Social & Behavior Change Officer, (NOA), Sao Tome & Principe, Only national of Sao Tome

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.

UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, Education

Sao Tome and Principe (STP) is a lower middle-income small island developing state with a fragile economy and a significant dependence on international aid. The population includes a high percentage of children and adolescents. The country’s economy has experienced moderate growth over the past decade, supported by international aid, but growth slowed down in recent years. Despite progress in social development, resulting in an improved Human Development Index score, the country faces challenges such as high unemployment and widespread extreme poverty.

UNICEF STP is levering partnerships with Government, civil society, donors, UN and private sector, to scale up country’s key results for children. In this sense and to expedite progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, NICEF STP implements a strategic approach focused on improving access to quality social services, promoting behavioral change, and advocating for gender and child-sensitive policies to enable children, including adolescents, to realize their rights.

The programme integrates early childhood development interventions across health, education, and protection services to promote nurturing caregiving. It also focuses on adolescent programming, emphasizing relevant learning, life skills, health services, violence prevention, and climate action. UNICEF leverages its presence and expertise to advance children’s rights, working closely with the Government to improve service quality and equity.

Key priorities include strengthening systems to improve access and quality in health, education, child protection, and social protection; professionalizing the social service workforce; establishing multisectoral case management for violence prevention and response; building capacities in data-driven approaches; modeling innovative interventions; generating demand among adolescents; and enhancing public spending efficiency.

How can you make a difference? 

If you would like to know more about this position, please review the complete Job Description here: Download File Social Behavior Change Officer Level.doc

The SBC program is committed to developing school and community-based interventions using a dialogue-oriented approach to tackle various social issues affecting children and adolescents, including:

  • Access to Adolescent-Friendly Health and Well-Being Services: Addressing the critical need for these services, highlighted by the high teenage pregnancy rate of 91 births per 1,000 teenagers in 2019 and the growing need to prevent and address mental health issues.
  • High Repetition and Dropout Rates in Schools: These have contributed to an increased number of out-of-school adolescents, necessitating targeted interventions.
  • Various Forms of Violence: Driven by social norms and gender inequality, these forms of violence require comprehensive strategies to mitigate their impact on young people.
  • Impacts of Climate Change: Addressing the threats posed by rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, and increasing temperatures, which impact the future and well-being of children and adolescents.
  • Accessibility of Services and Infrastructure for Children and Adolescents with Disabilities: Ensuring that services and infrastructure are adapted to meet the needs of children and adolescents with disabilities.
  • Open Defecation Practices: Tackling this issue through community engagement and education to promote sanitation and reduce health risks.

Impact of Results

Efficient and effective technical, administrative and operational support provided to the development and implementation of SBC initiatives and products that support UNICEF’s ability to promote SBC results. This in turn contributes to enhancing the ability of UNICEF to fulfill its mission to achieve sustainable, locally owned and concrete results in improving the survival, development, protection and wellbeing of children in the country. 

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

Minimum requirements:

  • A university degree (bachelor’s or higher) in a social and behavioral science, including sociology, anthropology, communication studies/communication for development, psychology and/or related field is required.
  • A minimum of one (1) year of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: social development programme planning, communication for development or social and behaviour change, public advocacy or another related area. Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English/French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.


  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency. 
  • Good master of Portuguese is required.

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

The 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 . 

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

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 measures to include a more diverse workforce, such as paid parental leave, time off for breastfeeding purposes, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). 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 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 is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be 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 canceled.


As per Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.

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

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions 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 does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 07 Jun 2024 Greenwich Standard Time
Deadline: 21 Jun 2024 Greenwich Standard Time

Apply now
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