Polio and Routine Immunization, Social Mobilization Consultant at United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

August 5, 2021 0 Comments

United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Polio and Routine Immunization, Social Mobilization Consultant

Job ID: 543573

Locations:  Lagos and Rivers
Contract Type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Categories: Communication for Development (C4D)

Purpose of Activity / Assignment

  • The purpose of this consultancy is to ensure effective coordination of the communication efforts, as part of the preparedness, implementation and monitoring of polio and routine immunization, particularly in the southern states of Nigeria.
  • In 2020, Nigeria was declared Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free for having gone without any WPV case for over four years. However, Nigeria is still experiencing outbreaks of cVDPV2 (circulating vaccine derived polio virus type 2) due low routine immunization coverage, which is further complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nigeria first experienced a major cVDPV2 outbreak in 2018 when the country had 34 AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis) cases of cVDPV2 in the northern states.
  • Although the number of cVDPV2 cases from AFP decreased to 18 in 2019, the outbreak spread to more states, including some southern states which were not considered as polio high-risk.
  • Starting from Kwara state in 2018, cVDPV2 inched its way southbound, recording cases in Kwara, Kogi, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo in 2019, and venturing further to Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia in 2021. Since most of the polio efforts and human resources were concentrated in the North, Southern states had much difficulty battling the outbreaks and coordinating organized campaigns for polio.
  • In 2020 the number of AFP cases due to cVDPV2 was eight and so far in 2021, the AFP cases are 49. The eradication success is fragile because immunization coverage is still low.
  • The spread of the cVDPV2 in the country is driven by low population immunity due to low routine immunization coverage. With an estimated 4.3 million unimmunised children in 2018, Nigeria has the highest number of unimmunised children globally with 33 per cent routine immunisation coverage (2016 MICS/NICS).
  • Thanks to innovative strategies to strengthen routine immunization through the National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre (NERICC) framework, there was an increase in routine immunization coverage: 50 per cent (NDHS, 2018) and 57 per cent (SMART Survey, 2018). Still, routine immunization performance in Nigeria has remained sub-optimal for over ten years according to the national demographic health surveys (NDHS) of 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018, which puts the national Penta3 coverage at 21 per cent, 35 per cent, 49 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.
  • The national immunization coverage surveys conducted in 2007, 2011 and 2016 also showed that the country’s reported Penta3 coverage rates of 28 per cent, 37 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, far below the acceptable target coverage of 80 per cent.
  • Against this backdrop, UNICEF is looking for Social and Behavioural Change (SBC) consultants that will be focusing on supporting the southern states, specifically Port Harcourt and Lagos, in its outbreak response and campaigns and strengthening routine immunization. Under the supervision of UNICEF C4D manager/specialist in Abuja in coordination with specialists and in the field offices, they will provide technical support to UNICEF and the subnational governments to plan, implement, monitor and document high quality social mobilization and community engagement in support of polio and non-polio SIAs and routine immunization strengthening activities.

Scope of Work
The specific objectives of the consultancy are to:

  • Collect data from the state and analyze data for specific trends/patterns of non-compliance, poor coverage, dropouts, left-outs etc., and undertake coordinated action to facilitate the process of reaching such communities/households.
  • Support the states through UNICEF Field Office to develop and implement evidence-based demand generation initiatives for routine immunization and polio SIAs.
  • To support planning, implementation and monitoring of social mobilization strategy in the southern states in close collaboration with the state PHCDAs, especially with state health educators and UNICEF field offices in the southern part of Nigeria.
  • Support the development and dissemination of culturally sensitive communication messages and materials.
  • Advocate with State/LGA/Ward policy makers, religious and traditional leadership for support for the implementation of polio campaign activities and routine immunization.
  • Facilitate training of various stakeholders in social mobilization activities, including interpersonal communications.
  • Support any emergency non-polio SIAs, such as COVID-19, as required by the organization.
  • Conduct mapping of social mobilization potentials in the southern states which might include current government initiatives such as ward development committees, social mobilization committees, as well as non-government institutions such as local civil society and faith-based organizations that can be leveraged as social mobilization network in the south.
  • Develop strategy and implementation plan on how to leverage, organize the social mobilization potential network in the southern states in collaboration with UNICEF, the National EOC and the state governments.

Minimum Required

  • At least three (3) years progressively responsible professional work experience with national and international humanitarian organisations in programme planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
  • Experience in social mobilization, advocacy and communication in health-related programmes, training/capacity building, team leading and team building.


  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization
  • Working experience in UN or other international development organization.
  • Familiarity with emergency responses.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas, as well as to impart knowledge and teach skills
  • Strong analytical (including data), negotiating, communication, and advocacy skills
  • Computer skills, including internet navigation and various office applications

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply


  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
  • Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage).

Additional Information

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

Application Deadline: 17th August, 2021. (W. Central Africa Standard Time)