Polio Outbreak Specialist - C4D - P3 - Temporary Appointment - Dakar - Senegal

Dakar

West and Central Africa is currently in the Endgame phase of polio eradication, but outbreaks continue to occur nevertheless. The Lake Chad Basin is currently responding for a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) outbreak. This ongoing response in the Lake Chad Basin is an opportunity to reinforce targeted interventions for polio vaccination. 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 VDPV and WPV within the countries of the sub-region. Though it is a rare occurrence, the appearance of cVDPVs clearly indicates the poor immunity level of populations in the community where it appears. As of March 2016, seven confirmed cases of cVDPV2 have been notified in Guinea and 2 VDPV2 in the DRC. Also, a WPV1 was reported in July 2016 in Borno, Nigeria. These cases are genetically linked to polioviruses that were circulating in Borno in 2011 revealing prolonged undetected indigenous transmission. To date, Nigeria has reported 4 cases of WPV. Additionally, cases of circulating vaccine derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) were detected in Borno in March 2016, again showing undetected transmission for prolonged period. A new cVDPV2 outbreak was reported in Borno in August 2016 and in Sokoto in October 2016. In this polio Endgame phase, stopping the VDPV2 and WPV1 outbreaks in Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin area is a top priority due to the high risk of further national and international spread. In that context, the Regional Office has a key role to play and ensure that the coordination task team received strong and adequate C4D support aiming to close the outbreak.

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For 70 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.

Purpose of the Position

West and Central Africa is currently in the Endgame phase of polio eradication, but outbreaks continue to occur nevertheless. The Lake Chad Basin is currently responding for a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) outbreak.

This ongoing response in the Lake Chad Basin is an opportunity to reinforce targeted interventions for polio vaccination. 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 VDPV and WPV within the countries of the sub-region. Though it is a rare occurrence, the appearance of cVDPVs clearly indicates the poor immunity level of populations in the community where it appears. As of March 2016, seven confirmed cases of cVDPV2 have been notified in Guinea and 2 VDPV2 in the DRC. Also, a WPV1 was reported in July 2016 in Borno, Nigeria. These cases are genetically linked to polioviruses that were circulating in Borno in 2011 revealing prolonged undetected indigenous transmission. To date, Nigeria has reported 4 cases of WPV. Additionally, cases of circulating vaccine derived polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2) were detected in Borno in March 2016, again showing undetected transmission for prolonged period. A new cVDPV2 outbreak was reported in Borno in August 2016 and in Sokoto in October 2016. In this polio Endgame phase, stopping the VDPV2 and WPV1 outbreaks in Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin area is a top priority due to the high risk of further national and international spread. In that context, the Regional Office has a key role to play and ensure that the coordination task team received strong and adequate C4D support aiming to close the outbreak.

C4D plays a vital role to inform and convince communities and its leaders about the reasons and rationale of an immediate, mass and back-to-back oral polio vaccine (OPV) campaigns. The advantages of C4D interventions are multiple; first, to inform and communicate with mobile populations including market vendors, traders and nomads, second; C4D interventions are critical to encourage community based surveillance and educate the population on Acute Flask Paralysis, and third; to inform the population that strengthening routine immunization can greatly contribute to the reduction of further campaigns, thus saving money and unnecessary disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The staff is responsible for supporting WCAR countries in C4D polio outbreak response, including playing an active role in the Lake Chad coordinated response (Designated Level 2 Emergency) and all other Polio outbreaks that may appear in the region.

The recruited staff will work under the general guidance and supervision of the Regional C4D-Polio & Immunization Specialist, and in close coordination with the Regional C4D advisor, senior C4D specialist in the Lake Chad Task Team, the C4D Polio Data Quality/M&E Specialist and the Regional Immunization section.

Duration : 9 months

Key Accountabilities and Duties & Tasks

On behalf of the regional office, the incumbent will undertake a roving technical support to the field and help countries to improve quality and overall social mobilization performance. This implies:

  1.  Provide support to Outbreak response focusing on the Lake Chad Basin during the first 6 months to contain and close the Borno WPV1 outbreak.

 

  •  Provide technical support to the 5 Lake Chad countries to develop Phase II Outbreak Response Plans with performance monitoring and accountability framework based on the Abuja and the Brazzaville Meetings' recommendations.
  • Support GPEI partners to expand access to unreached children: strengthen innovation to reach mobile and vulnerable populations along and across borders, within the Lake Chad basin area.
  • Provide an updated ground situation based on data analysis to the Country Representatives for decision-making and strengthening the accountability framework of the Country Task Forces.
  • Develop decentralized C4D review processes to analyse causes of missed children and sharpen strategies to reach them during SIAs as well linking them to the RI initiatives. Reinforce community based surveillance / monitoring, qualitative data collection and use (where needed).
  • Conduct monitoring missions to the 5 outbreak response countries to strengthen cross-border joint SIA activities, monitor the quality and timeliness of communication activities, with a special focus on mobile, vulnerable and deprived groups.
  • Support HR deployment for Lake Chad Basin polio outbreak response.

 2. Support the Lake Chad Task Team to strengthen capacity of frontline workers and provide field level support to organize cross-border coordination meetings.

  • Develop, organize and facilitate, as necessary and in cooperation with the COs, all training on evidence-based and measurable communication planning; strengthening interpersonal communication skills (IPC); conducting surveys and coordinating independent monitoring data analysis and special investigation tools for national government and civil society partners.
  • Ensure countries are trained on C4D components of the updated polio SOPs.
  • Support COs in the documentation of C4D initiatives/lessons learnt regarding the coordinated Lake Chad response (with focus on cross-border issues) and facilitate knowledge sharing between neighboring countries of the Lake Chad basin.

   3Support COs to improve C4D contribution to SIA quality improvement in outbreaks

 

  • Provide remote and in-country support to COs to strengthen performance monitoring of integrated C4D activities before, during and after campaigns using standardized data collection tools.
  • Support the activation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in all new outbreaks and HR deployment
  • Provide inputs related to C4D outbreak prevention and response strategies, capacities and investments into the polio legacy planning and business case.

   4. Review of Semester work plans in second half 2017 and first half 2018

 

  • Support Regional C4D Polio Specialist to ensure that countries' work plans are data driven, aligned to the given quality criteria, including for outbreaks. Take into account decentralized planning to ensure targeted interventions.
  • Review semester work plans' budgets, focusing on outbreak countries.

 The above activities and results will be coordinated with the Senior C4D Lake Chad basin Task Team member based in Ndjamena and the Regional C4D Polio Specialist in WCARO (who will liaise with the Regional Immunization Section to ensure complementarity and support to other high risk countries.)

CONDITIONS OF WORK

The position is based in the Regional office in Dakar, Senegal with a high component of travel in the Lake Chad basin countries (Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and CAR) during the first 6 months.

 Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced university degree in communication for development or the social/behavioural sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Health Education,) with emphasis on participatory communication, communication planning, social mobilization, participatory research.
  • A first University Degree with relevant professional experience may also be accepted in lieu of the Advanced Degree in social/behavioural sciences.
  • Knowledge and experience in Health programme management and Polio Outbreak response SOP implementation is an asset.
  • Five years progressively responsible work experience in polio strategic communication design and the planning and management of social development programmes,
  • Fluency in French and English is required.

 

 Competencies of Successful Candidate

  • Proven skills in communication, networking, advocacy and negotiation
  • Proven experience in social data methods and analysis, including participatory and qualitative methods such as Participatory Action Research, Appreciative Inquiry, Focus Group Discussion, etc.
  • Experience of the social, political and economic environment of West and Central Africa
  • Experience in emergencies will be an asset.
  • Ability to express clearly and concisely ideas and concepts in written and oral form
  • Computer skills, including internet navigation, and various office applications. Skills in knowledge management and in UNICEF electronic knowledge management platform are an asset.

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication
  • Working with People
  • Drive for Results

Functional Competencies

  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts 
  • Relating and Networking
  • Applying Technical Expertise
  • Analysing
  • Creating and Innovating

To view our competency framework, please click here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dakar
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication
  • Closing Date: 2017-03-16

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