Family Planning Adviser, Dakar, WCARO ISC-12 (P5)

UNFPA/FNUAP - Dakar (Sénégal)

Reference 2524

Type of Contract CDD

Duration of Contract 1 an ou plus

Education Voir annonce

Department: West and Central Africa Regional Office

Position n° 228

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About the employer / working context

In 2008, UNFPA embarked on regionalization and decentralization actions in order to make UNFPA more field-focused, more efficient and effective in the advancement of ICPD agenda and MDG goals and to promote the gamut of UN reform activities that could make for better harmonization among UN agencies. In this connection, UNFPA has upgraded its regional sub office in Dakar (Senegal) to the status of a Regional Office for the Western and Central Africa region effective January 2013. This will be the second Regional Office in Africa after the one currently located in Johannesburg (South Africa) to serve the Eastern and Southern Africa region.

The Regional Office for West and Central Africa (WCARO) covers 23 English, French, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. The countries in the region are organized at the sub-regional and regional levels into economic commissions. In its organizational set-up, the WCARO operates along broad thematic Units that are designed to stimulate and strengthen inter and intra-Unit coordination, coherence and synergy, facilitating timely and quality management and delivery of holistic population and development programme activities.

The position of Family Planning Adviser will function out of the WCARO office in Dakar (Senegal) within the assigned Women’s Repro. Health Advocacy & Policy Unit, reporting to the Deputy Regional Director. S/He is the key advisor at the regional level for integrated technical, policy and programme advice on voluntary Family planning / contraceptive service programmes. S/He works in an integrated manner with the technical and programme staff of WCARO and with the country teams of the region, under the direction of the Deputy Regional Director.


In general, the position is expected to be part of a programme of engagement with the political and technical arms of intergovernmental sub regional and regional organizations as well as with relevant sub regional and regional NGOs, professional associations, regional economic commissions, regional banks, and international development agencies to get contraceptive/family planning programmes including RHCS issues, ICPD beyond 2014 agenda and relevant ICPD MDG goals into their focus, decisions and programmes, creating visibility for UNFPA’s leadership. The functions of the position in regard to Family planning/contraceptive and fertility management and RHCS issues will also extend to country programmes, in the context of the enhanced but supportive role that WCARO is expected to assume.

Duties and Responsibilities

Main Tasks & Responsibilties


Under the overall guidance of the Regional Director and the direction and supervision of the Deputy Regional Director, the position in intra and Inter-Thematic Unit collaboration, covers:

A. Strategic technical and policy development, monitoring and oversight

  1. Provide technical and related policy and programme  leadership, management advice and strategic support and guidance to the region and respective countries, in the area of voluntary family planning including RHCS for both developing, middle income and humanitarian settings/context in collaboration with technical and programme staff in the WCARO and within a HRB and culturally sensitive approach;
  2. Identify and provide analytical-based advice, in the field of family planning and within the context of UNFPA’s comparative substantive role and specific contribution in the changing development
  3. Identify and analyze trends, threats and risks in regard to family planning programmes  that may affect the ICPD agenda and agenda, and participate in policy advocacy and dialogue;
  4. Contribute to the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for the delivery of  technical assistance, policy advocacy and programme support in the region;
  5. In the area of family planning, manage substantial inputs and provide support to implementation of a regional programme, grounded in thorough substantive basis and responsive to region and countries’ priorities and that includes a focus on full access and full choice and that specifically takes into account the adolescents and youth unmet need and uses a HR based programming approach;
  6. Contribute to the substantive elaboration of UNFPA Strategic Plan, its family planning strategy and to its implementation in the region;
  7. Contribute to the articulation of the theory of change of global and regional outcome and output deliverables in the area of family planning and RHCS for both the strategic plan and the regional programme, and provides similar guidance to COs and their respective CPAPs;
  8. Contribute to the development, implementation and monitoring of regional strategies and interventions on Family Planning and RHCS in the region and with regional economic commission partnerships;
  9. UNFPA’s work within the region;
  10. Identify requirements for and contribute to the development of new or updated policies, positioning, frameworks, guidance, standards, instruments and tools; 
  11. Participate in the UNFPA and FP2020 technical networks  on Family Planning maintaining communication and feedback loops on all substantive work;
  12. Develop/strengthen Contraceptive programmes for young people and in conflict and disaster recovery context, and ensure planning and monitoring linkages with regional level structures, and integration into relevant national government sector strategies, planning and programming frameworks;
  13. Provide programmatic coordination and policy guidance and related tasks to strengthen integration of Family Planning, SRHR, HIV prevention and GBV prevention, response and coordination issues into national frameworks and multi-sectorial development plans and budgets; and
  14. Coach and manage junior professional staff and associates, experts / consultants and facilitate working groups and task teams.

B. Quality control of technical support and capacity development

  1. Advise the Regional Office and Country Offices on the implementation and proper application of  UNFPA policies, strategies, guidelines and tools on substantive matters in the region, ensuring consistency and coherence in addressing priorities for UNFPA;
  2. Ensure that state-of-the-art thinking, research and innovation is integrated within the work of the regional office and partnership networks;
  3. Review products of technical support at key stages of UNFPA, UN, and national development planning exercises, including advise director on clearance for final draft CPDs;
  4. Analyze technical, policy, programmatic and substantive reports from the field and recommend required follow-up actions;
  5. Organize or contribute to regional and inter-country training activities in Family planning and RHCS for capacity development of COs/national/regional counterparts;
  6. Support the regional adaptation of training materials, manuals and tools in Family Planning and ensure their availability and promote their use for capacity development;
  7. Contribute to the development and implementation of a regional integrated technical delivery strategy to strengthen capacities in the region, and guide the management of this system;
  8. Support the development of regional institutional capacities including respective regional economic commissions  for delivering high-quality technical and policy support in select areas of UNFPA’s mandate;
  9. Monitor the quality of the technical support received at the country level, in the area of expertise, for effective policy dialogue, programming and monitoring and evaluation;
  10. Initiate, develop, strengthen and monitor substantive and intellectual regional partnerships in Family Planning including for South-South technical support to countries and for the implementation of the regional programme; 
  11. Contribute to providing guidance to COs to include South-South cooperation in the development of Country Programmes; and
  12. Liaise with respective counterparts in TD and PD to identify opportunities for South-South cooperation in the region and with other regions.

C. Evidence and knowledge development and dissemination

  1. Play a key role in building up, coordinating and monitoring the regional knowledge platform and innovation approaches in their areas of expertise and competency;
  2. Contribute to developing a mechanism to share technical skills and knowledge within and among programme countries and/or other regions;
  3. Facilitate and help maintain and make accessible data bases on best practices, partnerships and consultant rosters and help ensure their accessibility;
  4. Collect, analyze and synthesize information/data and experience on programme priorities to be used in regional and global advocacy;
  5. Lead the analysis and synthesis of substantive trends, emerging needs and research findings in the region in order to produce new, cutting edge technical knowledge and innovative approaches;
  6. Prepare white papers, briefing and materials for evidence-based policy dialogues at regional level, provide similar support at the request of country offices;
  7. Disseminate and promote the use of state-of-the-art technical knowledge, evidence, lessons learned, and success stories and ensure their use to improve the effectiveness of UNFPA operations.
  8. Monitor and analyze reports on humanitarian, economic, political and social factors in development and management of population and development programmes with a focus on family planning;
  9. Collect, analyze and synthesize information/data and experience on programme priorities to be used in regional and global advocacy and for resource mobilization;
  10. Contribute to the advocacy efforts to advance the ICPD agenda beyond 2014 and the attainment of MDG targets and indicators at the regional level including providing effective strategies for positioning family planning and universal SRHR in the post 2015 development processes; and
  11. Contribute evidence-based and knowledge sharing in the area of work, and regional experiences of working with UN-wide frameworks and instruments related to the new aid environment.

D. Management and coordination of knowledge networks

  1. Coordinate overall provision of technical support to the country offices in the region in Family Planning including RHCS;
  2. Develop and co-ordinate the substantive elements of partnerships and collaboration in family Planning within the FP 2020 campaign, with other UN agencies, including in the context of the UNDG, particularly with the regional technical arms of these agencies, as well as with regional institutions;
  3. Identify sources of technical knowledge and innovation among institutions and consultants; and
  4. Establish and maintain relationships with institutions in the region.  

E. Technical representation

  1. Represent UNFPA on substantive issues in the region and elaborate UNFPA’s substantive regional and global perspectives in Family Planning programming;
  2. Participate in policy dialogue, and advocate for substantive issues in international, inter-governmental, U.N., and other policy and technical meetings and fora;
  3. Collaborate on substantive issues with UN agencies, academia, research and training institutions, think tanks, centers of excellence, professional societies in the region; and
  4. Act as focal point for inter-agency working groups on family Planning and on RHCS including those related to humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery and human rights.

Carry out any other duties as may be requested by the Deputy Regional Director or Regional Director.

Job Qualifications & Skills / Selection Criteria

Qualifications and Experience



Post-graduate University Degree or equivalent in public health, medicine, logistics management, social sciences of business or other related field. The graduate or post-graduate degree must be directly related to the substantive area identified in the title of the post. A course in logistics, essential drugs, and MIS is a plus.


Knowledge and Experience:

  • 10 years of increasing responsibilities at the national level in reproductive health, family planning or health programmes ideally with direct experience relating to logistics systems;
  • At least five years’ regional international experience advising other countries on reproductive health commodities;


  • Fluency in French and working knowledge of English.  Portuguese/Spanish is an asset

Required Competencies


i) Values: Integrity, commitment, embracing cultural diversity, embracing change.

ii) Core Competencies: Achieving results, accountability, developing professional expertise, analytical thinking, working in teams, communicating for impact.

iii) Required Skillset:

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and an understanding of the social, political, economic, dimensions (milieu, context) of policy making and programme implementation generally and in WCARO zone;
  • Knowledge and experience of work in development assistance programming processes;
  • Ability to lead and drive for results with a strong knowledge of results-based management.

Cognitive skills:

  • Ability to identify the relative merits of different policy arguments in the broad or specific thematic area, applying principles and reasoned personal view in a logical and coherent way including presentation of reasoned choice between alternative opinions and solutions;
  • Ability to conceptualize and to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives;
  • Capacity to interact with public and NGO officials in programme countries and credibly influence their senior decision makers and other international development organizations in regard to ICPD agenda and MDG goals.


  • Ability to organize information using appropriate mode of presentation and style and to communicate effectively, illustrating relevance of information to the intended audience;
  • Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality practical advisory reports and knowledge product
  • Ability to promote knowledge management and a learning environment through leadership and personal example

Working with others:

  • Demonstrated ability to work with and within inter-disciplinary and multicultural groups to find agreed solutions to set problems and to accept responsibility and accountability for performance on any aspect of a team task;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide constructive coaching and feedback;
  • Ability to reflect critically on own performance up to identifying issues on which assistance is needed and to obtain such assistance;
  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills.


UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, respect for diversity, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life.  We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.


Compensation and Benefits

This position offers an attractive remuneration package commensurate with the level of the post.   The package includes a competitive net salary plus cost of living adjustment, housing allowance, home leave, health insurance and other benefits.


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[1] No expectancy of renewal in accordance with UN Staff Regulation 4.5

Additional Information about the position