Closing Date : 2018-02-26
Duty Station : Panama City, Panama
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Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Panama
Closing date: 26 Feb 2018

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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Title: Zika Care and Support Specialist

Contract Type: Temporary Appointment

Proposed Level: P-3

Duration: 364 days

Duty Station: LACRO, Panama City, Panama

Supervisor: Technical supervision by RegionalECD Specialist and operational guidance by Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist in close coordination with Regional Health Advisor

BACKGROUND

The last few years presented new and continuing challenges in global public health. The recent outbreaks of Zika, cholera, yellow fever and others are reminders of the importance of surveillance, preparedness, and a well-coordinated response to public health emergencies in the world, including to avoid losing important gains in the health of children and women acquired along several decades.

Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) is the most ZIKV- affected region in the world. The latest PAHO report (5th of October 2017), shows a total of 802,782 suspected and confirmed ZIKV cases reported by 48 countries and territories in the region, and 3,689 cases of Congenital Zika Virus Syndrome (CZS) have been reported in 26 countries and territories. While many countries have reported a decrease in new cases and the region is going through the transition from epidemic to endemic, the number of infections and the number of new-borns with CZS continues to rise, with pregnant women and women of childbearing age remaining highest-risk groups. Regarding the humanitarian impact of the epidemic specifically on children and their families, the consequences include a wide range of negative outcomes at the psychological, social and economic level. Pregnant women with ZIKV face a high level of uncertainty, stress and fear, as it is not yet clear what risk factors increase the likelihood of having a baby with CZS. Once a baby is born with CZS, families potentially face other problems such as rejection from parents, relatives and neighbours, mostly related to stigma and in some cases mothers and their child affected are abandoned. In terms of economic impacts, mothers usually become full time caregivers, leaving their jobs in most cases and negatively impacting the financial status of the family.

UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean region is implementing the first phase of the regional ZIKV response plan from 2016 to the end of 2017, with interventions in several countries in the region. The goal of the response is to enhance UNICEF s contribution for the: prevention of the spread of ZIKV in highly vulnerable groups (in particular pregnant women); mitigation of its impact on young children and their families, and promotion of the child s development and inclusion. UNICEF is working to support national efforts, and in close collaboration with PAHO/WHO, international partners, and other relevant stakeholders, building on its comparative advantage and mandate, to:

1. Prevent transmission of ZIKV through:

Personal protection (in particular for pregnant women, Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) and adolescent girls of childbearing age) through community engagement and Communication for Development (C4D) activities that will support behaviour change to prevent the spread of the virus.Vector control (reducing breeding sites/vector density) and C4D activities through national capacity development of government institutions and NGO partners.

2. Support the provision of non-clinical child care and family support to those affected by ZIKV, including a comprehensive, multi-sectoral and multi-level approach to address the long-term impacts of the conditions of the Congenital Zika Syndrome, other congenital malformations and/or developmental disabilities.

The second phase of the UNICEF Zika response will be from January 2018 to September 2019 and it provides important and timely opportunities for the continuation and expansion of actions in the LAC Region and for strengthening first phase integrated child care and family support response strategies, promoting country level capacities and coordination, and expanding the utilization of initial pilot interventions in Care & Support to guarantee family-based interventions for the development and inclusion of those young children affected by the Congenital ZIKV and other congenital disorders.

The incumbent will provide technical advice to ensure a more systematic link between the Child Care and Family Support actions of the Zika Response at both country and regional levels, with the LAC regional UNICEF Strategic programme priorities in the fields of ECD, Health, and Social Protection, including those related to child disability and family support components. Through this effort, special emphasis will be required to mainstream Zika Care & Support actions in the priority 8 countries to guarantee a sustainable intervention package for those children and families affected by Zika congenital syndrome, while expanding more integrated, life-course ECD approaches to reach other young children with developmental disabilities and their families. In addition, as young children affected by Zika and other congenital disorders grow older, actions will be developed to fulfill their continual requirements As part of UNICEF ECD programming, attention should be given to designing and implementing strategies for preparing young children with developmental disabilities, their families and ECD services for supporting more inclusive, transitioning processes for these young children across the early stages of the life-course, aimed at guaranteeing that all children are guaranteed the right to: survive, thrive, develop to their potential, and learn, while being protected against violence and abuse.

PURPOSE

Under the technical supervision of the Regional ECD Specialist and the operational guidance of the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist in collaboration with the Regional Health Advisor, the Zika Care and Support Specialist will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of the ZIKV response for all components pertaining to Care and Support in countries, with the vision to mainstream these initiatives in line with UNICEF Regional Programme priorities and as part of the Zika country annual work plans with emphasis in 8 priority countries[1]. The Zika Care and Support Specialist shall provide the technical support to the strategic implementation and monitoring of the care and support component of UNICEF ZIKV regional response plan, in support of national plans. This includes providing multi-country technical support and capacity building assistance for care and support (C&S) actions, with a priority in 8 countries.

The Zika Care and Support Specialist will provide technical support to UNICEF Country Offices in the multiple components of non-clinical child care and family support for those affected by the Zika Virus. Assistance will focus on responding to specific requests of UNICEF COs, in aspects related to the implementation and evaluation of pilot experiences for expanded utilization, increasing internal (UNICEF) and external (partner and counterparts) capacity, additional material preparation, while promoting further cooperation between countries. Under the operational guidance of the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist and the technical supervision of the Regional ECD Specialist, the incumbent will contribute to the technical coordination efforts with partners at regional level and in further development of related policies, construction of inter-sectoral approaches and capacity-building strategies, along with assisting in the monitoring of the implementation of the care and support component of UNICEF ZIKV regional response plan. For the 2nd phase of the Zika Response strategy, emphasis will be placed on mainstreaming Child Care and Family Support components of the Zika Response as part of UNICEF regional and CO ECD, Health and Disability programming in the 8 priority countries.

[1] Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Peru and Paraguay

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES AND TASKS

Support the implementation and monitoring of the non-clinical child care and family support component of the UNICEF ZIKV response strategy in LAC and its regional annual work plan, under the technical supervision of the regional ECD specialist and in close coordination with the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist.Under the guidance of the ECD Specialist, provide technical assistance and orientation to UNICEF country offices for non-clinical child care and family support components.Assist UNICEF COs in developing and mainstreaming different elements of the ZIKV child care and family support strategies within the Country Offices annual workplans, as described in related UNICEF global and regional strategic priorities, technical guidelines and programming notes.Assist the roll out and documentation of capacity building initiatives, in child care and family support planning, monitoring and evaluation as well as other approaches at regional and country level, including the further development of integrated Child Care and Family Support actions as part of the Care for Child Development package, incorporation of Community-Based Rehabilitation components and validation of WHO Zika Toolkit utilization.Ensure that relevant information, documentation of related interventions, lessons learned, resource materials and data from COs are collected and analyzed for further planning, review of advances and bottlenecks for existing model development, and additional material preparation.Support Monitoring and Evaluation exercises, including country program reviews and mid-term/annual reviews and evaluations to assess and report on outcome of child care and family support at regional and country levels. Recommend timely action to ensure the achievement of results as planned and time and efficient use of allocated resources. Integrate/disseminate lessons learned in planning and improvements of actions at regional and country level to ensure a results-based programmatic approach.Under the technical supervision of the Regional ECD specialist and in close coordination with the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist, follow-up and maintain communications with technical teams working on C&S in COs, in aspects related to child care and family support component of the response.Provide technical advice and orientation for the development, review and application of C4D materials related to child care and family support, in collaboration with C4D specialists.Provide inputs for and/or prepare reports, presentations and briefings, under the technical supervision of the regional ECD specialist and in coordination with the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist as well as technical units in LACRO, on RO and COs progress towards achieving results of child care and family support components for those young children affected by the conditions of CZS and other congenital disorders, including reporting to donors, partners and governments.Under the operational guidance of the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist and the technical supervision of the regional ECD specialist, promote and contribute in the technical coordination mechanisms with partners at regional level (PAHO, Save the Children, Plan International, USAID, ASSIST, and other relevant organizations), training centers and universities to develop a sustainable strategy for supporting information gathering, analysis and dissemination, capacity-building, material preparation, on Zika related child care and family support aspects.Undertake CO field visits to support and provide technical assistance and quality assurance to COs on strategies linked to mainstreaming within existing programme priorities actions to achieve proposed CO results on non-clinical child care and family support for ZIKV related interventions, including children affected by other congenital conditions and developmental disabilities.Under the operational guidance of the Health Emergencies and Zika Specialist and the technical supervision of the regional ECD specialist in collaboration with the Regional Health Advisor, support technical coordination efforts with other sections in the RO to incorporate gender and social protection components in the design and implementation of child care and family support interventions as part of in the LAC Zika Response.

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND COMPETENCIES

Education:

Advanced university degree in social sciences, public health, and/or other related fields (Education, ECD, Disabilities).

Work Experience:

At least 5 years or more of relevant professional work experience in fields related to public health, ECD, childhood disability, family support, and early/primary education.Professional experience working in developing countries (preferably in the region), with an in-depth understanding of ECD, child disability and early intervention, family support and empowerment, and related fields.Country and/or regional programme experiences with UNICEF or similar organizations.Experiences in planning and managing intersectoral initiatives in the fields of ECD, early intervention and family support, childhood disabilities, and other related interventions.Networking experience with international organizations, universities, NGOs and other, non-traditional knowledge centres in related fields.

Languages:

Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Fluency in Portuguese and/or French is an asset.

Technical Knowledge:

Professional technical knowledge/expertise in Early Childhood Development and Child Disability with emphasis in Early Childhood Development and family support.Extensive knowledge of UNICEF programme work in the LAC region in the areas of health, ECD, disability and/or early/primary education, with an understanding of related institutional priorities

Other skills and Attributes:

Capacity to work in stressful conditionsCapacity to work autonomously and with minimum supervisionWillingness to travel extensively through the LAC-regionFlexibility and adaptability to shifting conditions and work demands.Capacity to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with RO and CO colleagues and external partners.High level of Integrity and commitment to UNICEF s mission and professional values.Analytical and conceptual ability, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.

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.

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

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.

Remarks:

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


How to apply:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=510628

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