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  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • HIV and AIDS
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-01

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HIV and Viral Hepatitis Consultants (Roster)

Multiple locations (Various)

1. Purpose of the Position

The purpose of the HIV and viral hepatitis roster is to establish a pool of expertise on HIV and hepatitis for the WHO Regional Office for Europe that can be deployed rapidly and flexibly for future assignments to support Member States in eliminating HIV and hepatitis as public health problems by 2030, as part of SDG 3.3.

The experts on the roster will work at various levels of seniority to contribute to assessment missions, evidence generation, knowledge brokering, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and operational research initiatives across a number of technical areas. They will help provide policy makers with the tailored evidence they need to take informed decisions for policy update, build capacities on surveillance, prevention, treatment and care, provide tools to support timely implementation of recommended innovations, review and document country progress and good practices and guide decision makers to strengthen surveillance and ensure sustainable financing for the elimination.

2. Organizational context

All Member States of WHO in the European Region share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right. All of WHO actions are based on this and rooted in the underlying value of equity as described in the General Programme of Work (GPW).

The 13th General Programme of Work defines the mission of WHO as one to promote health, to keep the world safe, and to protect the vulnerable. The GPW calls for heightened accountability, prioritizing impact and outcome at country level, and to improve the lives of three billion people, through universal health coverage, through addressing health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations.

WHO’s mandate revolves around six core functions\: (i) providing leadership on global health matters; (ii) shaping the health research agenda; (iii) setting norms and standards; (iv) articulating evidence-based policy options; (v) providing technical support to countries; and (vi) monitoring and assessing health trends.

The European Region (EURO) of WHO is made up of 53 countries, with over 880 million people. The diversity of people and health situations requires, on the demand side, a solid understanding of the emerging socio-economic, epidemiologic and demographic patterns and trends at both aggregate as well as national and sub-national levels, with due sensitivity to disadvantaged populations and vulnerable segments of the society. On the supply side, it is equally crucial to have a solid understanding of the commonalities and divergences of the health systems, the circumstances and political economy under which they have evolved and operate and, more specifically, how these bear upon the way the health system stewardship function of health ministries is carried out.

The objectives of the Joint Tuberculosis, HIV and Viral Hepatitis (JTH) Programme are to\:

• provide technical assistance to Member States on TB, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis prevention and care within the context of strengthening health systems and people-centered approaches
• provide evidence-based policies, guidelines and standards
• optimize HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care outcomes
• assist Member States in monitoring and evaluation of national programmes for HIV, TB and hepatitis
• develop stronger linkages between TB, HIV, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections control programmes and other health programmes and services particularly to drug dependence and harm reduction, sexual and reproductive health, and maternal, newborn and child health
• address the needs of vulnerable populations, reduce vulnerability and structural barriers to accessing services;
• foster bilateral, multilateral and multisectoral collaboration and partnership;
• empower people with TB, HIV, hepatitis, civil society organizations and communities through partnership
• enhance advocacy, communication and social mobilization for improved control programmes
• enable and promote research

The action plan for the health sector response to HIV in the WHO European Region and action plan for the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region have key strategic directions and clear targets to be achieved towards elimination of HIV and viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030.

3. Description of duties

The members of the HIV and viral hepatitis roster will form a strategic and senior resource for the JTH programmme at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, based in Copenhagen. They will work closely with WHO Regional Office experts and senior policy makers in countries of the Region in a dynamic and high pressure international environment.

The experts on the roster will be invited to take on specific, clearly defined assignments in the HIV and/ or hepatitis areas for which they have been selected and which fit their specific profile and expertise. These will range widely from presenting evidence, participating in policy dialogue, delivering a research project, to building capacity in various technical areas.

They will deliver a mix of inputs as appropriate\: conducting desk reviews of national policies and guidelines; participating in assessments, technical missions and programme reviews in countries of the Region; participating in implementation science research and economic analysis; consolidating evidence for policy makers; documenting country progress and good practices; and contributing to WHO reports and technical publications.

Experts on the roster will contribute to the work of, or work in close collaboration with existing regional platforms such as the Treatment Reference Group, the European Laboratory Initiative, the Elimination of mother-to-child transmission Regional Validation Committee and the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC).

Duties will be to provide expertise in one or more of the following key HIV and/or hepatitis areas, using a public health patient centered approach\:

1.1. Prevention for key vulnerable populations including people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people, prisoners and migrants\:

• Review country legislation and assess discriminatory laws against vulnerable groups
• Review national policies, plans and implementation status in regard to combination prevention for key populations, including HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and comprehensive harm reduction programmes and document gaps and good practices
• Contribute to the development, writing and revision of policy briefs to support dialogue on policy change for prevention services
• Assess community’s capacity and barriers to contribute to prevention, testing and linkage to care for key populations

1.2. Testing strategies and laboratory systems

• Review countries’ testing strategies/ algorithms, document good practices and gaps, and assist in providing recommendations for simplification and use of rapid diagnostic tests
• Assist WHO in developing operational guidelines for countries to roll out community-based testing and self-testing and linkage to care and treatment
• Provide expertise for training of member states on HIV and hepatitis testing and lab monitoring of treatment outcomes
• Assess and generate evidence on linkage loss between testing and treatment to provide recommendations on how to improve the continuum of care
• Review countries’ policies and laboratory practices regarding HIV and hepatitis treatment monitoring as well as HIV drug resistance monitoring to make recommendations for policies, guidelines and protocols update according to WHO recommendations
• Contribute to on-site specialized laboratories assessments and external quality assurance in laboratory practices
• Generate evidence, develop policy briefs and document country pilots on the use of integrated multi-disease testing platforms for HIV, hepatitis and TB to support the roll out of integrated HIV-TB and hepatitis testing in countries of the Region

1.3. Treatment and care

• Assist with antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimen optimization and optimal service delivery, through desk review of national policies and guidelines and in-country visits to provide recommendations for improving quality of treatment services
• Provide expertise and conduct training of clinicians from member states on latest advances in HIV and /or hepatitis treatment
• Adapt the latest WHO recommendations / innovations to country specific contexts and develop guidelines to facilitate their operationalization
• Review barriers in quality treatment and retention in care and provide recommendations to address them
• Conduct HIV and/ or hepatitis treatment services quality assessments, document good practices and develop recommendations for services quality improvement

1.4. Elimination of mother to child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV, congenital syphilis and hepatitis B

• Review and assess countries’ data to check for compliance with validation criteria of HIV and/or syphilis eMTCT considering WHO eligibility criteria for validation assessment;
• Assist with country missions to verify the evidence on eMTCT in countries and develop a mission report to be submitted to the Regional Validation Committee (RVC) to determine eligibility for eMTCT validation.
• Support the monitoring of eMTCT after country validation, including review of validation indicators and provide a report to WHO with recommendations for the maintenance of validation
• Conduct a systematic review of eMTCT indicators in countries of the Region to develop a consolidated report of eMTCT status of the Region

1.5. Strategic information

• Assist WHO with HIV surveillance, through following up countries reporting status and summarizing analysis results to develop annual HIV surveillance report in collaboration with ECDC
• Conduct specific analysis of relevant indicators for monitoring the HIV response and the WHO indicators for monitoring the hepatitis response and produce country fact sheets and other products based on WHO needs
• Develop standard protocol for reviewing national HIV surveillance and M&E systems and pilot it in country
• Assist countries in developing patient registry and data recording systems for hepatitis
• Provide technical support to countries to strengthen and sustain integrated HIV and hepatitis bio-behavioral surveillance
• Review key populations size estimation and modes of transmission studies in countries of the Region and provide a report with recommendations on how to improve these estimations and better capture modes of transmission.
• Participate in data quality assessments in countries of the Region and provide a report to WHO with recommendations describing how to improve data quality including for HIV cascade and viral load monitoring
• Facilitate the organization of workshops on data triangulation and use of data in decision making for national prevention, treatment and care
• Assist in monitoring early warning indicators for prevention of HIV drug resistance and develop consolidated report
• Support the development of country protocols for nationally representative HIV drug resistance surveys based on WHO guidelines and assist countries to analyze their data and develop quality HIV drug resistance reports
• Support the future development of a routine HIV drug resistance surveillance in the region by reviewing the ECDC protocol for HIV drug resistance reporting and providing recommendations for its expansion to non-EU/EEA countries

1.6. Research

• Conduct a review of literature on HIV and/or hepatitis operational research in the Region and develop a report including mapping of existing research by thematic area and identification of research gaps. The report will be used for the preparation of a WHO regional workshop on operational research to inform evidence-based decision for national program strengthening
• Provide expertise for developing implementation research protocols for assessing barriers to prevention, diagnosis and treatment
• Assist in conducting implementation research on innovative technologies or services delivery for improving prevention, diagnosis treatment and care
• Conduct cost effectiveness studies on HIV and /or hepatitis testing and treatment to influence policy change
• Contribute to the development of regional and country specific operational research agendas on HIV and/or hepatitis

1.7. Health financing

• Provide technical expertise for costing of national plans to influence adequate government funding of HIV and /or hepatitis plans
• Develop operational guidance tools to support countries transitioning from donor funding to domestic funding
• Develop briefings / tools for countries to use social contracting for community-based services

The involvement of roster members may include desk reviews of national documents, country visits, providing advice on evidence-based options, writing, editing and publishing on HIV and /or hepatitis issues, presenting evidence at conferences, meetings and other events, participating in capacity building activities and in assessment visits, missions to countries and comprehensive HIV and hepatitis national programme reviews.


4. Recruitment Profile

The minimum academic and professional experience required to apply for the roster is outlined below. The actual grade for each individual contract will be determined in accordance with WHO guidelines on minimum requirements at the time of contract issuance.

Functional Knowledge and Skills

High level technical knowledge in one or more technical following areas\: HIV and/ or hepatitis prevention, testing and laboratory services, care and treatment, surveillance, M&E, operational research and financing of public health programmes.

Desirable

Expert knowledge of and skills in the application of evidence to policy and of the policy making context in Europe demonstrated by work with senior policy makers, participation in dialogues, advice to decision makers and roles in relevant reference groups and European initiatives.

A track record of independent, credible, high quality work that is fit to inform decision-making, and which demonstrates academic and policy makers’ regard specifically through invitations to make key note presentations, write leader articles or act as an examiner.

Education Qualifications

Essential
Advanced university degree in medicine, public health, clinical laboratory science, virology, epidemiology, economics, social science, law or a related area.

Desirable
Special training/specialization or higher degree (i.e.doctorate) relating directly to any of the technical health system areas listed above.

Experience

Essential

At least 3 years work experience in the field of public health

Desirable

Professional experience in the field of HIV and/ or hepatitis with reference to one or more of the technical areas /functions listed above.

Relevant work experience in WHO, an International Organizations and/or any other United Nations and partner agencies

Experience of working in countries of central and Eastern Europe, and central Asia

Experience of knowledge brokering and in the shaping and provision of evidence to policy makers as demonstrated by participation in dialogues and / or the provision of advice to decision makers and / or participation in relevant advisory boards.
A proven track record both in publishing and in presenting at international conferences.

Experience in implementing operation research.

Language

Essential\:
Excellent knowledge of English

Desirable\:
Working knowledge of Russian
Working knowledge of another EURO language

5. Remuneration
Remuneration is based on classified requirements of the Terms of Reference of the Individual Consultant Contract with related academic and professional experience applied for the grade in accordance with WHO’s consultant’s pay band ranges.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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