Risk Communication Consultant for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response (Samoa and Tonga)

Closing date

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.

For every child, everywhere

The Pacific is considered one epidemiological region comprising relatively small populations where large segments of the population travel between countries and these movements from country to country are frequent. The probability of spread to other countries is very high because of the inherent social and economic interconnectivity amongst the Pacific countries, including countries with ongoing outbreaks like New Zealand. Global epidemics are a current threat to fragile Pacific Island Countries, especially those with compromised immunization coverage in addition to most at risk populations with compromised immune systems (persons living with HIV, cancer, elder people, etc.). In addition, high risk for cyclones and water stress situations are recurrent in the Pacific, affecting vulnerable populations and triggering conditions for disease outbreaks, further threatening the lives of most at risk groups, especially children.

As of 30 December, four (4) countries have declared a measles outbreak in the Pacific: American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. For instance, in Samoa, the Government reported 5,675 cases and 81 deaths. Some 90% of the fatalities are children under 5 years old. On 30 January 2020, WHO announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and on 11 March WHO described the COVID-19 situation as a pandemic. As of 14 March 2020, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 136 countries. Several countries have demonstrated that COVID-19 transmission from one person to another can be slowed or stopped.

In line with WHO's guidelines provided for "Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions." Risk Communications is a critical and substantial component across all potential transmission scenarios. This outlines the need to Educate and actively communicate with the public through risk communication and community engagement. UNICEF together with WHO and key partners have been providing ongoing support to Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in strengthening the capacities of Ministries of Health for risk communications for COVID-19 preparedness and response. With more than 179,000 confirmed cases worldwide as of March 17, 2020 and 7426 deaths, the need to also monitor and support countries in close coordination with WHO and key partners, with countries preparedness measures relative to risk communications is also critical as the situation evolves globally and regionally in the Pacific.

How can you make a difference?

Support UNICEF's Pacific regional risk communication efforts to Samoa and Tonga by providing expertise in ensuring a continuous, coordinated, cohesive and strategic response to outbreak preparedness and response measures specifically for, but not limited to, COVID-19

The consultant will be responsible for the following specifically to Samoa and Tonga (with possible missions to other Pacific Island Countries):

  • Coordinate UNICEF Pacific's risk communication activities in Samoa and Tonga, including internal and external planning, monitoring and reporting requirements
  • Provide technical C4D/Risk communications support for outbreak preparedness and response initiatives specifically for, but not limited to, COVID-19

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

Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Masters Degree in communications, social sciences, or related fields.
  • A minimum of 2 - 4 years experience in C4D and emergencies with either the UN and/or NGOs in Emergencies particularly with regards to disease outbreak responses
  • Excellent written and spoken skills in the language of the humanitarian operation and knowledge of another UN language an asset. Fluency in English (verbal and written) is a must.

The tasked consultant must also have:

  • A high level of professionalism, diplomacy skills as well as strong organizational and coordination skills
  • Strong networking skills and relate well with colleagues and partners
  • Proven strong humanitarian experience with excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to produce quality work in a fast-paced environment within given deadlines and under high pressure

A detailed Terms of Reference is attached: Risk Comms Consultant Samoa Tonga COVID19 EXT..pdf

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. 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.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

How to apply

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link