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 Duration: 14.03.2017 - 24.03.2017


UNICEF Azerbaijan


Terms of Reference



  1. Background/Context

During recent years Azerbaijan has made significant progress in improving the health and nutritional status of children and women. However, there are remaining challenges that affect child survival and development in the country. Overall the country has high level of anaemia prevalence in particular amongst people in low-wealth quintiles. The 2013 National Nutrition Survey found that iron-deficiency anaemia affects one-fourth of women of reproductive age, about 40 per cent of pregnant women, 38 per cent of non-pregnant women and 24.2 per cent of children aged 6-59 months. About one-third and one-fifth of Azerbaijani women are deficient in folate and vitamin B12 respectively. The prevalence of anaemia among pregnant women, combined with other factors, is a key contributor to 9.2 per cent of children having low birthweight, and an estimated 4.9 per cent of children aged 0-59 months being underweight and 18 per cent stunted. The breastfeeding rate is relatively low in Azerbaijan, with only 12 per cent of children under 6 months old being exclusively breastfed.

Based on the report of the State Statistical Committee, about only 24 per cent of new cases of disability among children were detected before 3 years old in 2013. The current inherited model for the definition of disability depends heavily on medical diagnosis that normally takes time, and delays possible interventions from the earliest stage. This in turn is likely to cause a heavy economic burden for providing rehabilitation and social assistance in future life. There is an emerging need to improve the quality and capacity of services aimed at Early Detection and Early Prevention (EDEP) of child developmental delays and disabilities using modern instruments and interventions.

The current Country Programme of Cooperation between UNICEF and the Government of Azerbaijan (2016-2020) prioritizes achievement of three major outputs:

  • Increased access to essential high-impact child health and nutrition  interventions; including promotion of breastfeeding;
  • Establishment of operational system for Early Detection, Prevention of Childhood disabilities and Early Interventions; and
  • Adoption of legislation on flour fortification and implementation of mandatory flour fortification and iron supplementation mechanisms for Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW) and children aged 6-24 months.

  1. Goal/Objective

UNICEF Azerbaijan seeks to recruit a Health and Nutrition Specialist on a Temporary Assistant basis to provide expert assistance in accomplishment of the following objectives:

  • Enhancing capacity for delivery of essential high-impact child health and nutrition  interventions including those aimed at reducing anaemia among women and children and increasing appropriate breastfeeding practices
  • Effective national scale-up of early detection and prevention of developmental delays in children aged 0-3 and early childhood development interventions.
  • Advocacy for flour fortification and other technical solutions to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Full implementation and reporting of the Health and Nutrition Programme Rolling Work Plan as agreed with the government counterparts.

  1. Activities and Tasks/Work Relationship

  1. Support for enhancing the Ministry of Health’s capacity to provide access to essential high-impact child health and nutrition interventions:

  • Provide technical assistance to the MOH working group review on conformity of existing legislation on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) with international recommendations, including the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
  • Assist the MOH in development of national standards and guidelines on IYCF to be used by three levels of care (primary, secondary and tertiary) in Azerbaijan, including development of a training course on IYCF counselling for health professionals and community health workers, institutionalization of the training course in the Post Graduate Medical Institute
  • Support the MOH to review data collection tools and methodology for low and very low birth weight newborns and analysis of collected data; review SDG child health related indicators for possible inclusion in the Health Management Information System; support MOH to put in place a methodical and well-documented system for maternal and child mortality surveillance in support of improved quality of the surveillance system
  • Assist the MOH in development of public communication strategy on IYCF with special focus on excusive breastfeeding, and implementation of the strategy through capacity building for relevant MOH departments

  1. Support for effective countrywide scaling up of early detection prevention of developmental delays in children aged 0-3 and early interventions

  • Provide technical assistance to the MOH in development of a training programme on Monitoring of Child Development and its institutionalization in the Post Graduate Medical Institute and Medical University.
  • Support to the MOH in scaling up training and development of a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess effectiveness of training.
  1. Support for advocacy for flour fortification and other effective tools in reduction of micronutrient deficiencies

  • Provide technical support to the MOH in holding inter-sectoral strategy discussions for public and private sector engagement on major steps, roles and responsibilities to reduce  micronutrient deficiency amongst the population, especially women and children
  • Support the MOH in the establishment of a technical committee, and development of standards and protocols for iron supplementation.
  • Assist the MOH in development of the national Nutrition Action Plan.

  1. Support for the development of health policy and systems, monitoring health and nutritional status of children and women, and strengthening partnerships and knowledge management for child survival and development

  • Contribute to policy and strategic discussions on health policy and system reform, including assessment of health related social protection policies and services.
  • Collect and analyze health related indicators and continue supporting updates of situation of children and women in health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS. Explore and initiate new areas and innovative solutions in improvement of health and nutrition outcomes for Azerbaijani children, in particular the most disadvantaged groups.
  • Maintain and develop partnerships with key development partners and stakeholders and develop innovative solutions in supporting to achieve programme goals and targets.
  • Support to knowledge management through documenting and dissemination of good practices and lessons learned and engagement of international cooperation in related areas.

  1. Successful implementation of the UNICEF/MOH Rolling Workplan and achievement of annual targets through effective programme management and monitoring

  • Assist government counterparts and other partners in the planning and management of the health and nutrition work plan.
  • Manage programme financial resources and ensure effective use of programme funds.
  • Conduct field visits to UNICEF project sites for monitoring project activities and local conditions, and follow up with counterparts and other partners on project implementation.
  • Organize periodical project reviews with Government counterparts and all other relevant partners. Ensure the annual targets are achieved in a timely manner. Provide technical assistance on identifying necessary action for programme adjustments, acceleration, improvement and sustainability.
  • Prepare inputs to Annual Reports and other reporting requirements. Summarize good practices and lessons learned, and identify implementation challenges.
  • Support and coordinate the discussion of the 2018 work plan as needed.

  1. Qualifications

  • Education: Advanced university degree in Public Health, Medicine or other related Social Science discipline
  • Work Experience: Extensive knowledge and at least five years of experiences of mother and child health/nutrition programmes ; advocacy experience with high level government and non-government officials
  • Competencies: Advanced analytical skills of health programs, experience in managing implementation of health and nutrition programmes with multiple partners;      
  • Experience in mainstreaming gender and equity concerns in health and nutrition programs;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relations both within and outside the organization
  • Excellent communication skills in Azerbaijani and English (both verbal and written);
  • Experience of working with UN and other international organizations would be an asset

  1. Working Conditions and Duration

The incumbent will be office-based working in UNICEF Azerbaijan office and will be provided with a work place and computer. Frequent in-country travel to monitor programme implementation will be required.

Duration of the assignment is 364 days, from 17 April, 2017 to 16 April, 2018.

How to apply: 

Applicants should apply for the vacancy through the link:

Please note that we will not be able to consider your application if it is not linked in UNICEF new e-recruitment system.

All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Deadline:   24 March, 2017

UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.


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