Programme Officer (Covid-19 Vaccine focused) NOA- Male’, Maldives #00119681 (Temporary Appointment)

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, a fair chance.

The “Young girls and boys develop and thrive”, which includes child health, nutrition and early child development, is one of the key pillars of 2022-2026 Country Programme of Cooperation between the Government of Maldives and UNICEF. Key issues in this area include double burden of nutrition among children under five, with both under nutrition and overweight remaining a concern. Noticeable improvements have been seen in reducing child mortality rates as well as child morbidity. As of 2019, under 5 mortality rate has come down to 8 per 1000 live births and infant mortality rate stands at 7 per 1000 live births (Child mortality trends, 2020). Neonatal deaths rate is estimated at 5 per 1000 live births in 2019 – accounting for most of the infant deaths. Hence, a greater challenge now lies in reducing neonatal death rate, and addressing the issue at a preventive level – before and during pregnancy, and at facility level – by improving care during the time of birth. Immunization rates had been high at 97% – 99% (DHS ,2009) around 10 years ago, though more recent surveys reveal that it has come down to 77% (DHS 2016/2017). Vaccine hesitancy and systems issues such as capacity gaps and cold chain factors are emerging challenges in immunization.

In the past two years, COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the provision of routine mother, newborn, and child health across the Maldives. UNICEF is supporting Government’s emergency response and have been providing critical and life-saving support in all areas affecting children, including in immediate health emergency operations, and recovery efforts as well as in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. UNICEF is also supporting to ensure continuation of lifesaving essential health services for children and women. UNICEF is also entrusted by donors to closely support the Government in its efforts to successfully deliver COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible, while strengthening the immunization system and overall health system of the country in the long-term.   

With the continued health emergency context, and combined roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine, as well subsequent increased programming need to respond effectively and efficiently to the needs of vulnerable children and ensure no child is left behind, UNICEF Maldives needs additional capacity to manage and respond effectively. The need is more significant as UNICEF Maldives will start a new country programme in March 2022, with ambitious agenda for integrated health, nutrition and child development for the early years, to help young children not only survive, but thrive into the second decade of life and beyond.

Job organizational context:

The Health Programme Officer will work for the UNICEF Maldives Country Office (MCO) and report to the Health, Nutrition and Child Development Specialist.

Purpose for the job:

Under the general guidance of the supervisor, the Health Officer is accountable for providing professional, technical, operational and administrative assistance throughout the programming and implementation processes in the Health, Nutrition & Child Development section, with a specific focus on immunization system strengthening, health emergency, and COVID-19 vaccine.

The support includes researching, collecting, analyzing, and presenting information by applying theoretical and technical skills while learning organizational rules, regulations and procedures to support the development and formulation of the respective work plan in line with the Country Programme.

In particular, the Health Programme Officer will assist the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response activities and COVID-19 vaccines activities.

How can you make a difference?

The efficiency and efficacy of support provided by the Health Programme Officer to programme preparation, planning and implementation, contributes to the achievement of sustainable results to create a protective environment for children against harm and all forms of violence, and ensures their survival, development and well being in society. Success in Health programmes and projects in turn contributes to maintaining and enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to provide programme services for mothers and children that promotes greater social and gender equality in the country.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  1. Support to programme development and planning
  2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  3. Technical and operational support to programme implementation
  4. Networking and partnership building
  5. Support COVID-19 & Vaccines Communications and Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)
  6. Close support and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out activities, including monitoring of COVAX and other donor funds
  7. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

1. Support to programme development and planning

  • Provide technical and administrative support throughout all stages of Health programming processes by executing/administering a variety of technical and programme transactions, preparing materials/documentations, and complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support gender-sensitive programme planning, results-based planning (RBM) and monitoring and evaluation of results.

2. Technical and operational support to programme implementation

  • Undertake field visits and surveys, with a child rights and gender lens, and collect and share reports with partners and stakeholders.
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices in Health and promotion of gender equality, to support programme implementation.
  • Close support to implement flag-ship interventions including the Primary Health Care Costing exercise, the Social Behaviour Change Communication Startegy and plan for the first 1000 days of life, the work on early nutrition and adolescent nutrition, parenting programme and integrated ECD

3. Networking and partnership building

  • Lead in key meetings with national and international actors for the development of national referral mechanisms, in line with gender equality principles.
  • Coordinate with MoH/ HPA and other partners to address any gaps and or bottleneck in service delivery during emergency
  • Contribute to internal and external partnership meetings with Government, UN agencies, stakeholders and donors.

4. Support the health emergency response efforts and continuation of essential health services

  • Contribute to the health emergency response activities supported by UNICEF, with close technical support to Health Protection Agency and Health Emergency Operations
  • Support the on-going implementation of UNICEF health programme and RCCE related communication activities to create demand for COIVD-19 vaccines and engage the public on adopting behaviours around living with COVID-19.

5. Close support and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out activities, including monitoring of COVAX and other donor funds

  • Support the implementation of UNICEF-MOH communication action plan on COVID vaccine and routine immunization rollout, public acceptance, and social mobilization, in close collaboration with SBC Officer. Support coordination with national and sub-national stakeholders, including government, implementing partners.
  • Assist to improve quality of care, coverage with COVID-19 and RI, status of cold chain equipment and vaccine utilization
  • Coordinate with MoH & HPA and other partners to monitor essential child health services during emergency, particularly during lock-down periods, and support to address any gaps and or bottleneck in service delivery
  • Support the COVID-19 response UNICEF supported activities and introduction of new vaccines into routine immunization. Technical assistance to EPI programme, UNICEF team, and support coordination with regional office, donors and COVAX secretariat Support to review, periodically update NDVP and support implementation efforts
  • Support consolidate, analyze and report on vaccine coverage and reporting on COVID-19 response and coverage, vaccine
  • Prepare required documentations and materials to facilitate the programme review and approval process.
  • Participate as a resource person in capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of health service providers, and stakeholders
  • Contribute to monthly analysis report of program activity data and support other organizational data requirements such as COVID-19 and other humanitarian response data for management, regional and headquarter updates, Sitrep reports, and other reviews

6. Support the Vaccine Demand Generation and communication activities related to COVID-19 vaccine

  • Support the implementation of UNICEF-MOH communication action plan on COVID vaccine and routine immunization rollout, public acceptance, and social mobilization, in close collaboration with SBC Officer.

7. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Identify, capture, synthesize, and share lessons learned for knowledge development and to build the capacity of stakeholders to protect children against any kind of violence, abuse and neglect, applying gender sensitive strategies.
  • Support documentation of programme activities including best practices and lessons learnt
  • Apply innovative approaches and promote good practices to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results .
  • Research, benchmark and report on best and cutting-edge practices for development planning of knowledge products and systems.
  • Contribute to the internal and external documents to reflect UNICEF’s role, coverage and impact with COVID-19 and other humanitarian responses.

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

  • EDUCTION: A university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health or medicine, psychology, or another relevant social science field.
  • EXPERIENCE: A minimum of one year of professional experience in health or related field with active work in planning, implementing. coordinating and/or management Health related project, programe or areas, including health emergency

    Expertise and substantive experience working in project management is essential

    Experience working in the health system or health sector is desired

    Experience or exposure working with UN related programmes is considered as an asset

    Exposure to the island context will be an advantage

  • LANGUAGE: Fluency in English and Dhivehi is required.  Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are..

Core Competencies

  • 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)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

Functional Competencies

  •  Analyzing (2)
  •  Applying technical expertise (2)
  •  Learning and researching (2)
  • Planning and organizing (2)

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.

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.

Remarks:

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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