Resilient health systems are critical to the achievement of UNFPA’s three transformative results: ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet needs for family planning, and ending all forms of gender-based violence and harmful practices.
Midwifery is the cornerstone to building the resilience of health systems to respond to sexual and reproductive health and GBV survivors-centered needs.
A 900,000 global shortage of midwives, particularly in West and Central Africa region, has resulted in heavy workloads, poor retention and outmigration. Enforcement of legal and regulatory mechanisms is needed to promote midwifery as an autonomous profession to enable midwives to perform critical lifesaving functions. Comprehensive midwifery policies and human resource strategies are needed to address retention and deployment issues and the rural-urban mal-distribution of the already scarce midwifery workforce as well as to promote respectful, quality maternal and newborn health care.
The UNFPA WCA Regional Midwifery Specialist post is located in Dakar, Senegal at the UNFPA Regional Office for West and Central Africa. S/he is under the overall supervision of the Deputy Regional Director and reports directly to the Maternal Health and Health System Strengthening Regional Adviser. S/he works closely with countries' midwives' advisors, reproductive health advisers, health systems advisors, scientific, academic and professional networks and institutions, governments and sister UN agencies to advance the UNFPA Midwifery Programme in the WCA region.
How you can make a difference:
UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.
In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.
UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.
The Regional Midwifery Specialist provides strategic, technical, policy and programmatic leadership for the West and Central Africa region, in the area of midwifery, as a key pillar to human resources for health and health system strengthening in order to improve integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights outcomes for all.
S/he convenes and coordinates within the SRHR and maternal newborn team the provision of technical assistance, advocacy, policy and programme support to the countries of the region for education, regulation, policies and practice, association, deployment, and management of the midwifery workforce.
S/he remains abreast of the Fund’s policies, programmes and strategies, as well as current thinking, innovation and academic advance in the substantive area and leads knowledge management, research, capacity building, and innovation in midwifery and in human resources for health for SRMNCAH.
The primary roles of the Regional Midwifery Specialist within the SRHR team are:
- Strategic, technical, and policy advice to country offices, governments and partners on investments on midwifery workforce planning, recruitment, deployment;
- Coordination of quality assured technical support and capacity building on midwifery education, regulations and association;
- Evidence generation, knowledge management and innovation development and dissemination of midwifery good practices;
- Policy dialogue, partnerships and technical representation.
Qualifications and Experience:
Advanced university degree in a development related area – medicine, midwifery, health sector reform and/or health policy or other related field.
Knowledge and Experience:
- 7 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in policy analysis, programme design and implementation in SRHR mandate areas especially midwifery for maternal health;
- Demonstrated expertise in health systems strengthening to deliver integrated SRHR especially maternal health and midwifery results, including evidence of innovative approaches and cutting-edge knowledge, essential;
- Strong track record of strategic and technical leadership, contribution to technical knowledge management products and proven ability to produce demonstrable results;
- Work experience from developing countries’ context is a necessity; multi country experience within the West and Central Africa region is a strong asset;
- Demonstrated expertise in advocacy, resource mobilization, negotiations and/or policy dialogue, essential;
- Experience in leading/managing knowledge product development and dissemination;
- Ability to build and motivate / lead cross-cutting teams to produce client-oriented results;
- Demonstrated ability to mobilise resources and network within the development and academic communities;
- Technical as well as programming experience;
- UN inter-agency experience or direct technical assistance to government in a strong asset;
- Midwifery and obstetrics experience is a strong asset;
Fluency in English is required and French is desirable to enable effective communication with English speaking and French speaking country coordination groups and local organisations (West and Central Africa region).
Compensation and Benefits:
This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.
UNFPA does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Fraudulent notices, letters or offers may be submitted to the UNFPA fraud hotline http://www.unfpa.org/help/hotline.cfm
In accordance with the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations, persons applying to posts in the international Professional category, who hold permanent resident status in a country other than their country of nationality, may be required to renounce such status upon their appointment.
To view the complete job description and apply to this position, click "Apply Now" below.