Vacancy Announcement – Chief, Social & Behavior Change, (P-5) FT, #123464, Abuja, Nigeria At UN Children’s 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.

And we never give up.

For every child, a chance

In Nigeria, UNICEF works in a complex humanitarian and development setting to fulfill and protect children’s rights in partnership with the government, civil society, children, and families. UNICEF Nigeria is one of the largest UNICEF Country Offices globally – click the link to learn more about UNICEF in Nigeria:

Organizational Context and Purpose for the job

Generating demand for immunization is a pillar of the UNICEF Immunization Roadmap and an area of UNICEF’s comparative advantage. UNICEF has extensive experience in providing technical leadership in social and behavioral change and leading inter-agency partnerships to address social and behavioral barriers to improving vaccination coverage and increasing equitable access to quality immunization services. Effective Social and Behavior Change (SBC) communication encompasses a strategic and innovative mix of communication approaches, platforms, and channels (mass, digital and social media, community and social mobilization, and interpersonal). The overall goal and contribution of SBC is to increase demand for and utilization of immunization and other essential Primary Health Care services, promote the acceptance and uptake of new and existing vaccines, tackle equity-related barriers including gender, and focus on zero dose children in order to ensure that every child is fully immunized. UNICEF also emphasizes the importance of strengthening the capacities of the UNICEF Country Office, government and civil society partners, strategic partnerships, improved evidence use, and generation, and establishment of global goods and technical platforms to drive implementation of quality evidence-based programming at scale.

How can you make a difference?

The Chief of Social and Behavior Change (SBC) will be responsible for developing systematic, planned, and evidence-based strategies and approaches for SBC, and ensure that the section is positioned as an integral component of the overall country program. It aims to achieve measurable behavioral and social change at the individual, household, and community levels, contributes to the effective coordination of partners and civil society organizations, assures youth and women participation and empowerment, and implements community engagement standards. The section will have a cross-sectoral approach, with specific attention to Child Survival and Development, Child- Protection, Education, and Gender Equality both in development and humanitarian contexts.

Key responsibilities:

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Support to strategy design and development of SBC activities
  2. Implementation of SBC activities
  3. Technical and operational support
  4. Advocacy, networking, and partnership building
  5. Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building

1. Support to strategy design and development of SBC activities

  • Conduct, participate, and manage a comprehensive SBC situational analysis that considers social, cultural, communication, economic and political influences. Assess and synthesize qualitative and quantitative information and data to establish comprehensive and evidence-based information for developing and planning the SBC component of the Country Program.
  • Participate in country program planning and reviews to determine and discuss the underlying and contextual issues to be addressed (e.g., policies, gender/children inequality, cultural/social behavior, etc.), ensure successful and sustainable delivery of program results, and provide technical advice on evidence-based approaches, strategies and plans of action for SBC.
  • Provide strategic and operational guidance for more effective urban interventions based on research on urban social networks, sources of information, and influences.
  • Contribute to strengthening the position of SBC results in key Nexus approaches as well as strategic documents (both internal programming documents and national policies/operational strategies) and lead cross-sectorial initiatives on community engagement and Community-based Approaches.
  • Develop and build capacities both internally and externally (government counterparts, other implementing partners) with a focus on rights-based, nexus strategies, and measurable SBC interventions in support of program sustainability.
  • Collaborate/consult with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of SBC activities, including in humanitarian response.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor the annual work plan of the SBC section and provide support and guidance to the team to ensure objectives are met. This entails the identification of human resource requirements, performance planning, and monitoring of the use of SBC’s resources. Also support in leveraging adequate resources (HR and funding) for SBC to ensure that expected results can be met.

2. Implementation of SBC activities

  • Collaborate with, advise, and consult partners to design evidence-based strategies and formulate, produce, and test materials and organize SBC events and activities to ensure community engagement and participation, maximum outreach, upscale, and impact on behavioral and social change. Confirm/approve the technical quality, consistency, and relevancy of communications materials that are developed, produced, and disseminated to key audiences (e.g. individuals, communities, government officials, partners, media, etc). Recommend and select appropriate multiple media and communication formats and platforms (e.g. print, digital/social media, TV/Radio, Web, etc.). Manage the production and implementation of multi-media initiatives for compliance with targets and plans.
  • Carry out SBC advocacy activities with a wide range of constituents, stakeholders, partners, communities, etc. to encourage and promote engagement and dialogue, inclusion, self-determination, and participation in mobilizing social, political, behavioral, and cultural change to achieve sustainable program results on children’s and women’s rights, equity, and well-being. Develop/select materials and other communication tools for SBC events.
  • Identify, establish, and maintain active interaction/relations with media, academia, research and implementing organizations, and other strategic partners and networks to communicate and advocate for UNICEF’s competencies and achievements to also ensure their engagement, interests, and support in promoting social and political engagement for political action on children’s rights.
  • Conduct and participate in evaluation exercises, including country program previews, meetings, and mid-term/annual reviews to assess and report on the efficacy of SBC outcomes on UNICEF and CO Strategic Plans and Goals. Take timely action to ensure the achievement of results as planned and allocated. Integrate/disseminate lessons learned in development planning and improvements and assure documentation for evidence-based SBC strategies and plans.
  • Assist in developing and implementing research tools (qualitative and quantitative) for monitoring, evaluating, and documenting SBC interventions based on applied communication research and frequent visits to project sites. Disseminate SBCSBC research findings and best practices, and support the exchange of experience and provisions of new methods to government and other partners.

3. Technical and operational support

  • Collaborate with internal CO and RO colleagues to provide expert advice on the development of evidence-based strategies, approaches, policies, and the planning of SBC social and resource mobilization initiatives in support of programs and project implementation and delivery of results.
  • Participate in CO strategic discussions to collaborate on policy and agenda setting for SBC advocacy, investments, and related external relations and resource mobilization initiatives.
  • Participate in budget planning and management of program funds and submit financial plans for SBC initiatives. Approve the use of resources as planned and verify compliance with organizational guidelines, rules and regulations, and standards of ethics and transparency.
  • Ensure that strategic planning processes, sectoral and cross-sectoral SBC strategies, partner’s SBC strategies, and other relevant processes conform to the evidence-based quality and technical standards as defined by UNICEF’s program guidance.

4. Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Identify, build, and maintain partnerships through networking and proactive collaboration with strategic partners, e.g., academia; research and implementing organizations; media and communication networks; celebrities, journalists, media, all sectors/levels of (socially aware) society and critical audience to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities for SBC advocacy to promote UNICEF mission and goals for child rights, social equity, and inclusiveness.
  • Collaborate with internal, regional, and global communication partners to harmonize, link, and coordinate strategies, including the use of multiple media and communication platforms to enhance SBC outreach and impact.
  • Participate in organizational and/or inter-agency discussions and collaborate in the planning and preparation of SBC advocacy and resource mobilization initiatives, including emergencies.

5. Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building

  • Implement innovative practices, approaches, and the latest technology on multiple media and social/digital platforms for SBC that are appropriate/available for the CO context and audience. Including non-technology-based innovations.
  • Engage in evidence generation and research initiatives such as U-Report, Rapid Pro, and other platforms that may contribute to improved evidence in SBC practice and influence national and local policies and investments in SBC for sustainable results.
  • Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge with partners and stakeholders to build the capacity of practitioners, local networks, and government partners.
  • Organize and implement capacity-building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders (government and non-government) in evidence-based SBC planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Establish, document, expand, and maintain a network of national staff and experts to share experiences, case studies, and data to ensure that lessons learned from successful SBC strategies are disseminated, applied, and upscaled.

Specific Technical Knowledge Required

  • Knowledge of current developments in the fields of communication theory, motivational psychology, adult learning theory, indigenous media, community organization and participation, strategic communication planning, behavior analysis, formative research, and evaluation of communication interventions.
  • Knowledge of interdisciplinary approach in program development and implementation in behavior and social change communication, social mobilization, and behavioral change.
  • Knowledge of and experience in emergency operations and management and familiarity with SOPs related to emergency response to outbreaks.
  • Knowledge of and skills in behavior and social change communication networking, advocacy, and negotiation.
  • Knowledge of training/facilitation and impact evaluation of communication intervention.
  • Knowledge and experience to organize and implement training, including the development of curricula and methodologies. Knowledge of community capacity building.
  • Knowledge and experience in the methods of communication to clearly and concisely express ideas and concepts in written and oral form and to listen to and acknowledges others’ perspectives and views.
  • Computer knowledge, skills, and practical experience, including internet navigation, network, telecommunications, and various office applications.
  • Gender equality and diversity awareness. Knowledge of good management, advocacy, and visual presentation skills.
  • Effective facilitation skills for workshop planning and facilitation.
  • Understanding of useful M&E tools and action research methodologies for assessing and documentation procedures

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


  • An Advanced University (Master’s or higher) in social and behavioral science (sociology, anthropology, psychology, and health education) with emphasis on participatory communication, community development, communication planning, social mobilization, participatory research, and training and impact evaluation of communication interventions


  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively professional experience in areas of social development program planning, communications, and public advocacy and/or related areas at the international and/or large organization, some of which preferably were served in a developing country is required.
  • Practical experience in adapting and applying communication planning processes to specific programmes.
  • Background/familiarity with Emergency situations.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and French (verbal and written) are required.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

  • The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
    • Builds and maintains partnerships (II)
    • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (II)
    • Drive to achieve results (II)
    • Innovates and embraces change (II)
    • Manages ambiguity and complexity (II)
    • Thinks and acts strategically (II)
    • Works collaboratively with others (II)
    • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (II)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.

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 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.


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

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

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

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.

How to apply

To apply, please click on the following link: LINK

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July 2024