Social and Behaviour Change Research and Data Specialist at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Social and Behaviour Change Research and Data Specialist

Job No: 560256
Location: Abuja
Contract Type: Temporary Appointment
Categories: Social and Behavior Change
Level: P-3

Organizational Context and Purpose for the job

  • The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does – in programs, 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 favouritism. 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 fulfil 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 nation.
  • The SBC specialist will, under the technical guidance of SBC Chief in Abuja, focus on providing support aimed at aligning with UNICEF global Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) principles on COVID-19 vaccination using an integrated approach.
  • The Specialist will provide technical and operational support in the development of a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategy and process for SBC as an integral part of program development, planning and implementation to promote measurable behavioral and social change/mobilization through communication, engagement, empowerment and participation of stakeholders, partners constituents, communities and civil society to achieve successful and sustainable concrete (program/project) results on children’s rights, survival and well-being in the country.
  • If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you. For over 74 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development.
  • The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments.
  • Effective planning, monitoring and evaluation systems improve accountability (to communities, governments, and civil society), learning, and the performance of interventions.
  • Data is collected and analysed at each step to determine how a program should be implemented, how to measure progress according to the plan, and determine if goals have been met.
  • UNICEF Nigeria is also embarking on a new country programme (CP) of which SBC is one of the key accelerator strategies to achieve Results for Children envisioned in the CP.
  • To this end, there is a need to build SBC evidence ecosystem to improve UNICEF Nigeria’s quality of programming and decision-making and to mainstream generation and utilization of SBC data across sectors

How Can You Make a Difference?

  • The SBC Research and Data specialist reports to the SBC Team Lead for general guidance and direction and will focus on providing support aimed at building high quality evidence system that will serve the purpose of improving the scientific rigor of SBC work on all child survival and development sectors in Nigeria.
  • The specialist will ensure adequate technical support to UNICEF Nigeria Country Office for data collection, analysis and visualization for SBC initiatives across all sectors including Health, WASH, Nutrition, Child Protection and Education. 
  • He/she will provide support to build capacities at national and subnational levels and on all elements related to SBC data collection and analysis as well as support the monitoring and evaluation components of SBC interventions in the country.
  • The section is positioning itself to support the above sectors in a new country programme hence key technical support is required to establish the online platform for data collection, and the tools for visualizing collated data. In liaison with UNICEF and IPs M&E focal persons, the SBC Data Specialist will facilitate development of quantitative and qualitative data collection tools for this purpose.

Key Responsibilities
Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

  • Design and establish SBC evidence system.
  • Design and supervision of SBC-related implementation research
  • Provide specific support on monitoring of SBC interventions including the development/update of country and state data monitoring mechanism, tools, and reports.
  • Strengthen capacity UNICEF SBC staff, partners and government in SBC research design, planning, implementation, processing, and analysis

Design and establish SBC evidence-generation system:

  • Review existing SBC evidence mechanism in Nigeria country office.
  • Assess SBC evidence capacities in Nigeria country office and conduct evidence gap analysis.
  • Design and plan for comprehensive SBC evidence ecosystem 

Design and supervision of SBC-related implementation research work:

  • Design appropriate research methods including research instruments, guide or tools for data collection, collation, analysis, and presentation.
  • Ensure data quality assurance.
  • Ensure data processing and analysis.
  • Ensure data presentation and visualization.

Provide specific support on monitoring of SBC interventions including the development/update of country and state data monitoring mechanism, tools, and reports:

  • With support from the PMR lead the design of SBC research methods including data collection techniques, instruments and sampling methods and plan of analysis for the establishment of baseline for SBC sections indicators. 
  • Support the planning, monitoring, capturing of social media SBC data and using same to support evidence for investment in social media demand generation initiatives.

Strengthen capacities UNICEF SBC staff, partners and government in SBC research design, planning, implementation, processing, and analysis:

  • Identify capacity-building needs of UNICEF SBC staff, government partners on SBC research design, planning and implementation.
  • Develop and implement a capacity-building plan for staff and partners in SBC research-related areas
  • Lead and implement the quarterly SBC showcase of best practices and lessons learned.
  • Monitor and assess capacity-building efforts and provide support where needed.

Capacity Building for Sustainability:

  • Provide advice on capacity building of SBC teams, both within NPHCDA and among counterparts.
  • Oversee and advise on the development of goals, strategy, approaches, plans as well as training materials and activities to build up capacity in participatory and behaviour change communication for personnel involved in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of SBC intervention, in support of COVID-19 vaccine and RI.

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


  • An Advanced Degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Data Science, Public Health, Machine Learning, Economics, or any other related field.


  • Five (5) years of responsible work experience in social sciences research and data analysis, preferentially including experience in/with developing countries, with practical experience in developing methodologies and tools to inform action/programmes/ policies.
  • Applicants with three (3) years of experience with Ph.D. degree will also be considered.
  • Experience analyzing data from social monitoring systems, monitoring and evaluation work, or other survey work.  
  • Experience performing data extraction, cleaning, analysis and presentation for medium to large datasets. 
  • Excellent writing skills, planning and coordination skills, with proven ability to work independently.   
  • Previous work with UNICEF is an added advantage.  

Language Requirement:

  • Fluency in English and another UN language. Local working language of the duty station 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:
    • Builds and maintains partnerships (II)
    • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (II)
    • Drive to achieve results (II)
    • Innovates and embraces change (II)
    • Manages ambiguity and complexity (II)
    • Thinks and acts strategically (II)
    • Works collaboratively with others (II)
    • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (II)
  • To view our competency framework, please visit here.


  • We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

Application Closing Date
4th July, 2023 (W. Central Africa Standard Time).

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:



  • Previous Applicants Need Not Re-Apply.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
  • UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).
  • Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.