Individual Consultant: Implementation of Communication Interventions for COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction

  • Entry-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 16 April 2021

Job Description


In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The outbreak has infected millions of people across the world and caused significant loss of lives. To protect people from the disease, vaccines against COVID have been developed by several manufacturers in a number of countries.

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam faced high risk of transmission as the country is in close geographical proximity of and had robust trade activities with China. In an effort to contain the outbreak, the Government has imposed strict regulations including travel restrictions, school closures and shut down of non-essential service facilities. These measures were effectively implemented and helped the country put the first wave of COVID-19 under control. However, despite this initial success, the country recorded its first COVID-related deaths in July 2020 when faced with the second wave. The third wave of COVID has started recently from 28 January 2021 with new cases in 13 provinces. By 22 Mar. 2021, Viet Nam’s number of confirmed cases has reached 2.572with 35 deaths (sources: Ministry of Health of Viet Nam

The Ministry of Health of Viet Nam (MOH) has developed a national action plan to receive, store, distribute and use COVID-19 vaccines (a National Deployment and Vaccination Plan-NDVP). Meanwhile, the country has joined the COVAX Facility (a Gavi-administered mechanism to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are affordable and available to all countries) as an AMC92 country. With this, Viet Nam can access highly subsidized vaccine pricing at the same time as wealthier nations.

Through the COVAX Facility, UNICEF’s plans to procure and deliver enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunize 20% of the population in Viet Nam, prioritizing front-line workers and high-risk groups. A first allocation of 4,176,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2021, and additional doses by year end. In addition, MOH has reached out to both international and domestic manufacturers to discuss and pursue bilateral agreements in order to ensure enough supplies for at least 80 per cent of the whole population.

Vaccines have already started to be distributed and used in Viet Nam. MOH has procured 117,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and launched the largest vaccination drive in its history starting on 8 Mar. 2021, at Hanoi, Hai Duong, Ho Chi Minh city. The priority group of this vaccination programme is frontline medical staff.
It is imperative to implement the national communication action plan that includes crisis communication to generate an enabling environment for public acceptance of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines whilst enhancing trust in and demand for vaccines and immunization more broadly and continuing to maintain adherence to other non-pharmaceutical interventions.
For the UNICEF, there is the need to support Ministry of Health (MOH) for the implementation of the national communication action plan on COVID vaccine rollout.

How can you make a difference?
To provide technical support to UNICEF Viet Nam and through UNICEF to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and partners for the implementation of evidence-based communication for development strategy/action plan to support the introduction of COVID 19 vaccine in Viet Nam, including the preparedness and response plan for crisis communication.

Communication and Advocacy section, UNICEF office, Green One UN House, Ha Noi.

Under the direct supervision of the Communication for Development (C4D) Specialist and in close coordination with Child Survival and Development section (CSD), and relevant sections, the Consultant will provide technical support to UNICEF Viet Nam and through UNICEF to MOH and partners for the implementation of evidence-based Communication and Social Mobilization plan to support the introduction of COVID 19 vaccine in Viet Nam, including the preparedness and response plan for crisis communication. The Consultant will provide technical assistance in aspects of mass and social media campaign implementation, and support with information education and communication (IEC) materials, digital/online content production and dissemination on COVID vaccination and risk communication as guided by global and regional guidance. In addition, s/he will consolidate, analyze the existing data of the social listening, including social media monitoring, rumor tracking, online listening and make recommendations for the implementation of social media campaign.

1. Support the implementation of UNICEF-MOH communication action plan on COVID vaccine introduction, public acceptance and social mobilization, including risk communication:
2. Support the on-going implementation of UNICEF communication activities to promote behaviors to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Methodology and Expected deliverables and timeline:
The consultant will work closely with CSD, and related UNICEF programmes/sections.
The consultant is expected to work closely with MOH’s relevant departments including Department for Communication, Emulation and Award (DCEA), General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM), National Institute of Hygiene And Epidemiology (NIHE), National Expanded Programme for Immunization (NEPI), National Centre for Health Education (NCHE), and working closely with WHO, related UN agencies and NGOs.
The consultant is advised to gather information from a range of stakeholders including journalists and bloggers that cover health topics and cover news on immunization, people related to what information and communication is needed to convince the rollout of new COVID vaccines.

Management and Reporting:
The assignment is undertaken under the supervision of the C4D Specialist, UNICEF Viet Nam. The consultant will work closely with CSD, relevant UNICEF sections, WHO, relevant MOH’s Departments, and related NGOs/ development organizations.

Performance indicators for evaluation:
- Monthly workplan approved by supervisor.
- Monthly report approved by supervisor.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Qualification/Specialized Knowledge and Experience:
- University degree in mass communication, journalism, social sciences.
- At least 3 years of proven experience in communications, mass and social media, digital platform, journalism and media studies;
- Previous experience with social media management, trend monitoring, influencing, and analysis and/or digital listening;
- Experience in communication materials development, including digital materials;
- Experience in social and behaviour change communication, risk communication and community engagement in the areas of public health and immunization is an asset;
Knowledge and Skills
- Knowledge and skills in social media management, digital monitoring;
- Knowledge public health, immunization is an asset.
- Fluently spoken and written Vietnamese and English is compulsory.

Deadline: SE Asia Standard Time

About the Organization

UNICEF is out to change the world for children vaccination by vaccination, blanket by blanket, biscuit by biscuit, book by book. In most of America, these things are considered completely ordinary. But in many parts of the developing world, they can save a child's life. UNICEF is unique among world organizations and unique among those working with young people. As a global movement, we use our authority to influence decision makers and diverse partners to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. In 155 countries and territories, UNICEF's field staff uses hard-won expertise to meet the challenges facing children and those who care for them. Our history has given us a profound understanding of development and the importance of child health, education, equality and protection in advancing humanity. All that we do helps children realize their full potential. In support of UNICEF's work, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF focuses on five major priorities: education, emergencies, HIV/AIDS, immunization and malnutrition.

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