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Health Specialist - HPV Vaccine Scale-Up (P-4), PG Health (Immunization), Outposted Nairobi (Temporary Appointment 364days) # 00124437

Nairobi

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

Under the guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent of this position supports the Immunization Section in HQ in providing day to day assistance to strengthen Regional Office and Country Office capacities to effectively assist countries scaling up HPV vaccine in their national immunization programmes.

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.

Out of 120 countries which have introduced HPV vaccine in their national immunization programmes so far, 26 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were supported by Gavi since 2018. At least 20 more LMICs are planning to introduce in the next couple of years. However, HPV vaccination coverage is low compared to the other childhood vaccines due to a mix of reasons. These include earlier supply constraints, pandemic backsliding, suboptimal outreach to schools and remote rural and conflict/humanitarian settings, gender-related barriers, low public demand and trust, and weak touchpoints of the adolescent age group with primary health care. Based on the need to accelerate progress to achieve global cervical cancer elimination by 2030, Gavi Alliance adopted the HPV Programme Revitalization 2023-2025. The programme aims further scale up the number of countries and the vaccination coverage, reaching 86 M girls in LMICs with HPV vaccination by 2025.

UNICEF has decades of experience in supporting immunization worldwide and has actively contributed the LMICs to conduct HPV demonstration projects before Gavi approved nationwide introductions. UNICEF has accelerated support to HPV vaccination from 2018 through its Headquarters, Regional and Country Offices and leveraging its presence in every country as a core Alliance partner. Through the multi-partner collaboration mechanism at the global level, UNICEF assumed the lead role for social and behaviour change and immunization supply chain in HPV vaccine roll-out, as well as supporting country decision making, development of Gavi applications, and providing technical assistance to strengthen programmatic preparedness, capacity building, mobilizing community networks and Community Health Workers to reach all girls. UNICEF also managed the global HPV vaccine supply and maintained liaison with the manufacturers to ensure a healthy market. We have implemented proof-of-concept projects in two countries to test the multisectoral collaboration through integration of additional adolescent health interventions alongside the HPV vaccine. UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) included HPV roll-out as one of the results prioritized reflecting the commitment of the organization. Until 2022 more than 25 countries introduced HPV vaccine nationwide with UNICEF support.

Based on the achievements of its previous work, UNICEF will continue to provide support along the aforementioned programme areas during the HPV Revitalization 2023-2025. In addition to that, the organization is to mobilize additional institutional strengths based on its multi-sectoral capacity as a child rights organization and work across five key programmatic areas to better address 1) Coverage & Equity 2) Demand 3) Gender 4) Innovation 5) Multi-sectoral work & integrated programming for adolescents through collaboration with other teams such as adolescent health, education/school health and nutrition, adolescent development and participation, HIV/AIDS and WASH.

For every child, good mental health….

Under the guidance of the supervisor, the incumbent of this position supports the Immunization Section in HQ in providing day to day assistance to strengthen Regional Office and Country Office capacities to effectively assist countries scaling up HPV vaccine in their national immunization programmes.

How can you make a difference?

Provide guidance, tools, technical assistance and capacity building to regions in supporting countries in planning and implementing HPV vaccine scale-up and to reach the adolescent girls that may be missed due to various equity barriers and pandemic disruptions,

  • Support regions to ensure countries develop high quality Gavi applications and revise National Immunization Strategies (NIS) to introduce HPV vaccine.
  • Provide targeted technical assistance to integrate existing immunization equity data and assessments in HPV vaccine introduction plans to ensure countries reach high-risk, out of school and marginalized girls with high coverage.
  • Support regions to mobilize multi-sectoral capacity to facilitate countries utilize the opportunity of HPV vaccine as an entry point to integrate other adolescent interventions and to strengthen life course immunization including Td boosters.

Develop and disseminate programmatic guidance for UNICEF regional and country offices to mobilize multi-sectoral integrated approaches in reaching adolescent girls and share the guidance with partners to inform similar global guidelines.

  • Develop internal programmatic guidance on multi-sectoral approaches under the guidance of Coverage & Equity team with inputs from the ROs, other teams, sections and programmes (Adolescent health, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Education, Nutrition, Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP), etc).
  • Develop a dissemination plan to introduce the multi-sectoral guidance to the UNICEF regions, countries and external partners.
  • Assist with the dissemination of the guidance through regional coordination platforms and other mechanisms.
  • Support developing a root cause analysis and its implementation in selected countries with low coverage to define equity, demand, gender and integration opportunities.
  • Coordinate with the Immunization Supply Chain (ISC) team to support in-country HPV vaccine supply security in through strengthening stock monitoring, implementing wastage reduction strategies, and testing the Controlled Temperature Chain (CTC) last mile delivery where feasible.

Support regional and country coordination and decision making for HPV vaccine scale-up through regional coordination mechanisms, Regional Working Groups (RWG), Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (RITAG), national immunization programme managers meetings, and similar events).

  • Participate in regional coordination mechanisms and provide guidance and technical assistance to facilitate country decision making.
  • Facilitate the organization of dedicated sessions to discuss HPV revitalization and available UNICEF support.
  • Identify remaining data and evidence gaps and needs on HPV vaccine introduction, reaching high coverage and integration with other interventions.

Support establishing consultant rosters and similar tools as needed to assist regions and countries in timely identifying and deploying the suitable capacity to meet the technical assistance needs for HPV vaccine introduction and coverage improvement.

  • Identify technical assistance needs of regional and country offices regarding HPV vaccine introduction and scale-up.
  • Support HQ in advertising and establishing a consultant roster as needed for the utilization of regions and countries.

Document regional and country experiences in introducing and scaling up HPV vaccine as part of the other adolescent interventions, and disseminate good practices and lessons learned in appropriate global and regional fora (Gavi HPV Sub-Team Regional Working Groups, Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Groups, EPI managers meetings, webinars, etc.)

  • Support countries to document lessons learned and good practices to roll-out the HPV vaccine.
  • Facilitate knowledge management across countries including the documentation and dissemination of promising practices including building on global and regional fora.
  • Assist with planning and implementation of knowledge sharing events to share lessons and good practices to facilitate south-south cooperation and cross-country learning.

Conduct periodic monitoring of country progress and report UNICEF data to joint monitoring databases and tools of Gavi partners

  • Collect monthly updates from Country Offices regarding progress against activities planned in their TCA proposals, progress of country programmes towards HPV vaccine introduction, challenges faced and needs for support.
  • Regularly provide UNICEF updates to the joint monitoring tools of Gavi Alliance partners.
  • Participate in the periodic calls and face-to-face meetings of the HPV Sub-Team and its working groups and provide UNICEF perspective and inputs.

Any other cross-cutting tasks to support the routine immunization coverage and equity team on new vaccine introduction.

  • This includes contributing to milestone and grant reporting, maintaining a repository of knowledge materials and periodic reports and presentations as needed.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in public health, pediatric health, family health, global/international health, health policy and/or management, health education, epidemiology or other health related sciences is required.
  • A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional work experience, especially in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating immunization programmes is required.
  • Knowledge and experience in supporting new vaccine introduction preferably in low-and middle-income country context, and familiarity with Gavi Alliance and its country support mechanisms is required.
  • Knowledge and experience with adolescent health or school health programmes and strategies preferably in a low-and middle-income county context is an asset.
  • Relevant working experience in a UN organization and familiarity with global immunization partners is considered as an asset.
  • Ability to travel for regional/country support and to attend meetings and events.
  • 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 (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (2)
  • 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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