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Chief Health and Nutrition

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 fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

The Child Health and Development (CHD) section of UNICEF China Office focuses on healthy pregnancy, child health, nutrition and development, and environmental health. It is aimed at ensuring that more newborns, children and adolescents, including the most disadvantaged, survive and thrive and are better able to achieve their developmental potential. Aligned with the national priorities of Healthy China 2030, UNICEF cooperates with the National Health Commission and its technical institutions to address remaining challenges, shifting the focus from child survival to optimal development.

How can you make a difference?

The Chief, Child Health and Development Section reports to the Deputy Representative for general guidance and direction. The Chief is responsible for managing and leading all stages of maternal and child nutrition, health programmes, with an additional focus on the impact of environmental risks on children’s health. S/he is responsible for managing and supervising all stages of the Child Health and Development programme, from strategic planning to formulation to delivery of results .

S/he leads and manages the Child Health and Development team including establishing plans of action to achieve concrete and sustainable results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), as well as UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance, and accountability framework.

S/he is responsible for the following functions and accountabilities -

  • Managerial leadership

  • Establish the section’s annual work plan with the Child Health and Development team, and set priorities and targets. Monitor work progress and ensure results are achieved according to schedule and performance standards.

  • Establish clear individual performance objectives, goals and timelines; and provide timely guidance to enable the team to perform their duties responsibly and efficiently. Plan and ensure timely performance management and assessment of the team.

  • Supervise team members 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

  • Lead the preparation, design and updating of the situation analysis to establish a comprehensive and updated strategic plan for development, design and management of Child Health and Development related programmes. Keep abreast of national, regional and global development trends and priorities to determine the strategies, approaches and priorities for programming to address the country’s health and nutrition needs.

  • Lead, coordinate and supervise the development of health, nutrition and environmental health programmes (as a component of the CO and/or UNSDCF programmes) and establish plans of action, programme goals and results using results-based planning methodology and terminology (RBM).Oversee the timely preparation of the programme recommendation and related documentation for inclusion in the Country Office Programme recommendation ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.

  • Consult and collaborate with colleagues and partners to provide technical guidance and operational support on programme planning, management and implementation, and to ensure synergy, integration, coherence, and harmonization of programme/project initiatives with UNICEF Strategic Plans and priorities.

  • Programme management, monitoring and quality control of results

  • Coordinate, plan and/or collaborate with monitoring and evaluation initiatives to establish benchmarks, performance indicators and other UNICEF/UN system indicators, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence, and delivery of concrete and sustainable results in health programmes.

  • Participate in major monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual sector reviews with government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required action/interventions to achieve results.

  • Assess monitoring and evaluation reports to identify gaps, strengths and/or weaknesses in programme management ; identify lessons learned and use knowledge gained for development planning and timely intervention to achieve goals.

  • Monitor programmes/projects to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems and take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.

  • Plan, approve, monitor, and control the use of programme resources (financial, human, administrative and other assets) certifying/verifying compliance with organizational rules, regulations and procedures, donor commitments and standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources.

  • Submit programme/project reports to donors and other partners to keep them informed on programme progress and critical issues.

  • Advisory services and technical support

  • Advise key government officials, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners on policies, strategies and best practices and approaches on health, nutrition and related issues to support programme development planning, management, implementation, and delivery of results.

  • Participate in strategic discussions to influence policy discussions and agenda setting to promote public health and development issues especially in the areas core to the post, and in South-South Cooperation, gender, emergency response and preparedness, and maternal, neonatal and child survival and development.

  • With the Public Partnerships section advise on South South Cooperation programmes in health, nutrition and environmental health.

  • Advocacy, networking and partnership building

  • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with health, nutrition and environmental health sector government counterparts, national stakeholders and global partners, allies, donors, and academia through active networking, advocacy and effective communication of UNICEF’s mission, goals, programmes, and resource mobilizations needs.

  • Develop communication strategies as well as implementation plans and activities for maximum communication impact and outreach to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for UNICEF and Country Office health nutrition, and environmental health programmes

  • With the Partnerships & Innovation section pioneer shared value partnerships with the private sector. Co- lead internal cross sectoral outcome and team related to Early Childhood Development.

  • Participate and/or represent UNICEF in inter-agency (UNCT) discussions and planning on public health-related issues to ensure organizational position, interests and priorities are fully considered and integrated in the UNSDCF process in development planning and agenda setting. Collaborate with inter-agency partners and colleagues in UNSDCF planning and preparation of health programmes/projects.

  • Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Promote critical thinking, innovative approaches and good practices for sustainable health programmes/projects initiatives.

  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best and cutting edge practices in the health management and information systems. Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.

  • Lead UNICEF’s knowledge management in public health function in China, including developing research partnerships, and leading a programme of high quality documentation including peer reviewed publications.

  • Lead and/or develop policies and procedures and introduce innovation and best practices to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.

  • Lead, plan and implement capacity building initiatives to enhance the competencies of stakeholders to promote sustainable results on public health related programmes/projects.

The strategic and effective planning and formulation of child health, nutrition and environmental health programmes/projects and the achievement of sustainable results, directly impact the improvement of maternal and child health of the most marginalized and vulnerable women and children in the country, and this in turn contributes to maintaining/enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to continue to provide programme services to protect the rights of children and promote greater social equality to enable children to survive, develop and reach their full potential in society.

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

  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: medicine, public health, community nutrition, epidemiology, global/international health, health policy and/or health management, environmental health sciences, biostatistics, socio-medical, health education, or another relevant technical field.

  • A minimum of ten years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas, at the national or international level, is required: public health planning and management, maternal and neonatal health care with experience of nutrition, or health emergency/humanitarian preparedness.

  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.

  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language (Chinese) of the duty station is considered as 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…

Core Competencies

  • Nurtures, Leads and Manages People (2)

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (3)

  • Works Collaboratively with others (3)

  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (3)

  • Innovates and Embraces Change (3)

  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (3)

  • Drives to achieve impactful results (3)

  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)

Functional Competencies

  • Analyzing (3)

  • Deciding and initiating action (3)

  • Persuading and influencing (2)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels: competency framework here.

Life at UNICEF...

  • Working at UNICEF is highly rewarding. With attractive remuneration package encompassing competitive pay and benefits, a culture that helps staff thrive and diverse opportunities for personal and professional development, we aim to help you maintain a fulfilling life both at and outside the office.

  • 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. All selected candidates will, therefore, 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.


  • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

  • 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). 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.

Please click the link to submit your application 

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