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

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 fulfill 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 position below:

Job Title: TA Health Specialist

Job No.: 552593
Location: Sokoto
Level: P-3
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Categories: Health and Nutrition

How Can You Make a Difference?

  • The Health Specialist reports to the Chief of Field Office for guidance and general supervision. The Health Specialist will lead the health portfolio of the UNICEF Sokoto Field  Office, working  closely with State Ministry of Health (SMoH) , State Primary Health Care development Agency (SPHCDA) and partners for effective coordination and implementation of the Primary Health Care (PHC) PHC MoU Health System Strengthening work plans in three States (Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara), and will lead the design, implementation and oversight of  other key health interventions as per UNICEF workplan, including improving maternal, adolescent  and child health outcomes,  prepare and respond to public health emergencies, and reducing the number zero-dose children.
  • 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.

Summary of Key Functions / Accountabilities
Support to Programme Development and Planning:

  • Lead the health team in strategic program design, evidence generation, partnership coordination and representation of the health program in the State.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of health programmes, with a  focus on strategies to strengthen the health system and PHC,  and address health  inequities, including gender disparities
  • 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.
  • Provide support to the State Government in developing its annual work plan and getting it approved by State Government Leadership
  • Ensure close coordination with  Social Behavior Change (SBC) colleagues for effective demand generation and social mobilization including increasing uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, and in general routine immunization
  • Provide technical assistance to the development of good quality State and LGA annual equity-focused operational plans and their review
  • Support and advocate for the design of equity-informed strategies and interventions targeting reduction number of under and un-immunized children and communities, including through leveraging on supportive supervision, micro-planning, RI-SMS and Post-SIA monitoring and campaign data
  • Work closely with relevant colleagues, UN partners and State Government in developing and management of the Delivery as One annual work plan in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara  States.
  • Coordinate with colleagues, relevant partners, and the State Government in developing and implementing the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for any disease outbreak and the humanitarian crisis.

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.
  • Ensure quarterly fund allocations based on utilization and compliance with achievement of programmatic and accountability framework goals for the implementation of the State’s PHC MOU HSS operational plans as per the agreed counterpart funding arrangement
  • Ensure timely implementation of the Nigeria Country Office priorities (health section) as well as Sokoto Field Office priorities, including strengthening the health system with a focus on PHC and affordable access to health services (including cash-transfers and health insurance);  responding to public health emergencies including circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) ; reducing the number of zero-dose children; increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage; strengthening cold chain and vaccine logistics management; and improving maternal and child health outcomes by strengthening community structures. A gender -transformative approach and human-rights based approaches must underpin all health interventions.
  • Ensure the monitoring framework of key results is regularly updated and key deliverables are achieved
  • Hands on experience to generate and utilize both primary and secondary data in lieu time to inform program improvement design or redesign.

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.
  • Lead technically the health team in Sokoto Field Office to design, coordinate, implement and monitor health interventions, with a  focus on increasing access and utilization of responsive health services, including strengthening  service delivery, reduce barriers to access (financial, socio-cultural), and collaborating with other UNICEF sections in Sokoto filed office to maximize opportunities to improve maternal, adolescent  and child health outcomes (i.e., nutrition, Social Behavior Change)
  • Participate in discussions with State partners and stakeholders to promote health and development issues, especially in the areas of gender, equity,  emergency preparedness, maternal and neonatal health, immunization and child survival and development
  • Support the documentation, reporting and sharing of innovations, success stories and programme activities related to health including emergency response in the assigned State
  • Support integration of COVID-19 vaccination with RI services and Non-Polio SIAs subject to national policy decision
  • Participate in emergency preparedness and response initiatives for programme development, contingency planning and/or to respond to emergencies in states

Networking and Partnership Building:

  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with health sector and non-health sector (i.e., Sate Ministry of Planning and Budget, State Health Insurance Authority) 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 FO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support fund raising for health programmes (maternal, neonatal and child survival and development).

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.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on health-related programmes/projects.
  • Support the documentation, reporting and sharing of innovations, success stories and programme activities related to health including emergency response in the assigned State

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

  • An Advanced University Degree in Public Health / Nutrition, Paediatric Health, Family Health, Health Research, Global / International Health, Health Policy and/or Management, Epidemiology or other health related science.
  • An Advanced University Degree in a Social Sciences field or other field related to the work of UNICEF.
  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in public health/nutrition planning and management and/or in relevant areas of maternal and neonatal health care, Primary Health Care and health system strengthening, health emergency/humanitarian preparedness, at the international level.
  • Relevant experience in health/nutrition program/project development and management in any UN system agency or organization is an asset
  • Fluency in English is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or a local language is an asset

For Every Child, you Demonstrate…

  • UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The 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)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)

Application Closing Date
14th July, 2022 (West 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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
  • 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.


  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
  • The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract is valid for the entire period of the contract. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).

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