Apply for a Health Specialist (Health Systems Strengthening) NO-3 in Abuja, Nigeria

jobsnearmeafric United Nations Children's Fund

Closing date: Sunday, 11 February 2024

Health Specialist (Health Systems Strengthening), NO-3, Abuja, Nigeria, #63689 (Open to Nigerian nationals only)

Job no: 569263

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Nigeria

Division/Equivalent: Dakar (WCAR), Senegal

School/Unit: Nigeria

Department/Office: Abuja, Nigeria

Categories: Health

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, Life

UNICEF is committed to realizing the rights of all children to help them build a strong foundation and have the best chance of fulfilling their potential. We believe that ensuring a happy and healthy child begins before birth: from ensuring his/her mother has access to good neonatal care and delivering in a clean, safe environment to reaching adulthood as a responsible, healthy and informed parent to the next generation. This journey relies on a child having access to shelter, good nutrition, clean water and sanitation, healthcare, and education.

To find out more about UNICEF’s work in Nigeria, please visit:

How can you make a difference?

The Health Specialist (Health System Strengthening, HSS) reports to the Health Manager (Systems Strengthening) for guidance and general supervision and works closely with the Chief of Health of UNICEF Nigeria. The Specialist supports the development and preparation of the PHC program/s and is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on program progress of the PHC/HSS output of the health program of UNICEF Nigeria.

The Specialist provides technical guidance and management support throughout the programming processes to facilitate the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results-based-management approaches and methodology (RBM) and organizational Strategic Plans and goals, standards of performance, and accountability framework.


Nigeria has embarked on an ambitious reform of the health sector, focused on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and strengthening Primary Health Care (PHC) under a sector-wide approach (swap). In 2023, two significant milestones were achieved: the development of the “health blueprint” (Nigeria Health Sector Renewal Investment Program, HSRIP) outlining sector priorities, approved by the National Council of Health in November 2023, and the signing of the Compact among states, the FMoH (Federal Ministry of Health), and partners on UHC day, December 12th, 2023.

The health section of UNICEF Nigeria is prioritizing these efforts by providing technical assistance on Primary Health Care (PHC) and Health System Strengthening (HSS), and by implementing catalytic flagship programs, such as the PHC Leadership Challenge and PHC Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in 14 states, intending to strengthen PHC in key states based on evidence and good practices.

The health specialist will lead these processes in close collaboration with the health manager (system strengthening) and Chief of Health to maximize results and drive sustainable, evidence-based change in Primary Health Care and HSS at federal, state, and Local Government Area (LGA) levels in Nigeria.

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

The specialist (health system strengthening) provides comprehensive support for program development, planning, and management of the UNICEF health programme. This includes contributing to situational analysis, formulating strategic plans, and aligning proposals with UNICEF’s overarching goals and national priorities. The specialist will collaborate with internal and external partners for program integration and coherence, including supporting the swap development and the implementation of PHC flagship programmes.

The specialist will contribute to setting benchmarks, and indicators, and conducting evaluations to assess progress and identify areas for improvement. He/she will provide technical and operational support to program implementation, offering guidance to stakeholders, and actively participating in emergency preparedness initiatives. The specialist will contribute to partnership building, emphasizing effective collaboration with government counterparts, stakeholders, and global partners. Lastly, the specialist will foster innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building, promoting best practices, research, and implementing initiatives to enhance stakeholder competencies for sustainable PHC and health-related outcomes.

To view the full job description, please refer to the attached…. Health Specialist Level 3.doc

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

 An Advanced University Degree in public health, family health, health research, global/international health, health policy and/or management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health financing health education, epidemiology, or other health-related science is required.
 A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in public health/ planning and management and/or in relevant areas of Primary Health Care, maternal and neonatal health care, health governance, health financing, health emergency/humanitarian preparedness
 Relevant experience in health program/project development and management in any UN system agency or organization, or multi-lateral organization, is an asset.
 Fluency in English is required.
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People, and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

eCxQcOj u3B8R Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
 Works Collaboratively with others (1)
 Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
 Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
 Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
 Drives to achieve impactful results (1)
 Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic. 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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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 appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees who 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.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Jan 29 2024 W. Central Africa Standard Time


Application close: Feb 11 2024 W. Central Africa Standard Time


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