Polio Transition Advocacy and Communications Consultant

United Nations Foundation
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 01

Position description

Transitioning the knowledge, lessons learned, and assets/infrastructure that has been developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to address other health goals and priorities is one of the key objectives of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2019. In the last three decades, the GPEI has mobilized and trained millions of volunteers, created networks of social mobilizers, mapped every household to reach and vaccinate every child in in hard to reach communities and established a standardized, real-time global surveillance and response capacity. As the initiative nears completion, GPEI and its partners have initiated a process to mainstream those polio functions that must continue to protect a polio-free world, through the Post-Certification Strategy (PCS). The partnership is also supporting 16[1] priority countries to develop transition plans that reflect the global polio funding ramp down for 2017-2019, to mainstream essential functions and transition – where appropriate – assets, functions and knowledge of the polio program to benefit other health priorities.

For transition planning to succeed, it is critical to communicate proactively and regularly, and to engage with a broad range of stakeholders at the global level who have long standing investments in polio eradication and who expect some essential functions (like surveillance and immunization) to be maintained and mainstreamed so that the world remains polio-free. In addition, it will equally be critical to engage with other stakeholders whose goals and priorities will be placed at risk with the ramp down of the polio program, or who could benefit from polio knowledge and assets. As a contributing part of the GPEI partnership, the consultant will support the GPEI’s efforts to ensure a smooth transition, including support for implementation of GPEI’s Transition Communications Strategy, which will form the basis for additional advocacy and external relations approaches to be developed moving forward.

Working closely with GPEI partners, and housed inside the GPEI secretariat at WHO, the consultant will provide advocacy and communications support for polio transition efforts, including:

  •  Developing and communicating messages on polio transition priorities, strategies, country and agency level planning process;
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of global stakeholders on GPEI’s efforts to define and mainstream functions required to maintain a polio-free world;
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of global stakeholders on progress, challenges and priorities of country level transition planning; and
  • Engaging a broad range of development partners to better align the transition planning process with broader health and development priorities. 


  1. As a part of the GPEI secretariat team, support broader GPEI transition communications and advocacy goals, as defined by GPEI leadership. (a) Support the development of transition-related communications and advocacy materials in line with the GPEI’s Transition Communications Strategy. This will include incorporation of partner data/reports as well as key elements of GPEI’s Post-Certification Strategy (PCS). (b) Partner data/reports will be used to characterize the: 1) impact of polio programs beyond polio essential functions, 2) impact of polio programs on polio essential functions, 3) gaps that will be created by ramp down of polio funding/personnel, etc.
  2. Information from the PCS will be used to help inform a broad range of stakeholders about the range of polio essential functions covered by the PCS and the options for their transition. 
  3. Working with GPEI’s Transition Management Group (including programmatic specialists from the Task Force for Global Health, agency staff and country programs), support the development and dissemination of materials that will be used to help drive government and stakeholder support for country-level polio transition planning.
  4. Support implementation of the Transition Communications Strategy, and draw on the strategy to develop and execute a Transition External Relations & Advocacy strategy, in coordination with the GPEI partners and relevant regional and country advocacy groups.
  5. Help coordinate stakeholder engagement in polio transition at the global level, including support for information sharing and harmonized messaging on polio transition across the GPEI partnership.
  6. Attend global stakeholder engagement meetings and missions to priority countries to help gather material and data for global stakeholder outreach. 


  • Advanced university degree in one or more of the following disciplines: communications, marketing, external relations, public affairs/relations, corporate communications, international relations, or international development.
  • At least eight years of combined national and international experience in communications, advocacy, marketing, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Considerable experience developing messaging for advocacy purposes.
  • Experience working in partnerships in the global health and development sphere.
  • Exceptional representational, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Fluency in English (written and verbal). 
  • Knowledge of an additional United Nations language (especially French or Arabic) desirable.
  • Ability to travel internationally (approximately 4 trips)

Working relationships:

Co-located in the GPEI secretariat at WHO, the consultant will work closely with GPEI partners, including GPEI leadership, the Transition Management Group, the Post-Certification Group and the Polio Advocacy and Communications Team.

[1] Angola, Cameroon, Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Application instructions

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