Communication for Development Specialist

UN Children's Fund, Kenya

Skill Required:, Media and Communication
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
1st January, 2020

Job Description

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.

For every child, an advocate.

The Communication for Development (C4D) section of the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) provides oversight, quality assurance, technical assistance and knowledge management to country offices in the field of communication for social and behavior change for child survival, development, education and protection. The region is extremely complex, diverse and bears a disproportionate share of the global burden of key child rights deprivations.

The region is currently in the Endgame phase of polio eradication, but outbreaks continue to occur. The ongoing polio response in Angola, Zambia and Ethiopia are opportunities to reinforce targeted interventions for polio vaccination as well as to reinforce the vaccination systems, as the presence of Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (cVDPVs) clearly indicates the poor immunity level of populations in the respective communities. At the same time, the cross-border population movements within the sub-region, due to social-cultural reasons, as well as displacement due to humanitarian crises, are factors that can contribute to the spread of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) and Wild Polio Virus (WPV) within the countries of the sub-region.

C4D plays a vital role in the polio prevention and response interventions, supporting the Ministry of Health (MoH) teams to plan and implement communication activities to inform and convince communities and its leaders about the reasons and rationale of 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.

How can you make a difference?

Under the general guidance of the ESARO Polio Coordinator and in close collaboration with the Immunization teams of ESARO, Western and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) and the AFRO/UNICEF Rapid Response Team Coordinator in Brazzaville, the incumbent will be working as a member of the RRT, and will be deployed to polio outbreak response countries.

Main Responsibilities

Support to C4D strategy design and development

  • Conduct and/or participate in comprehensive C4D situation analysis of social, cultural, economic and political issues in the country/region, including through national/subnational working groups or committees. Assess/synthesize qualitative and quantitative information, data and evidence to support the establishment of comprehensive and evidence-based information for developing and planning the C4D interventions both for polio outbreak response, maintenance and routine immunization strengthening.
  • Participate in country programme planning and reviews to contribute to discussions on the underlying and contextual issues to be addressed (e.g. policies, gender/children inequality, cultural/social behavior etc) to ensure the successful and sustainable delivery of programme results and provide technical recommendations on approaches, strategies and plans of action for C4D to promote behavioral and social change.
  • Prepare or provide quality assurance on materials and related documentations for C4D strategies and plans (as a component of polio outbreak SOPs) to ensure optimum impact, scale and sustainability of achievements/results.
  • Collaborate/consult with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of C4D activities with UNICEF SP, Country Office (CO) global communications and advocacy activities and UN System development activities and initiatives at the CO level, including in humanitarian response.
  • Participate and provide technical support to COs so C4D staff is optimally engaged in national EPI planning processes and polio communication activities.

Implementation of C4D activities

  • Collaborate with, advise and/or consult GPEI partners to design C4D strategies to respond to an outbreak of polio, including formulation, production and testing materials to organize C4D events and activities to ensure engagement and participation of key audiences, and maximum outreach and impact on behavioral and social change, including in humanitarian response.
  • Confirm/verify the technical quality, consistency and relevancy of communications strategies, including materials that are developed, produced and disseminated to target audiences (e.g. individuals, communities, government officials, partners, media etc). Recommend appropriate multiple media formats (e.g. print, digital/social media, TV/Radio, Web, community networks, etc.). Oversee the production and implementation of multi-media initiatives for compliance with targets and plans that integrate the latest evidence.
  • Carry out C4D advocacy activities with/for a wide range of constituents, stakeholders, partners, communities, etc. to encourage/promote engagement and dialogue, inclusion, self-determination and participation in mobilizing social, political, behavioral and cultural change to achieve sustainable programme results on children and women’s rights, equity and wellbeing. Develop/select materials and other communication tools for C4D events.
  • Identify, establish and maintain active interaction/relations with media, academia and other strategic partners to communicate/advocate UNICEF’s competencies and achievements to ensure their engagement, interests and support in promoting social/political engagement for political action on children’s rights, and measurable changes in social and behavioral outcomes.
  • Support polio outbreak response and immunization efforts assessments and implementation of their recommendations.

Technical and operational support

  • Collaborate with COs, RO sector programmes and GPEI partners to contribute to the development of strategies, approaches, policies and the planning of C4D social and resource mobilization initiatives in support of polio outbreak response.
  • Participate in budget planning and management of programme funds and prepare financial plan for polio C4D initiatives required to stop polio outbreaks. Monitor/track the use of resources as planned and verify compliance with organizational guidelines, rules and regulations and standards of ethics and transparency.

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Identify, build and maintain partnerships through networking and proactive collaboration with strategic partners, e.g. academia; social networks; celebrities, journalist, media, all sectors/levels of (socially aware) society and critical audience to reinforce cooperation and/or pursue opportunities for C4D advocacy to promote UNICEF mission and goals for child rights, social equity and inclusiveness.
  • Collaborate with internal global/regional communication partners to harmonize, link and/or coordinate messaging and use of multiple media and communication platforms to enhance C4D outreach including in humanitarian contexts.
  • Participate in organizational and/or inter-agency (UNCT; National UN Communication for Development Roundtable) discussions and planning to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues in the GPEI, the GAVI and all immunization related planning and preparation of C4D advocacy and resource mobilization initiatives including emergencies.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Implement innovative practices, approaches and latest technology on multiple media and social/digital platforms and networks for C4D that are appropriate/available for the CO context and audience.
  • Institutionalize/share best practices and knowledge learned/products with global/local partners and stakeholders to build capacity of practitioners and disseminate these products to key audiences including donors and partners.
  • Organize/implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of clients/stakeholders/partners (government and non-government) in C4D planning, implementation and evaluation in support of programmes/projects including in humanitarian settings.

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

  • Advanced university degree in communication for development or other social/behavioral sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Health Education) or related area, with emphasis on participatory communication, communication planning, social mobilization, participatory research. *An additional 2 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.
  • A minimum five years progressively responsible work experience in communication for development, the planning and management of social communication programmes, including in immunization/polio.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.


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