Health Specialist at the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

Posted on Thu 13th Jun, 2019 - --- (0 comments)

United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (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 fulfil their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

We are recruiting to fill the vacant position below:

Job Title: Health Specialist, NO-3

Job Number: 523105
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Work Type: Fixed Term Appointment

North Eastern Nigeria has the worse health and nutrition indicators in Nigeria with maternal and child mortality at 1,500 - 2,000 per 100,000 live births and 160 per 1,000 live births respectively compared to a national average of 576 per 100,000 live births and 120 per 1,000 live births respectively (MICS/NICs 2016-2017). Nigeria and by extension the north - east has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality indices where it contributes to 10% of the world’s maternal mortality (NHS, 2018) 50.9% of adolescent are currently in union in Borno, 30.6% in Adamawa and 48.6% in Yobe. Due to its large population size, Nigeria accounts for the second largest number of under five deaths among all the countries in the world with the main causes of morbidity and mortality being: diarrhoea, cholera, acute respiratory tract infections, neonatal sepsis and asphyxia and malnutrition which are preventable. The recently released NAIIS survey results (2019) indicate that the HIV prevalence in the NE stands at 1.1% (National average 1.4%). Taraba State has the highest prevalence at 2.9% followed by Gombe at 1.3%, Adamawa 1.2%, Borno 1.2%, Bauchi 0.5% and Yobe 0.4%.

On the other hand, the protracted ongoing insurgency has led to the destruction of almost 39 per cent of health facilities in Borno, in addition only 30%, 45% and 70% of health facilities are said to be functioning in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states respectively while the remaining health facilities are being constrained by inadequate staffing (HeRAMS 2018). The available staff in place lacks updated training and has insufficient supplies and equipment to meet the health needs of the population. In addition, the IDP camps are overcrowded and there is limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation. These difficult living conditions significantly increase the risks of morbidity from preventable disease and outbreaks. Furthermore, there is an uneven distribution of trained health personnel with majority of the remaining skilled personnel moving to safe havens across the states and other areas of the country.

UNICEF is supporting the local government in every possible way to improve the health conditions of women and children and save precious lives. To augment the ongoing initiatives, UNICEF is looking for a committed, passionate and versatile health professional who can be part of the team in Borno state. 

Purpose of the Post
  • Under the direct supervision and over all guidance of the Health Manager (P-4), the Health Specialist supports the development and preparation of the health programme in relation to the emergency, early recovery and development programming and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the programme progress made in the three-prong approach of the health programme (e.g. health emergency, early recovery and gender, maternal, neonatal, as part of 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.
Job Descriptions
How can you make a difference?

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 particularly in the humanitarian and emergency context. 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 and in line with the Humanitarian action plan for children and the humanitarian response plan.
  • 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 particularly in the humanitarian and emergency context.
  • 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 in line with the health strategy with a special focus on HSS in the humanitarian development context.
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.
  • Supervise the state data consultants and ensure the regular updating of data and the health dashboard
  • 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 particularly in the humanitarian and emergency context.
  • Lead and supervise the programme consultants and ensure their deployment to ensure implementation of the health strategy
  • 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 and HSS in the humanitarian context.
  • 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.
Job Requirements
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) 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 relevant professional work 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
  • Experience of working in an emergency setting is an asset. 
  • Relevant work experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Working knowledge of local language of the duty station is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate:
  • UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
View our competency framework at:

Application Closing Date
28th June, 2019 at 23:55:00 GMT+0100 (W. Central Africa Standard Time);

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

  • UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
  • 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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.