Social & Behavior Change Specialist (Health & Nutrition), (P-3), Pacific Multi-Country Office, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, Post #128995 (Temporary Appointment, 364 days) At United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)


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, [health]

In the Pacific we work in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu: These 14 Pacific island countries are home to 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children and youth, living on more than 660 islands and atolls stretching across 17.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, an area comparable to the combined size of the United States of America and Canada. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are classified as Fragile States according to World Bank/OECD criteria. The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfill their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries.

Social and Behaviour Change in UNICEF is a cross-cutting programme strategy that addresses the cognitive, social and structural determinants of social change in both development and humanitarian contexts. SBC uses the latest in social and behavioral sciences to understand people, their beliefs, values, and the socio-cultural norms that shape their lives, with the aim of engaging them and increasing their influence in the design of solutions for sustainable behavior and social change. SBC is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate, with corporate results across sectors revolving around social and behavioral practices like immunization, breastfeeding, hygiene, and positive discipline.


UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office has been supporting health programming in Tonga, with focus on immunization, and UNICEF contribution in nutrition is likely to become greater over time, due to the magnitude of the diet related NCD risk factors. Tonga has made good progress in improving the health and well-being of its child population.

All 14 Pacific Island countries and territories have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but only a third are on track with reporting obligations. Explore the different areas of our work here: UNICEF Pacific Islands.

How can you make a difference?

The Social and Behavior Change Specialist (Health & Nutrition) reports to the Chief of Social Behavior & Change, Pacific Multi-Country Office, for general guidance and supervision. The Specialist provides technical and operational support for developing a systematic, planned and evidence-based strategy and process for SBC as an integral part of health and nutrition programme development, planning and implementation to increase demand for and utilization of immunization and other essential primary health care services, tackle equity related barriers including gender, and prevent all forms of malnutrition. Through communication and engagement, as well as the empowerment and participation of stakeholders, communities, children, civil society partners, and government counterparts, s/he promotes measurable behavioral and social change/mobilization. This subsequently contributes to the achievement of sustainable and concrete results in improving children’s rights, survival, and wellbeing in the country.


  1. Generate and utilize research, data, and evidence to inform the design, measurement, and monitoring of SBC strategies for health and nutrition programs and outcomes in both development and emergency contexts and to build the evidence base.
  • In collaboration with health, nutrition and cross-sectoral specialists, relevant government officers and other UN/NGO partners, design and conduct SBC situation analyses and formative research that identify social and behavioral drivers; initiate, commission, manage and/or utilize qualitative and quantitative research on social and behavioral drivers that include behavioural analysis, human centred design, social listening, behavioural insights, participatory research and/or RCT.
  • Establish community feedback mechanisms and use feedback to inform community engagement and SBC actions for disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience. Generate and use SBC evidence, data, and assessments for disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience.
  • Develop terms of reference, research tools, frameworks and protocols for generating evidence to inform SBC initiatives and apply tools, methodologies and frameworks for data collection, tracking, monitoring and reporting and disseminating SBC results.
  • Conduct and/or participate in country programme monitoring and evaluation exercises and make recommendations on workplan revisions based on the results.
  • Develop and manage relationships with external partners, vendors and consultants for research and evidence generation and support of SBC for health and nutrition.
  1. Design, plan and implement evidence-based activities that facilitates social and behavioural change related to health and nutrition, with strong engagement and participation mechanisms in both development and humanitarian contexts.
  • In collaboration/consultation with UNICEF health and nutrition and cross-sectoral specialists, relevant government officers and other UN/NGO partners, develop, implement and monitor evidence-based SBC strategies and activities, in line with global standards and UNICEF priorities and approaches.
  • In collaboration/consultation with UNICEF health and nutrition and cross-sectoral colleagues and implementing partners, select appropriate SBC activities and platforms for engagement, ensuring quality and integration of the latest evidence and science-backed approaches. In this process, oversee coordination with SBC stakeholders and partners to align plans and activities.
  • Identify, propose and implement evidence-based programme/strategy recommendations from current data, evidence and trends for priority social and behavioral issues and ensure the integration of latest innovative approaches and technology in SBC in health and nutrition programme approaches and advocate for their adoption among internal and external stakeholders.
  • Apply the above skills of designing, planning, implementing and monitoring of community engagement and SBC interventions for health and nutrition in the context of humanitarian emergencies.
  • Make viable recommendations on inclusion of community engagement and social and behavioural approaches in sectoral work plans and strategies. Advocate for the inclusion of community engagement and social and behavioral approaches in sectoral workplans based on active participation in sectoral programme planning and reviews and viable recommendations for the integration of SBC.
  1. Support operationalization of SBC strategies for health and nutrition by advocacy, resource mobilization, coordination across stakeholders, sectors and teams, and partnership building.
  • Represent UNICEF’s interests in partnerships and manage development of and progress against joint project agreements with relevant partners; represent the UNICEF CO and SBC Section in national and international level fora and among partners as relevant and necessary.
  • Collaborate with national, regional and/or global partners to link and coordinate SBC approaches.
  • Cultivate resource mobilization opportunities and produce proposals, reports and other materials to support resources mobilization.
  • Identify, recruit and supervise consultants, vendors and other technical expertise to support delivery of SBC activities. Plan, use and track the use of resources and verify compliance with organizational guidelines and standards.
  • Contribute to financial planning, budget planning and tracking and financial management for SBC activities.
  • Identify, disseminate, and adopt best practices and innovative approaches and technology in SBC, integrate them in programme approaches and support SBC and sectoral teams in implementing them.
  • Advocate internally and externally for integration of SBC in national systems, in the country programme, and in sectoral plans.
  • Coordinate with stakeholders and partners for the implementation of community engagement and SBC in humanitarian actions.
  1. Promote continuous learning, strengthening, and scaling up in SBC-health for both development and humanitarian contexts through capacity building for UNICEF staff and partners.
  • Identify, design, and organize SBC training materials and opportunities for staff and partners, including on new approaches such as behavioural analysis, behavioural insights, human-centered design, social listening, and social accountability mechanisms.
  • Develop and/or use and adapt existing UNICEF learning resources, guidelines and training materials to build SBC capacity among staff, implementing partners and relevant government and non-government counterparts.
  • Develop and institutionalize best practices, facilitate the exchange of experiences and provide technical assistance for the uptake of new SBC methods and knowledge internally and externally.
  • Plan and implement SBC capacity assessments within the CO.
  • Identify and mobilize resources to support capacity development internally and externally and provide SBC technical support and capacity building to government counterparts.  Initiate and manage partnerships with academia and learning institutions for the delivery of SBC capacity development activities.
  • Identify and develop mechanisms to strengthen systems for community engagement in humanitarian contexts.
  • Develop and/or adapt capacity development tools and activities for humanitarian programming with a focus on preparedness, response and recovery.

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


  • An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: Public Health, Nutrition, Social Sciences, International Relations, or another relevant technical field.

Work experience

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas is required: social development programme planning, social and behavior change, communication for development, public health, nutrition, health education, or another related area.
  • Relevant experience in SBC, health and nutrition at the national and or international levels in developing, implementing, and evaluating behavioral change strategies in health area and content is required.
  • Good Knowledge and experience in health promotion and public health and nutrition, is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to stay current with new developments in the SBC field is required. Familiarity with new and emerging approaches such as behavioral insights, human centered design, social listening, among others is a plus.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Previous experience in Pacific context is an asset.
  • Experience working in a developing country is considered as an asset.


  • Fluency in English. Knowledge of the local language would be an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

The functional competencies required for this post are…

  • Nurtures, Leads, and Manages People (1)
  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (1)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

During the recruitment process, we test candidates following the competency framework. Familiarize yourself with our competency frameworkand its different levels.


UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. 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.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

With regard to higher educational qualifications, UNICEF only considers degrees obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at

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.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments are also subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Government employees that are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

Only shortlisted candidates meeting the specific criteria will be contacted and advanced to the next stage of the selection process.