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HIV Specialist, Prevention Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)

Kigali (Rwanda)

Background

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life, as envisaged by 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We are on the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, working with governments and people on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners that can bring about results.

The Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and help countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  BPPS’s staff provides technical advice to Country Offices; advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, South-South and Triangular cooperation initiatives, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas.

 BPPS supports UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, focusing on 7 outcomes including strengthening institutions to progressively deliver universal access to basic services (outcome 3). The HIV, Health and Development Group (HHD), within BPPS, is helping to contribute towards this outcome.

UNDP HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021

UNDP’s commitment to HIV and other major health challenges is based on the principles that health is both a driver and outcome of development, and that actions across a wide range of development sectors have a significant impact on health outcomes.

UNDP’s work in HIV and health contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals by addressing the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, health-related inequalities and governance for health. UNDP’s work in these areas is outlined in its HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021.

The strategy encompasses three inter-related action areas, each of which includes three priorities:

Action Area 1: Reducing inequalities and social exclusion that drive HIV and poor health.

Action Area 2: Promoting effective and inclusive governance for health.

Action Area 3: Building resilient and sustainable systems for health.

HIV, Health and Development Approach

UNDP is a founding co-sponsor of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and a co-sponsor of several other international health partnerships. UNDP’s work on HIV, health and development leverages the organisation’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist health-focused UN agencies.

UNDP’s Partnership with the Global Fund

The Global Fund achieves its goals through a broad range of partnerships, including with the United Nations family. UNDP partners with the Global Fund to support and strengthen national responses to HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria. The objective is to ensure access to quality health services for all, and enable all those living or affected by the diseases to live healthy, productive lives. The partnership leverages UNDP’s mandate to strengthened institutions to deliver universal access to basic services and rebuilding resilient health services in crisis and post-crisis settings.

  • UNDP supports the implementation of Global Fund programmes on an interim basis in countries facing significant capacity constraints, complex emergencies, donor sanctions, or other difficult circumstances;
  • Develops national capacity and strengthens national systems to gradually reduce the need for UNDP implementation support and to transfer the role of Principal Recipient to national entities when circumstances permit;
  • Transforms national responses to the 3 diseases by providing policy and technical support in areas of UNDP expertise and mandate, such as human rights, gender, sustainable financing and environmental sustainability, and reaching key populations at higher risk.

UNDP is requested to serve as the Global Fund’s Interim Principal Recipient (PR) in countries facing a wide variety of special challenges, including serious capacity constraints, post-crisis or complex emergencies, weak governance and accountability, grant implementation difficulties and financial irregularities, donor restrictions, or other exceptional circumstances. UNDP only serves as an Interim PR when a national entity cannot fulfil this role, as determined by the Country Coordinating Mechanism and/or the Global Fund, including in countries under the Global Fund’s Additional Safeguards Policy (ASP).

UNDP Results

UNDP has contributed to 3.1 million lives saved   through the UNDP-GF Partnership. As of 2017, UNDP is managing 36 grants in 19 countries, as well as 3 regional grants. The current total value of the portfolio in signed grant agreements is $1.7 billion. Total portfolio expenditure in 2015 was US $423 million.

UNDP’s Global Fund portfolio has saved 3.1 million lives in its support to countries, including children and young adults in their most productive years who would have otherwise succumbed to the three diseases, sparing countries the devastating socio-economic impact at both community and national levels of such massive mortality.

Beyond this programme implementation role, the past few years have seen a further deepening in UNDP’s engagement with the Global Fund human rights, key populations, gender, capacity development of systems for health, sustainable financing, and other key strategic issues.

Global Fund Angola HIV grant:

UNDP is currently the Principal Recipient for the HIV grant in Angola, “Strengthening the National Response to HIV/AIDS in Angola,” which runs from July 2016 – June 2018 for a total amount of $29.9m. The program seeks to reduce new HIV infections among general and key populations, and to increase PMTCT and ART coverage for children and adults.  Increasing educational campaigns targeting young women in and out of school is among the grant’s prevention strategies.

Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT)

Angola has a generalized, heterosexually-driven HIV epidemic with an adult prevalence of 2.2 percent, according to 2015 estimates from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) (UNAIDS 2015). Overall, antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage is estimated at 29percent of HIV-positive adults and 24 percent of HIV-positive children aged 0 to 14.  In 2014 approximately two-thirds of the estimated 950,122 pregnant women utilized public clinics, though only 59 percent of these women were tested for HIV (PEPFAR 2016).

HIV prevalence in pregnant women has changed little since 2002—between 2 and 3 percent (PEPFAR 2015)—and the proportion of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving ART to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV has increased from 23 percent in 2009 to 39 percent in 2013. Despite this increase in prevention, the proportion of pregnant women tested remains low. 

Moreover, a recent study found that among pregnant women who test positive, fewer than half receive antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis.  The low rates of testing and ARV prophylaxis mean that only 17 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women in Angola receive ARVprophylaxis. In addition, new infections among adolescents aged 15–19 years have increased by 29 percent since 2009.  This increase means that it is critical to identify these adolescent women and start them on treatment for their own health and to prevent MTCT.

Addressing MTCT is especially important in Angola, where treatment of infants and children lagsbehind that of adults. In 2013, only 14 percent of children living with HIV received ART (UNAIDS 2014). Since 2013, HIV interventions in Angola to address MTCT and HIV in children have centered on expanding integrated services for antenatal care (ANC) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and on improving the quality of HIV health services. The Government of Angola has sought to align with international norms for PMTCT, including the Sustainable Development Goals, and in 2013 began expansion of Option B+, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The National HIV/AIDS programme is involved in a process of increasing access to ART through Test and Treat. The Test & Treat Plan which is currently being implemented will be assessed by the end of the first quarter of 2018. It will then be extended to up to 5 priority provinces over the rest of the year. This would take Test & Treat to areas where more than 70% of PLHIV in Angola are concentrated. Therefore, an increase in the number of new inclusions is expected.

As part of the Test and Treat Strategy, Improvement Plans were developed for each health facility where Test and Treat will be implemented. Improved quality of case management is a key area under those plans, as well as PMTCT.  This should reduce the number of treatment drop-outs and sustain the hereby proposed targets.

Purpose of the consultancy

The aim of the consultancy is to support INLS in its efforts in reducing the current rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from 21% to below 5% by 2022.

Specific Objectives of the Consultancy

  • To facilitate the development of a detailed PMTCT scaling-up plan which will take into consideration the HIV prevalence, provincial and district size estimations of people living with HIV, ANC attendance and other factors;
  • To provide guidance in PMTCT response planning to the National HIV/aids Programme (INLS) as well as the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme (PSR).

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Project Coordinator, and in consultation with the INLS leadership, the Consultant will carry out the following activities:

Conduct a desk review of existing PMTCT strategy and related documents;

Review the National PMTCT program targets and results with a view to assessing the scope and coverage of PMTCT interventions in the country;

Conduct in person or group based key stakeholder interviews and/or focus group discussions to understand barriers to the rollout of PMTCT and uptake of existing services. The interviews and FGDs will be carried out with:

  • Beneficiaries of antenatal and PMTCT services, in Luanda and selected provincial health facilities;
  • PMTCT health service providers;
  • Members of the PMTCT working group chaired by INLS i.e. WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF, PSR, Ministry of Social Affairs, UNFPA, UNDP;
  • Any other interested parties such as other HIV/aids partners and civil society organizations.

Develop a detailed PMTCT Scaling-Up Plan with clear roles, responsibilities and timelines, by geographical province, aligned with the Test and Treat Expansion Plan as well as the national strategy.

Deliverables: On starting the consultancy, the consultant will present a brief methodology showing the proposed number of days for desk review, review of program’s effectiveness, FGDs & IDIs in the 4 provinces, drafting of the final report.

The consultant shall be responsible for submitting:

  • A brief analysis of the barriers to the uptake of PMTCT services in Angola;
  • One draft PMTCT Scaling Up Plan which includes the responsibilities and timelines by geographical province to introduce PMTCT; scale-up in accordance with the Test and Treat Expansion Plan and the national strategy; 
  • Following inputs from stakeholders, submit a revised PMTCT Scaling Up Plan incorporating stakeholder feedback received;
  • Final Report on the Consultancy.

Evaluation:

Candidates will be evaluated using a combined scoring method with the qualifications and methodology weighted at 70% and the price offer weighted at 30%.  Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49% (out of 70%) points on the technical qualifications part will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Criteria for technical evaluation (70%):

  • Minimum of 10 years of working experience on issues related to HIV/AIDS, including PMTCT and understanding of biomedical as well as preventive approaches to address HIV – 20 points
  • Work experience in a development context, either for an international organisation, NGO and/or UN agency – 20 points
  • Specialised PMTCT improvement planning experience required – 15 points
  • Experience carrying out HIV program assessments to review effectiveness, impact and identifying opportunities to refocus or refine activities to achieve agreed goal – 15 points

Criteria for financial evaluation (30 points maximum):

p = y (µ/z), where

p = points for the financial proposal being evaluatedy = maximum number of points for the financial proposalµ = price of the lowest priced proposalz = price of the proposal being evaluated

Reporting: The consultant shall report to the Project Coordinator for the UNDP/Global Fund HIV grant in Angola. All expected deliverables will be submitted to the Project Coordinator for approval.

Travel: 

Travel within and outside Luanda is expected during the assignment, base on a schedule to be developed in accordance with INLS. Payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between UNDP Team and the Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be covered and paid by UNDP.

Payment Method:

The consultant will be paid based on a daily-rate.

  • Payments will be based on deliverables as assessed in the Certificate of Payment as well as on the time-sheet.

Security: Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under https://trip.dss.un.org.

Competencies

Corporate:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional:

  • Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality practical advisory reports and knowledge products;
  • Professional and/or academic experience in one or more of the areas of international development, public health or related field.

Project and Resource Management:

  • Ability to produce high quality outputs in a timely manner while understanding and anticipating the evolving client needs;
  • Strong organisational skills;
  • Ability to work independently, produce high quality outputs.

Communications and Advocacy:

  • Strong ability to write clearly and convincingly, adapting style and content to different audiences and speak clearly and convincingly;
  • Strong analytical, research and writing skills with demonstrated ability to think strategically;
  • Strong inter-personal, negotiation and liaison skills.

Partnership building and team work:

  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills.
  • Demonstrated flexibility to excel in a multi-cultural environment.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree in medicine, public health, social sciences, international development or any other related discipline

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years of working experience on issues related to HIV/AIDS, including PMTCT and understanding of biomedical as well as preventive approaches to address HIV;
  • Work experience in a development context, either for an international organisation, NGO and/or UN agency, required;
  • Specialised PMTCT improvement planning experience required;
  • Experience carrying out HIV program assessments to review effectiveness, impact and identifying opportunities to refocus or refine activities to achieve agreed goal desirable.

Language:

  • Excellent written and spoken English;
  • Fluency in Portuguese is strongly preferred.

Application Submission Process:

Interested individual consultants must include the following documents when submitting the applications in UNDP job shop (Please note that only 1 (one) file can be uploaded therefore please include all docs in one file):

 Applicants should submit:

ANNEX 1 - INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS is provided here: http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
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.
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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Kigali (Rwanda)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • HIV and AIDS
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2018-03-24

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