Kenya: POLIO OUTBREAK COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST CONSULTANCY

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Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 26 Jul 2018

Background and Justification

Introduction:

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) seeks to ensure that future generations of children will be free from the threat of polio virus infection and paralysis. Achieving this goal depends on interrupting poliovirus transmission in the remaining endemic countries and on ensuring rapid and effective responses to poliovirus outbreaks occurring in polio-free countries.

On 6 April 2018, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) laboratory notified the MoH of a poliovirus in the sewage in Kamukunji sub-county, in Nairobi. This poliovirus was detected in an environmental sample collected on 21 March 2018 as part of routine surveillance activities by MoH. The positive environmental sewage sample indicates circulation of the poliovirus in the community. Kenya has been free of any wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation since 2014. However, Kenya and the Horn of Africa Region continues to be at higher risk of polio due to low immunization coverage magnified with population movement. Three round of mOPV2 vaccination campaign (round 0 in Nairobi county and round 1 and 2 in twelve counties including Nairobi) are taking place in Kenya between May and August to help boost child immunity against polio and control this outbreak.

Scope of Work

The Polio Outbreak Communication Specialist (SSA) will support the polio communication efforts of the Kenya Country Office during the response to this current poliovirus outbreak, working under the supervision of the Chief Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships and in collaboration with the communication teams of WHO and the Ministry of Health.

The communication officer’s support to the team at the country office will ensure that the response is:

1. Aligned with the government/Ministry of Health (MOH) plans and strategies, and

2. Aligned with the latest outbreak response SOPs.

Activities and Tasks: General:

  • Assess communication needs and existing capacity at the country level.
  • Support reporting requirements on progress and achievements.
  • Contribute to the adaptation and implementation of the communication plan to underpin the technical response, in collaboration with the partners.
  • Provide technical input to the overall C4D and Communication response strategy
  • Provide support to strengthen the existing communication teams by emphasizing team building and collaboration as daily routine with national/international partners.
  • Conduct a media landscape analysis.
  • Support the outbreak response team to prepare and effectively implement an external communications strategy, including the engagement with political, religious, and community leaders and other stakeholders.
  • Develop polio-related media and external communication packages including fact sheets, media packages for journalists…etc. and update talking points and FAQs, as needed (e.g., with changing epidemiology and ahead of vaccination rounds).
  • Will work closely with Identified media focal persons and spokespersons from the government, WHO, and UNICEF.
  • Work with partners and government counterparts to conduct a press brief/media release, if appropriate, and update donors and partners on work progress.
  • Support weekly/as needed calls with WHO polio communications counterparts in country offices, regional offices, and HQ.
  • Work relationships: The consultant will report to the Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships, but will work closely with the programme colleagues especially the C4D and Health teams as well as partners in the field.

    Outputs/Deliverables:

    Receive and review all media releases/news feeds related to the outbreak and share with focal points.

  • Provide comprehensive documentation of the outbreak response activities and rounds especially as relevant to writing human interest stories and sharing regularly within UNICEF and with concerned partners.
  • Support MOH Communication subcommittee as required
  • Support the campaigns launch events by ensuring maximum coverage and media attraction to the events.
  • Regularly monitor media articles published on health in general and polio or vaccination rounds in specific and flag any anti vaccination sentiment in a timely fashion
  • Support the regular feeding of the social media activities with relevant field reports of UNICEF and partners’ response activities
  • Other:

    Undertake other assignments and responsibilities as requested by Chief of Section to support the successful response to the outbreak.

    Payment Schedule

    Above deliverables will be monitored on an ongoing basis throughout the duration of the contract.

    Payment will be done monthly upon satisfactory completion of deliverables duly authorized by the Supervisor of contract. The Consultant is entitled to DSA while on travel outside his/her duty station at the UN approved rates.

    Required qualifications, desired competencies, technical background and experience

    (Consult with HR on this prior to signing off on the TOR)

    Education:

    Advanced University degree in Public Health, Communications, Journalism or equivalent/relevant professional experience combined with a university degree in a related field.

    Experience in developing compelling human-interest angles to child health issues.

    Specialist skills/Training: Proven experience in increasing awareness on public health issues.

  • Solid media contacts and the knowledge of current theories and practices in communication research, and the role of mass media in health communication.
  • Experience in writing health articles and produce such content for various UNICEF platforms and other target channels, as needed.
  • Proven experience in professional writing to assist in shaping key messages to increase awareness on child health issues
  • Experience in the field of Polio will be an added advantage
  • Previous work experience with UNICEF or other UN agencies / Development Organisations is an advantage
  • Years of experience: A minimum of eight years’ relevant professional work experience in the media; print, broadcast media or interactive digital media.

    Competencies: A high level of organizational and coordination skills

  • An excellent command of the English language – both written and oral
  • Ability to produce quality work within stipulated deadlines
  • Highly developed communication skills
  • Motivated and has the ability to work independently as well as in a team environment
  • Interest in social and electronic media, networking and developing communications
  • Administrative issues

  • The consultancy would be paid based on a monthly payment. However, if travel to other locations will need to be undertaken, normal DSA rates would be paid.
  • The consultant is based in Nairobi, office space will be provided.
  • The consultant would need to use his/her laptop during the assignment.
  • The consultant would have access to official transport for work related travel.
  • Under the consultancy agreements, a month is defined as 21 working days, and fees are prorated accordingly. Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays.
  • Travel / Flight costs would be covered by UNICEF
  • Consultants are not entitled to payment of overtime. All remuneration must be within the contract agreement.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor
  • No consultant may travel without a signed travel authorization prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
  • Unless authorized, UNICEF will buy the tickets of the consultant. In exceptional cases, the consultant may be authorized to buy their travel tickets and shall be reimbursed at the most economical and direct route, but this must be agreed to beforehand.
  • Notes: Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
  • Exit and penalty provision

    UNICEF may agree to reschedule deadlines if unforeseen circumstances arise. In the event that such rescheduling has not been agreed in advance by exchange of letters, and submission of scheduled drafts should not occur within the deadlines indicated within these ToR and the implementation framework, a fine of two percent of the total value of the contract may be deducted. In the event UNICEF are unhappy with the work produced by the organization, they may opt to terminate the contract or mutually agreeable terms. Likewise, if the organization is unhappy with new conditions given by its client it may opt to withdraw on mutually agreeable terms.

    Conditions

  • Under the consultancy agreements, a month is defined as 21 working days. Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays.
  • Travel locations cannot be determined at this time. Therefore UNICEF will cater for any travel expenses for the consultant
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor.
  • Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
  • *The TOR must state that “As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary”.

    *The TOR must mention that “the candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.”

    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=514787

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