Research Officer (Social Sciences) EBOLA mobile team, P-2, Goma,DRC (Temporary Appointment 6 months)

Job no: 530146
Work type: Temporary Appointment
Level: P-2
Location: Congo, Dem. Rep
Categories: P-2

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, Hope

Following the August 1 announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) of a new Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu, UNICEF has mobilized its teams to help contain the spread of the disease and protect children. This is the tenth epidemic in DRC since 1976 and comes just a few days after the declaration of the end of the Ebola epidemic in the Western Province of Equateur that began in mid-May. At this stage, there is no indication that the outbreaks in Equateur and North Kivu are linked. The Congolese Government has activated its response plan and called in its partners, including UNICEF, to participate in the response.

As part of the 4th Strategic Response Plan (SRP IV), the Social Sciences Research Group (SSRG) has been included with the Epidemiological Cell as part of a greater Analysis Cell which supports all response pillars in the response through context-based social sciences and formative research. Research agenda is developed from context, epidemiological analysis and from pillar and technical commission requests before or after programme intervention. The SSRG aims to improve the accountability and appropriateness of the Ebola response through this continued and flexible support.

How can you make a difference?

The Research Officer reports to the Research Manager (Level 4) for guidance and general supervision.

The aim of the social sciences- formative research team is to work closely with existing programmes and the Ebola response through the commissions to conduct research which will result in clearly identified opportunities for improving the quality and accountability of the Ebola response.

The UNICEF social sciences research team works together with the UNICEF programme teams to provide concrete recommendations for programme adaptation based on research results. The team also works together with an integrated Analysis Cell: Social Sciences (under the Ministry of Health and together with WHO, CDC, ICRC other NGO partners). The team uses epidemiological data, context analysis, programme implementations among other aspects to both inform research agenda; while equally providing commissions and the Analysis Cell with social sciences analysis to influence the overall response approach.

The mobile (flying) CASS team is a two-person team is expected to provide rapid social sciences research support in new outbreak areas (including hiring, training and coaching local social scientist), support gaps for field teams and facilitate cross-location learning.

1. Rapid social sciences research: deploy to new and existing locations to conduct mixed methods research analysis (meta-synthesis) of qualitative and quantitative data

  • Deploy to various locations (including remote areas) and identify rapid social sciences research analysis needs (social-epidemiology, context, behavioral, etc) together with the MoH, UNICEF, WHO and implementing partners on the ground
  • Follow SOPs for Social Sciences Research (sign-off and validation procedures under MoH)
  • Use qualitative and quantitative research tools to conduct data collection
  • Analyze and triangulate data (coordinate with teams for existing data)
  • Support the continued situation analysis from various sources.  Provide timely, comprehensive and current data to inform response interventions
  • Work with field teams to support their capacity in data analysis
  • Write comprehensive technical reports and guidance notes needed/ based on outcomes

2. Identify local social sciences capacity and hire, train and coach local social sciences teams

  • At field locations, identify local social sciences research capacity
  • Hire local teams, and develop a capacity building plan
  • Train and coach on data collection tools and methods as well as analysis
  • Set up regular data analysis and validation sessions
  • Develop capacity-building strategies and opportunities that can be used across various field locations (based on context and team needs)

4. Identify opportunities for cross-learning in social sciences within both research and programme teams

  • Contribute to identifying opportunities to share across field teams (both within social sciences and across UNICEF programmes)
  • Be pro-active and, when possible, develop short papers, presentations, and training to support this learning

5. Actively participate in various coordination meetings, representation of the Social Sciences Analysis Cell

  • Attend all commission and sub-coordination meetings to represent the social sciences analysis cell (inter-agency)
  • Participate in Analysis Cell (Social Sciences and Epi) when present in field locations
  • Coordinate and share across various meetings

6. Ensure knowledge management and data sharing

  • Contribute to existing Social Sciences online drive
  • Ensure all data tools, analysis, presentations, and reports are provided online

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

  • A  first-level university degree with SOCIAL SCIENCES RESEARCH experience is required: public health, epidemiology, anthropology or another relevant technical field.
  • Additional relevant post-graduate courses that complement/supplement social sciences research in health is an asset.
  • A minimum of [2] two years of relevant professional experience in social sciences research experience, working in a humanitarian and development context (with UN-Govt-INGO) is required.
  • Experience working in public health emergencies is required
  • Experience working in health research in humanitarian or development programmes is required.
  • Fluency in English and French is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language 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 functional competencies required for this post are:

Core Values

  • Commitment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Integrity

Core competencies

  • Communication (II)
  • Working with people (II)
  • Drive for results (II) 

Functional Competencies:

  • Qualitative research skills (I)
  • Social epidemiology (I)
  • Formulating strategies and concepts (I)
  • Analyzing (I)
  • Applying technical expertise (I)
  • Relating and networking (II)
  • Learning and Researching (II)

IV. Impact of Results

The Social Sciences team contributes to an improved informed UNICEF response based on context and community knowledge and understanding, as well as strong research and understanding in the short- and long-term potential impacts of the Ebola response. The social sciences team will contribute to UNICEF’s accountability to affected populations and appropriateness and quality of the overall response. Furthermore, this team co-leads the CASS and contributes to a greater understanding of community, context and social-behavioral factors to improve the appropriateness of the Ebola response.

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.

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.


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

* Please note that this is a non-family duty station.

* The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receiving an offer.

* Employment is conditional upon receipt of medical clearance, any clearance required, the grant of a visa, and completion of any other pre-employment criteria that UNICEF may establish. Candidates may not be further considered or offer of employment may be withdrawn if these conditions are unlikely to be met before the date for commencement of service.

Advertised: 21 Feb 2020 W. Central Africa Standard Time
Applications close: 28 Feb 2020 11:55 PM W. Central Africa Standard Time

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