United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Health Specialist, NOC, FT, Position# 58662, Cotonou, Benin At United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)


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For each child, a defender of Health

The national context of Benin is marked by the Government’s commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Government Action Programme 2021-2026. The combined efforts of the government and its partners have made it possible to improve the coverage of health services.  Between 2014 and 2022, neonatal and infant and child mortality rates increased from 38 to 23 and from 115 to 80 per 1,000 live births, respectively. Nevertheless, efforts still need to be made to accelerate the’ achievement of the results for the achievement of the SDGs. The’institutionalization of Community Health and the effective’operationalization of the new Community Health Policy by Benin offers the opportunity to change the’investment paradigm in health for more conclusive results. 

Attaches the reference term:  Health Specialist Level 3 NOC Community Health HIV.pdf

How can you make a difference ?

The health specialist reports to the health specialist at the P4 level for advice and general supervision. The health specialist supports the development and preparation of the health programme and is responsible for the management, implementation, monitoring, and, ’assessment and’ reporting on the’ status of’ advancement of’a sector of the’ child survival and development programme under the country programme. The health specialist provides technical advice and management support throughout the programming processes in order to facilitate the’administration and the achievement of concrete and sustainable results in accordance with the plans,’allocation, results-based management (RAB) approaches and methodology, organizational strategic plans and objectives, and,performance standards and accountability framework.


Main Responsibilities of the  Position:

Organizational context : The health specialist will work in the UNICEF Benin office in Cotonou within the “Child Survival and Development” program.

The Child Survival and Development program is made up of the following units:

  • Health Unit : Support for improving the health of mothers, newborns, children and adolescents, including community health and HIV, through capacity building of public and private health facilities to offer quality services, strengthening interventions for the health and well-being of adolescents, the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and pediatric HIV care and the operationalization of the National Community Health Policy.
  • Vaccination Unit : Strengthening the capacity of health structures to offer quality interventions for vaccination in an equitable and integrated manner, including new vaccines, through support for strengthening routine PPE, strengthening supplementary vaccination activities, the strengthening and integration of vaccination against COVID-19, the deployment of the Optimized Logistics System, the strengthening of cold chain equipment and the introduction of new vaccines.
  • Nutrition Unit : Support for the promotion of maternal breastfeeding, prevention and management of malnutrition through capacity building of stakeholders including NGOs, the Stronger with Breast Milk campaign, growth monitoring, early detection of malnutrition, etc, provision of inputs and monitoring for the management of Severe Acute Malnutrition. Vitamin A supplementation and systematic DEworming are an integral part of nutrition interventions in integration with vaccination interventions.
  • WASH Unit : Strengthening basic Water, Hygiene and Sanitation services in institutions (health facilities including through WASH-FIT, schools) and in the community, construction of latrines adapted to Menstrual Hygiene Management in schools, the implementation of the CLTS approach and Sani-marketing.


Cross-cutting components must be considered, namily :

  • Strengthening the Health/Nutrition/WASH system through support for budgeting, planning, coordination, management of vital health products, data management and capacity building of municipalities and health zones, taking into account equity and gender.
  • Preparing for and responding to emergencies through capacity building of stakeholders, provision of inputs and materials for health facilities, emergency health, nutrition and WASH interventions.

Summary of main duties and responsibilities:

  1. Support for program development and planning
  2. Management, monitoring and delivery of program results
  3. Technical and operational support for program implementation
  4. Networking and creating partnerships
  5. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  6. Support for program development and planning
  • Support and contribution to the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis for the sector(s) to establish a strategic plan for the development, design and management of health-related programs including community health and HIV. Keep abreast of development trends to improve program management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic discussions on community health program planning.
  • Formulate, design and prepare a health program proposal, ensuring alignment with the UNICEF strategic plan, country programme, as well as coherence and integration with the United Nations Health Framework development assistance (UNDAF), regional strategies and national priorities, plans and skills.
  • Establishment community health program specific goals, objectives, strategies and implementation plans based on results-based planning terminology and methodology.
  • Prepare documents required for review of community health and HIV programs.
  • Work closely with colleagues and partners to discuss strategies and methodologies, and to determine national priorities and skills to ensure concrete and sustainable results are achieved.
  • Provide technical and operational support at all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programs / projects with other sections of UNICEF and to achieve planned results.
  1. Management, monitoring and delivery of program results
  • Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measures to assess and strengthen performance accountability, consistency and achieving concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in health programs.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, sector reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and determine measures and interventions needed to achieve results.
  • Prepare and evaluate monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in program management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for planning and implementation. timely intervention to achieve objectives.
  • Actively monitor programs and projects through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners and stakeholders in order to assess progress, identify bottlenecks , potential problems and make timely decisions to solve problems and/or refer colleagues to appropriate managers for rapid resolution.
  • Monitor and verify the optimal and appropriate use of sector program resources (financial, administrative and other resources), confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments, accountability and accountability standards integrity, ensuring that justification for the use of resources and liquidation is done in a timely manner.
  • Prepare regular and mandate reports on programs and projects for management, donors and partners in order to keep them informed of the progress of the program.
  1. Technical and operational support for program implementation
  • Provide technical advice and operational support to government departments, NGO partners, UN system partners and other partner/donor country offices on the interpretation, application and understanding of policies, strategies, UNICEF processes, best practices and approaches on health-related issues to support planning, management, implementation and achievement of results in program development.
  • Participate in discussions with national partners and stakeholders to promote health and development issues, particularly in the areas of gender equality, emergency preparedness, community health and HIV
  • Draft policy briefs, briefing notes and other strategic program documents for management information, assessment and use.
  • Participate in emergency preparedness initiatives for program development, contingency planning and/or to respond to emergency situations in the country.
  1. Networking and creating partnerships
  • Establishment and maintain close and effective working partnerships with government health sector counterparts, national stakeholders, as well as global partners, allies, donors and academia. Through active networking, advocacy and effective communication, capacity building and the exchange of knowledge and expertise are required to facilitate the achievement of programs objectives on child rights, social justice and of fairness.
  • Prepare communication and information materials for advocacy for country office programs to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances and support resource mobilization for health programs (survival and life development). mother, newborn and child).
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency discussions and planning on health-related issues in order to collaborate with partners/colleagues in the planning and development of UNDAF health programs and projects of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, ensuring that the position, interests and priorities of the Organization are fully taken into account and integrated into the United Nations Development Assistance Framework process in development planning and agenda setting.
  1. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to strengthen the capacities of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and achievement of concrete and sustainable program results.
  • Stay current and conduct research to provide evidence for the implementation of best and leading health practices.
  • Evaluate, institutionalize and share best practices and acquired knowledge.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures aimed at ensuring optimal efficiency and effectiveness of sustainable programs and projects.
  • Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to improve stakeholder skills and promote sustainable results in programs/projects related to community health and HIV.

To take on this role and be considered a defender of the rights of every child in the DRC, you must have:

  •  Education :
    • A university degree at the master’s level in one of the following fields is required: public health, pediatric health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, socio-medical, health education, epidemiology or other relevant technical field.
    • At least five years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: public health planning and management, maternal neonatal and child health or preparedness for health emergencies or humanitarian assistance.
    • Experience working in a developing country is considered an asset.
    • Relevant experience within a United Nations system agency or organization is considered an asset.
    Language requirements :
    • Fluency in French and English is required.
    • Knowledge of a local language is an asset.

For each child, you must demonstrate:

UNICEF’s core values: Caring, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Responsibility and Sustainability underpin everything we do and how we do it.

Familiarize yourself with the Charter of Our Values  .

And have the following basic skills

  • Cultivate self-awareness and demonstrate a sense of ethics.
  • Work collaboratively.
  • Establishing and maintaining partnerships.
  • Innovate and embrace change.
  • Think and act strategically.
  • Focus on achieving tangible results.
  • Managing ambiguity and complexity.
  • Support, direct and supervise staff.

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competence framework. Familiarize yourself with our skills framework and its different levels: click HERE .


The recruited candidate will be based in Cotonou, Benin


The position is classified in the National Professional (NO) category at grade NOC of the United Nations System pay scale.

UNICEF’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to achieving the best outcomes for children and we encourage all applicators, regardless of gender, religion and ethnicity, including including people with disabilities, to apply to be part of the organization.

For this position specifically, female applications are strongly encouraged.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff , including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, flexible working hours, medical care and reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities .

UNICEF maintains a zero-tolerance policy for behaviour inconsistent with the goals 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 protection principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore be subject to rigorous reference and background checks. The background check will include verification of academic credentials and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information in order to carry out these checks.

Only shortlisted(es)(es) candidates will be contacted(es) and will proceed to the next stage of the selection process.

Appointments to UNICEF are subject to medical approval. Appointments may also be subject to vaccination requirements, in particular against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID). Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF should normally resign from their government before accepting a mission with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw a job offer, without compensation, if a visa or medical authorization is not obtained(e), or, or if the vaccination requirements are not met, within a reasonable period of time, for any reason.