Unicef Health Specialist - Early Child Development Jobs in Tanzania

Unicef Health Specialist - Early Child Development Jobs in Tanzania

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development.

The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


Background, Problem Statements, and Justification

Deprivations early in childhood have a life-long impact. Research shows that in the first years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second (Harvard, 2017), with sensory pathways for vision and hearing developing first, followed by language skills and higher cognitive functions such as problem solving, planning and concept formation.

Advances in neuroscience research have demonstrated that this development of the brain during this crucial period is heavily influenced by the "serve and return" relationship between children and their parents and other caregivers.

Babies and infants "serve" interactions through gestures, babbling and facial expressions, and a nurturing "return" from adults helps to jumpstart brain development, promotes wellbeing and bolsters learning ability.

The absence of a response, or an inappropriate or negative response, can lead to the brain's architecture not developing, which can create disparities in learning and behavioral (Asok et al, 2013, Briggs et al, 2014)

Disadvantages during early childhood keep nearly 250 million children under 5 worldwide from reaching their full potential and contributing to society.

The longer term consequences are noted not just in lowered productivity, earnings and poor health outcomes but also increases in crime.

Moreover, deficits and disadvantages have been shown to persist into the subsequent generation, producing a vicious inter-generational cycle of inequality, lost human capital and perpetuation of poverty.

Long term studies have shown that children from poor households who participate in ECD programs with early stimulation earn an average of 25% more as adults than those who did not receive these interventions.

Purpose of assignment

The Health Specialist ECD, will be responsible for supporting advocacy activities for increased investment in ECD, overall ECD coordination and governance, development of ECD and related resource materials, monitoring and reporting of ECD intervention, capacity strengthening of National, Regional and district implementers and scale-up evidence based ECD models.

The Health Specialist ECD is expected to work with staff in other sectors (nutrition, child protection, education, CAIDS and WASH) to capitalize on potential synergies and consolidate holistic evidence-based interventions.

S/he shall be responsible for ensuring high quality deliverables, relevant and timely reporting, and shall participate and engage in technical meetings within UNICEF and with ECD partners.

Additionally, ECD Specialist will be responsible to support community development department in coordinating ECD program.

Project objectives:

  • To support ECD coordination at national and subnational levee
  • To strengthen provision of quality ECD services at health facility and community level
  • To strengthen ECD information system at national, regional and district levels
  • To establish/strengthen ECD partnerships and networks at national and local levels

    Key function, accountability and related duties/tasks
  • Overseeing implementation, monitoring and reporting
    of the Early Child hood development program at UNICEF TCO
  • Support COs, including in-country, to: i) identify entry points for ECD within national platforms as well as UNICEF health and nutrition programming;
  • Improve ECD data and measurement, including through the strengthening of health management information systems;
  • Improve knowledge on what can work to scale-up ECD using existing mechanisms at national, sub-national and community levels
  • Provide technical support and coordination to community development dept.
  • Supporting capacity strengthening activities for front line workers,
  • Support development and adoption of innovative program strategies and technologies that reduce program delivery bottlenecks and improve quality of Early Childhood Development.
  • Participate in major evaluation exercises, programme and sector review meetings with government counterparts and partners as related to the assigned areas of responsibilities.
  • Provide technical leadership and coordination of relevant operational research, thus contributing to the knowledge base in Early Childhood Development
  • Ensure corrective action is undertaken to address bottlenecks identified during the project monitoring, in close coordination with the country teams and partners.
  • Provide orientation of District and Regional managers on ECD reporting
  • Strengthening government Health, Nutrition and Education sector Management Information Systems to enable routine data collection on ECD.

    Recruitment Qualifications


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, public administration, public health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or another relevant technical field.

  • At least five years of relevant professional work experience at national or international level in a managing programmes related to ECD or technical expert in child survival & development, health and nutrition care and early childhood development.
  • Experience in and knowledge of ECD in Tanzania.
  • Experience in project and performance management in a public health context.
  • Experience of working in the UN or other international development organizations is an asset.

    Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or focal language of the duty station is considered as an asset.
  • Knowledge of local conditions and country legislation relevant to UNICEF programmes
    UN policies and strategy to address international humanitarian issues and the responses.
  • UN common approaches to programmatic issues and UNICEF positions

    Impact of Results

    The efficiency and efficacy of support provided by the ECD Specialist to programme preparation, planning and implementation facilitates the delivery of concrete and sustainable results that directly impact the improvement of the health of the most marginalized children in the country.

    This in turn contributes to maintaining and enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to continue to provide programme services to protect the rights of children, and to promote greater social equality to enable them to survive, develop and reach their full potential in society.


  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

    Core competencies
  • Communication (II)
  • Working with people (II)
  • Drive for results (II)

    Functional Competencies:

  • Building Trust II
  • Managing Resources II
  • Communication II
  • Influence II
  • Judgement II
  • Technical Knowledge II
  • Team Leadership II
  • Planning, Setting Standards, and Monitoring Work II

    How to Apply
  • Interested and qualified candidates should apply online by 4th June 2019
  • For more information and job application details, see; Unicef Health Specialist - Early Child Development Jobs in Tanzania

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