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Programme Specialist (Social Cohesion Consultant)

Yangon (Myanmar)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Yangon (Myanmar)
  • Grade: LICA-10, Local Individual Contractors Agreement - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2020-02-26

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Background Information - Myanmar

The Access to Health Fund (ACCESS) is a five-year, USD 215-million Fund focused on bringing health services to vulnerable people in Myanmar’s conflict-affected areas. 

In focusing on conflict-affected areas, the Fund works with both the Ministry of Health and Sports, and Ethnic Health Organizations and Community-Based Health Organizations in ethnic areas (EHO/CBHOs) who provide services in mixed areas and areas outside of government control.

The Fund operates in a ‘Conflict Sensitive’ way, streamlining a ‘do no harm’ approach and embedding it within its programmes. Starting in 2019, the Fund’s strategy also calls for the Fund to support social cohesion, including through the promotion of dialogue and collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) and EHO/CBHOs.

The term ‘social cohesion’ refers here to the willingness of people in Myanmar to cooperate with each other across ethnic, group, and social boundaries, in order to improve their own situation and that of other members of society. Social cohesion is crucial to achieving peace, democracy, and development; to reducing tensions between communities and/or between communities and the government, to ensuring that different groups have equal rights and access and - through increasing collaboration - to supporting the realization of Myanmar’s goals (e.g. Universal Health Coverage by 2030). Health has often been presented as “a bridge for Peace”; in today’s political context in Myanmar, the Fund believes that every opportunity should be seized upon to promote in a more peaceful and more cohesive society - creating a virtuous circle in which better access to services leads to more social cohesion, less conflict, and more opportunities to address barriers to access.  In explicating its contribution to social cohesion, the Fund aims at maximizing its societal impact alongside the health outcomes it pursues through its interventions.

Background Information - Job-specific

The Fund is eager to explore existing opportunities to promote social cohesion and contribute to peace in Myanmar through its health-related work. The Fund is thus looking to hire a Consultant to develop a working paper (i) reviewing the Fund’s past and ongoing work in relation to conflict / social cohesion, and (ii) outlining future approaches and opportunities for greater contribution to social cohesion and peace, streamlining this work into the Fund’s approach and Strategy presented in the Board-approved ‘Access to Health Fund’s Overall Strategy’. 

This work will be conducted in close collaboration with the Access to Health Fund Management Office, the Fund’s Board (Donors and MOHS), implementing partners, EHO/CBHOs, conflict advisers, and other partners.
Scope of Work
(i) Review of the Fund’s work on conflict and social cohesion to date

The consultant is expected to:

  1. Review and summarize existing literature on the Fund’s work in conflict since 2012

  2. Review and summarize the Access to Health Fund strategy, EHO/CBHO-engagement strategy, conflict-sensitivity policy, and other relevant documentation guiding the work of the Fund.

  3. Review relevant literature and consult with relevant stakeholders to summarize current practices in relation to conflict and social cohesion. 

(ii) Develop a strategy/working paper on the Fund’s ‘contribution to social cohesion’

The working paper is expected to:
a.    Provide the summary described in 3.i. above 
b.    Given the above scope and definitions, define the range of meanings that ‘promoting social cohesion’ could have for the Access to Health Fund, and respond in particular to the following questions:

  • Given its mission and mandate, what level of ambition should the Fund set for its impact on social cohesion? What are limitations to what the Fund and its partners can achieve, given the Fund’s mission, approach, and available resources?

  • Building on existing definitions of Social Cohesion, and the particular context of the Access to Health Fund, the paper should propose working definitions of ‘social cohesion’ and ‘promoting social cohesion’ that the Fund can adopt to guide its ambition/work in this area   

  • Building on existing literature, explore similarities and differences in how social cohesion is conceptualized by Donors, the MOHS, EHO/CBHOs, Implementing partners, and the FMO, and discuss how differing views from different stakeholders need to be taken into account when designing appropriate programs.

  • At what levels should the Fund focus its social cohesion efforts: for example, civil-society empowerment, meaningful participation of women in decision-making, intercommunal activities and trust-building, State-community interactions, wider social/political dynamics hindering social cohesion? 

  • In particular, the consultant should consider linkages between social cohesion and the realization of good health: what level of social cohesion is necessary, and what can be built/improved to ensure that access to health services is possible? This might include trust building in health services, community relationship strengthening to facilitate smooth access to health care, etc.

  • How should the Fund adapt its work to different phases of conflict and to the differing status of actors/partners - e.g. Ethnic Health Organizations affiliated to signatory and non-signatory groups?

  • What opportunities exist to include conflict sensitive EHO representation in the Access to Health Fund Board?

  • Propose both short-term and longer-term measure to promote social cohesion, in line with the timeframe of Access funding. 

c. Given proposed definition and areas of focus, present options for context-appropriate approaches for the Fund’s promotion of social cohesion through its Health work:
  • What opportunities/entry-points exist for advocacy and policy change that can lead to better social cohesion? (E.g. desegregating hospitals, increasing language accessibility in health facilities, increasing access...)

  • What opportunities exist to promote and increase social cohesion (horizontally between communities, and vertically in the relation between government’s policies/practices and communities) through the Fund’s work on health services for vulnerable populations in conflict-affected areas?

  • Given the Fund’s focus on pockets of vulnerability, to the possible exclusion of neighboring areas, how should the Fund deal with potential perceptions of unfairness in relation to its interventions, and how should it approach this from a social cohesion promotion point of view?

  • Has the Fund been seizing and acting on all of these opportunities?  

  • When it hasn’t, what else can the Fund do to maximize its contribution to social cohesion through its work on Health? In what ways would the Fund need to review/modify its activities and approach? What new resources will be required? 

  • When it has, the paper should describe (i) how the Fund has gone about it and (ii) how it could enhance its current approaches with a view to furthering social cohesion. For example:

    • Doing more in applying conflict-sensitivity  principles 

    • Using joint EHOH/CBHO-MoHS forums and consultations more effectively

    • Supporting EHO/CBHOs (direct funding, capacity building, etc.)

  • The paper should provide examples, whenever possible, of situations where proposed approaches have been implemented by others.

  • What opportunities exist to create greater alignment on social cohesion strategies, approaches, and measurement, with other actors (starting with UNOPS, LIFT, and UN sister-agencies)

d. Measurement

  • How can the Fund’s contribution to social cohesion be measured (quantitatively and qualitatively)?

  • How should the Fund’s ambition in relation to Social Cohesion be reflected in the results framework? 

  • How, in particular, can the sustainability of the Fund’s contribution be measured? 

e. Risks, mitigation, and limitations: 

  • The paper should outline strategies for maintaining Fund-supported service-delivery within conflict-affected areas, including in active conflict situations

  • The consultation should assess risks and mitigation measures in the Fund’s engagement with EHO/CBHOs and the Ministry of Health and Sports at all levels, as well as other relevant areas. 


Deliverables should be submitted electronically to the Fund Directors Office and Health for All/Civil Society team.

  1. Within one month after the start of the consultation, desk-review and consultations completed. 

  2. Within 45 days after the start of the consultation, draft version of the report completed and submitted to Access to Health Fund - for Board and FMO review.

  3. Within two weeks after receiving Board and FMO feedback on the completed draft, the final version of the strategy/working paper completed.


The consultancy is currently expected to be contracted for around 30 days. 

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • A Master degree in Health Economics, Health Finance, or other relevant area is required.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in combination with additional two years of similar experience may be accepted  in lieu of a Master’s degree.


  • At least five (5) years of relevant Myanmar experience in public health, research, writing, or strategy development is required.

  • At least three years working on global or Myanmar peace building, conflict sensitivity, or social accountability-related programmes (a good knowledge of the peace-process in Myanmar is required.)

  • Minimum two years in-depth knowledge of global evidence and practice in fostering social cohesion through intervention in health is required.

  • Previous involvement with and knowledge of the UN system, government, international non-governmental organizations, or local organizations (EHOs and Civil Society) in Myanmar is desirable.

Language requirements

  • Excellent communication and English language writing skills are required.

Applying to this consultancy

If you wish to be considered for this consultancy, please submit:

  • CV

  • Cover-letter 

  • Short proposal (two pages) on how you will go about the consultancy

  • Expected daily fee

  • Additional budget required in order to complete the mission (e.g. travel, if travel is included in the proposed approach) 


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract Type:  Local Individual Contractor Agreement (LICA) Contract Level: LICA 10
Contract Duration:  Maximum 30 working days

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:  

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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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