Fixed Term: Programme Specialist (Polio), P-4, Peshawar, Pakistan, # 111987

UN Children's Fund, Baluchistan, Pakistan
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Job Summary

Job Description

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, Health!

Pakistan was the sixth country in the world to sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, less than one year after it was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. However, children and adolescents living in Pakistan still face acute challenges.

UNICEF supports the Government of Pakistan to accelerate progress for children, work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help children realize their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Children. This will be made through, amoNGOthersthings, strong partnerships with provincial authorities, teachers and health professionals, frontline workers and social mobilisers, communities and families, and of course the children and adolescents themselves. 

In particular, UNICEFwill work so that:

  • Every child survives and thrives -- being in good health,immunised, protected from polio and accessing nutritious food.
  • Every child learns.
  • Every child is protected from violence and exploitation and registered at birth.
  • Every child lives in a safe and clean environment, with access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

To learn more about UNICEF’s work in Pakistan, please visit the country website videos on YouTube and Vimeo

UNICEF Pakistan is looking for a Champion as Programme Specialist (Polio Team Lead) to strategically work for Polio Eradication in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The Programme Specialist shall be based in Peshawar field office, reports to the Chief of Field Office (CFO) for a general guidance and supervision and will work under technical guidance of the Polio Team Lead and work within the provincial polio Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) framework and itsrelevant Areas of Work or/ Core Groups an Task Teams to support eradication of polio virus from Pakistan.

The Programme Specialist will be responsible for the work of Polio Eradication Team in Peshawar office by advising and supervising them and facilitating their work. He/she will make independent decisions on corrective actions necessary to achieve the objective in his/her area of responsibility. He/she supports the programme to achieve cessation of transmission of Polio from Pakistan by the year 2022 through supplementary immunization and strengthening routine immunization.

How can you make a difference?


Under the general supervision of the Chief of Field Office, Peshawar, and in close coordination with the Polio Team Lead, Islamabad, WHO, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Secretariat Office, the Provincial Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for Polio Eradication and the Director of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the incumbent will be responsible for supporting Polio Teams in their day to day polio eradication activities and perform the following key functions / accountabilities:

1. Programme management and planning

  • Provides strategic leadership, management, and supervision of all UNICEF polio staff assigned to the Peshawar Field Office. Oversee activities of staff to support polio eradication activities in Pakistan.
  • Organize and supervise various elements of the polio eradication programme in the province and specially: a. Strategic planning of polio eradication in the province b. Coordinate, direct and monitor the work of UNICEF staff and non-staff working for polio in the province c. Prepare budget requirements and oversee expenditure for polio eradication activities d. Develop and participate in regular evaluation of the programme. Ensure follow-up of the implementation of the various elements of the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for Polio eradication and recommendations of technical bodies (TAG).

2. Advisory services and technical support

  • Develops, monitors and evaluates activities to decrease the number of missed children during campaigns, and ensures the sharing and coordination of experience, new methods and approaches to access to government officials, programme staff, WHO, and other UNICEF partners. Supports the effective operation of the Emergency Operations Centre; Reviews COMNet deployment criteria, monthly activities plans, social profiles in all priority 1 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP); Lead the collaboration with Routine Immunization by developing integrated work plan, providing technical support (e.g. assessment and monitoring) with polio asset, supporting capacity building, integrating communication, etc; Advise Provincial Emergency Operations Centre and health authorities on various aspects of Polio eradication in the province
  • In collaboration with WHO and government programme officers, leads the design and management as well as facilitates the implementation of communication, advocacy and resource mobilization plans of action aiming at: (a) behaviour development/change at the individual/household levels; (b) social mobilization of civil society organizations; and (c) increased community participation in development programmes (d) mobilization of resources to support the implementation of work. Responsible for programme management of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) polio programmes, including the oversight of communication activities within the programme; Coordinates technical support to government counterparts in the development and appropriate use of communication for social development, aimed at both individual behaviour change and collective actions. Works closely with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Emergency Operations Centre and partners; Liaise with different EPI/PEI (Polio Eradication Initiative) partners and enlist continued commitment of national local authorities to stated goals.

3. Programme monitoring and delivery of results

  • Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks and performance indicators and measurements to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the polio eradication programme in Pakistan.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews, national and subnational campaigns, with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions for polio eradication;
  • Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in polio programme management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve polio eradication goals in Pakistan.
  • Actively monitor the polio eradication programme through field visits, surveys and/or exchange of information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress, identify bottlenecks, potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Plan, monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of polio programme programme resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations/procedures and donor commitments, standards of accountability and integrity, ensuring timely reporting and liquidation of resources.
  • Prepare regular and mandated programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.

4.Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Develops and manages partnerships with government departments/sectors, religious groups, traditional leaders, teachers, artists, and other organized groups in the community, as well as civil society organizations, to orient them on provincial programme goals and to solicit their involvement in the implementation of the provincial programmes. This includes a consortium of civil society organizations which are working to strengthen the health system.
  • Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with polio eradication programme partners and health sector government counterparts, national. provincial and district level stakeholders, as well as allies, donors, and academia. Through active networking, advocacy and effective communication, build capacity and exchange knowledge and expertise to facilitate the achievement of polio eradication programme goals;
  • Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support fund raising for polio eradication programme;
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate provincial and country office level discussions and planning on polio-related issues to collaborate with partners/colleagues on preparation and implementation of the National Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for Polio Eradication, ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the process in development planning and agenda setting.

5.Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable polio eradication programme initiatives.
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting edge practices in the management of the polio eradication programme. Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Contribute to the development of policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable polio eradication programme in Pakistan;
  • Lead, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on polio eradication. Train and build national capacity in the area of assignment; Coordinates the development of training materials and activities to build capacity in participatory and behavior communication at various government levels and with key stakeholders in support of programme sustainability;

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: Social Sciences, International Relations, Government, Public Administration, Public Policy, Social Policy, Social Development, Community Development, Public health (preferably in epidemiology or child health), pediatric health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health education, or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: public health (including EPI) planning and management, maternal and neonatal health care, or health emergency/humanitarian preparedness.
  • Experience in Polio Eradication is considered as an asset.
  • Experience working in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language (Pashtu and Urdu) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are Leading and supervising, Formulating strategies and concepts, Analyzing, Relating and networking, Persuading and Influencing, Deciding and Initiating action, Applying technical expertise,Creating and Innovating.

View our competency framework 

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. Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.