Job no: 569378
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-3
Location: Malawi
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, health…

The UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2024-2028) works through a One-UN approach based on the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSCDF) Strategic Priorities. 2024-2028).  All four strategic priorities of the UNSCDF2024-2028 hold significance to UNICEF and the priorities identified for children: i) Economic Development, ii) Governance, iii) Human Capital Development, and iv) Climate Change. UNICEF co-leads the further elaboration and results in developing the Human Capital Development strategic priority. The intent of the UNICEF CPD 2024-2028 is fully aligned with these priorities, which are also directly linked to the pillars of Malawi Vision 2063, and the Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP, 2030). To this extent, UNICEF’s strategy for the CPD includes Child Survival and Development (Health, Nutrition and WASH), Education, Learning and Child Protection, Social Policy (Social Protection and Public Finance for Children), Gender Equality, Inclusion and Innovation within a robust evidence-informed environment. These are focus areas under the Human Capital Development Enabler of the MIP (2030). The Country Programme envisages the progressive fulfilment of the rights to survival, development, education, protection and participation of all children, including adolescents, especially the most vulnerable and those at risk of being left behind, in an inclusive, resilient and protective environment. Besides Malawi’s 2063 vision and 2021–2030 implementation plan (MIP), the African Union’s Agenda 2063; UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, Gender Action Plan III, Innovation Strategy; and the SDGs. The country programme includes child survival and development, learning, skills development and protection, and social policy. All components are supported by the programme and operational effectiveness and efficiency imperatives. Risk-informed programming across the humanitarian and development nexus in all three outcome areas will strengthen disaster preparedness, enhance climate adaptation/mitigation and response, and increase the resilience capacity of institutions, communities and young people. Programming aligns with UNICEF Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Transformative Agenda.

The Health section aims to support the Government of Malawi to provide high quality Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MNCAH) services to the women and children of Malawi. This includes strengthening of health systems to ensure that quality Primary Health Care (PHC) services are provided according to a defined Essential Benefit Package, using both facility and community platforms to build resilience and achieve Universal Health Coverage. Additionally, there is a focus on collaborating with district authorities to build capabilities within PHC on emergency preparedness and response and contribution towards reducing maternal and child mortality.

As the Health Specialist (Emergency), you will support the Ministry of Health, especially at district and sub-district level, to build emergency preparedness and response capabilities within the health system. You will also work closely with the UNICEF Emergency team to ensure the overall country level emergency preparedness and response capabilities are optimized. Additionally, you will provide technical guidance, operational and management support throughout the programming processes to ensure the right to health of the child is upheld even in emergencies.

How can you make a difference?

The Malawi Country Office offers an exciting and rewarding career opportunity for you to join our dynamic Health team where you will be responsible for coordinating UNICEF interventions such as capacity building on emergency preparedness and response, supporting the district and sub-district with the development of contingency and response plans as well as routine service continuity in the event of an emergency. Additionally, you will manage UNICEF supported interventions that contribute to building resilience and capacity of the existing health system. These efforts aim to support districts to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of the multiple emergencies on the health system. In this role, you will be working under the overall guidance and supervision of the Chief of Health and closely collaborating with the health, WASH, SBC, etc  colleagues and many external stakeholders including but not limited to the Government of Malawi, UN agencies, bilateral agencies and local and international NGO’s.

This position therefore offers a unique opportunity for a qualified, motivated and committed individual to make a significant impact on children’s right to high quality health care in emergency. By excelling professionally, you will contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children by delivering on the following key responsibility areas related to health in emergency programming, but not limited to:

  1. Support to programme development and planning:
  • Contribute to strategic planning and design of health programmes, aligning with organizational goals and national priorities and ensuring emergency preparedness and response are provided for in health section plans.

2. Programme management, monitoring, and delivery of results:

  • Establish monitoring mechanisms, evaluate programme progress, and identify areas for improvement in emergency response.
  • Monitor resource utilization and compliance of emergency grants, ensuring adherence to donor requirements and regulations.

3.Technical and operational support to programme implementation:

  • Provide guidance and support to partners on UNICEF policies and best practices.
  • Participate in discussions to promote health and development, draft policy papers, and contribute to emergency preparedness initiatives.

4.Networking and partnership building:

  • Foster partnerships with government counterparts, stakeholders, and global partners.
  • Facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building.
  • Advocate for programme goals through communication materials and participation in inter-agency discussions.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description Download File Classified – JD – Establishment – Health Specialist (Emergency), P3.pdf in order to view the full role and its requirements.

To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health/nutrition, pediatric health, family health, global/international health, epidemiology, or another relevant technical field.
  • A relevant medical degree would be an added advantage.


  • A minimum of five years of professional experience is required in public health and nutrition as well as emergency preparedness and response, which includes disease outbreaks like Cholera.
  • Proven experience in a health-related programme management cycle is essential.
  • Experience in working in a developing country as well as in sub-Saharan Africa is considered as an asset.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency is a strong asset.

Technical knowledge and skills:

  • Knowledge of UN IASC cluster approach is required (for candidates with no UN agency experience).
  • Strong organizational and project management skills are required.
  • Excellent communication skills to communicate effectively with UN Partners, donor, implementing partners and MoH is required.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision is required.
  • Excellent report writing skills is required.
  • Excellent computer skills (Excel, PowerPoint and Word) is required.
  • Strong data analytical skills is essential.


  • Fluency in English, both strong verbal and written skills, are essential.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) 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 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.


The position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

UNICEF’s active commitment towards diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children. For this position, eligible and suitable female candidates as well as suitable persons living with  disability are encouraged to apply.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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.

UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at http://www.whed.net/.

The vacancy announcement is open to UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing, fixed term appointments and staff with Temporary Appointments (TA), as well as other UNICEF and UN agency personnel, including candidates holding a TA, UNV and consultancy contract.

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

To effectively contribute to the delivery of results for the children of Malawi, the UNICEF Malawi Country Office operates within a dynamic and results-oriented setting. We foster an environment characterised by creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a commitment to professional growth, and a safe workspace. Consequently, we are actively searching for individuals who are driven to enact tangible change and dedicated to serving Malawi’s children with resourcefulness, resilience, agility, and a commitment to professional excellence.

Advertised: 02 Feb 2024 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 15 Feb 2024 South Africa Standard Time