Afghanistan: International Consultant (Development of EPI Communication Strategy and Operational Plan)

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 19 Jan 2018

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Assignment:

The health system in Afghanistan has shown a steady progress over the last years, with an increasing coverage of primary health care services throughout the country. However the immunisation status of children in Afghanistan is characterised by low coverage (full Immunization Coverage at the national coverage is 51%[1]). There is a wide variation in immunisation coverage rates between the regions and between wealth quintiles, maternal education levels and areas of residence. Full immunisation coverage is higher in wealthiest quintile (60%) than the poorest (38%) groups. Seventeen provinces out of 34 have less than 60% full immunisation coverage.

UNICEF in Afghanistan provides a wide range of support to the National EPI Department, with a focus on system strengthening. UNICEF works to ensure children and infants and women of child bearing age are fully immunised through pro­curement of vaccines, supporting the establishment of cold rooms and vaccine management, training of vaccinators and supervisors, and generating demand among communities on routine immunization by raising awareness through behaviour and social change communications initiatives.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is responsible for overall coordination and monitoring of EPI programme, with NEPI Department undertaking important functions such as policy making, setting strategies, planning, information collection and sharing, partner coordination, quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation and procurement and supplies management. The regional and provincial EPI management teams are responsible for overseeing the implementation of planned activities at the district and sub-district levels.

An area that needs urgent attention is the inadequate awareness and demand for and utilization of health services including routine Immunization. Information related to knowledge and practices of caregivers regarding immunization needs to be improved. There has been a lack of adequate and systematic efforts to improve population awareness, household-level beliefs, knowledge of danger signs on various health issues, identification of barriers to routine immunization.

UNICEF in collaboration with the Afghanistan MoPH is planning to develop an EPI Communication Strategy to increase awareness of and improve demand for utilization of immunization services in the context of improving beliefs, behaviour and practices on proper health care of children and women of reproductive age. This is an important and urgent task for addressing the demand side barriers resulting in increased immunization coverage. Since we have limited capacity at national level (individual and institutional), it is proposed to hire an international consultant to facilitate the development of Communication Strategy for EPI in Afghanistan.

Expected Deliverables, Timeframe and Payment schedule:



Payment Schedule


An inception report, with situation analysis and conceptual framework for EPI communication strategy

07 days


Draft EPI Communication Strategy document, ready for review by NEPI, HPD and partners

08 days


Second draft of communication strategy prepared, PPT on broad contours of EPI communication strategy prepared, conceptual framework of operational plan for EPI strategy prepared

10 days

EPI Communication Strategy finalized and final document available

03 days

Draft operational Plan prepared, PPT on operational plan prepared

07 days


Operational Plan for EPI strategy finalized and final document available

05 days

Qualifications of Successful Candidate:

· Five years of relevant professional work experience on communication related projects

· Experience in developing health-related policies and strategies and assessment is required

· Experience of working with UN or an international development organization is an asset

· Experience of working in the developing countries/emergency contexts

· Knowledge of qualitative & quantitative data analysis

· Good report writing and presentation skills

· Skills in integrating concepts into operational and action plans and budgets

Competencies of Successful Candidate

To view our competency framework, please click here.

Please indicate your ability, availability and lumpsum consultancy rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel, daily subsistence allowance and other expenses). Applications submitted without a lumpsum rate will not be considered.

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.

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