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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dakar
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Environment
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Legal - Broad
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2018-03-09

What does it mean?

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Internship to support the strengthening of menstrual hygiene management programming and policy at the country level in West and Central Africa, Dakar, Senegal

Dakar (Senegal)

Under the guidance of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene and the Gender Advisors, including collaboration with the Education section, the selected intern will support the West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) in strengthening MHM programming and policy for countries across the region.

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. 

For every child, dignity.

What is the context we are working in?

Millions of girls in low-resource and emergency contexts are without access to adequate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) facilities and supplies; they experience stigma and social exclusion while also forgoing important educational, social and economic opportunities. UNICEF's formative research in West Africa has revealed girls often do not understand what is happening to them when they begin their menses.[1] It can result in a challenging transition to adult roles and responsibilities and signals a girls' entry into a world in which her value is largely determined by her sexual and reproductive functions.[2] At the onset of menstruation, a girl's life often changes abruptly. Take a look at this instructional video, for more information:

Why would we like to engage you to support our work?

Under the guidance of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene and the Gender Advisors, including collaboration with the Education section, the selected intern will support the West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) in strengthening MHM programming and policy for countries across the region. He/She will use the MHM in 10 agenda as the basis for the work, along the global programme guidance on MHM programming.[3] 

His/Her technical assistance will offer invaluable support to the regional office for accelerating gender equality and girls empowerment across the region in the context of the regional Key Results for Children on Accelerating equitable access to sanitation and hygiene and on Quality Education, and in alignment with the ambition of the GAP targeted priorities and the West and Central Africa Investment Case for Adolescent Girls. 

How can you make a difference?

The overall purpose of the internship is to support UNICEF's West and Central Africa efforts in strengthening MHM policy and programming at the country level. This work will contribute to Regional Office's collaborative work on Key Results for Children (KRC) for West and Central Africa, with a focus on the key result on Sanitation & Hygiene and the key result on Quality Education.

Key activities and deliverable for the selected intern include:

  • Produce an analysis of MHM programming at country level, by liaising with the regional office and WASH, Gender and Education teams in Country Offices, in addition to reviewing documentation. This task will include:
    1. Desk review of annual reports, Country programme documents, mission reports, gender reviews, WinS studies, SMQs etc.;
    2. Design and carry out a survey and/or individual country interviews on MHM programming at country level; and
    3. Prepare a report and presentation on MHM country programming identifying: good practices, opportunities, and technical assistance requirements. 
  • Contribute to the development and adaptation of global guidance to meet country office needs in WCAR. This task will build on the guidance and fulfill the various needs for programming guidance within country contexts across the region.
  •  Develop an MHM supplement for the regional WinS bottleneck exercise performed in 2016.
  • Support the identification of 3-5 countries with strong readiness for enhanced programming to be supported by RO for resource mobilization. This task will include, preparing short profiles of the identified countries, outlining potential opportunities and interests of the different offices and including insightful innovations, as appropriate.

When would we like you to join?

 The position will begin in April 2018 for a period of 4 months.

How would you qualify to become a champion for every child?

We hope you have...

  • An advanced university degree in social sciences (or underway with your studies at the Master's level).
  • A first University Degree in a relevant discipline.
  • A minimum of 2-4 years of relevant professional experience in research, academia, or fieldwork.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English and French is required.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

What are the technical competencies required for this opportunity?

We hope your key competencies and assets are 

  • Analyzing
  • Learning and research
  • Creating and innovating
  • Following instructions and procedures
  • Adapting and responding to change
  • Coping with pressures and setbacks

View our competency framework at :

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

Additional remarks:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

The selected intern will be offered necessary and basic equipment and support (desk space, laptop, etc.)

A monthly stipend is offered for this position as a contribution towards living expenses for the duration of the internship.

Kindly note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

See attached the completed terms of reference: Download File ToR_Internship MHM_Final Version.pdf 

[1] Menstrual Hygiene in Schools in 2 countries of Francophone West Africa. Prepared for UNICEF by Laura Keihas, 2013

[2] Studies described that often girls feel shy or stressed at school during menstruation and participate less due to shame, fatigue or pain[2]  and many are concerned about leaks or stains as well as ill-equipped facilities causing them to miss class frequently.[2] In one such study, in Senegal, as many as 36% of girls stay away from school during menstruation; [2] while in another study in Niger and Burkina Faso, more than 75 % of girls reported to drop-out  due to a lack of hygiene facilities.[2] Even in schools, girls lack knowledge and information on their menstruation; and if menstrual hygiene is taught, it happens at a late stage in a girl's life. Although, girls prefer discussing menstruation with their peers or female teachers, many schools have few or no female teachers, especially at secondary school level and in remote and rural areas.

[3] The guidance is currently under development at UNICEF headquarters. 


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.

What does it mean?

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