United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Health Specialist (Health Financing)
Job No.: 550353
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Contract Type: Temporary Appointment
Duration: 364 days
Supervisor: Health Manager PHC Systems Strengthening
Purpose for the Job
- The government of Nigeria has renewed its commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage and adopted Primary Health Care as a main pillar for its action to achieve its UHC goals. Optimal Public Financial Management is a strong prerequisite for rational use of scarce resources.
- The Health Specialist (Health Financing) will provide support to UNICEF Nigeria CO, Health Section, in the area of health financing.
- This includes fiscal space analysis, costing of interventions, health planning and budgeting including supply chain, health insurance, and reform of public financial management systems for the health sector at both national and sub-national level.
- The ultimate objective is to contribute to health system strengthening (HSS) to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with a focus on Primary Health Care and Routine Immunization.
- The Health Financing Specialist is expected to develop close collaboration with other key partners at federal and State level, including the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
- Ministry of Health; National Primary Health Care Development Agency; other UN agencies and International Financial Institutions. Additionally, the Health Financing Specialist will work closely with the UNICEF Nigeria CO Social Policy section on assessing design and implementation of health insurance schemes at community and state level.
- The ultimate objective of UNICEF’s work in health financing is to influence the size, composition, equity, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of health spending at national and subnational level.
Summary of Key Functions / Accountabilities
Data Driven Health Financing and Spending:
- Prepare timely health system, economic and financing analysis for PHC (including equity , cost effectiveness, and public health expenditure analysis) to empower UNICEF Nigeria with evidence for national dialogue in improving efficiency in health spending
- Support and guide UNICEF Nigeria on the analysis of health financing functions at subnational level with a focus on Immunization and Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) services without financial hardship
- Prepare data-driven situational analyses of health care financing in support of monitoring health sector performance, including general financing indicators, Sustainable Development Goals and UHC/PHC/Immunization/RMNCAH indicators.
- Lead the development of the SDG-3 investment case on PHC interventions including community level to reduce maternal mortality and improve child health outcomes, including expanding routine immunization and reducing zero-dose children.
- Undertake health sector budget analysis to inform UNICEF’s advocacy and technical assistance to federal and state Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Ministry of Health and federal agencies.
- Work with Social Policy in the analysis and understanding of the underlying economic determinants of health to develop and implement policies and programmes that enhance health equity and integrate pro-poor, gender-responsive, and human rights-based approaches, including assessing the design and implementation of health insurance schemes.
- Facilitate the analysis of social and economic trends and health financing information with a focus on implications on fiscal space for PHC services, including immunization, and support engagement for policy dialogue and formulation
- Advocate for and support efforts to leverage and prioritize resources for sustainable health system strengthening and Primary Health Care, including sustained routine immunization
- Provide technical support in the design, implementation and monitoring of innovative health financing initiatives to ensure sustainable and equitable financing and Universal Health Coverage, in collaboration with global health initiatives (GAVI, GF), and development banks (WB, ADB), among others.
Improving Use of Health Sector Public Financial Resources:
- Provide technical assistance to government ministries and entities in developing health financing strategies, including advice on the right strategic purchasing and provider payment mechanisms
- Participate in and provide technical inputs to the national and sub-national Public Finance Management (PFM) discussions, with a focus on increasing transparency and accountability at federal and sub-national level
- Provide support to Ministry of Health and other federal agencies on budget planning & preparation, pooling, and procurement
- Work with sector colleagues to build capacity to undertake costing and cost effectiveness analysis on priority interventions to help inform policy decisions on child-focused investments.
- Carry out analyses on fiscal space, out-of-pocket spending, benefit incidence, or a national health accounts exercise
- Undertake and build capacity of health sector partners for improved monitoring and tracking of public expenditure to support transparency, accountability and effective financial flows for essential health service delivery, including through support to subnational and district level planning, budgeting and public financial management as well as facilitating community participation.
- Support health sector financial reporting and accountability at national and subnational level.
- Support the Government to regularly monitor and measure the equity, efficiency, and effectiveness of health expenditures.
Advocacy, Networking and Partnership Building:
- Build and sustain effective close working partnerships with health sector government counterparts, national stakeholders, as well as global partners, allies, donors, and academia for active networking, advocacy and effective communication to improve health planning, budgeting and financial flows at federal and sub-national level.
- Prepare communication and information materials to promote awareness, establish partnerships/alliances, and support national efforts on fundraising for health programmes (PHC and UHC including immunization)).
- Participate and/or represent UNICEF in appropriate inter-agency discussions and planning on health-related issues to collaborate with inter-agency partners/colleagues on PFM related discussions; and on UNSDCF planning and preparation of health financing programmes/projects.
- Support compelling use of finance data and evidence in advocacy materials and campaigns, including designing visually attractive infographics and data analysis on health planning, budgeting, and expenditures
- Collaborate with WHO, World Bank, other UN agencies and implementing partners to support country-level technical assistance on public financing: costing, financial and fiscal space analysis, budgeting and design of financing mechanisms to benefit children and women
- Advocate, during strategic discussions with Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Health and other key decision makers and stakeholders to influence agenda setting in favor of health and wellbeing of children, women and young people.
Innovation, Knowledge Management and Capacity Building:
- Design and implement in-country studies to evaluate the cost of specific health interventions and programmes
- Document and disseminate lessons learned from national efforts in strengthening health systems and expanding health coverage for UHC with a focus on PHC and routine immunization, and to improve partnerships for sustainable health systems strengthening
- Produce high quality written reports and presentations, including technical documents, project status reports, policy briefs, and publications for conferences and journals
- Develop and implement country-specific national capacity building strategies in the area of health financing
- Provide technical leadership and coordination of relevant operational research, thus contributing to the knowledge base in health systems
- Disseminate relevant academic research findings, publications, presentations and reports.
Impact of Results:
- The efficiency and efficacy of support provided by the Health Specialist to programme preparation, planning and implementation facilitates the delivery of concrete and sustainable results that directly impact the improvement of the health and wellbeing of the most marginalized and vulnerable children and women in the country.
- This in turn contributes to maintaining and enhancing the credibility and ability of UNICEF to continue to provide programme services to protect the rights of children, and to promote greater social equality to enable them to survive, develop and reach their full potential in society.
Experience and Qualifications
- An Advanced University Degree (Master’s or higher) in Health Economics, Health Financing or Public Financial Management or a closely related field is required.
- A First University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree
- A minimum of eight years of relevant professional experience in a public finance or economic development role within the national/international health sector
- Prior experience developing costing/using costing tools (OneHealth Tool, CHPCT, EQUIST) is an asset
- Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated knowledge of and professional experience in at least two of the following areas: Public Financial Management in health, health economic analysis (especially cost analysis), strengthening public health financing and governance, Health Systems Strengthening applications and programmes.
- Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.
- Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization, or in a global health initiative (TGF, GAVI, GFF) or development bank is considered as an asset.
- Fluency in English is required.
Competencies and Level of Proficiency Required (Based on UNICEF Competency Profiles)
- Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA)
- Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (II)
- Works Collaboratively with others (II)
- Builds and Maintains Partnerships (II)
- Innovates and Embraces Change (II)
- Thinks and Acts Strategically (II)
- Drives to achieve impactful results (II)
- Manages ambiguity and complexity (II)
Application Closing Date
5th May, 2022 (West Central Africa Standard Time).