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East Asia and Pacific Region

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Programme and Policy

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Readvertisement: Programme Specialist (MHPSS), P4, EAPRO Bangkok #118027 (Temp. Appointment for 364 days)

Apply now Job no: 547684
Contract type: Temporary Appointment
Level: P-4
Location: Thailand
Categories: Child Protection, Programme Management

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, Protection 

Child and adolescents’ mental health and well-being, growing incidences of self-harm, and high suicide rates are of increasing concern in East Asia and the Pacific. The drivers and associated risk factors of mental health issues in children and adolescents are varied and complex including, amongst others, physical, sexual and emotional violence, socio economic conditions, discrimination and exclusion, gender norms, being parents themselves, being in humanitarian and fragile settings, as well as a lack of access to quality support and services. Failing to address mental health issues amongst children and adolescents can impact their physical and mental health throughout adulthood.


However, mental health promotion and the continuum of MHPSS service provision are not well developed in the region. Many countries do not have qualified mental health professionals, and where such services exist, the reach is limited and often not tailored to the specific needs children and adolescents nor the way in which under-18s prefer to seek and receive such services. Compounded by stigma surrounding mental health issues, most children and adolescents suffer in silence.


Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is recognized as a cross cutting issue for sectors addressing health, social welfare and child protection, early childhood development, education, adolescent development and participation, communications for development, gender, and disability. It is also recognized that the delivery of a multi-tiered system for children and adolescent requires the engagement of a number of sectors including, but not limited to, education, social welfare and health.


How can you make a difference?

To contribute to this effort, UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) is seeking to hire a Programme Specialist who will coordinate the development and management of the regional MHPSS programme. You will provide technical oversight and coordinate the regional programme, convening internal and external partners, defining and supporting CO programming at scale, as to position the prioritization of community-led services, focusing on bolstering family and social networks, as well as MHPSS systems, including building the capacity of front-line workers, adolescents and young people, and civil society networks as needed


Under the direct supervision of the Regional CP Advisor with a dotted line to the Deputy Regional Director (EAPRO), you will provide guidance and technical support for policies, programmes, advocacy and knowledge generation for countries to adapt and implement the comprehensive package of services for children, young people and caregivers in need of mental health and psychosocial support.

Furthermore, as Programme Specialist (MHPSS), your duties and responsibilities would include but not limited to; 

Coordination of Regional Cross-Sectoral MHPSS Programme Development, Planning and Management

  • Support the finalization and dissemination of the regional conceptual framework on MHPSS
  • Develop a regional roll out plan for Global and Regional Guidance on MHPSS, across country offices and key UNICEF sectors, including the development of a regional theory of change
  • Contribute to the alignment of mental health programming and advocacy in EAP region with UNICEF’s global vision and strategy on MHPSS.
  • Assist with the development of regional resource mobilization strategy and investment cases and take other actions to leverage funds for the area of mental health
  • Serve as UNICEF EAP focal point with the regional WHO offices (SEARO and WPRO) for the roll-out of the 10-year global partnership on MHPSS.
  • Contribute to major regional monitoring and evaluation exercises; identify and document lessons learned; and facilitate strategic use of knowledge gained.
  • Prepare required documentations for regional management processes including programme reviews.


Technical support

  • Provide technical assistance to Regional Office and COs in EAP region towards the development of country-level MHPSS programming, driving a cross-sectoral agenda during programme planning and review processes
  • Support COs in developing ToCs and Strategies for programme implementation, particularly during the CPD development phases
  • Support COs to operationalize the UNICEF-WHO 10-year Joint Programme on MHPSS, including support on high-level advocacy opportunities; resource mobilization; and formulation of joint work plans.
  • Work closely with the Health, Education/ECD, Adolescents, Child Protection and Planning sections at RO to ensure that key tiers of service delivery, partnerships, and capacity building across progamme sectors address MHPSS needs of children and young people.
  • Provide technical advice and guide the development and dissemination of best practices on addressing mental health and psychosocial needs of children, adolescents, caregivers, and families, in the region and globally.


Advocacy, networking, and partnership building

  • Support the RO and COs in development of an MHPSS Advocacy strategy in close partnership with the regional and CO Communication teams.
  • Contribute to regional technical partnerships on MHPSS, and other global partnerships and initiatives on mental health
  • Strengthen strategic partnerships through networking and advocacy with governments, UN system agency partners, regional inter-governmental bodies, donors, internationally recognized institutions, NGOs, funding organization, research institutes and private sector to advance initiatives aimed at scaling up and scaling deep mental health and psychosocial programming in the region.


Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building

  • Provide technical support and capacity building to COs on MHPSS programming across sections, with a focus on integration in the back to school agenda, development of adolescent led initiatives and integration of mental health into positive parenting programmes
  • Promote critical thinking and innovative approaches on mental health, keeping abreast of current research and introducing and implementing cutting edge practices on implementation, systems strengthening, and workforce development.
  • Work to institutionalize and disseminate best practices and knowledge learned, including in humanitarian emergency settings, across UNICEF.
  • Contribute to the development of regional thought leadership and knowledge management through contributing to systematic collection of country programme experience (lessons learned, best practices, reviews, evaluations) in the area of MHPSS, including a key focus on the best practices; facilitate sharing of this knowledge between relevant UNICEF offices and a community of practice on MHPSS.
  • Contribute to advancement of research, and identify research gaps, with key partners in the area of MHPSS, specifically on evidence-based programming to advance the agenda on MHPSS at country level. 
  • Lead the coordination of the regional research on the situation of mental health and adolescents

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

  • An advanced university degree in psychology, public health, family health, health research, global/international health, environmental health sciences, socio-medical or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years progressively responsible professional work experience at the community, national and international levels in the areas of mental health, psychosocial health, or mental health programming and advocacy.
  • Experience in project management and coordination of cross-sectoral MHPSS portfolio.
  • Work experience and/or proven familiarity with countries in the East Asia and Pacific region on mental health and well-being of children and young people is an asset.
  • Experience of mental health programming in both development and humanitarian contexts is an asset.
  • Prior experience in working with UN agencies is an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or East Asia & Pacific Region's language(s) is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Functional Competencies:

  • Analyzing
  • Applying Technical Expertise
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts
  • Learning and Researching
  • Planning and Organizing

Core Competencies (For Staff without Supervisory Responsibilities) *

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness
  • Works Collaboratively with others
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships
  • Innovates and Embraces Change
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically
  • Drive to achieve impactful results
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity

Technical competencies 

  • Professional Technical expertise in the community, national and international levels in experience in the areas of mental health, psychosocial health, or mental health programming and advocacy.
  • Understanding of UNICEF’s policies and procedures for programme monitoring and evaluation guidelines.
  • Latest programme monitoring and evaluation theory, methodology, technology and tools
  • Understanding of UN Mission and system, and international Code of Conducts
  • Understanding of UNICEF Mission Statement and observance of UNICEF Guiding Principles

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

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.


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.

Advertised: SE Asia Standard Time
Deadline: SE Asia Standard Time

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