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Consultancy: Immunization Supply Chain Data and HR Assessment Consultant, Papua New Guinea

Other (Various)

This consultancy will focus on the assessment of the immunization supply chain data, the related human resources currently available in the country and linkages between these two areas in the effective immunization supply chain management.

Duration: 10 weeks over 5 months

Location: 4-5 weeks in Papua New Guinea, remaining weeks from home

Start Date: June 2018

Reporting to: Immunization Specialist, UNICEF PNG and Monitoring Specialist, Director’s Office, UNICEF Supply Division, Copenhagen

BACKGROUND:

In 2015, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, approved a 2016-2020 strategy to support countries in improving their immunization supply chains. The strategy includes five areas: human resources & leadership, improvement planning, data for management, cold chain equipment and system design. Gavi undertakes a number of measures to support the implementation of the 2016-2020 strategy including country grants and programme funding, secretariat engagement and Partners' Engagement Framework (PEF). PEF includes targeted country assistance and under this engagement, UNICEF supports Papua New Guinea (PNG) in its efforts to improve data use throughout the immunization supply chain.

The Data for Management (D4M) initiative is a key strategy to support countries, with the goal of enhancing the use of data to oversee and manage key aspects of the immunisation supply chain in all Gavi countries by 2020. The D4M aims to establish a data-driven culture at all levels of the national immunization supply chain through strengthened availability, use and understanding of the value of data to manage and improve the performance of the supply chain.

Likewise, through the Leadership fundamental, countries are supported to have dedicated and competent immunisation supply chain leaders, who are efficient, motivated and empowered to overcome existing and emerging immunisation supply challenges, and an adequate number of personnel at each supply chain level.

The immunization services in PNG are characterized by low coverage rates for all vaccines, due to many health system issues. One of them is the limited resources available in the health care system, leading to for example a high level of non-functioning rural aid posts and no systematic in-service training of the ageing workforce. The logistics management information system (LMIS) includes some tools and electronic systems, but not all essential data points are captured and reported nor used in sub-national (provincial) levels. Due to this, there is lack of data to make informed decisions, which jeopardizes the functioning of the supply chain and thus the availability and potency of vaccines.

The 2016 Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) assessment, a standardized assessment tool for immunization supply chain developed by WHO and UNICEF, shows some of the weaknesses in the management of the vaccines, such as lack of relevant trainings, standard operating procedures and lack of recording and use of essential immunization supply chain data such as temperature and vaccine utilization and wastage data.

Due to the identified challenges, UNICEF is supporting PNG with assessments of the current situation with human resources and D4M with the aim to identify how to improve the immunization supply chain such that potent vaccines are available to the children in PNG. 

This consultancy will focus on the assessment of the immunization supply chain data, the related human resources currently available in the country and linkages between these two areas in the effective immunization supply chain management.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT:

Under the supervision of the Immunization Specialist, UNICEF-PNG, and the Monitoring Specialist, UNICEF SD-CPH, the consultant’s duties and responsibilities will include:

  1. ASSESSMENT OF THE IMMUNIZATION SUPPLY CHAIN DATA MANAGEMENT

1.1. Assessment of availability, quality and use of immunization supply chain data at all levels of the immunization supply chain

D4M focuses on ensuring there are standardized tools and processes, so data recording and reporting is efficient. Utilizing the data can be difficult, but can be eased with the availability of key performance indicators (KPIs) and visualizations of them. In many settings, including PNG, electronic LMIS software are in place for some of the supply chain business processes at national level of the country. Having an overview of those systems, helps the country identify the way forward in terms of electronic systems. However, before moving to an electronic system or expanding the use of those in place, a well-functioning paper-based LMIS is essential. An electronic software does not solve the problems experienced with the paper-based LMIS, so introducing one without ensuring a good paper-based LMIS may result in limited benefits of an electronic system.

This assessment will focus on establishing a good picture of the D4M situation in PNG and will include field visits to selected facilities at each supply chain level including provincial offices, district offices, health facilities, and national vaccine store of the EPI programme. Both observations, document reviews and key informant interviews will be required to get this information. The assessment will not only describe the situation but also include recommendations for improvements to strengthen the data availability, quality and use to improve the immunization supply chain.  

These are the focus areas of the assessment:

  • Review records and reports at each level of the supply chain to establish if the relevant data is collected. Propose amendments to existing tools or development of new tools that better capture the required data.
  • Review the records and reports for quality of data captured and reported and identify potential reasons for poor data quality (if poor quality is identified).
  • Review the processes of data collection, transmission and use and if there are standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all the relevant processes related to D4M. Propose changes to the processes and new or amended SOPs as required.
  • Assess the relevance for and the high-level requirements for an electronic stock management systems at the two highest supply chain levels.
  • Identify and briefly describe any electronic logistics management information systems (LMIS) already in use for a health supply chain in PNG for data collection, transmission, use or visualization. The information will be used for future consideration of the way forward for electronic LMIS in PNG.
  • Assess the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) at each of the supply chain levels and adjust/improve the relevant KPIs for use at each supply chain level. Also, assess if there are visualization of KPIs at any supply chain levels and propose possible ways of visualizing the KPIs as required.

1.2. The expected outcome of the data assessment

  • Develop simple visual SOPs for recording and reporting iSC data: Standardizing the processes and ensuring that the staff are aware of their responsibilities and how to perform them are essential for a well-functioning LMIS. As part of the assessment, the consultant develops a list of required SOPs or check lists for correct use of the LMIS tools and immunization supply chain data use in general. The HR roles and responsibilities will also be reflected in those SOPs.
  • Propose updates to existing paper-based logistics management information tools for immunization: Standardized records and reports without unnecessary or redundant data, help reduce the burden on the health worker and reduce data quality issues. Based on the results from the field visits, the consultant will propose amendment and/or develop LMIS record and report formats to ensure relevant data can be simply and effectively recorded and reported. When amending, and developing LMIS tools, the consultant will consider the level the records and reports will be used at and the information needed at the different levels for managing the supply chain.
  • Propose key performance indicators to monitor immunization supply chain performance: Key performance indicators (KPIs) are useful to monitor performance and identify where improvements are needed or actions are required to avoid for example stock outs. Based on the assessment findings, the consultant will describe the suggested indicators including how to calculate and visualize the indicator and which supply chain level the indicators are suggested to be used at.

2. ASSESSMENT OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES FOR IMMUNIZATION SUPPLY CHAIN

2.1. Assessment of human resources at all levels of the immunization supply chain

A critical part of the vision for the Alliance immunization supply chain strategy is that countries have dedicated immunization supply chain leaders with adequate numbers of skilled, competent, accountable, motivated, and empowered personnel at all levels of the health system. Hence one of the building blocks of the strategy being HR, which focusses on the need for strengthening HR for immunization supply chain management. The HR for ISC assessment is a diagnostic tool utilized to assess human resources for immunization supply chain covering HR planning, management and development. The result of this assessment enables countries plan and implement solutions to address the HR bottlenecks.

This assessment will highlight HR for ISC challenges related to performance improvement, workforce planning and leadership thereby contributing to a comprehensive HR for iSC improvement plan covering HR planning, management and development in line with the cMYP. The recommendations from this assessment and action planning will also provide inputs to the continuous improvement plan (c-IP).

This assessment will be conducted along with the data for management (D4M) assessment and will be a good opportunity to demonstrate the synergy between D4M and SC leadership. The assessment should outline SC leadership and HR needs required for data management.

These are the focus areas of the assessment using the HR for ISC rapid assessment tool:

  • Desk review of relevant documentation on HR for immunization programme with special focus to supply chain and cold chain management and D4M.
  • Assessment of HR planning (policies, staff availability and workforce planning) for immunization supply chain covering cold chain management and data for management functions.
  • Assessment of HR management (job descriptions, supportive supervision systems, performance monitoring and working conditions) for immunization supply chain covering cold chain management and data for management functions.
  • Assessment of HR development (required competencies, trainings, standard operating procedures and career development) for immunization supply chain covering cold chain management and data for management functions.

2. 2. Expected outcome of the HR assessment

HR for ISC improvement planning: A key aspect of this assessment will focus on developing recommendations and practical action points such as adjusting/expanding the iSC workforce (technical and/or management positions) aligned with the EPI workforce, to address the bottlenecks or challenges in human resources of the iSCM, which will be incorporated into the country planning documents, continuous improvement planning and comprehensive multi-year plan. This will also involve presenting to the stakeholders for inputs. The consultant will also support the country team with the following key actions:

  • Defining the training needs for immunization supply chain workforce covering cold chain and data management and identify opportunities to incorporate relevant content in planned training
  • Update or create job descriptions for the ISC workforce especially cold chain and data for management based on current and future realities e.g. CEEOP
  • Contributing to the development of simple visuals of required SOPs with a component on HR needs for D4M in the immunization supply chain
  • Incorporating specific HR indicators as part of the immunization supply chain performance along with the iSCM data management indicators

Field visits are expected to take around 4 weeks and the findings from the field visits will be the basis of the development of the deliverables. The captured data is not expected to be statistically analysed.

KEY DELIVERABLES

  • Presentation (PPT) of preliminary results from the assessment. The Consultant will present the assessment findings to NDOH, UNICEF, WHO, Gavi and key partners before leaving PNG to receive inputs for the assessment report.
  • The assessment report including the focus areas described in the TOR, which includes, but are not limited to:
        • Overview of suggested changes to immunization supply chain records and reports highlighting how the changes will improve the data availability and data use processes
        • List of required standard operating procedures (SOPs) for D4M and HR improvement
        • List of key performance indicators including description of indicators, calculation, visualization and consideration of recommended indicators for each supply chain level
  • Revised and/or new immunization records and reports recommended for use (deliverable must be delivered in a quality appropriate for national implementation)
  • Visual SOPs for the use of LMIS tool and data use (deliverable must be delivered in a quality appropriate for national implementation)
  • HR for ISC assessment report includes, but are not limited to:
        • Detailed HR for ISC improvement planning detailing practical actions, partner/person responsible and follow up mechanism and work with the country team to incorporate the actions in relevant country plans.
        • List of iSC work-force with detailed of positions description and number
  • List of training needs for general immunization supply covering cold chain and data for management
  • Reviewed job descriptions for the key ISC workforce

    QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

    Education: Master Degree in Public Health, Statistics, Supply Chain Management, Pharmacy or another relevant discipline for health supply chain data use or first university degree with relevant experience in supply chain, data management or visualization and human resource management.

    Work Experience: Minimum six years relevant and progressive professional work experience including working with governments on supply chain performance monitoring, leadership, human resources, performance improvement, trainings and/or organizational development 

    Language: Full professional proficiency in English (written and oral) is required.

    Competencies: The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies that are considered to be necessary to this consultancy:

    Core Competencies

  • Excellent communicator of concepts both verbally and in writing to a developing country government and international audience.
  • Able to work well in a team environment.

Functional Competencies

  • Works independently and is problem-solving oriented.
  • Works in a multi-cultural environment and establishes harmonious and effective working relationships.
  • Demonstrates communication and relationship-building skills.
  • Proven capacity to work across different locations utilizing technical skills within supply chain management, data visualization, management and/or monitoring.

UNICEF Core Values

The consultant also have to follow UNICEF’s core values described below.

Diversity and Inclusion

Treats all people with dignity and respect; shows respect and sensitivity towards gender, cultural and religious differences; challenges prejudice, biases and intolerance in the workplace; encourages diversity wherever possible.

Integrity

Maintains high ethical standards; takes clear ethical stands; keeps promises; immediately addresses untrustworthy or dishonest behaviour; resists pressure in decision-making from internal and external sources; does not abuse power or authority.

Commitment

Demonstrates commitment to UNICEF’s mission and to the wider UN system; demonstrates the values of UNICEF in daily activities and behaviours; seeks out new challenges, assignments and responsibilities; promotes UNICEF’s cause.

EVALUATION PROCESS:

Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

  1. Cover letter/application.
  2. Financial quote for the consultancy which must include: the total consultancy fee (broken down into daily rate in US Dollars and number of consultancy days), travel costs (with details of the economy class ticket price) and administrative fees especially for the PNG-based period (if applicable, broken down into the separate categories of costs like internet, phone, etc.).
  3. CV.
  4. References.

Applications must be submitted through the UNICEF electronic application system by 13 June 2018.

Applications submitted by email or without a financial quote will not be considered.

Payment will be made at the end of the contract upon approval of deliverables. Travel related costs will be paid when contract is finalized to enable the consultant plan for travel to PNG. Travel within PNG is expected and will be arranged and paid by the UNICEF country office.

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: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Other (Various)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Supply Chain
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Human Resources
    • Logistics
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2018-06-18

What does it mean?

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