UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

UNFPA Senegal

Job Identification : 4909

Locations : Dakar, Senegal

Posting Date : 07/22/2022, 10:25 PM

Apply Before : 08/12/2022, 10:00 PM

Job Schedule : Full time

Grade : P4

Vacancy Type : Fixed Term

Rotational/Non Rotational : Non-Rotational

Contract Duration : 1 Year with Possibility for extension

Education and Work Experience : Master’s Degree – 7 year(s) experience

Required Languages : English

Desired Languages


Vacancy Timeline : 3 Weeks

Job Category : Sexual & Reproductive Health

Job Description

The Position:

Resilient health systems are critical to the achievement of UNFPA’s three transformative results: ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet needs for family planning, and ending all forms of gender-based violence and harmful practices.

Midwifery is the cornerstone to building the resilience of health systems to respond to sexual and reproductive health and GBV survivors-centered needs.

A 900,000 global shortage of midwives, particularly in West and Central Africa region, has resulted in heavy workloads, poor retention and outmigration [1]. Enforcement of legal and regulatory mechanisms is needed to promote midwifery as an autonomous profession to enable midwives to perform critical lifesaving functions. Comprehensive midwifery policies and human resource strategies are needed to address retention and deployment issues and the rural-urban mal-distribution of the already scarce midwifery workforce as well as to promote respectful, quality maternal and newborn health care.

The UNFPA WCA Regional Midwifery Specialist post is located in Dakar, Senegal at the UNFPA Regional Office for West and Central Africa. S/he is under the overall supervision of the Deputy Regional Director and reports directly to the Maternal Health and Health System Strengthening Regional Adviser. S/he works closely with countries’ midwives’ advisors, reproductive health advisers, health systems advisors, scientific, academic and professional networks and institutions, governments and sister UN agencies to advance the UNFPA Midwifery Programme in the WCA region.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The Regional Midwifery Specialist provides strategic, technical, policy and programmatic leadership for the West and Central Africa region, in the area of midwifery, as a key pillar to human resources for health and health system strengthening in order to improve integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes for all.

S/he convenes and coordinates within the SRHR and maternal newborn team the provision of technical assistance, advocacy, policy and programme support to the countries of the region for education, regulation, policies and practice, association, deployment, and management of the midwifery workforce.

S/he remains abreast of the Fund’s policies, programmes and strategies, as well as current thinking, innovation and academic advance in the substantive area and leads knowledge management, research, capacity building, and innovation in midwifery and in human resources for health for SRMNCAH.

The primary roles of the Regional Midwifery Specialist within the SRHR team are:

  • Strategic, technical, and policy advice to country offices, governments and partners on investments on midwifery workforce planning, recruitment, deployment;
  • Coordination of quality assured technical support and capacity building on midwifery education, regulations and association;
  • Evidence generation, knowledge management and innovation development and dissemination of midwifery good practices;
  • Policy dialogue, partnerships and technical representation.

You would be responsible for:

  • Strategic, technical, policy and programme support
  • Provide strategic, technical, policy and programme leadership to the regional office, country offices, programme countries and regional stakeholders in the area of midwifery workforce education, regulation, and associations;
  • Identify and analyze trends, threats and risks in the midwifery workforce management, availability, accessibility, acceptability, quality and effective coverage in countries;
  • Identify requirements for and contribute to the development of new and updated countries’ policies, frameworks, guidance, standards, instruments and tools on midwifery workforce planning, training, recruitment, deployment, mentoring, retention and motivation;
  • Analyze technical and other substantive reports (e.g., State of the World’s Midwifery report, WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health) from global, regional and country level on human resources for midwifery or more broadly health workforce for SRMNCAH and recommend required follow-up actions;
  • Manage inputs and provide support to the implementation of the regional SRHR and Health Systems programmes, ensuring responsiveness to national priorities on midwifery;
  • Coordination of quality assurance of technical support and capacity development
  • Coordinate quality assurance of technical support and capacity development delivered to the countries by midwives’ advisors, national midwifery associations, regulatory bodies, midwifery schools, and academic institutions using WHO and ICM tools and guidance materials;
  • Advise the WCA Regional Office and WCA Country Offices on the implementation and proper application of UNFPA Midwifery Programme Guidance;
  • Ensure that state-of-the-art research and innovation on midwifery are integrated within the work of the regional office, country offices and partnership networks;
  • Analyze technical, policy, programmatic and substantive reports from the field on maternal and new-born health and midwifery and recommend required follow-up actions;
  • Evidence generation, knowledge management and innovation development and dissemination
  • Contribute to developing a mechanism to share technical skills and knowledge including new and emerging research on midwifery within and among programme countries, other regions and UNFPA HQ midwifery team;
  • Coordinate and facilitate capacity development at the regional and country levels through the brokering of technical assistance, identification and updating of expert rosters, strategic partners and networks and relevant institutions;
  • Identify priority areas for the collection, analysis and synthesis of information/data and experience on midwifery programme to be used in countries, regional and global advocacy and for resource mobilization;
  • Contribute to human resources for health, health systems and policy research and leverage and position midwifery workforce area;
  • Prepare white papers, briefings and materials for evidence-based policy dialogue on midwifery workforce training and management at the regional and country level;
  • Policy dialogue and advocacy, partnership building and technical representation
  • Effectively represent the UNFPA’s WCA Regional Office within the UN system and broader human resources for health partners (WHO, Health Partners, Global Health Workforce Alliance, ICM, ICN, etc) to foster synergies and scan the environment to advocate on return on investment in midwifery;
  • Identify sources of technical knowledge, innovation and resources among institutions and consultants and maintain strategic relationships with key institutions and health partners in the region;
  • Participate in policy dialogue, and advocate for substantive issues in international, inter-governmental, U.N., and other policy and technical meetings and on midwifery education, regulation and associations;
  • Represent UNFPA on substantive issues in the region with UN agencies, African Union and RECs, academia, research and training institutions, think-tanks, centres of excellence, professional societies in the region;
  • Scan partnership opportunities and donor intelligence at regional and countries levels in synergy with the Regional Resource Mobilization and Partnership Adviser.
  • Carry out other duties as may be required by the WCA Maternal health and health systems and SRHR Adviser, and the Deputy Regional Director;

Qualifications and Experience:


Advanced university degree in a development related area – medicine, midwifery, health sector reform and/or health policy or other related field.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • 7 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in policy analysis, programme design and implementation in SRHR mandate areas especially midwifery for maternal health;
  • Demonstrated expertise in health systems strengthening to deliver integrated SRHR especially maternal health and midwifery results, including evidence of innovative approaches and cutting-edge knowledge, essential;
  • Strong track record of strategic and technical leadership, contribution to technical knowledge management products and proven ability to produce demonstrable results;
  • Work experience from developing countries’ context is a necessity; multi country experience within the West and Central Africa region is a strong asset;
  • Demonstrated expertise in advocacy, resource mobilization, negotiations and/or policy dialogue, essential;
  • Experience in leading/managing knowledge product development and dissemination;
  • Ability to build and motivate / lead cross-cutting teams to produce client-oriented results;
  • Demonstrated ability to mobilise resources and network within the development and academic communities;
  • Technical as well as programming experience;
  • UN inter-agency experience or direct technical assistance to government in a strong asset;
  • Midwifery and obstetrics experience is a strong asset;


Fluency in English is required and French is desirable to enable effective communication with English speaking and French speaking country coordination groups and local organisations (West and Central Africa region).

Required Competencies:


  • Exemplifying integrity,
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system,
  • Embracing cultural diversity,
  • Embracing change

Core Competencies:

  • Achieving results,
  • Being accountable,
  • Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen,
  • Thinking analytically and strategically,
  • Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships,

Functional Competencies:

  • Advocacy/ Advancing a policy-oriented agenda,
  • Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners / building strategic alliances and partnerships,
  • Delivering Results Based Programmes,
  • Generating, managing and promoting the use of knowledge and Information,
  • External and internal communication and advocacy for results mobilization,
  • Innovation and marketing of new approaches – Fostering innovation in others,
  • Job/knowledge and technical expertise,

Managerial Competencies (if applicable):

  • Providing strategic focus
  • Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders
  • Leading, developing and empowering people creating a culture of performance
  • Making decisions and exercising judgment

Compensation and Benefits:

This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.


UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline (link)

In accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.

Tags: capacity development, central africa, covid, family planning, global health, good practices, health policy, health systems, health systems strengthening, human resources, human rights, knowledge management, management research, maternal and newborn health, maternal health, midwife, midwifery, product development, reproductive health, resource mobilization, sdgs