National Leading (Senior) Consultant to conduct a National Review to identify key barriers of women’s access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan
UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has been created to accelerate up the process of meeting the needs of women and girls across the world. As a part of the UN reform agenda, it brings together resources and mandates which will subsequently have a lasting impact on the whole community. Gender inequality contributes to the spread of HIV and increases infection rates and reduces the ability of women and girls to cope with the epidemic. Often, women and girls have less information about HIV and fewer resources to take preventive measures. They face barriers to the negotiation of safer sex, because of unequal power dynamics with men. Sexual violence, a widespread violation of women’s rights, exacerbates the risk of HIV transmission. Evidence suggests that forced and arranged marriages can be a major risk factor, especially for young women and girls. Many women livings with HIV struggle with stigma and exclusion, aggravated by their lack of rights. Women widowed by AIDS or living with HIV may face property disputes with in-laws, complicated by limited access to justice to uphold their rights.
According to UNAIDS data, as in all countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the increase in HIV cases in Tajikistan continues and over the past 10 years the number of new cases has increased approximately by 20%. Over the past five years the proportion of women living with HIV in Tajikistan has increased by 17% and has reached 41%. HIV care cascade as of 01.01.2020 demonstrates that only 60% of all PLHIV know their status, about 80% of PLHIV are on ART, and 74% of them are virally suppressed (data of the National AIDS Center, 2020). Currently, a draft of a new National Program on HIV/AIDS for the next 5 years has been developed and the country is determining its steps towards achieving the goal of ending AIDS.
In the framework of UNAIDS Unified Budget, Results and Accountability Framework (UBRAF) UN Women country office in Tajikistan is planning to conduct National Review to identify key barriers to women’ access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan. For this purpose, UN Women is seeking for a National Leading (Senior) Consultant to support in design and facilitation to conduct a National Review to identify key barriers to women’ access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan.
- Goal and objectives
The overall objective of the proposed consultancy is to provide technical support to UN Women Tajikistan to conduct comprehensive National review to identify key barriers to women’s access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan and to provide key findings of the review to policy –makers, national authorities, programme specialists and experts, donors and CSO and community representatives for significant improving access of women and girls to HIV treatment in near future.
Focus should be done on:
- Increasing the understanding of the dynamics of antiretroviral coverage and access for women and girls in Tajikistan by adding to current indicators with in-depth knowledge from lived experience.
- Identifying the key barriers of women to HIV care and treatment within psychosocial, household, family, and community (micro), health service (meso) and national (macro) spheres of influence.
- Renewal of discussions on measuring treatment accessibility using frameworks that assess women’s ability to obtain broader health services.
- Studying the accessibility barriers in country-level assessments.
- Develop key findings to inform and provide recommendations for policy and programming.
The study needs to be conducted according to the methodology indicated in the Global review of “Key barriers to women’s access to HIV treatment: Global review” and adopted to the national context if necessary.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the UN Women Country Programme Manager and under the supervision of National Program Coordinator on Youth and HIV, the Consultant will perform, but will not necessarily be limited, to the following tasks:
- To adopt methodology developed by UN Women and their partners which was used to conduct Global review to local context and develop detailed plan to conduct National Assessment of the Key barriers to women’ access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan using related three – phase approach to amplifying Women’s voices.
- To establish contacts and provide overview of the study to UN Women working Group (team of experts) represented interested partners for their information and possible support.
- To conduct Phase 1 of the study- literature review to identify questions and gaps in the existing peer-reviewed and grey literature related to women’s access to treatment including sex-disaggregated data from available sources for the last 10 years, with exceptions for older foundational studies. Literature review and data collection need to be done according to the methods indicated in the Global review report.
- Based on the finding of literature review to develop/adopt questionnaire for FGD according to the methodology indicated in the Global review report.
- To identify the groups of women living with HIV and prepare the schedule for the FGD and one-to one interview for future developing of country case study using methodology on the organizing FGD for qualitative research.
- To prepare all materials related to conducting of FGD and one-to one interview and submit it to UN Women office in Tajikistan for approval and for the subsequent obtaining permission of the National Ethics Committee to conduct FGDs and one-to one interview.
- To provide support to leader/facilitator identified among women living with HIV to be prepare and conduct at least three FGDs and three one-to one interview among women living with HIV and prepare the report for future development of country case study.
- To develop the case study report using the themes and issues that will emerge in community dialogues and related activities a first-hand understanding of women’s experiences accessing and engaging in HIV-related care and treatment.
- To present key finding of the National Assessment to interested partners to verify the data and agree future recommendations.
- To develop the final report on the National Assessment of key barriers to women’ access to HIV treatment in Tajikistan and submit to UN Women office in Tajikistan.
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Good knowledge of the training topic on medical aspects and ethical norms in the field of HIV counselling.
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf
- Possesses the ability to work independently, under pressure and meet deadlines;
- Good knowledge of technical area;
- Good organizational skills and ability to pay close attention to detail;
- Experience in report writing.
- Proven excellent communication and facilitation skills;
Required Skills and Experience
- Advanced university (Masters) degree in gender equality, women’s studies, law, human rights, social studies, development studies or related field;
- At least 5 years of relevant experience in promoting the rights of women living with HIV (WLWH) to overcome stigma and discrimination and the empowerment of WLWH.
- At least 2 years’ experience in implementing research with special focus on gender issues, especially in the context of WLWH rights is an asset.
- Previous work and direct working relationships with UN agencies considered an asset.
Knowledge of languages:
- Proficiency in written and oral Russian, Knowledge of English is an advantage.