Closing date: Tuesday, 23 April 2024


Description of assignment title: Health Expert

Assignment country: Botswana

Expected start date: 05/01/2024

Sustainable Development Goal: 3. Good health and well-being

Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Expert

Host entity: UNICEF BWA

Type: Onsite

Duration: 12 months

(with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Gaborone


Mission and objectives

UNICEF’s fundamental mission is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and 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, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequities — will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential and 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.


Despite achieving near universal access to health services and 95 per cent coverage of skilled birth attendance, Botswana’s progress in reducing neonatal, infant, under-five and maternal mortality over the last three decades has been slow. Mortality rates have stagnated over the past decade, although the limited availability of recent mortality data makes reliable estimates difficult. Neonatal deaths account for 70 per cent of under-five mortality and are caused by prematurity, birth asphyxia, sepsis and congenital anomalies. An estimated 13 per cent of new-borns are of low birth weight. Adolescent girls (15-19 years) and young women (20-24 years) account for 6.9 per cent and 12.6 per cent of all maternal deaths, respectively. The underlying causes are inadequate care in facilities, poorly functioning referral mechanisms, inadequately skilled personnel and low male partner involvement. Health outcomes for children and their mothers are therefore not commensurate with Botswana’s status as an Upper Middle-Income country and its public expenditure on health, which has historically been high. In recent years, the COVID-19 response also resulted in diversion of health workers, financial, and other resources from providing essential health services (including routine immunization) towards COVID-19 vaccination efforts. As a result, routine immunization coverage rates have declined, resulting in so-called “zero dose communities”, and an increase in the risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Examples of recent reversals in coverage for key antigens are the 3rd doses for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and diphtheria tetanus toxoid and pertussis which were 68 and 86 percent, respectively, in 2022 compared to 90 and 95 percent in 2021. Furthermore, in October 2022, a case of circulating Vaccine Derived Polio virus (cVDPV) from an environmental sample at a sewer plant close to Gaborone was reported and a polio outbreak declared. This resulted in a WHO- and UNICEF-led outbreak response, resulting in 81 per cent national coverage for children under 7 years in the two rounds of type 2 novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2) supplementary immunization activities. Against this background, UNICEF Botswana aims to recruit an International UNV Expert to enhance UNICEF’s support to the Government of Botswana’s efforts to strengthen health service delivery systems, with a particular focus on the routine immunization system and ensuring integration of COVID-19 vaccination into the health system.

Task description

Within the delegated authority and under the supervision of the Deputy Representative (DR), the UN Volunteer will work within the programme team on the following tasks: Support to programme development and planning:

  •  Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of health programmes;
  •  Formulate, design and prepare as necessary inputs for health programme funding proposals, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan, the Botswana Country Programme, as well as coherence/integration with the UN Strategic Country Framework ( UNSDCF), regional strategies, and national priorities, plans and competencies;
  •  Establish specific programme goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans based on results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM;
  •  Prepare required documentations for programme review and approval;
  •  Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects related to the Expanded Programme on Immunization and public health emergency responses with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
See also  National Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator-NCO at SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES BOTSWANA

Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results:

  •  Plan and/or collaborate with internal and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, and other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence, and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for the assigned sector in health programmes, in particular those related to immunization and emergency preparedness/response;
  •  Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results, focusing on immunization and emergency preparedness/response;
  •  Prepare and assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management, identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals;
  •  Actively monitor programmes/projects 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;
  •  Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of health sector 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.

Technical and operational support to programme implementation:

  •  Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, and best practices and approaches on health-related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation, and delivery of results, focusing on immunization and emergency preparedness/response;
  •  Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials for management use, information, and consideration; eJjamwb vXePs
  •  Participate in emergency preparedness initiatives for programme development, contingency planning and/or to respond to public health emergencies in country.

Networking and partnership building:

  •  Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with health sector government counterparts, national stakeholders, as well as global partners, allies, donors, and academia. through active networking, advocacy, and effective communication, build capacity and exchange knowledge and expertise to facilitate the achievement of programme goals on child rights, social justice and equity;
  •  Prepare communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support fund raising for health programmes (maternal, neonatal and child survival and development);
  •  Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on health-related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on UNSDCF planning and preparation of health programmes/projects, ensuring organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNSDCF process in development planning and agenda setting.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building:

  •  Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results;
  •  Keep abreast and conduct research to provide evidence for implementation of best and cutting-edge practices in health, focusing on immunization and emergency preparedness/response;
  •  Assess, institutionalize, and share best practices and knowledge learned;
  •  Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects;
  •  Organize and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on health-related programmes/projects.
See also  National Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator-NCO at SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES BOTSWANA

Eligibility criteria

Age: 35 – 80


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

15 years of experience in Public Health, Nutrition Planning and Management, Maternal and Neonatal Health Care.

  •  Experience in emergency settings and developing countries is considered an asset, as is experience in working in the field of routine immunization and supervising consultants or staff.

Area(s) of expertise

Development programmes, Health

Driving license


English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in Public Health/Nutrition, Pediatric Health, Family Health, Health Research, Global/International Health, Health Policy and/or Management, Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Socio-Medical, Health Education, Epidemiology, or another relevant technical field.

Competencies and values

Professionalism; Integrity, Teamwork and respect for diversity; Commitment to continuous learning; Planning and organizing; Communication; Flexibility; Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement.

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

Botswana is a landlocked, upper middle-income country that hosts approximately 2,024,904 million people. Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, has an estimated population of 231,592. The country present visitors with an opportunity to experience spectacular wildlife scenes and picturesque landscapes from the dry Kgalagadi Dessert to the plushest Okavango Delta. The capital city Gaborone has access to government and private medical facilities, schools and universities. Overall, the country is family friendly. Most of the shops, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants accept major credit/debit cards such as Visa, American Express and MasterCard.

UN Volunteers is entitled to the below benefits:

  •  A Monthly Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA): $3244, 99 per month;
  •  A once off entry lumpsum of $4000 at the start of the assignment;
  •  Medical insurance; Life cover, and annual leave;
  •  Access to all learning platforms;
  •  A once off exit lumpsum of $225 for each month served at the end of the assignment.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Reasonable accommodation

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for UN Volunteers with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the recruitment process and afterwards in your assignment.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

In addition to duty station-specific vaccine requirements, appointments are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the appointment. It does not apply to UN Volunteers who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their contracts.