Vacancy announcement

Consultant - Health Behavior Communication Specialist - extended to 09 April 2021

Vacancy type Consultant/Individual Contractor
Duration of the contract
2 months
Deadline for submission of applications
09 April 2021
Organizational Unit
Peacekeeping Training Programme Unit (PTPU)
Area of Specialization/Thematic Areas:

Design and implementation of health behavior communication campaigns.


The Peacekeeping UNITAR Division for Peace groups together all programming in the fields of conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding to provide the most comprehensive support to the promotion of peace, justice and strong institutions worldwide, thereby essentially advancing the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16. In the view of promoting democratic governance and human rights, the Division focuses on offering innovative capacity-building and knowledge-management solutions for a broad range personnel (including uniformed personnel, representatives of regional and international organizations, United Nations staff, women peacemakers, minority and indigenous peoples’ representatives) working towards sustaining peace, while ensuring that these activities meet the specific needs of conflict-affected and post-conflict countries.

The objective of the “Support to the Establishment of the Psychiatric Unit of Malian Armed Forces (FAMA)” project is to contribute to improving the safety and security of male and female members of Malian Armed Forces – FAMa (prior, during and after deployment). Within their respective areas of specialization, UNITAR and partners will collaborate in the implementation of a series of activities that are clustered around three major tiers: rehabilitation of physical infrastructures; reinforcement of the capabilities, motivation and opportunities of medical and paramedical personnel; as well as design of health behaviour communication campaigns for members of FAMa.

Health behaviour communication campaigns for medical and paramedical staff of FAMA and for members of FAMA:

The objectives of the campaigns are to change beliefs, attitude and behaviors of members of the Malian armed forces towards stress, traumatic events and other symptoms related to combat stress reactions and traumas. It is an essential step towards the establishment of a supporting “work culture” that is positively responsive to the challenges faced by personnel working in the field. The stigma of trauma is still widely present in the Malian culture. Despite the growing number of soldiers seeking support within the premises of the psychiatric unit in Kati, it is believed that most of the affected soldiers rarely seek help. It seems that many of them are not aware that they have a disorder or believed that the symptoms are a natural and inevitable outcome of their horrific experiences. Others probably did realize their plight but are reluctant to seek help. Similarly, the medical and paramedical personnel of the FAMA is exposed to risks of trauma and vicarious trauma by the nature of their work and should be equipped with the tools of a trauma-informed approach to medical care and be aware of behaviour and attitude to adopt in their daily work, as well as the impact it has on their own well-being.

General Objectives of the Contract:

The Peacekeeping Training Programme Unit (PTPU) is seeking for a qualified Health Behavior Communication Specialist to support the conceptualization, customization, design and implementation of 2 campaigns for medical and paramedical staff of the Malian Armed Forces and for the FAMa members. The health behavior campaign will be developed in collaboration with a learning and education specialist, a psychiatrist and a psychiatric nurse. The health behavior campaign will be developed and adapted to take into account the specificities of Malian culture and address several topics as:

  • Protective factors and enhancing self-care (before, during and after deployment); 
  • Psychological first aid; 
  • Stress management and effective coping skills; 
  • Creation of a gender inclusive peer support program. 
  • Trauma-informed approach to medical care (for medical and paramedical personnel only)..
Responsibilities/Description of Professional Services:

In collaboration with the Learning and Education Specialist, the Psychiatrist and the Psychiatric nurse, the Health Behavior Communication Specialist will develop, design, conceptualize, and implement the campaigns for FAMa medical and paramedical staff (female and male) and FAMa members on the symptoms and consequences of trauma-related disorders. He/she will support the development and conceptualization of educational tools to be distributed to the FAMa members.

  • Design, develop and implement a health behavior communication campaign for the medical and paramedical personnel of the FAMa, taking into account the realities of the Malian military context.
  • Design, develop and implement a health behavior communication campaign on stress and trauma for FAMa members taking into account the realities of the Malian military context.
Performance Indicators for Evaluation of Results:

Timely and quality submission of deliverables; activities implemented with a high degree of effectiveness and efficiency; and good to very good results on evaluation of the campaign programme, demonstrating a high degree of professionalism of the consultant and contributing to an increase in the professional image of the Institute.


Professionalism:  Ability to follow up on project work-plan. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Technical Competencies:  Has an excellent understanding of behaviour change and behavioural analysis; has experience as a communication expert, has experience in the development and implementation of health behaviour campaigns; is familiar with military institutions and their functioning, as well as an understanding of the specificities of military audiences.

Situational competencies: is able to understand and analyse the Malian context and culture; demonstrates flexibility and adaptability; demonstrate creativity and orientation towards solutions.

Interpersonal competencies: is able to communicate and interact effectively with all stakeholders; is able to work both independently and as part of a team; is able to work under pressure and with limited resources; demonstrates high level of discipline.

Reflective competencies: has awareness of his/her strengths and weaknesses as a health behaviour specialist and is accustomed to self-reflection on his/her practice; has a strong motivation to develop as a trainer and values continuous learning and professional growth.

Minimum requirements

Education: BA Degree in health behavior change or health communication, or any other relevant field. Additional certification in public sensitization and awareness raising.

Experience: At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience as a communication specialist. Excellent communication skills. Experience in the development of awareness raising and sensitization campaign. Knowledge of the Military institution is desired, knowledge of the Malian culture is an asset. Work experience with UN or other international/donor agencies is preferable.

Languages Requirement: Fluency in oral and written French is mandatory and working level of English.

Other: Knowledge of basic gender concepts; Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite) are required. Proficiency in writing, editing and presentation skills.

Special Notice

UNITAR shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).  Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR.

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit an up-to-date CV/P11 form and a one-page maximum motivation letter with the following email subject line "Communication specialist – PSY UNIT Project". outlining specific interest in supporting this initiative


Due to the high number of expected applications, UNITAR will only contact the shortlisted applicants. The deadline for submission of applications is 09 April 2021.