Inmunization Consultant

Panamá

With the main purpose of improving immunization program targets, the EPI Consultant will provide technical assistance to countries with underperforming immunization programs. Such technical assistance will include strengthening core EPI components including supply chain management, information, education and communication, coverage and equity, data use, maintaining elimination of polio, measles and rubella and eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. In addition, the EPI Consultant will manage resource mobilization efforts and partner relations in regard to EPI, support country applications and UNICEF CO requests for financial assistance from partners such as Gavi and US CDC. Providing such assistance will ensure that UNICEF maintains its role as a key partner for EPI in the Region.

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

Backgroud

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

The Latin America and Caribbean region, a largely middle income country environment, is enjoying stable economic growth and has made important progress on key measures, including the reduction of monetary and child poverty in recent years. However, large disparities exist based on a combination of factors, such as gender, ethnicity, geography, socio-economic status remain. In addition, the Region is vulnerable to the effects of organized crime as well as the risk of natural disasters, exacerbated by climate change.

 

UNICEF operates in the 35 countries and territories in the region via 24 country programmes.

The work of UNICEF in the Region is guided by the Millennium Development Goals and the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2014-2017, which has seven components – 1) Health, 2) HIV/AIDS, 3) WASH, 4) Nutrition, 5) Education, 6) Exploitation and violence, and 7) Social inclusion – along with the commitment to prioritize results for the most excluded and disadvantaged children and adolescents to achieve results with equity. In light of these inter-related commitments, efforts will be made to monitor the maintenance of progress achieved in child rights at the national level but also to ensure progress is carried through to reduce disparities at the sub-regional level where the most substantial inequities persist.

 

With respect to health, the focus of work in Latin America and the Caribbean has been the reduction of maternal, neonatal and infant mortality in priority countries with elevated mortality rates, including Bolivia and Haiti. High immunization coverage of children and women is critical to that end. A Promise Renewed (APR) guides progress, including in relation to monitoring through the APR scorecards. Furthermore, the Region is also moving towards a broader look at the health situation of children and adolescents, including the impact and implications of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in morbidity, mortality and burden of disease of children and adolescents in the Region.

 

Given funding limitations, the LAC Regional Office doesn't have a dedicated EPI officer. However, it is a priority to ensure that the key strategic priorities in this area are identified, most recently in relation to the introduction of new antigens and new vaccination schemes such as IPV. To that end, thanks to funding made available by HQ, LACRO contracted a consultant from 2014 – 2016 to support EPI needs related to IPV introduction and the tOPV-bOPV switch. In addition to this polio-related work, the consultant was able to extend UNICEF support to other EPI activities including assistance in developing national EPI strategic and annual work plans, implementation of effective vaccine management assessment evaluation action points, training and monitoring health staff, conducting a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) supplementary immunization activities, vaccine forecasting, contributing to in-country Gavi Joint Appraisals, resource mobilization (through the Gavi PEF and other mechanisms) and serving as a technical resource on EPI for all UNICEF country offices. At the end of 2016, a number of opportunities have been identified for UNICEF to continue supporting EPI-related priorities in selected countries.  

 

Purpose of the Assignment

With the main purpose of improving immunization program targets, the EPI Consultant will provide technical assistance to countries with underperforming immunization programs. Such technical assistance will include strengthening core EPI components including supply chain management, information, education and communication, coverage and equity, data use, maintaining elimination of polio, measles and rubella and eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. In addition, the EPI Consultant will manage resource mobilization efforts and partner relations in regard to EPI, support country applications and UNICEF CO requests for financial assistance from partners such as Gavi and US CDC. Providing such assistance will ensure that UNICEF maintains its role as a key partner for EPI in the Region.

Assignment Tasks

The consultant or individual contractor is expected to work to achieve the following results:

 

  • Technical assistance provided to Haiti in
    • pre-validation of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination
    • support in monitoring measles and rubella elimination status
    • development of a Social Mobilization and Communication Plan for RI in collaboration with government and partners
    • implementation of EVMA recommendations and plans
  • Effective vaccine management assessments completed or recommendations implemented
  • Capacity of immunization supply chain managers strengthened through technical assistance, training, tools, and other resources such as dashboards
  • Countries assisted with immunization advocacy, social mobilization and communication planning and implementation that incorporates a child's right to health and vaccination services as an integral component
  • Technical assistance provided in identifying and addressing the root causes of inequities in immunization, including supply side and demand side factors
  • Technical and operational support provided for all aspects of preparation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of SIAs and outbreak response immunization
  • Technical and operational assistance provided for the preparation, implementation, monitoring       of new vaccine introduction, as well as conduct of post introduction evaluations (PIEs)
  • Technical assistance provided for pre-validation and validation of MNT elimination
  • Technical assistance provided for preparation of c-MYPs, applications, etc.
  • Collaborative opportunities utilized on operational research on EPI priorities with partners including CDC, WHO and others.
  • As UNICEF's EPI technical resource, technical updates to UNICEF COs provided on EPI-related matters, especially with regional and global WHO advisory body recommendations
  • Summary of discussions and action points from key meetings (e.g., TAG meeting) reported back to LACRO;
  • Recommendations for UNICEF's ongoing EPI role in LAC elaborated at the end of the consultancy;
  • UNICEF LACRO supported in other EPI-related tasks during the period of the consultancy

Expected results: (measurable results):

The consultant or individual contractor is expected to provide the following outputs:

  1. Follow up on regional envelop budget for country technical assistance and EPI activities for Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua submitted to UNICEF HQ
  2. Follow up on the status of expenditure of the PEF/ TCA funds allocated to Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua
  3. Coordinate with PAHO/WHO in planning and preparation for Comprehensive Evaluation Vaccine Management (cEVMA) in Bolivia and Haiti in 2017
  4. Report on the EVMA action plan implementation in Haiti and Bolivia
  5. Short reports on outcomes of key meetings in which the consultant participates, as agreed with supervisors
  6. Support the office in other EPI-related tasks as needs arise

Expected Deliverables

  1. Report pre-validation of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Elimination plan
  2. Report on GAVI-PEF activity status
  3. Report on the EVMA action plan implementation in Haiti and Bolivia
  4. Recommendations on UNICEF's ongoing role in EPI in LAC

 

Duration/ Timeframe:

Tasks can be performed remotely; some travel to Bolivia, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama as well as to meetings is expected. Travel cost will be reimbursed as per UNICEF guidelines for consultant's travels.The consultancy is based on a part time work equivalent to 6 months of actual work within the period 1 march 2017 to 1 December 2017.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  • Advanced University degree in public health or other related field
  • Field of academic qualifications: Public Health or other related field
  • Five years of experience in public health, and in particular related to EPI
  • Previous experience and knowledge of UNICEF work on EPI
  • Demonstrated oral and written communication skills, including scientific publications and presentations on vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Fluency in English and Spanish
  • French an asset

Applications, including fees to be submitted not later than 19 February 2017.

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  

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 our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
Apply
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Panamá
  • Grade: International Consultant
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2017-02-20

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