Health & Nutrition Officer (NO-1), Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico [Temp Appointment]
The Health and Nutrition Officer will work closely with Government and implementing partner NGOs in the health and nutrition sector, on the implementation of interventions aimed at strengthening health and nutrition services for the most vulnerable children and mothers. The Health and Nutrition Officer is expected to bring expert technical knowledge to consolidate and improve health and nutrition interventions in Tapachula, one of the key locations where UNICEF Mexico operates.
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.
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For every child, health
The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, nutrition, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.
Job organizational context:
Mexico is affected by the triple burden of malnutrition, including undernutrition, micronutrients deficiencies and overweight and obesity. Undernutrition in the form of stunting was significantly reduced since the 1990s, but in the context of the Covid-19, the levels started to increase again, especially among the most vulnerable population. Anaemia is an important proxy indicator of micronutrients deficiencies, and affects over one out of three children aged 1 to 4 years, and over one out of three pregnant women. Overweight and obesity continue increasing, and today affect over 40% of children and adolescent, making Mexico one of the countries with the highest levels in the world.
Taking this context into consideration, UNICEF included nutrition as one of its four main outcomes for its Country Programme 2020-2025 in Mexico to address all forms of malnutrition, with a focus on overweight and obesity. The approach for this outcome area will be to adopt complementary lines of action under three strategic priorities to achieve the following: (i) the health system has improved capacity to adequately prevent, diagnose, and monitor all forms of malnutrition in children and adolescents; (ii) children and adolescents grow up in enabling environments that promote adequate nutrition, practices related to safe water consumption and physical activity; and (iii) more parents and caregivers have improved behaviour towards maternal, child and adolescent nutrition and feeding practices.
Since 2021, due to a changing context, UNICEF Mexico has decided to include new maternal and child health interventions in its Nutrition programme, under the strategic priority (i), related to health system’s strengthening. In Mexico, maternal mortality has drastically increased between 2019 and 2021, reaching a pick that was not seen in Mexico during the past 20 years. At the same time, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality have also worsened, bringing new challenges to the health system. This rise in maternal and child mortality and morbidity during the pandemic, was accompanied by a systematic drop in health and nutrition services coverage. Therefore, UNICEF has started an operation to improve quality and coverage of maternal and child health and nutrition services, targeting the most vulnerable mothers and children, and especially the population on the move, including migrant population and internally displaced persons.
Under the overall leadership of the Chief of Nutrition, this ambitious agenda will require the support of a Health and Nutrition Office (NOA - TA) with strong technical, networking and partnership building skills to achieve the expected results under strategic priority (i). The Health and Nutrition Officer will work closely with Government and implementing partner NGOs in the health and nutrition sector, on the implementation of interventions aimed at strengthening health and nutrition services for the most vulnerable children and mothers. The Health and Nutrition Officer is expected to bring expert technical knowledge to consolidate and improve health and nutrition interventions in Tapachula, one of the key locations where UNICEF Mexico operates.
How can you make a difference?
Purpose of the assignment:
Health & Nutrition Officer provides professional technical assistance and support for programme/project design, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and administration of programme/project activities, including data analysis, progress reporting, knowledge networking and capacity building, in support of achievement of planned objectives of the work plan, aligned with Health & Nutrition programme goals and strategy.
The Health & Nutrition Officer based in Tapachula, under direct supervision of the Chief of Field Office – Tapachula, and under technical supervision of the Chief Nutrition and the Nutrition Officer, will provide overall technical assistance and support to Government counterparts, partner NGOs and UNICEF Chief of Field Office, in the implementation of the UNICEF Health & Nutrition interventions in Tapachula and more broadly in the State of Chiapas. UNICEF Health and Nutrition interventions here mainly focus on improving quality and coverage of maternal, new-born and child health and nutrition services to vulnerable population (especially migrant and internally displaced people), in strict collaboration with local authorities and partner NGOs.
Coaching of implementing partners and networking with local authorities to monitor and ensure quality of the programme will be a key component of the work. Additionally, the Health & Nutrition Officer is also expected to provide technical support in Grant management, including donors’ reporting and proposals development, in collaboration with teams based in Mexico City and in the field offices.
The duration of the post is for 6 months initially (up to 31 December 2022, but with possibility of extension based on performance and funds availability.
Key accountabilities and duties & tasks:
Accurate information, data analysis, and documentation are timely made available to contribute to situation analysis, sectoral input and reporting.
- Assists the preparation and periodic update of the Situation Analysis by compiling Health & Nutrition data, analysing and evaluating relevant information and providing the technical input in a timely and accurate manner.
- Drafts chapters, prepares statistical data reports, and assists with preparation of sectoral input to the programme documents as required.
- Contributes to the consultation and coordination with key partners at all levels.
2. Technical assistance are provided in the implementation of integrated Health & Nutrition approaches through participation and collaboration with internal and external partners.
- Provides technical assistance in the integration of the Health & Nutrition programme with other sectors in collaboration with other UNICEF sectors, particularly Health, Nutrition, CSD, HIV/AIDS. WASH, and programme communication.
- Contributes to build on intersectoral experience and establish partnerships to promote innovative approaches to address immediate and underlying determinants of maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition, recognizing that health and nutrition outcomes are not the results of action in the health and nutrition sectors alone.
- Assists in the design, planning, monitoring and evaluation of the Health & Nutrition programme to be implemented in the locality.
- Supports the improvement of programme delivery with emphasis on sustainability of intervention and community participation based on Human Rights framework and cross sector approach to programming and Community Capacity Development.
3. Work plan and objectives are effectively implemented and planned results are timely delivered through technical support and coordination.
- Assists in the development of the sectoral work plan and technical decisions as well as for administration, implementation and monitoring of sectoral project activities. Analyses data and information, and drafts progress reports; drafts changes in project work plans, as required. Monitors to ensure objectives and targets are timely met and achieved, through effective coordination and collaboration, by participating in a teamwork of professional and support staff.
- Assists in the planning and organizing training/development activities to upgrade the capacity of the Country Office staff as well as government and NGOs in the programme development, implementation and management of Health & Nutrition programme.
- Assists in Identifying training needs and conducts relevant orientation, workshop, training and learning/development activities for the staff as well as for government personnel and beneficiaries, in collaboration with knowledge institutions.
4. Project efficiency and effectiveness are enhanced through effective implementation follow-up.
- Provides timely implementation follow-up, including monitoring UNICEF inputs, local conditions and resources, flow of supply and non-supply assistance, and project status to build on project efficiency and effectiveness.
- Assists in identification and selection of Health & Nutrition supplies and equipment. Follows up on delivery of cash assistance and liquidation of advances and proper planning, delivery and use of supply component of the project.
- Ensures that activities are in accordance with plans of action. Records information on utilization of resources and distribution of supplies.
5. Project implementation progress is monitored for adjustment and improvement of program delivery and sustainability. Gender/sex disaggregated data and inputs provided relevant to the Health & Nutrition programme.
- Participates in the field visits to UNICEF project sites for monitoring project activities and local conditions, and follows up with local government counterparts and other partners on project implementation.
- Assists in identifying necessary action for programme adjustments, acceleration, improvement and sustainability.
- Assists government counterparts and other partners in the planning and management of Health and Nutrition Programme. Reports to supervisor and/or Head of Office the outcome of programme monitoring and review meetings with Government counterparts and all other relevant partners. Drafts changes in programme work plans as required. Support maintenance of information system for monitoring gender/sex disaggregated data.
6. Transparency is ensured for supply and non-supply assistance and disbursement of programme funds for Health & Nutrition.
- Coordinating with Operations and Supply staff on supply and non-supply assistance activities, ensures UNICEF and Government partner and all implementing partners accountability. Liaises with local authorities to ensure timely submission of financial requests and reports.
- Monitors disbursements of funds, ensuring those activities are within established plans of action and programme budget allotments; and to orientate and train Government and UNICEF implementing partners in UNICEF supply and non-supply policies and procedures. Drafts financial status reports for management as required.
7. Effective partnership and working relationships are maintained for advocacy, technical coordination, information sharing and knowledge networking.
- Exchanges information and knowledge with other programmes to contribute to achievement of overall country programme objectives. Assists in establishing effective monitoring, knowledge database/network and reporting systems to ensure the availability of current and accurate programme information/data, and contributes to the development of communication materials and strategies to support advocacy and community participation for Health & Nutrition; and to widen partnership with all stakeholder at national, regional, district, community and household levels as well as with funding partners including the private sector in order to accelerate achievement of Health and Nutrition related MDGs goals.
- Keeps close contacts with external counterparts, including those of the UN and national partners, in order to improve the ability to collect and disseminate relevant data, exchange information on programme/project development and implementation. Shares knowledge, information, experience and lessons learned.
8. Up-to-date programme information is kept available and reports prepared to support the Health & Nutrition programme by the effective implementation of integrated monitoring system.
- In consultation with monitoring and evaluation colleagues, conducts accurate and timely monitoring and data collection, and supports an integrated monitoring system, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
- Assists with partners to ensure that monitoring systems are properly designed, and that data collection and analysis from field visits are coordinated and standardised across programmes to feed into to programme performance monitoring.
- Analyses monitoring data and provides feed-forward or recommends adjustment as appropriate to ensure achievement of programme objectives.
- Assists in the timely preparation of annual sector status reports in compliance with the established guidelines and procedures. Assists in the drafting and preparation of programme reports for management, Board, donors, budget reviews, programme analysis, and annual reports, as required.
9. Emergency preparedness is maintained, and in emergencies, emergency responses are effectively provided.
- Assists in the implementation of emergency preparedness plan relating to Health & Nutrition. In case of emergency, assists in monitoring and assessing the nature and extent of the emergency in the assigned area.
- Provides assistance to the Country Office as required In line with the Core Commitments for Children (CCCs) in Humanitarian Action, strengthens partnerships with the Health and Nutrition humanitarian actors s within the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).
10. Other assigned duties and responsibilities are effectively accomplished.
- Performs any other duties and responsibilities assigned as appropriate to the purpose of this post, and delivers the results as required.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
The scope of the job duties range from proper data collection and analysis, the timely preparation of routine, concise and accurate monitoring reports, including monitoring project status and the flow of supply and non supply assistance, recommending appropriate adjustments as required, to preparation of timely and accurate budget reports.
The job requires primarily professional analytical and contributory technical work, including collection and assembly of data and background information; prepares tables, graphs or other statistical data for technical review and monitoring purposes. Individual decisions will be mostly technical judgement on the processing of the work, subject to the consent from the supervisor. The work must contribute to the achievement of team’s planned objectives at the professional quality level. The supervisor guides and oversees the work process, progress and end-results.
Professional support work includes administration of ongoing programmes/projects within established rules and regulations.
Education: University degree in Public Health and Nutrition, Child Development, Social Development, Community Development, or other relevant disciplines (for example, Medicine).
- One year of professional work experience in planning, programming, implementation monitoring and evaluation of health programmes. Professional work experience in a programme management function or a technical expert capacity in child survival & health care.
- Over three years of professional experience in the health and nutrition sectors is desirable, as well as experience in health system strengthening, collaborating with Government authorities.
- Developing country work experience or field work experience is an asset.
- Background/familiarity with Emergency is an advantage.
Language Requirements: Fluency in Spanish and proficiency in English is required.
For every Child, you demonstrate...
UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability (CRITA) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: https://uni.cf/UNICEFValues
UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others.
During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.
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.
We offer 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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 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’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable male/female are encouraged to apply.
- Candidates must be citizen of Mexico to be considered eligible for this post.
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
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.