Communication for Development (C4D) Specialist, P-4, Fixed Term, Polio Eradication Programme, Geneva, Switzerland

Note: UNICEF Geneva is currently undergoing organizational changes; therefore, the job location of the post is still under consideration. Selected candidates may commence duties remotely until the location is finalized.

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 future

As a key partner in the effort to eradicate polio, UNICEF has the lead role in strategic communications including communication for development (C4D), crisis communication and advocacy, to ensure a high demand for vaccination services and acceptance of vaccine. C4D plays a vital role in the polio prevention and response interventions, supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) teams to plan and implement social and community mobilization activities to inform and convince communities and its leaders about the reasons and rationale for oral polio vaccine (OPV) campaigns; supporting interventions that encourage community based surveillance of Acute Flask Paralysis; and supporting the improvement of immunization programmes, both through campaigns and through routine immunization, by fostering understanding of childhood diseases, creating demand for services and acceptance of the vaccines.

The polio outbreak workstream of the UNICEF Global Polio Team provides oversight, quality assurance, technical assistance and knowledge management to country offices in the field, with particular emphasis on communication for social and behavior change and vaccine management within the outbreak response and preparedness context. To meet this growing risk and be best positioned to respond and fulfill global commitments, UNICEF is scaling up its C4D and Communication human resource capacity as part of a global rapid response team to support countries which must respond quickly to a polio outbreak.

The Communication for Development Specialist will work under the general guidance and supervision of the C4D Manager polio outbreaks, in collaboration with the Senior Manager, the regional and country teams. The position will be part of the polio outbreak team with an expectation that there would be a high component of travel. The incumbent would be subject to deployment to support outbreak response countries on short notice and will travel at least 80% of their time to support outbreak response and preparedness activities as required.

How can you make a difference?

Under the general guidance of the C4D Manager, polio outbreak response and in collaboration with regional and country teams, you will be working as a member of the polio rapid response team (RRT) and be deployed to polio outbreak countries. Deployment and support to countries will be in accordance with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s outbreak response standard operating procedures (SOPs) and as per the UNICEF Polio outbreak Team workplan and guidance of the direct supervisor. During your mission, you will be responsible for supporting the planning process of C4D outbreak response strategies, initial kick off of implementation and guiding the monitoring and evaluation of behavior change and social mobilization activities in support of the outbreak response effort.

 Key functions and accountabilities include the following: 

  • Supporting the development of Polio outbreak response C4D strategy and activities including the assessment of qualitative and quantitative information, participation in outbreak response planning, review and preparation of high-quality educational materials and collaboration with a wide range of partners and stakeholders.
  • Contributing to the development of the crisis communication, misinformation strategies and implementation plans in the outbreak countries which encompasses supporting the crisis communication assessment in each country, as well as development and implementation of the national crisis communication and misinformation management strategies.
  • Supporting the implementation of C4D outbreak response activities by providing support to the country office team and partners during the response phase, verifying the technical quality, consistency and relevancy of communications materials, recommending appropriate multiple media formats and contributing to the implementation of C4D advocacy activities.
  • Coordinating and supporting outbreak response preparedness by planning and designing C4D outbreak preparedness activities in collaboration with regional and country offices at high risk of polio outbreaks, leading the design of special capacity building initiatives and implementing capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of (government and non-government) in C4D outbreak response and preparedness planning, implementation and evaluation.
  • Contributing to knowledge management and capacity building by finalizing special M&E framework for monitoring and reporting of C4D outbreak response and preparedness activities, developing and sharing periodic trend analysis of relevant social data, implementing innovative practices, approaches and latest technology on multiple media and social/digital platforms and developing and sharing best practices and lessons learned from C4D outbreak response and preparedness with global/local partners and stakeholders.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in any of the following fields: Social and Behavioral Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Education, Communication, Public Relations or another relevant technical field.
    *A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in Communication for Development together with one or more of the following areas: Social Development Programme Planning, Public Advocacy, external communications or another related area.
  • Experience in working in polio especially outbreak response is highly desirable.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset and highly desirable.
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is highly desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) is considered as 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 (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

Functional Competencies:

  • Persuading and influencing (2)
  • Applying technical expertise (2)
  • Entrepreneurial thinking (2)

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.


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.

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