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 Programmes, 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.
How can you make a difference?
The Health Specialist reports to the Chief of Health and Nutrition for general guidance and supervision. S/He is responsible for supporting the Chief in managing key programmes implemented by the Health and Nutrition Section, including their implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting, with a focus on health systems strengthening (HSS) and support for emergency health services. S/He provides technical guidance and operational support throughout the programming process, to facilitate the achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocations, results-based management approaches and methodology, the organization’s Strategic Plan and standards of performance, and its accountability framework.
Key accountabilities and duties:
1. Lead the Section’s collaborations on health systems including:
a. Digitalization of the Iraq health management information system (HMIS)
i. Coordination and project implementation with relevant government partners
ii. Introduction of DHIS2 or another agreed platform for monitoring and reporting on health and nutrition indicators at all levels of the health sector
iii. Coordination with WHO, the World Bank and other development partners working in this area
iv. Management of UNICEF’s engagement of technical support in this line of work
v. Coordination with other UNICEF Sections on digital birth registration, design of digital monitoring of new programs such as on early child development, health in schools, adolescent health
vi. Coordination and representation of UNICEF Iraq on regional and global technical groups on digitalization of the HMIS)
b. Budget planning and execution
i. Follow up planned training of national and sub-national health managers on budget planning and execution
ii. Coordinate UNICEF’s support for this area of work with the relevant MoH Directorates and Departments, the MoF and possibly other government entities
iii. Coordinate UNICEF Iraq Health and Social Policy Sections’ respective involvement in this area, and the engagement with WHO, the World Bank and our respective regional offices
iv. Assist the design of a plan for monitoring and adjustment of activities to verify and ensure improvement in this area of HSS
v. Input on fundraising proposals and liaison with key donors on this topic
vi. Manage field activities that follow on from this training, including solicitation of funding proposals, management of grant funds and reporting
c. Use of data for evidence-based planning, priority setting and resource allocation towards achievement of universal health coverage (UHC):
i. Assist MoH counterparts to develop a syllabus for national and sub-national training workshops on use of data for planning and prioritization of equity and UHC (e.g. for EPI, for antenatal and post-natal care, for nutrition monitoring, for ECD promotion etc.)
ii. Engagement of health managers in UNICEF focus governorates and selected humanitarian contexts on these activities
iii. Identify appropriate partners and engage them in developing this workshop and related follow-up and a monitoring and evaluation plan
iv. Support Section Chief to raise funds for such workshops as a follow on to the budget execution workshops, with a more explicit focus on raising public financing from local public or private resources.
2. Lead engagement of other teams at UNICEF Iraq’s participation in HSS
a. Coordinate the inputs of the UNICEF Health and Nutrition Programme leads on these HSS activities, in particular:
i. Facilitate the use of UNICEF’s support for strengthening EPI planning and reporting, real-time data management, geographic mapping and human resource, supplies and service mapping as an example for improving planning and reporting of MNCH, Nutrition and other programs
ii. Support the MNCH programme to incorporate use of DHIS2 or another platform to strengthen timely, complete and reliable monthly reporting of agreed indicators
iii. Support the nutrition programme to develop and report on programme activities as part of the HMIS digitalization
b. Work with the Child Protection team to institutionalise digital birth registration to establish the legal status of every newborn and access to related benefits
c. Develop ideas on the interface of a digitalized HMIS with Iraq’s Education MIS and other information systems related to social protection systems, social health insurance, WASH and demographic monitoring in the country
d. Provide technical advice and contribute to policy discussions and agenda setting to promote health and development through HSS.
3. Lead the Health Section’s nascent work with the Ministry of Health on engagement and regulation of the private health sector
a. Lead a small UNICEF-funded study on the public experience of the private health sector in Iraq to further inform suggestions for its regulated integration into UHC of a set of basic primary care and essential public health functions
b. Represent UNICEF in policy-level discussions on private sector regulation and engagement
c. Represent UNICEF on the MoH’s nascent work on social health insurance and how this may involve private healthcare providers
4. Programme development, planning, management and monitoring
a. Support conduct of reviews and situation analyses to inform or update UNICEF Iraq’s Health and Nutrition programmes.
b. Support the development and planning of new health programme activities and related documentation
c. Provide operational support on Health and Nutrition programme management and implementation, and harmonization of with other UNICEF sectors
d. Establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and other UNICEF/UN system indicators to ensure accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the Section’s programmes
e. Actively participate in field work, coordination with UNICEF Field Offices and the exchange of information with partners/stakeholders; support resolution of issues engage relevant officials as needed
f. Prepare reports on progress or final reports as required by UNICEF or its donors
g. Monitor and verify appropriate use of HSS resources; confirm compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments; ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources
5. Advocacy, networking and partnership building; Health Cluster and Emergency Programme responsibilities
a. Support UNICEF’s engagement with government health sector counterparts and national stakeholders, in partnership with Country and Field Office team; support Section Chief engagement with donors, global partners and academia.
b. Coordinate with Country and Field Office staff to support emergency health programmes
c. Support Section Chief on fund raising for HSS programmes
d. Under guidance of Section Chief, coordinate reporting on UNICEF’s humanitarian work, in partnership with Country and Field Office staff.
e. Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency meetings (with health partners; in particular in the Health Cluster), the planning and preparation of joint health programmes/projects by such partnerships, ensuring UNICEF’s position, interests and priorities are fully considered. Coordinate UNICEF inputs to these groups according to our responsibilities on various technical working groups.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
• An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health/nutrition, pediatric health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health education, epidemiology or another relevant technical field.
• A minimum of eight years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: health systems; public health/nutrition planning and management, maternal and neonatal health care, or health emergency / humanitarian preparedness.
• Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
• Fluency in English and Arabic is required.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
The UNICEF core competencies required for this post are:
i) Core Values
ii) Core Competencies
• Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)
• 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)
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.
• Lien on post may apply to applicants who are current UNICEF staff on Permanent, continuing and Fixed Term positions applying for this Temporary Appointment assignment
• Proof of leave of absence will be required for applicants working with the government or related entities.
• Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
• Renewal of the contract for an additional six months may be possible
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advanced to the next stage of the selection process.
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