Health Specialist (RWG Immunization), (P-4), WCARO, Dakar Senegal, 00116302 [Temp Appointment]

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  • Contract
  • Senegal

UNICEF Global


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, Hope

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

UNICEF is committed to the vision of a world where everyone, especially children, has access to the care they need, a human right reaffirmed in the 2017 Tokyo Declaration on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Because UHC includes both access and financial protection, UNICEF is focused on strengthening community health systems and the quality of primary health care. This irequires addressing inequities in health outcomes, strengthening immunization and other health services, including in emergencies, and promoting integrated, multi-sectoral policies and program which all remain fundamental to the realization of UHC, and to achieving the SDGs and the goals articulated in UNICEF’s Strategy for Health (2016–2030) and the UNICEF Strategic Plan (2022-2025).

To strengthen immunization efforts in West and Central Africa, the UNICEF Regional Office co-leads the Regional Working Group (RWG) for Immunization in West and Central Africa which coordinates partners’ support for all areas of Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) strengthening, including the introduction of new vaccines. Currently, six RWGs exist globally, located in the Eastern and Southern African Sub-Region, the Western and Central Africa Sub-Region, the European Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the South-East Asian Region and the Western Pacific Region in line with the Immunization Agenda 2030 and the GAVI Strategy.

The Regional Working Group (RWG) for Immunization in West and Central Africa plays a central role in providing technical guidance, quality assurance, coordination of partner support, and advocacy related to vaccination at country and regional levels. Under the leadership of UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, with support from GAVI, the RWG for West & Central Africa was revitalized and resourced with the establishment of a full time RWG Secretariat with dedicated staff support from both agencies.

Job organizational context:
This temporary position will be located in the UNICEF West and Central Africa Office, Dakar in Senegal. The Regional Senior Immunization Specialist will supervise this position. The Health Specialist (Immunization) will be part of the Immunization Unit in the Regional Health and HIV Section, and work in close collaboration with colleagues working on maternal, newborn and child health, health emergencies, nutrition, SBC, ICT, Supply. The position will also closely interact with WHO, GAVI, WB, AU, Africa CDC, governments and NGOs.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of the Job
The purpose of this position is to support the Regional Working Group on Immunization (RWG) for immunization secretariat to function effectively and efficiently in achieving immunization objectives and goals. The focus is on providing high quality technical support to GAVI procesess at regional level, ensuring quality support to non GAVI countries on immunization, strengthening partnerships with global and regional actors, philanthropies, private sector, including advocacy for improved investments in immunization as part of primary health care. He/she will coordinate the UNICEF Regional Office technical support and be responsible for knowledge management, progress tracking and follow up activities related to the RWG. H/She will seek good practices from other RWG, serve as a link with relevant global level working groups including the Immunization Agenda 2030 working groups and other existing disease/vaccine specific working groups.

Key functions, accountabilities and related duties/tasks

  1. Timely analysis, technical support and coordination related to immunization efforts by the Regional working group and periodic updates for effective planning, development, and management related to GAVI processes as well as relevant immunization processes in non GAVI supported countries.
  2. Development and implementation of the RWG workplan and approaches through technical inputs, participation and collaboration with internal and external partners.
  3. Implementation progress is monitored and evaluated for adjustment, acceleration and improvement of program delivery and sustainability.
  4. Technical support is provided to government and RWG partners, including capacity building of relevant stakeholders.
  5. Effective partnership and collaboration achieved and maintained for advocacy, technical cooperation, programme coordination, information sharing and knowledge networking.
  6. Knowledge management ensured with most relevant and strategic information provided to support the Immunization Programme by the effective implementation of an integrated monitoring system.
  7. All required RWG reports are timely prepared in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures.
  8. Other assigned duties and responsibilities are effectively performed.

Within the delegated authority and under the given organizational set-up, the Health Specialist (Immunization) is accountable the following areas of major duties:

  1. Timely analysis, technical support and coordination related to immunization efforts by the Regional working group and periodic updates for effective planning, development, and management related to GAVI processes as well as relevant immunization processes in non GAVI supported countries.
    • Contributes towards the preparation of the Situation Analysis by overseeing collection, analysis, and evaluation of information, and providing the technical guidance.
    • Ensures the timely preparation of the Situation Analysis related to Immunization (EPI) interventions in the region and its periodic update.
    • Coordinates to make quality contribution to other related interventions (e.g., Measles, primary health and nutrition) as part of the integrated immunization activities.
    • Positions the RWG coordination mechanisms as a bridge between regional and country levels.
    • Positions Immunization agenda (immunization) as an accelerator to achieving key results for children in West and Central Africa (WCA) using national, regional, and global events as platforms.
    • Support and guide implementation of key strategic and programmatic shifts including development of tools and guidelines to address persisting bottlenecks, take stock of lessons learnt in advancing the immunization, and the broader child survival, agenda.
    • Contribute to the implementation of the KRCC#1 transformative agenda and immunization work plan and participle in the regular activities of the core matrix team ( KRC#1 Guild)
    • Work closely with health and other colleagues in the UNICEF Regional Office to support planning, provision and follow-up actions of technical support including Joint appraisals, Gavi TCA and other programme reviews.
  2. Quality contributions are made to the development and implementation of the RWG Workplan, UNICEFs Workplan and approaches.
    • Consolidate the RWG work plan and monitor its implementation.
    • Co-organize jointly with WHO, the RWG meetings, agenda development and conference calls, and close communication and collaboration with GAVI secretariat focal point
    • Participates with UNICEF, Government, non-government organizations (NGOs) and other partners in the development of the immunization strategies and approaches. Ensures achievement of strategic results in line with agreed RWG work Plan objectives and adopts corrective action to meet objectives.
    • Contributes to the identification, development and dissemination of new strategies, methodologies, approaches, and tools for improving immunization programme delivery with emphasis on, sustainability and strengthening community health and cross sector approach, in collaboration with other RWG partners.
    • Contribute to the development and implementation of the WCARO annual health and HIV work plan.
  3. RWG workplan implementation progress is monitored and evaluated for adjustment, acceleration and improvement of program delivery and sustainability.
    • Undertakes joint field visits and participates in periodic programme reviews with Government and other partners. Identifies necessary action for programme adjustments.
    • Provides technical advice and assistance to RWG members and government officials in the planning and management of the immunization programme and ensure sustainability of interventions.
    • Monitors the implementation of the RWG recommendations and reports back during the meetings.
    • Monitor implementation of the RWG deliverables/milestones including by using progress tracking tools and preparing quarterly reports on immunization activities to be shared with RWG members and countries. This includes establishing and maintaining an information and indicator database on progress in implementing regional response and national programmes.
    • Contributes to the planning, monitoring, and reporting of GAVI PEF/TCA reporting requirements within the region, identify bottlenecks and solutions for the implementation.
    • Supports the documentation of common successes, challenges, constraints, and opportunities in strengthening national immunization programmes.
  4. Technical support is provided to government and RWG partners, including capacity building.
    • Provides expert guidance and technical support to government and immunization partners at the Regional and national in the planning, development, and implementation stages of the immunization programmes/projects.
    • Support Identifying training needs; training and orientation activities for government personnel and beneficiaries, for the purpose of capacity building, sustainability of programme/projects and promotion/expansion of coverage of services.This includes as member of RWG secretariat, the review and quality assurance of Strategic planning documents/proposals such as National Immunization strategies, Big catch-up plan, Gavi FPP, CCEOP, EAF.
    • As member of the RWG Secretariat, participate in and support the sub-working groups based on his expertise and experience to reinforce linkages and information sharing between the RWG sub-working groups. This is intended to reinforce linkages and information sharing between the sub-working groups.
  5. Effective partnership and collaboration achieved and maintained for advocacy, technical cooperation, programme coordination, information sharing and knowledge networking.
    • Co-coordinate jointly with WHO actions emanating from the RWG on Immunization for West & Central Africa, focusing on coordination of technical support, knowledge management and progress tracking.
    • Co- coordinates activities and exchanges information and knowledge with among RWG members and countries to contribute to achievement of immunization programme objectives. Participates in establishing effective monitoring, knowledge database/network and reporting systems to ensure the availability of current and accurate programme information/data and contributes to the development of communication materials and strategies to support advocacy and community participation for the Immunization Programme.
    • Maintains close working relationships to establish partnership and collaboration with RWG members and countries as well as other relevant regional and country platform to improve the ability to collect and disseminate relevant data, exchange information on programme/project development and implementation. Ensures a significant exchange of knowledge, information, experience, and lessons learned.
    • Support initiatives and promote better coordination and normative consistency, and liases with other RWGs to facilitate knowledge sharing
    • Position the RWG and its secretariat as a coordination platform to improve information and tools sharing in support to country level efforts to advance immunization agenda in West and Central Africa.
    • Support dissemination, revision and facilitate feedback from countries and region on implementation of immunization roadmaps and overall immunization tools, guidances, and policies.
    • Support advocacy conducted by the RWG with governments to allocate appropriate sustainable funding for immunization.
  6. Knowledge management ensured and strategic information provided to support the Immunization Programme by the effective implementation of integrated monitoring system.
    • In collaboration with Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) and the Social and Behavioral Change technical working groups, conducts accurate and timely monitoring and data collection, and supports an integrated monitoring system.
    • Participates in major evaluation and review exercises,
    • Analyses and evaluates data to ensure achievement of objectives and recommends corrective measures as appropriate.
    • Monitor and document the common successes, challenges, constraints, and opportunities in strengthening the national immunization programme and Health system at country level. This process includes discussing the implementation of Gavi and immunization partners processes in the countries.
    • Maintain the knowledge exchange function of the RWG through regular updates on the website and among partners.
  7. All required RWG reports are timely prepared in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures.
    • Prepare quarterly reports on the RWG activities to share with RWG members and countries.
    • Prepare and disseminate reports and recommendations of meetings within a maximum of 2 weeks following the meeting
    • Ensures the timely preparation of RWG annual reports and participates in Regional Office mid-year and annual revue processes as well as other relevant report in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures.
  8. Other assigned duties and responsibilities are effectively performed.
    • Performs and delivers additional duties and services assigned by the supervisor.

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

  • An Advanced university degree in Public Health, Paediatric Health, Global/International Health, Health Policy and Management, or other fields relevant to immunization.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional work experience at national and international levels in primary health care
  • Substantive experience and technical knowledge on immunization
  • Work experience in low- and middle-income countries
  • Demonstrated experience in coordinating complex health and immunization processes, programmes and/or strategies
  • Experience with giving technical presentations and building capacity of Governments
  • Strong communication and negotiating skills
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality technical document, including reports
  • Experience with UN agencies is an asset.
  • Fluency in English and French required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

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

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.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

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, 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 promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. 

Remarks:

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children.

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

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 are also 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 cancelled.

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.

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.

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

Advertised: 27 May 2024 Greenwich Standard Time
Deadline: 16 Jun 2024 Greenwich Standard Time

Apply now
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