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For every child, hope
In Mali, the northern regions (Kidal, Timbuktu, Gao) and some of the south (Sikasso, Segou, Mopti) were known as areas at risk since the beginning of the 2012 security crisis, because they have low immunization coverage of children and women of childbearing age. Nowadays, with the proliferation of gold panning areas and the important movement towards the urban areas (several large cities including Bamako), the rate of the non-respect of the vaccination calendar, and that of absence of children during supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) increased. Low immunization coverage is linked to problems with continuity of immunization services, under-reporting of data, inadequate provision of vaccine health facilities, failure to reach high-risk and underserved populations.
The low percentage of possession of vaccination cards could be explained by the non-compliance of the supply chain, the insufficiency of interpersonal communication on card retention and the high cost of cards in some parts of the country. However, certification standards for poliomyelitis eradication (non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) per 100,000 children under 15 years of age and the percentage of stool removed within 14 days of onset of paralysis) were achieved in the last three years, despite the disparity between regions. Only the Kidal region has not reported cases during the last three years, which may be due to insecurity (PPAC 2017-2021). The last polio case detected in Mali is an imported case that dates from September 2015. Response campaigns with specific activities were organized as a response with a strong focus in the districts hosting gold panning areas with a great number of Guinean and Malian population.
The communication efforts provided by the Government and partners continue to contribute significantly to informing a large section of the community about vaccination activities, with various channels and communication media including mass media, traditional communicators’ approach and other communication tools.
According to the 2015 immunization coverage assessment, the percentage of fully immunized children from 12 to 23 months is 60.29% for the whole country compared to 62% in 2010. This rate has slightly decreased (between 2010 and 2015) with disparities between health districts. As for the dropout rates according to the results of the survey (2015), they are 19.9% for Penta1-Penta3 and 21.17% for BCG-VAR. these rates are higher than planned objectives (<=10%).
Regarding women immunization status, only 42% of them are completely vaccinated and the proportion that has received no vaccine is 9.7%. The results of the latest polio National Immunization Day (NID) independent monitoring in April 2016 and April 2017 showed a lack of interpersonal communication and social mobilization: the rate of parents informed in April 2016 is 82% (under the required 90%) with 4.1 % missed children. The results of April 2017 reveal that 76% of parents are informed. The Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) results show that there are 22 rejected districts out of 65. These figures show that, in reality, there are efforts to be made in terms of communication. It should be pointed out that the lack of control over gold washing areas and populations in insecure areas as specific communities is a problem in the implementation of vaccination activities.
How can you make a difference?
The C4D Specialist EPI Reinforcement will carry out the following tasks:
Update the mapping of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) involved in promoting health interventions including immunization
Support the development of CSO intervention action plans to promote the demand for immunization services in the 23 priority districts with their integration into the priority district action plans.
Establish the CSO performance framework in promoting the demand for immunization services in the 11 priority districts.
Establish a framework and mechanisms for coordination and animation of community platforms
Strengthen community actors such as religious leaders, women leaders and youth leaders to seek and find missed children
Use technological innovations such as U-Report as a tool for monitoring EPI demand
Leverage existing approaches and platforms for the benefit of the EPI
Strengthen the capacity of Community Health Association (ASACOs), Mayors and Districts Presidents for the governance of immunization services (Planning, Monitoring / Evaluation) in 23 priority districts
Establish an accountability framework for EPI stakeholders at the health area level of the 12 priority districts
Support the implementation and monitoring of accountability frameworks developed in priority districts
Support the setting-up and operationalization of immunization support, nutrition and birth registration groups in the 23 priority districts
Support the establishment and use of the community immunization registry in the 23 priority districts
Participate in the identification and management of hard-to-reach communities in the 23 districts
Participate in the monitoring of progress through the use of dashboards, data reviews and rapid convenience surveys in the 23 priority districts
Use the Knowledge, Attitude. and Practice (KAP) study findings to support targeted demand generation planning and partners capacity building
Contribute to the strategic reflection and implementation of Communication for Development (C4D) activities initiated within the section
Document good practices on community engagement for the EPI: Quality Videos / Articles / Photography.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in communication for development studies, sociology, anthropology, adult education or social sciences;
A minimum of five (5) yearsof relevant professional experience incommunication for development/health in Africa.
Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
Thorough knowledge of the latest developments in communication for development including communication for immunization;
Proven experience in the design, development and implementation of innovative C4D approaches, with a monitoring and evaluation mechanism and monitoring and documentation tools;
Ability to intervene in emergency areas and/or difficult to access;
Thorough knowledge of computers, and software of common use.
Extensive knowledge in the field of C4D for maternal, newborn and child health and immunization;K
Knowledge of the problems related to the EPI routine in Africa;
Working experience in communication within an international organization or the UN agency would be an asset.
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.
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
The successful candidate for this emergency recruitment MUST be available to commence work within 31 days of receivingan offer.
Please note that this is a non-family duty station.
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.