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UNICEF seeks to recruit a consultancy – A Social Scientist (medical or social anthropologist) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness and response (Ugandan Nationals Only) – 3 months

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UNICEF seeks to recruit a consultancy – A Social Scientist (medical or social anthropologist) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness and response (Ugandan Nationals Only) – 3 months


Job no : 517104
Work type : Consultancy
Location : Uganda
Categories : Communication / External Relations

Apply now


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, a fair chance

Uganda is one of the over 190 countries and territories around the world where we work to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, and discrimination place in a child’s path. Together with the Government of Uganda and partners we work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the objectives of the Uganda National Development Plan, and the planned outcomes of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

Visit this link for more information on Uganda Country Office


How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of the C4D Specialist , the consultant will: Support Ebola preparedness planning processes with information on community dynamics and cultural factors that may impact health seeking and preventive behaviors related to Ebola; Advise on how to address possible areas of cultural resistance to information and practices related to Ebola prevention; Advise on how to leverage community/cultural assets in support of risk communication for Ebola prevention and Inform the implementation of risk communication and social mobilization activities to ensure that they are culturally appropriate and acceptable to local communities at risk of Ebola


Uganda remains vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters, which pose serious public health threats to the population. Over the years, the country has experienced several disease outbreaks.

On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in North Kivu Province. Uganda is also experiencing a large refugee influx from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has put thousands of children and their families at risk from hunger, water shortages, diseases, insecurity and death. The number of daily arrivals from Democratic Republic of Congo is between 568 people at each border point on the western block of the Republic of Uganda in August 2018. Due to the proximity of the area to Uganda, the Uganda Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and other development partners are working to implement preparedness plans. The Ministry of Health has put on alert, 26 District Health Offices under the coordination of the District Task Forces.

Communication for Development (C4D) cross sectoral support to the Child Survival and Development (CSD) programme is often at the forefront of UNICEF emergency response. This is where knowledge, attitudes, practices and social norms play key role in adoption of life-saving and protective behaviours. The current emergency warrants developing robust capacity from UNICEF, governments, development partners and communities to prepare and respond to emergencies and potential/probable disease outbreaks.

UNICEF would like to engage the services of a Social Scientist (medical or social anthropologist) to join the Social Mobilisation teams working on EVD preparedness in the high-risk districts in Uganda. The aim is to strengthen community engagement and empowerment activities for Ebola virus disease outbreak response in Uganda.

The social scientist (medical or social anthropologist) will work under the overall administrative supervision of the C4D specialist and under the technical guidance of the MoH Health Promotion and Education unit and the National Task Forces’ Risk Communication & Social Mobilisation sub-committee.

Key Tasks :

  1. Conduct field investigation using applied anthropological research methods to better understand community perceptions and behaviours that are related to or can impact on the Ebola response, including but not limited to livelihoods, health seeking behaviours, and funeral and burial practices ;
  2. Conduct focus group discussions, observations, one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, including community influencers, frontline health responders, and others as seen appropriate ;
  3. Facilitate the integration of sociocultural and other contextual issues within the risk communication, social mobilization and community engagement activities being implemented among religious and traditional groups, political leaders; youths, women and civil society groups among others in order to strengthen rapport and trust ;
  4. Support the Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation component of the Ebola preparedness and response plan and participate in relevant coordination meetings as needed.
  5. Any other tasks as may be requested by the supervisors


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

Education Qualifications :


An advanced university degree in Medical/Social Anthropology, from an accredited and recognized institution.


  • Advanced University degree or substantial training in Medical/Cultural/ Social Anthropology ;
  • Specialized training in participatory approaches; participatory research ;
  • Specialized training in emergency/disaster/outbreak response ;
  • Training in impact evaluation of community engagement/social mobilization interventions.




  • At least seven years’ relevant experience at international level in conducting social science research for public health interventions; or health promotion; or community engagement; or social mobilization programmes ;
  • At least 2 years of experience in emergency settings, specifically disease outbreaks ;
  • Experience in operational research in social sciences for public health and emergency response.


  • Experience in disease outbreak response ;
  • Prior working experience with UN ;
  • Prior experience in African settings.


Language Skills

Excellent knowledge of English


Other Skills (e.g. IT)

  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Excel) ;
  • Familiarity with the use survey tools, analysis tools and web-based platforms for coordination.


Functional Knowledge and Skills

  • Strong strategic planning and organizational skills: ability to design, generate, analyze and appropriately apply findings using social science methods, approaches including qualitative research to planning and project design; the ability to work effectively in multidisciplinary and multicultural environment with tact and diplomacy; an ability to meet tight deadlines; an ability to efficiently and effectively co-ordinate activities and tasks to meet specific objectives ;
  • Knowledge and understanding of public health approaches related to: social sciences, community engagement; social mobilization; an understanding of emergency response; ability to co-ordinate multidisciplinary and technical inputs into designing social science interventions, strategies and plans ;
  • Excellent coordination and planning skills: the ability to draw strategic conclusions of scattered information and build from situational analysis into practical solutions in the field, ability to map and identify resources required for activities from broader partnerships ;
  • Excellent communication: the ability to clearly present ideas and concepts both orally and written ;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills: the ability to build relationships and work with stakeholders and partners.


For every Child, you demonstrate…

Our core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.


For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The technical competencies required for this post are….

View our competency framework at :

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.


Remarks :

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.

Applications close : E. Africa Standard Time


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