New Jobs at UNICEF

External Outreach- Staff Counsellor, P-3/NOC at UNICEF

Job no: 571804
Contract type: Temporary Appointment, Consultant
Level: Surge
Location: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Seychelles
Categories: Ethics


Seeking external candidates only 

Contract Type: Temporary Appointment (TA) or Consultancy

Duration: 3 months to 364 days

Location: Countries based in Eastern and Southern Africa

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, hope

In the past two years, countries in the ESA region have experienced an alarming increase in the number of new, or re-emerging humanitarian emergencies, including public health (including Ebola, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, wild poliovirus, and Cholera), armed conflicts and natural disasters emergencies.

UNICEF ESAR has prioritized the critical need to provide effective and efficient psychosocial counseling to UNICEF staff and their family members at multiple locations in ESAR.


The purpose of this external announcement is to attract suitable Staff Counsellor candidates interested in working in any of the countries within UNICEF’s East and Southern Africa region to respond to emergencies for the next 36 months.

The countries within each region are listed on the following website: Where we work | UNICEF

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How can you make a difference?

1. Preventative and protective psychosocial support:

  • Provide individual and group counselling to UNICEF staff as needed.
  • Perform individual assessments in the case of individual staff members experiencing difficulty coping and/or presenting mental health-related symptoms or syndromes.
  • Facilitate evidence-based trauma-informed interventions for staff and their dependents.
  • Identify adequate local resources and facilitate referrals to external mental health professionals for psychological/psychiatric support whenever necessary.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive emergency personnel-focused mental health programme in collaboration with the Regional Staff Counsellor.

2. Provide Critical Incident Stress Management to groups and/or individual staff following critical incidents. A holistic approach to critical incident management is used and may include services such as practical support, psychoeducation, psychological first aid, strategic advice to leadership, family support and individual or group interventions.

The Staff Counsellor will be responsible for:

  • Contacting the affected staff member(s) and offering information about typical stress reactions, support and referral information.
  • Facilitating appropriate traumatic stress interventions, following a critical incident or traumatic event.
  • Recommending and arranging for individual and/or group follow-up support to staff and their dependents.
  • Regular follow-up contact and visits to staff in field offices.
  • Coordination with UNDSS counsellors, agency counsellors and PSVs, to ensure the provision

3. Monitoring and oversight:

  • Work closely with multidisciplinary teams to identify and address psychological risks at the individual, unit and organizational levels.
  • Provide guidance/ support to managers and senior management on the management of staff where mental health conditions are involved and advise on emergency psycho-social support management for staff.
  • Advise country office management upon request, with the aim at improving the working atmosphere in their offices and resolving problems of a work-related or personal nature that adversely affect job performance and productivity.
  • Provide training and information sessions on crisis and stress management, problem-solving and conflict resolution as needed.
  • Monitor environmental factors that could lead to stress, with particular focus on stress related to critical incidents, including emergency and crisis situations, with respect to staff members at the duty stations.

4. Other:

  • Provide technical supervision and training to the Peer Support Volunteers (PSV) network.
  • Coordinate with UNDSS, Regional Staff Counsellor, UN staff/stress counsellors, and Peer Support Volunteers to ensure adequate psycho-social support during emergencies.
  • Contribute to policies on staff mental health and well-being and perform administrative duties, including participating in regional meetings and other activities, completing reporting requirements, etc.
  • Maintain detailed records of activities and provide comprehensive reports to the Regional Staff Counsellor.
  • Ensure the adherence to the professional standards of the UNSSCG as well as the Code of Ethics for UN Staff Counsellors.

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

Education:  Advance MA University Degree in counselling, clinical psychology or related mental health profession.  Additional training or certification in Trauma and Stress Management is an added advantage.


  • At least five (5) years of national and international work experience in staff support, mental health, cross cultural communications, counselling and related areas preferably gained within the UN system or international development/humanitarian aid sector, more particularly in emergency contexts.
  • Experience of in-country support to staff in emergency and high demanding working environment
  • Able to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Ability to quickly negotiate effectively by exploring a range of possibilities.
  • Ability to quickly build rapport with individuals and groups; maintains an effective network of individuals across organizational departments.
  • Contributes and tries out innovative approaches and insights

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of other UN Language or language of the duty station 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 competencies required for this post are…

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

Additional competencies:

  • Demonstrates resiliency when working under pressure and constricted working environment (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.

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.

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.

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  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station, which will be facilitated by UNICEF, is required for IP positions. 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.

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