needed. . Supports funding appeals in consultation with the country office and HQ.

10. Other assigned duties and responsibilities are effectively performed with the results delivered.

Performs or participates in any other duties appropriate to the purpose of this post, assigned by the supervisor, the Deputy Regional Director or the Regional Director, and delivers the results as required.

If you would like to know more about this position, please review the complete Job Description here: [HRLAC-SJP-SrImmuSpec-P5.pdf]

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

The following minimum requirements:

  • Education: Advanced degree in one of the disciplines relevant to the following areas: Medicine, Public Health, Paediatric Health, Global/International , Health Policy and Management, Family Health, Socio-medical Sciences, Health Education, Epidemiology, or other fields relevant to immunization.
  • Work Experience: At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional work experience in all aspects of programme management, and/or advisory capacity, in the technical area or programme sector resulting in recognized expertise in the technical area related to immunization and/or child survival and health care.
  • Skills: Knowledge of theories and practices in:
    Childhood Immunizations;
    Child and Maternal Health;
    Health Promotion and Disease Prevention;
    Public Health;
    Health Financing;
    Knowledge Management;
    Educational interventions in Health Care;
    Health Education;
    Environmental Health;
    Computer software application, including word processing, spreadsheets and corporate software packages.
  • Language Requirements: [Fluency in English is required, and at least proficiency in Spanish. Knowledge of French or Portuguese and another official UN langauge (Arabic, Chinese or Russian) is considered an asset.

The following desirables:

  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.

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…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships

(2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness

(3) Drive to achieve results for impact

(4) Innovates and embraces change

(5) Manages ambiguity and complexity

(6) Thinks and acts strategically

(7) Works collaboratively with others

(8) Nurtures, leads and manages people

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

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, time off for breastfeeding purposes, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). 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 promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will 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 appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

UNICEF’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable male candidates are encouraged to apply.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions 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.

UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Panama City, Panama
This job has expired.