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Behavior Change Communication Specialist

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date:

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Ever since COVID-19 was discovered in December 2019, and declared a pandemic in March 2020, the IRC has worked to keep its people safe, to continue urgently needed humanitarian programs around the world, and to launch new responses to the needs of those affected by COVID-19.The organization’s approach to COVID-19 risk mitigation and management has gradually evolved as more has been learnt about the virus and its impact, with much changing since March 2020. Significant progress has been achieved to vaccinate many millions of people against COVID-19; but the overwhelming majority of those vaccinated reside in the global north, leaving many hundreds of millions of people – including both employees and those we work to support – still waiting and in many cases unsure whether getting the vaccination is right or safe.

For the IRC to be able to achieve its mission to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their lives, the risk of COVID-19 spreading through our offices and teams must be mitigated. The greatest opportunity the IRC has for achieving this goal is by ensuring that its staff willingly receive one of the WHO-EUL approved COVID-19 vaccines. Because not all jurisdictions where IRC is an employer allows the organization to mandate vaccination for its employees, the IRC will need to rely on communicating accurate information, incentivizing vaccination, reducing barriers to access, and combating specific misinformation as vehicles to encourage this important behavior among our staff. For these reasons, the IRC is seeking the support of an experienced Behavior Change Communications Specialist to work with our country programs to develop locally relevant communications strategies.

Job Overview/Summary: Sitting within the Duty of Care team, the Behavior Change Communications Specialist will work with IRC’s global teams to provide evidence based, contextually relevant assistance in the development and implementation of theory driven behavior change campaigns for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. In addition, the Behavior Change Communications Specialist will assist country leadership to understand underlying causes of non-compliance of workplace risk mitigation measures and develop resources and implement behavior change campaigns accordingly. This role will work across a variety of geographical locations and contexts to provide contextually specific assistance and resources.


  • Design and implement country specific COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation campaigns and resources.
  • Develop and implement country specific behavior change campaign to help increase compliance with IRC’s office COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and to address COVID-19 misinformation. This will include the development of contextually relevant resources and tools.
  • Lead development and roll-out of tools facilitating collection of feedback from staff around knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID vaccination and other COVID-19 risk mitigation measures.
  • Provide technical support and guidance on established good practices as well as ideas, tools and approaches for behavior change communications interventions.
  • Develop case studies and materials documenting country-specific success stories and lessons learned.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports Directly to:Staff Health Advisor- Duty of Care
Position directly supervises:

Internal Contacts:

  • COVID-19 Leadership Team members
  • Country Program Teams: Primary – Country Directors, Senior Management Teams and relevant program staff
  • HQ Global Human Resources
  • Health Unit Technical Advisors and Senior Technical Advisors
  • Airbel Center
  • Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE) taskforce to ensure alignment and/or complementarity between staff-facing and client-facing messaging on COVID-19 vaccination and risk mitigation measures; exchange of new global resources and lessons learned.

External Contacts:relevant social and behavior change colleagues, associations and networks

Job Requirements:

  • Master’s in public health with a focus in Social and Behavior Change Communications.
  • 4-5 years of professional experience with at least 2 years working in international settings.
  • Skills and experience leading the design, creation of materials for, and implementation of public health behavior change communication campaigns in a variety of settings. Preferred candidates will have experience working with vaccine campaigns or in outbreak situations.
  • Familiar using theory driven and evidence-based approaches to developing behavior change campaigns
  • Familiar with Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE) approaches and best practices in outbreak settings.
  • Strong research, communication, facilitation, and presentation skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with multidisciplinary teams
  • Proficient writing and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to read, write and speak fluent English; additional language skills in French, Arabic and Spanish an advantage
  • Relevant computer software skills including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
  • Ability to build trust, operate with highest standards of integrity and be inspired by IRC’s humanitarian mission

Working Environment:The position will be remotely located with no travel expected.

Standards of Professional Conduct

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct.  These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability.  In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.

Gender Equality

IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Returning National Candidates:IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the West Africa Regional Office has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation,return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


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.

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