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Re-advertisement: Programme Specialist (Mental Health & Psychosocial Support), NO-C (Fixed Term Appointment), New Delhi, India, South Asia Region (SAR), Post Number 122778 (Open for Indian Nationals only)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
NO-C Mid-level Professional Full-time Locallly Recruited
Job Expired 31 Mar 2023
Posted 2 months ago
Job Description

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.

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For every child, AN ADVOCATE

Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) has emerged as a critical component of the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022-25, which identifies MHPSS as an emerging area of importance and notes the need to operationalize MHPSS commitments across sectors in the development and humanitarian contexts. It is also a fundamental part of UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children (CCC) in Humanitarian Action and a key milestone toward SDGs 3.4, 3.5, 4.2 and 16.2. This is why the focus on mental health well-being is so vital: it accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

Good mental health is related to mental and psychosocial well-being. UNICEF’s work to improve the mental health of children, adolescents, families, and communities includes:

  • the promotion of mental health and psychosocial well-being,
  • the prevention of mental health conditions,
  • the protection of human rights and
  • the care and treatment of children, adolescents and caregivers affected by mental health conditions.

The term psychosocial denotes the interconnectedness between psychological and social processes and the fact that each dimension continually interacts with and influences the other. The composite term mental health and psychosocial support is used to describe any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental health conditions.


In the above context, UNICEF India is seeking specialist technical expertise to strengthen its capacity in MHPSS, including the design and implementation of a multi-sectoral MHPSS strategy, as well as the coordination and support for Child Protection, Education and Health system strengthening to deliver MHPSS services at scale on collaboration with Government of India and other stakeholders.

How can you make a difference?

Summary of key functions/accountabilities:

The Programme Specialist (MHPSS) will be hosted in the Child Protection Section, but will support moving forward a multisectoral MHPSS agenda, specially across CP, Education and Health. As such, the post holder will report to the Chief, Child Protection, who is at Level 5, with dotted lines to the Chiefs of Health and Education.

The Specialist leads on the multi-sectoral approach of UNICEF to MHPSS. H/She is responsible for the technical expertise, management, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the MHPSS programmes/projects within the country programme. H/She also provides technical guidance to Country and Field Offices for mapping, analysis and support for multisectoral MHPSS planning and implementation, and management support throughout the programming processes. H/She facilitates the administration and achievement of concrete and sustainable contributions to national and international efforts to ensure quality MHPSS services at scale and create a protective environment for children against all harm, and to protect their rights to survival, development and wellbeing as established under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international treaties/frameworks and UN intergovernmental bodies.

The Specialist contributes to the achievement of results according to plans, allocation, results based-management approaches and methodology (RBM), and UNICEF’s Strategic Plans, standards of performance and accountability framework.

  1. Coordination and support for Child Protection, Education and Health system strengthening to implement the ICO multi-sectoral MHPSS strategy
  2. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  3. Technical and operational support to MHPSS programme implementation
  4. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  5. Coordination and support for Child Protection, Education and Health system strengthening to implement the ICO multi-sectoral MHPSS strategy
  • Building on UNICEF’s MHPSS Strategy, and on existing entry points and established relationships across UNICEF sectors and relevant Government and non-Government counterparts, especially Ministries of Women and Child Development, Education, and Health and Family Welfare, the post holder ensure the promotion of mental health and psychosocial well-being, prevention of mental health conditions, protection of human rights and care and treatment of children, adolescents and caregivers affected by mental health conditions.
  • Support the preparation, design and updating of a situation analysis with a focus on MHPSS to ensure that current and comprehensive data on MHPSS is available to guide UNICEF’s strategic policy advocacy, intervention and development efforts on child rights and protection, and to set programme priorities, strategies, and design and implementation plans. Keep abreast of development trends to enhance programme management, efficiency and delivery.
  • Participate in strategic programme discussions on the planning of MHPSS programs/projects. Formulate, design and prepare programme/project proposals for the sector, ensuring alignment with UNICEF’s overall Strategic Plans and the Country Programme, as well as coherence and integration with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework , regional strategies and national priorities, plans and competencies.
  • Support the strengthening of MHPSS in emergencies to meet UNICEF’s core commitments for children, including quality assurance of MHPSS material used by partners (NGOs and Gov), supporting trainings, measuring/monitoring MHPSS indicators for reporting (Sit rep, donor reporting, etc.), and other support needed to achieve results in emergency contexts.
  • Provide technical and operational support throughout all stages of programming processes to ensure integration, coherence and harmonization of programmes/projects with other UNICEF sectors and achievement of results as planned and allocated.
  • Support local capacity building, including for local staff, local communities, children and young people, and people with lived experience. This should continue also after the crisis, contributing to emergency preparedness. Training needs to be competency-based, with supervision, addressing the development of skills and not only increasing knowledge.
  • Provide technical review and inputs related to MHPSS related documentation, Programme Documents etc. developed by the country office/partners.
  1. Programme management, monitoring and delivery of results
  • Establish specific goals, objectives, strategies, and implementation plans for the sector using results-based planning terminology and methodology (RBM). Prepare required documentations for program review and approval.
  • Plan and collaborate with colleagues and external partners to establish monitoring benchmarks, performance indicators, other UNICEF/UN system indicators and measurements, to assess and strengthen performance accountability, coherence and delivery of concrete and sustainable results for MHPSS programmes.
  • Participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises, programme reviews and annual reviews with the government and other counterparts to assess progress and to determine required actions and interventions to achieve results.
  • Actively monitor MHPSS programs/projects through field visits, surveys and exchange of information with partners to assess progress, identify bottlenecks and potential problems. Take timely decisions to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant officials for timely resolution.
  • Monitor and verify the optimum and appropriate use of sectoral and multisectoral program resources (financial, administrative and other assets) confirming compliance with organizational rules, regulations, procedures, donor commitments, as well as standards of accountability and integrity. Ensure timely reporting and liquidation of resources related to MHPSS interventions.
  • Prepare regular and mandated MHPSS related programme/project reports for management, donors and partners to keep them informed of programme progress.
  1. Technical and operational support to MHPSS programme implementation
  • Provide technical guidance and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners and donors on the interpretation, application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes, best practices, and approaches on MHPSS to support programme management, implementation and delivery of results.
  • Arrange and coordinate availability of technical experts on MHPSS with Regional Office/HQ to ensure timely and appropriate support throughout the programming process.
  • Participate in emergency response, including programme development and contingency planning discussions on emergency preparedness in the country or other locations designated, to provide technical and operational information, advice and support.
  • Draft policy papers, briefs and other strategic programme materials on MHPSS for management use, information and/or consideration.
  • Contribute to funding proposals, briefing notes and presentations to support MHPSS system strengthening.
  1. Innovation, knowledge management and capacity building
  • Apply and introduce innovative approaches and good practices to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders on MHPSS, and to support the implementation and delivery of concrete and sustainable programme results on mental health wellbeing of children, adolescent and caregivers.
  • Identify existing evidence from across the three sectors and counterparts to develop a strategy to roll out focused advocacy messages on MHPSS to: (a) raise awareness on mental health and psychosocial well-being across education, child protection and health sectors; (b) to strengthen self-care and childcare, and care-seeking behaviors of the target audience, and; (c) reduce stigma for people with mental health conditions
  • Keep abreast, research, benchmark, and implement best practices on MHPSS. Assess, institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
  • Develop an ICO community of practice amongst UNICEF and its partners to contextualize MHPSS support; build knowledge and awareness on MH.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable programmes and projects.

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


  • An advanced university degree in one of psychology, sociology, psychiatry or another relevant social science, development, or law field.


  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in social development, out of which minimum of three years of relevant professional work experience on MHPSS related programmes.
  • Knowledge and understanding of health, education and child protection systems, and linkages with MHPSS is an important asset.
  • Experience working in the UN system considered an asset.
  • Experience in both development and humanitarian contexts is considered as an added advantage. 

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English 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 Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

Core Competencies:

  • 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)
  • Drive 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 framework and its different levels: competency framework here.


  • The position is based in New Delhi, India. 
  • This post is open for Indian Nationals only.
  • The selected applicant will have an initial two (2) year fixed-term contract, with the possibility of extension, subject to satisfactory performance.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be notified and advance to the next stage of the selection process, which involves various assessments.
  • UNICEF only considers higher educational qualifications 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 appointments are subject to medical clearance. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

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.

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 is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. 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.

For more information about UNICEF India, please refer to the link below:-

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