Programme Specialist – Mental Health Innovation, New York At Unicef


Closing date: Saturday, 1 July 2023

Programme Specialist – Mental Health Innovation (P4), PGLT – MHPS, New York (Temporary Appointment 364days) # 00125141

Job no: 563306

Position type: Temporary Appointment

Location: United States Division/Equivalent: Programme

School/Unit: Programme Group

Department/Office: Programme Group Leadership Team

Categories: Programme Management

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.

Note: “Ideally, this position will be based in New YorkHowever, the position has the option for a fully remote work modality. This will be determined based on the preferred candidate’s location and availability to relocate. In the event, that a remote work modality is selected, no installation to the duty station will be applicable and relevant entitlements will be adjusted based on lower of the two costs between the remote work location and the duty station.”

The Global Burden on mental health problems in children & adolescents remains grave and unaddressed in our evolving world. Worldwide, 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders; half of all mental disorders begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters by mid-20s; mental and brain conditions are the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions; and 1 in 4 children is living with a parent who has a mental disorder. Suicide remains among the top 5 leading causes of adolescent deaths, with higher rates among adolescent girls. And lastly, postpartum depression is reported to occur in 15% of mothers shortly before or any time after childbirth.

The risk for mental health conditions and psychosocial problems among children and adolescents is exacerbated when they are exposed to poverty, violence, disease or humanitarian crises. This is particularly true in our current climate of pandemic response.

As the world continues to contend with the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19, UNICEF has reasserted it leadership and understanding of field needs and priorities, in line with UNICEF’s Technical Note on MHPSS and the launch of UNICEF’s Global Multisectoral Operational Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support of Children, Adolescents and Caregivers Across Settings (demonstration version), by placing integrated and holistic community-based mental health and psychosocial interventions at the heart of its strategic mission to protect every child, recognizing that mental health and wellbeing touch all sectors across the humanitarian-development context.

For every child, Health for all……

This role, reporting to the Senior Mental Health Technical Advisor in PGLT, and coordinating closely with Health Specialist (MNAH), aims to support this collaboration between UNICEF and Spotify to develop an innovative “youth mental wellbeing shelf” on the existing Spotify platform to host UNICEF Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) curated audio content for children and adolescents affected by the Ukraine war, including the identification and supporting to scale of digitized MHPSS curated content from existing UNICEF and agreed third party MHPSS written content, development of new content as needed, as well as providing focused technical programmatic support to maps needs, ensure appropriate translation and digitization of content, and piloting of content, and subsequent effective scale up of the “youth mental wellbeing shelf” within and across identified countries.

How can you make a difference?

MHPSS Programme development and planning:

Carry out a MHPSS needs assessment of children, adolescents and their caregivers who are directly affected by the Ukraine war, ensuring engaging the right stakeholders, to capture the needs of young people and map existing and new resources that can be made available for country-level on-the-ground programming, including the use of music, sound-based and other innovative mental health interventions undertaken by UNICEF.

Plans, develops and implements sectoral programme(s) by collaborating with the government and other partners. Provide leadership in provision of technical advice, negotiation, advocacy and promotion of area/country level goals, leading to agreement on practicable and priority actions to be supported by UNICEF programme and country level cooperation.

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results for the Spotify Mental Health Shelf.

  •  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 MHPSS programmes.
  •  Provide ongoing technical oversight and support to Spotify, including in developing project workplans, M&E frameworks, and timely updates on progress.
  •  Work collaboratively with Spotify’s data experts, to collate, analyze and evaluate the level of use, consistency of use, and most engaging content to inform how the content and service design is adapted and / or expanded to ensure it meets the needs of the target audiences, i.e. children, adolescents, and their caregivers, and frontline workers who engage with young people.
  •  Develop an end of year evaluation report, based on data from Spotify and youth feedback via VoY and U-report from UNICEF to capture learning of this innovative service design.

MHPSS Advisory services and technical support:

  •  Based on MHPSS needs assessment and any identified gaps in curated content help to develop podcasts and other content, as relevant.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building:

  •  Work directly with mental health specialists and professionals, young people, mental health and wellbeing content developers, to develop digitized content from existing UNICEF, and where appropriate third party, written content to be used on the Spotify / UNICEF “youth mental wellbeing shelf”.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building:

  •  Facilitate providing existing and new content on mental health and wellbeing that can be digitized and/or amplified via the Spotify platform, and other UNICEF platforms.
  •  Provide support to Spotify and UNICEF to strengthen both organisations digital platforms for young people (for example, UNICEF’s Voices of Youth platform), where mental health content could be provided to young people.
  •  Tying into the global Community of Practice on MHPSS, establish a sub-group on MHPSS and Innovation, to meet quarterly, to support knowledge exchange and learning across countries engaged in the Spotify rollout.
  •  Work with UNICEF’s digital communications, branding, RD4C and T4D teams to ensure technical alignment of the Spotify “youth mental wellbeing shelf”.
  •  Work closely with the Office of Innovation to continue to support the MHPSS Global Innovation Portfolio, as agreed with the Senior Mental Health Technical Advisor.

Perform other tasks relevant to UNICEF’s multi-sectoral work on Mental Health, requested by the Senior Mental Health Technical Advisor.

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

  •  An advanced university degree (Master or higher) in public health, policy, or related field with strong experience in applying legislative, policy, and advocacy work and public mental health systems, services, and financing, in mental health, or another relevant technical field is required.
  •  A minimum of eight (8) years professional experience in development field, programming and legislative, policy, LMICs, financing and advocacy at national and international levels is required.
  •  Direct field experience in applying legislative, policy, financing and advocacy skills to mental health and psychosocial systems and services is an asset.
  •  Experience in LMICs in particular is required, and knowledge of the functioning of UNICEF MHPSS Operational Framework in particular is of great added value.
  •  Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French or Spanish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability (CRITA), and sustainability

Please click Here to view UNICEF’s core values and Here to view our competency framework.

UNICEF competencies required for this post are.

  •  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)

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 including 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, 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 promoting 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 appointments are subject to medical clearance.

Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be 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.

“UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/”

For more information on remuneration and benefits, please visit UNICEF’s Entitlements’ page. If you would like to find estimates for entitlements, you may use the online Salary Estimate Calculator

  •  Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Jun 21 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Application close: Jun 30 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

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  •  Closes Jun 30 2023Programme Specialist – Mental Health Innovation (P4), PGLT – MHPS, New York (Temporary Appointment 364days) # 00125141 in United States

    This role, reporting to the Senior Mental Health Technical Advisor in PGLT, and coordinating closely with Health Specialist (MNAH), aims to support this collaboration between UNICEF and Spotify to develop an innovative “youth mental wellbeing shelf” on the existing Spotify platform to host UNICEF Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) curated audio content for children and adolescents affected by the Ukraine war, including the identification and supporting to scale of digitized MHPSS curated content from existing UNICEF and agreed third party MHPSS written content, development of new content as needed, as well as providing focused technical programmatic support to maps needs, ensure appropriate translation and digitization of content, and piloting of content, and subsequent effective scale up of the “youth mental wellbeing shelf” within and across identified countries.

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