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Title of Assignment International Consultancy – SBC Specialist, Digital social listening, Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Nairobi
Hiring Section ESARO Social and Behaviour Change
Location Remote / home-based
Duration 200 days within 11.5 months
Start/End Date From: 2/15/2023 To: 1/31/2024

Background and Justification

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the Eastern and Southern Africa region, both directly by causing mortality and disease and indirectly by limiting availability and access to a wide-range of healthcare services, widening immunization gaps, exacerbating the learning crisis, temporarily diverting resources from the climate crisis and other disease outbreaks, impacting gender-violence prevention efforts and increasing poverty overall. The impact on the rapidly growing population of children and adolescents in the ESA region has been particularly concerning due to its multidimensionality and severity: for example, a 25 percent increase in the number of children suffering from acute malnutrition has been estimated in 2020 compared to the prior year[1]. During the pandemic, UNICEF ESARO SBC has activated the regional capacity to gather insights on the needs of children and families to deliver user-centric risk communication and community engagement (RCCE). In particular, the programme has invested in integrating existing mechanisms of gathering community feedback on the ground (conducted in collaboration with the inter-agency regional RCCE Technical Working Group and partners) to include insights from online and social media platforms (digital social listening). The development of a UNICEF ESARO Social Media Monitoring and Rumour Management Strategy to Support COVID-19 RCCE has been deemed a priority to reflect the increasing importance of social media as a major source of COVID-19 and vaccine-related information in the region, as per UNICEF ESARO SBC Guidance Note on COVID-19 Online and Social Media Listening & Rumour Tracking in ESA. Social media have provided both opportunities for improved, targeted and effective communications with priority groups, as well as a ground for the dissemination of rumours (unverified information), misinformation (false information shared without intent to deceive) and disinformation (false information shared with intent to deceive/harm). Therefore, the implementation of a social listening strategy on digital platforms has led to 1) better understanding of concerns and questions that online users in the region have around how to prevent and manage COVID-19; 2) improved management of the information disorder (meaning misinformation or disinformation circulating online), which hinders risk communication efforts and trust-building with local communities. Children are affected by the information disorder on several levels, but young audiences are also often more resilient and able to navigate information compared to older adults, who have been shown to be more susceptible to misinformation in certain contexts. Therefore, digital social listening efforts have been tightly linked to engagement activities targeting adolescents and youth in digital spaces to increase resilience against misinformation and literacy.

Over the past three years, the scope of the digital social listening strategy has widened from its original focus on COVID-19 response to include and support Country Offices on key priorities, including vaccine demand, sexual and reproductive health, HIV, gender-based violence and education services, the climate crisis and its impacts, and disease outbreaks such as measles and Ebola Virus Disease. Insights generated from analysis of digital social listening data have been used to inform recommendations around SBC, communication and programming in these and other areas. Therefore, ESARO SBC aims to continue in this direction and refocus digital social listening activities that originated and have been strongly tied to COVID-19 RCCE to more explicitly support the priority areas under the Regional Collaboration for Children (C4C) as outlined in the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022-2025. These include the two Regional Flagships (Learning and skills for all children and adolescents and Climate resilience, adaptation and children), which set themselves apart by the urgency and the transformational potential in all ESAR countries, and five Focus Areas, which represent areas for child rights that require continued and accelerated efforts in most countries or in a cluster of countries. The five focus areas are: Addressing maternal, neonatal and under-five mortality through primary health care; Reducing stunting in early childhood; Ending violence against girls, boys and women; Ending AIDS among children and adolescents, while improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); Expanding national cash transfer programmes and cash-plus approaches to address multidimensional child poverty.

In order to support this agenda, UNICEF ESARO is looking for additional expertise to carry forward the social listening activities and generate digital insights to better understand and engage with priority groups in the region (including caregivers, adolescents and young people) on key issues including the climate crisis, education, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and violence against children, nutrition, vaccine demand and maternal and child health.

Scope of Work

  1. Goal and objective:

Under the supervision of the ESARO SBC Specialist and in close coordination with other team members and sections, the consultant will provide technical assistance in aspects of online and social media monitoring, digital insight analysis and development of programmatic recommendations on different priority areas, including the climate crisis, education, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and violence against children, nutrition, vaccine demand and maternal and child health.

  1. Provide details/reference to AWP areas covered: Social listening insights are required to better understand and engage with priority groups in the region (including caregivers, adolescents and young people) on key issues including the climate crisis, education, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and violence against children, nutrition, vaccine demand and maternal and child health.
  2. Activities and Tasks:
  1. Expand and implement the UNICEF ESARO Social Media Monitoring and Rumour Management Strategy to reflect programmatic priorities under the C4C.
  • Update the social listening strategy and related action plan for 2023-2025, taking into consideration all initiatives undertaken by UNICEF and partners in the region.
  • Review and update COVID-19 social listening monitoring tools (e.g., monitoring topics, dashboards, automatic alerts and reporting) and make decisions regarding which tools to keep, update or pause based on regional and country level feedback.
  • Conduct ongoing monitoring activities around key priority topics to identify key concerns, questions, rumours and mis/disinformation and notify relevant sections and country offices and provide support and recommendations for further action as needed.
  • In collaboration with the sections, identify regional social media influencers in order to engage in dissemination of accurate information, misinformation prevention or response activities as needed.
  • Provide updates with analysis of digital insights related to key emergencies in the region, immunization and impact of public health outbreaks and emergencies on priority issues such as sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV, education, and violence against children (VAC) and gender-based violence, highlighting key issues and concerns raised, and providing recommendations for better engagement.
  • Provide updates with analysis of digital insights and recommendations on key C4C priority areas: 1) climate crisis, 2) learning/education, 3) SRH, HIV and VAC and 4) maternal and child health and nutrition.
  • Conduct longitudinal analysis of digital data on online conversations in triangulation with other data sources, such as community feedback and surveys, to capture key trends and re-emerging subtopics and misinformation.
  • Participate in and contribute to the community feedback sub working group of the regional RCCE coordination mechanism by providing monthly inputs on key trends in digital social listening.
  • Represent UNICEF ESARO in the Africa Infodemic Response Alliance and provide technical contributions to the monthly joint reporting.
  • Document the lessons learnt and best practices in social listening undertaken in ESAR countries to respond to key programmatic needs.
  1. Technical support to UNICEF ESAR Country Offices (COs)
  • Provide technical assistance to design and implement high quality digital social listening plans around key priorities as identified by country offices requesting support.
  • Support COs to establish appropriate strategies and mechanisms to manage rumours and effectively respond to misinformation and disinformation.
  • Undertake a daily review of the regional tracking tools to identify trends and liaise with respective country offices to address them.
  • Consolidate and integrate data from countries in a systematic and regular manner into the regional monitoring.
  • Identify country-specific online influencers for potential engagement to amplify correct information around key topics.
  • Keep an updated mapping of digital social listening tools available to support country offices.
  • Support the preparation of fundraising proposals; identify/follow up on the country specific resource mobilization needs.

3. Capacity strengthening

  • Organize webinars to reinforce the capacity of SBC COs colleagues on digital monitoring and engagement.
  • Organize webinars and online training for the UNICEF SBC ESARO partners.
  • Support COs with ad hoc remote capacity building sessions on social listening tools, insight generation and content development.
  • Support COs with ad hoc remote capacity building sessions on how to employ social listening interventions as part of risk communication crisis response.

4. Knowledge Management and Documentation

  • Produce a “Key lessons learnt, and good practices report for ESAR” describing digital social listening and engagement initiatives implemented by UNICEF and partners, including recommendations to reinforce social listening and digital engagement in ESA region.
  • Produce a final consultancy report and 15 slides max PPT on key achievement.

4.Work relationships: The consultant will be supporting the whole ESARO SBC team and will be in regular contact with ESAR COs SBC focal points. In addition, collaboration with WHO AIRA staff will be required in a regular basis.

5. Outputs/Deliverables:

The consultant will be required to produce the outputs for the assignment as will be communicated by the supervisor.

Payment Schedule

Outline the payment schedule to be followed. The payment schedule should include the deadlines for the completion of tasks/activities (deliverables). The information may also be incorporated into the above sample table, as applicable.

Indicate whether interim payments are linked to deliverables or whether payment is a lump sum on completion of deliverables. Indicate that payment is upon satisfactory completion of deliverables.

Desired Competencies, technical background and experience

  1. Advanced university degree or equivalent experience in Digital Communications, Digital Marketing, Data Science, Behavioral Science or related field.
  2. *A first-level university degree in a relevant field combined with seven years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  3. At least 5 years of proven experience in social media and digital monitoring, social media management, or digital data analysis.
  4. Solid experience in the design and implementation of interventions on misinformation management and prevention.
  5. Excellent writing skills, planning and coordination skills, with proven ability to work independently.
  6. Previous work with UNICEF (HQ or ROs) is an added advantage.
  7. Must exhibit the UNICEF Core Values of:
  1. Care
  2. Respect
  3. Integrity
  4. Trust
  5. Accountability
  6. Sustainability
  1. List of the competencies that the consultant should have for the assignment.
  2. Languages needed: Fluency in English (verbal and written). Knowledge of French and Portuguese is an added advantage

Administrative Issues

  • The Consultant will mostly be home-based with two five-days missions to Nairobi for working with ESARO SBC section. Travel will be in economy class. If the Consultant is required to quarantine due to COVID-19 restrictions while traveling, UNICEF will pay for the quarantine if not organized by the host country.
  • Regular remote meeting (at least on a weekly basis and frequency to be adjusted based on needs, at the request of the supervisor) will be organized to provide updates. The consultant will use his/her own office equipment. As most of the work will be done remotely, the consultant must have high internet connectivity and must be available/reachable online throughout the consultancy.
  • As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
  • The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.
  • Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.
  • The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract.


  • Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered ‘staff members’ under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.


Given the increased workload around supporting RCCE in ESAR, due to the increased number of public health outbreaks in the region, not having this additional support poses a reputational risk to UNICEF.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should apply online using the button below. As part of their application, candidates should provide:

1. A cover letter that specifies how you meet the desired competencies, technical background and experience (no more than 2 pages)
2. A short CV (no more than 4 pages)
3. A financial proposal that should include the daily rate and total fees in USD for the assignment. (Any application without a financial proposal will not be considered)
4. 3 Referees.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization

Advertised: E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: E. Africa Standard Time