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Sample cover letter for Full Time position at UNICEF



With reference to your posting requesting for eligible candidates to express interest for various positions, I wish to apply for the position of Senior Health Specialist. I am expressing my interest in the position because of my experience and skills in performing the duties of a Senior Health Specialist.

Presntly, I am the Senior Maternal and Child Program Manager/Child Health Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), . I am responsible and accountable for providing broader Maternal and child health-focused strategic and technical direction, coordination and management of normative and programmatic activities for the Nigeria Mission.

I support the Mission’s relationships with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization(GAVI) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) portfolios. My role is ensuring core processes associated with grant management provides opportunities for Nigeria to: Identify the country immunization bottlenecks and express its need for technical assistance; review the sets of potential partners who could provide support in these areas; engage country-level partners on their roles and responsibilities in providing technical assistance; and provide feedback on the effectiveness and relevance of the assistance received from partners. I play a lead in the processes through which GAVI and GPEI partners access technical assistance within the framework of global norms and standards. I also contributed towards the Polio Funding Resource Requirements (FRR) gap identification process for Nigeria. These roles have predisposed me to broader areas of work that will be valuable in the role of senior health specialist.

Other initiatives that relate to the role advertised, include the critical role I played in initiating an award of $10.4 million from the International Organization Grants for UNICEF,UNFPA and WHO. The funding mechanisms I managed, were to urgent humanitarian health, WASH, nutritional and Sexual and Gender Based Violence needs in the conflict afflicted populations in North East of Nigeria. The initiative resulted in saving lives and improving the dignity of displaced persons and host communities through increased access to and utilization of improved emergency health and WASH services for an estimated population of 2 million people. I also initiated the USAID support for vaccinating over 500,000 eligible children in security compromised northeast especially in Internally Displaced Persons in camps, host communities and recently accessible areas. Working with the UN System agencies on these initiatives, has exposed me to the way these institutions operate. The exposure will help me perform in the new role I am applying for. My skills in fund management will be used to enhance the work of the organisation.

Another experience that will be essential in the role of the Senior Health Specialist, is the initiation of the quadripartite Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen immunization activities in Nigeria. The result was the the strengthening and sustainability of the health system through which a well-functioning supply and cold chain system as well as systems for improving equity, detecting unreached groups, efficient service delivery and capacity building of vaccinators and supervisors were established. The effort also included strengthening government’s management and programing management capacity. Other areas of health systems that benefitted were establishment of effective planning systems, with a focus on policy and strategy development. Most important, is the establishment of demand creation mechanisms and the institutionalization of performance monitoring procedures as well as strengthening disease surveillance, data analysis and evaluation systems. Through these interventions, the beneficiary states were able to improve the performance of the State Primary Health Development Agencies. It also helped to improve coordination and accountability mechanisms for the delivery of routine Immunization services.

During my 16 years of progressive career in public health, I have worked at country, regional and global levels in support of the expansion of child health- notably immunization programs, contributing to policy formulation, capacity building, program planning and evaluation, and disease surveillance. I am a trained Nigeria physician with an advanced degree in public health and professional diploma in Education. I am a certified Contract/Agreement Officer Representative (AOR/COR) with the U.S. Government, with significant direct experience in proposal development and grant/contract administration.

My skills and expertise are closely aligned with the responsibilities assigned this position. This is because I have a good understanding of the global health systems, especially in resource poor settings. I have also been working closely with Government and helping in setting up systems that promote ownership and eventual sustainability of the interventions introduced. My knowledge and skills in public health financing, health systems, aid effectiveness and policy dialogue, financial management and accountability will be blended with the expertise gained in promoting health systems strengthening to enhance my work. Most importantly, I will also use my skills and expertise in setting up of monitoring and evaluation systems to help the government institutions identify relevant indicators for monitoring program interventions.

Over the years, I have gained cumulative ability to embrace and model the core values of the organization I represent in my day-to-day behaviour and decision-making; with conscious attention and sensitivity to wider organizational priorities and perspectives. I identified and developed strategies that catalysed collaborative and productive working relationship within the organization and with external partners, promoted a culture of excellence in all the aspects of individual and organizational performance with integrity and respect for diversity, but holding others accountable for the decisions they make.

I am applying for this position because I believe I can contribute to the attainment of the outputs of the program. In addition, I have the skills end experience in managing people, funds and other resources. My exposure will be used to enhance the work of the organisation, while learning new ideas from my colleagues. 

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