UNICEF in Istanbul, Turkey

Senior Health Specialist (Implementation Research), (P-5), Istanbul, Turkey

Job no: 553374

Position type: Fixed Term Appointment

Location: Turkey Division/Equivalent: Programme

School/Unit: Programme Group

Department/Office: Health Section, UNICEF NYHQ

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 Programme Group (PG) provides global programme leadership to achieve results for the most disadvantaged and excluded children everywhere within the overall framework of the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022–2025 and in response to the universal scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Further, PG contributes to UNICEF’s support of member states in implementing their international commitments related to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Under PG, the Programme Group Leadership Team (PGLT) provides strategic oversight and coordination of the Programme Group to ensure multisectoral approaches and horizontal integration across all programmes. The PGLT facilitates cross-programme teams around UNICEF’s normative mandate, issue-based hubs with Global Leads, emerging programme priorities across the life course, and agile processes for integration. The Global Leads for Social and Behavior Change; Business Engagement for Results; Conflict Prevention, Fragility, and Peacebuilding; Disabilities; Gender; and Human Rights are all anchored in the PGLT, giving them a strategic position to work with the Programme Teams (Child Protection, Education, Health, Nutrition, Social Policy, and WASH), regional offices, and other HQ divisions.

How can you make a difference?

The Senior Health Specialist provides strategic guidance and technical support on immunization financing to UNICEF country offices, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The responsibilities are within the Gavi Alliance Partner Engagement Framework (PEF) and are especially focused on strengthening Government financing for primary health care and immunization as well as supporting countries in preparation for Gavi transition. The function requires close engagement with Gavi Full Portfolio Planning processes. The work will be undertaken in close collaboration with governments, WHO, World Bank, the Gavi Secretariat and academic partners.

The incumbent on the post will be posted in HQ3 – Istanbul, Turkey, and will be expected to serve remotely pending the actual move during the transition phase.

The Senior Health Specialist will be expected to: Managerial leadership

  • Recruit and supervise health economic consultants for technical assistance to country offices on costing and budgeting and for undertaking regional and global economic analyses focusing on primary health care and immunization
  • Recruit and supervise interns for specific health economic projects related to primary health care and immunization
  • Supervise consultants and interns by providing them with clear objectives, goals, direction, and guidance to enable them to perform their duties responsibly, effectively and efficiently

Programme development and planning

  • Take a leadership role in shaping UNICEF’s work on health economic analyses for primary health care and immunization
  • Keep abreast of national, regional, and global development trends on financing for primary health care and immunization to determine UNICEF’s strategies and approaches in the area
  • Identify opportunities for influencing donor and Government policies on financing for primary health care and immunization
  • Prepare funding proposals to support UNICEF’s work in health economics

Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Monitor UNICEF’s work on immunization financing to assess progress, and identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve any issues.
  • Contribute to ensuring that UNICEF targets in the Gavi Foundational Support monitoring framework for immunization financing are met
  • Submit project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.

Advisory services and technical support

  • Provide technical support to countries on immunization planning, costing, and budgeting. This includes the estimation of costs for National Immunization Strategies (NIS) using the NIS.COST approach
  • Generate evidence and undertake implementation research on costs of vaccine delivery, especially related to interventions for reaching zero-dose children
  • Undertake cost-effectiveness analyses, investment cases and costs of inaction studies related to primary health care and immunization
  • Contribute to work on tracking global immunization expenditures and financing sources
  • Contribute to establishing a database for Government immunization budgets
  • Collaborate with UNICEF Social Policy Specialists on Public Expenditure Reviews and efforts for strengthening public financial management systems in the health sector

  • Advise governments, NGO partners, and UN system partners on policies, strategies, and best practices for sustainable immunization financing

Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with donors, NGOs, academia and health sector government counterparts through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNICEF’s mission, goals, programmes, and resource mobilizations needs.
  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency discussions and planning for immunization financing activities to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated.

Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches, and good practices for sustainable financing of primary health care and immunization
  • Keep abreast of health economic research and implement the best and cutting-edge practices
  • Share best practices and knowledge learned internally and externally
  • Lead, plan and implement capacity-building initiatives to UNICEF country offices on health economic approaches and analyses

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


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: health economics, economics, public health, business administration, statistics, international health or another relevant technical field.


The following is required:

  • A minimum of ten years of professional experience in health economics or public financing at the international level
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Experience working in a low-income setting
  • Experience in Public Financial Management within the health sector
  • Experience in cost analysis of health interventions
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to develop and maintain good working relationships
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences

Additional experience considered an asset:

  • Experience in undertaking cost-effectiveness analysis of health interventions
  • Experience in economic analysis of vaccination services
  • Record of research publications in international academic journals Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization


  • 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 (CRITA) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: (link)

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 (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 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.

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 also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. 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.

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.

Advertised: Jul 26 2022 GTB Daylight Time Application close: Aug 08 2022 GTB Daylight Time

Tags: advisory services, behavior change, breastfeeding, child health, conflict prevention, development trends, economic analysis, economic research, financial management, good practices, health economics, human rights, immunization, knowledge management, parental leave, peacebuilding, primary health care, programme management, programme priorities, quality control, resource mobilization, social policy, sustainable development, sustainable development goals