Job Opportunity: UNICEF is hiring a Health Specialist, Lilongwe Malawi (Open to Non-Malawian nationals)

Application Closes on December 3, 2023

Job no: 567600
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Duty Station: Lilongwe
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…

UNICEF Malawi Country Programme (2024-2028) is aligned with the Government of Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS III) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The programme supports the Government of Malawi to meet its commitment to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in line with international conventions and standards. The country programme is guided by the principles of children’s rights, equity, gender equality, inclusion and resilience, and supports evidence-based, integrative and innovative programming. The vision is that ‘all girls and boys in Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and deprived, realize their rights’. The programme focuses on: early childhood (parenting, high-impact social services, early stimulation and learning), middle childhood and adolescence (learning, multi-sectoral services, active citizenship), communities (decentralized services and systems, community ownership, social norms), programme effectiveness (monitoring, evaluation, HACT, Innovation, Social Protection and Social Policy and External Communication. The programme is based on ‘leaving no child behind’, realizing ‘rights for all children in Malawi’.

This exciting opportunity provides the chance to lead transformative health programmes and make a meaningful impact on the well-being of children in Malawi. The portfolio for Health System Strengthening focuses on enhancing primary health care delivery, specifically emphasizing maternal and newborn health. The goal is to improve Malawi’s health system by bolstering its capacity, quality, resilience, and governance, all through a primary healthcare approach. This initiative plays a pivotal role in expediting progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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 providing technical support and guidance in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of health system interventions.

This job, therefore, presents a unique and significant opportunity for a qualified, vibrant, motivated, and committed person to contribute to the overall achievement of transformative results for children with professional excellence and by delivering on the following key responsibility areas, but not limited to:

Support to programme development and planning:

  • Contribute to strategic planning and design of health programs, aligning with organizational goals and national priorities.
  • Provide technical support and ensure integration and coherence across different sectors.

Programme management, monitoring, and delivery of results:

  • Establish monitoring mechanisms, evaluate program progress, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Monitor resource utilization and compliance with regulations.

Technical and operational support to program 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.

Networking and partnership building:

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

Innovation, knowledge management, and capacity building:

  • Introduce innovative approaches and share best practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders.
  • Contribute to the development of policies and procedures for effective program implementation.
  • Organize capacity-building initiatives to enhance stakeholder competencies and promote sustainable results.

You are encouraged to download the detailed job description : Download File Specific JD__Health-Specialist-Health-Systems_P3_#107676.pdf in order to view the full role and its requirements.

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Public/Global Health or related disciplines, Public Policy or related disciplines, OR Programme Management or related disciplines
  • A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience is required in public health, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, health systems strengthening, or health programme management at the Health Specialist or Programme Manager level
  • Experience in implementing quality improvement interventions and the ability to analyze healthcare data is required
  • Experience in district capacity building in leadership, governance and strategic planning is required
  • Experience in evidence-based planning and budgeting for sub-national level health systems is required
  • Experience in health financing, especially at the primary healthcare level, is a strong asset
  • Experience in Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health and health governance are particularly beneficial
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as a strong asset
  • Background and/or familiarity with emergency is considered as an asset
  • A strong understanding of healthcare systems and policies is required
  • Expertise in national and district-level health planning and budgeting is required
  • Expertise in Quality Improvement methodology and training and mentorship skills is an asset
  • Strong organizational and project management skills is 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
  • The ability to develop and manage interactive dashboards is highly desirable
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.

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: UNICEF Values

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 and (8) Nurtures, leads and manages people.

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.


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 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 are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be cancelled.

All selected candidates will 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.

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

The vacancy announcement is open to all candidates – both internal UNICEF staff holding permanent, continuing and fixed term appointments and external candidates.

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

In order to deliver results for the children of Malawi, UNICEF Malawi Country Office works in a fast-paced but impactful environment where creativity, innovation, collaboration, teamwork, a safe space and professional development are supported and encouraged. We are therefore seeking individuals who are motivated to make a real difference and serve the children of Malawi with resourcefulness, resilience, creativity, and professional excellence.

Advertised: 17 Nov 2023 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 03 Dec 2023 South Africa Standard Time


For more opportunities such as this please follow us on FacebookInstagramWhatsApp, TwitterLinkedIn and Telegram

Related Articles

Back to top button