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Health Specialist - Immunization in Middle-Income Countries (P-4), PG Health New York HQ (Temporary Appointment 364days) # 00127024

New York City

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: Closed

The Health Specialist provides strategic guidance and technical support on immunization services and primary health care in MICs. The incumbent is responsible for supporting successful implementation, monitoring, research and documentation of UNICEF’s work on immunization in MICs; development of guidance and tools to strengthen evidence for decision-making, political commitment and prioritization of immunization strategies. The work will be undertaken in close collaboration with governments, WHO, World Bank, the Gavi Secretariat and academic partners.

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.

The Immunization Financing and Systems Strengthening unit aims to improve management, efficiency and financial sustainability of immunization within primary health care services. Work areas include cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, health systems assessments, planning and budgeting, financial tracking, and public financing management. One of the key shifts in UNICEF’s priorities as outlined in its Immunization Roadmap to 2030 (revitalized in 2022) is deliberate actions to support MICs with technical support, advocacy and resource mobilization.

In 2023, MICs are home to most of the world’s zero-dose and under-vaccinated children. In the past four years, the Immunization Financing and Systems Strengthening unit has worked to strengthen UNICEF’s engagement in MICs, materializing in a US$13 million grant from Gavi in 2022. The incumbent will collaborate closely on MICs with other units of the immunization section as well as within the broader health programme.

For every child, Health for all……


The Health Specialist provides strategic guidance and technical support on immunization services and primary health care in MICs. The incumbent is responsible for supporting successful implementation, monitoring, research and documentation of UNICEF’s work on immunization in MICs; development of guidance and tools to strengthen evidence for decision-making, political commitment and prioritization of immunization strategies. The work will be undertaken in close collaboration with governments, WHO, World Bank, the Gavi Secretariat and academic partners.

How can you make a difference?

Programme development and planning

  • Take a leadership role in shaping UNICEF’s work on immunization in MICs
  • Keep abreast of national, regional, and global development trends on financing for primary health care and immunization in MICs to determine UNICEF’s strategies and approaches
  • Identify opportunities for influencing donor and Government policies on financing for primary health care and immunization in MICs
  • Prepare funding proposals to support UNICEF’s work on immunization in MICs
  • Develop and implement a programme of work to strengthen immunization service delivery within PHC, including through community-based systems, and multisectoral and integrated service delivery modalities

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Monitor UNICEF’s work on immunization in MICs to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve any issues.
  • Contribute to ensuring that UNICEF targets in the monitoring framework for the Gavi MICs project are met
  • Submit project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.
  • Timely and quality technical assistance to the implementation of the UNICEF-managed COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Support (CDS) grant in AMC-30 countries, including monitoring, reporting and documentation of lessons learned and good practices

Advisory services and technical support

  • Provide technical support to UNICEF regional and country offices in MICs on immunization planning, priority setting, and health systems analysis.
  • Generate evidence and undertake implementation research on strategies for improved vaccine delivery, especially related to interventions for reaching zero dose children in MICs
  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy discussions and agenda setting to promote efficient use of resources and achieve sustainable financing for primary health care and immunization in MICs

Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Strengthen internal and external partner engagement on MICs, including through global platforms, to position UNICEF as a lead partner on immunization in MICs
  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with donors, NGOs, academia and health sector government counterparts through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNICEF’s mission, goals, programmes, and resource mobilizations needs for immunization in MICs
  • Represent UNICEF in Immunization Agenda 2030 working group in MICs

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches, and good practices for health systems strengthening activities, with a specific focus on primary health care and immunization
  • Keep abreast on health systems research and implement best and cutting-edge practices
  • Share best practices and knowledge learned internally and externally
  • Lead, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to UNICEF MICs country offices on health systems approaches and analyses

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

  • Advanced University degree in Public health, health economics, epidemiology, international health, or another relevant field is required.
  • Minimum 8 years of progressively responsible professional work experience in public health or health systems research at the international level is required.
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills
  • Experience working in a low-income setting
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop and maintain good working relationships
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French or Spanish) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability (CRITA), and sustainability

Please click Here to view UNICEF's core values and Here to view our competency framework.

UNICEF competencies required for this post are.

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (2)


UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to including everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, 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.

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 is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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.

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.

“UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/

For more information on remuneration and benefits, please visit UNICEF’s Entitlements’ page.  If you would like to find estimates for entitlements, you may use the online Salary Estimate Calculator

  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
This vacancy is now closed.
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