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International institutional consultancy to provide technical assistance to MOHSPP in development and operationalisation of effective MCH referral and counter-referral systems on maternal and childcare in three districts in Tajikistan

Dushanbe (Tajikistan)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Democratic Governance
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-29

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The main objective of the individual consultancy services is to support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population in development of comprehensive plan for designing and refining the referral systems in the targeted districts within the framework of the ADB Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project in Tajikistan.

UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child,

Background
Maternal and Child Health (MCH) remains a priority in Tajikistan's National Development and Health Sector policies and strategies  including Tajikistan's commitment to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Despite significant gains in the last decade, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) outcomes in Tajikistan are worse than the average in Central Asia and Caucasus regions. Rates of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are high. Preventable illnesses contribute to a considerable proportion of all child deaths in Tajikistan. Acute infections are the leading cause of death in the post-neonatal period. Acute respiratory illness (ARI), pneumonia, and acute diarrhea still account for more than half of reported child deaths within the first year of life, a pattern that has remained persistent over the last decade. Unsafe home deliveries are considered to be a major contributing factor to the high infant and maternal mortality rates in Tajikistan.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoHSPP) to implement a Maternal and Child Health Integrated Care (MCHIC) Project within the purview of the National Health Strategy 2010-2020. The project aims at improving the health status and well-being of mothers and children in 3 districts (Shamsuddin Shohin, Rasht, and Fayzobod) focusing on the integrated MCH care delivery at both primary and secondary health care levels. The MCHIC project targets the following three outputs: (i) Integrated quality MCH services delivery improved in project districts; (ii) MCH services rationalized, upgraded, equipped and case-based payment system piloted in project targeted districts; and (iii) Knowledge on maternal and child health and health-seeking behavior improved through various communication activities implemented.

Mother and child services like antenatal care, emergency obstetric care and new-born care make up an essential part of the MCH referral systems. To improve this system and make it functional, UNICEF jointly with MOHSPP are planning to develop a comprehensive plan for designing and refining the referral systems in the targeted districts.  

How can you make a difference?

OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the individual consultancy services is to support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population in development of comprehensive plan for designing and refining the referral systems in the targeted districts within the framework of the ADB Maternal and Child Health Integrated Project in Tajikistan. The required technical support will include a review of the existing policies, standards, the assessment, and situation analysis on existing MCH referral system in the selected health facilities of the project districts, to outline a Special Management Guide, a step-by-step tool and provide training for the MCH health force at the district and sub-district level to implement proper referral and counter-referral pathways

Scope of work The consultant will work in close cooperation with UNICEF, the Project Administration Group (PAG) under MoHSPP, the MCH Departement and the Departement of Medical and Pharmaceutical Education, Human Resource Policy and Science (DEHRP) of the MoHSPP, the Republican Clinical Centre for Family Medicine, the Reproductive Health Centre at national and district level,  and other relevant departments and centers of MOHSP to:

  1. Conduct assessment and situation analysis on MCH referral system in the selected health facilities of the project districts to define situation for further development MCH referral pathways;
  2. Develop/revise the MCH referral and counter-referral pathways based on the review and the assessment findings in close coordination with the national experts;
  3. Develop an outline/structure of electronic antenatal registry, child health and mortality registries in three ADB MCHIC targeted districts and provide guidance to the local IT expert in development of electronic registries
  4. Develop a structure/design of mobile application and provide guidance to the local IT experts in development of a mobile application to improve communication between referring health facilities;
  5. Develop training package on application of referral and counter-referral path- ways and conduct training for national and regional trainers; 

KEY DELIVERABLES and PAYMENT SCHEDULE: 

 

Tasks

Deliverables

Number of days

Deadlines

1

Review the existing national regulatory, policies, guidelines, protocols and standards on MCH referral and counter referral systems

Inception report detailing the timeline and methodology/process for accomplishing the TOR tasks

Report of desk review of existing the national MCH referral regulatory framework

5

December 20, 2020

2

Develop tools for the assessment MCH referrals system between various levels of health care services in the project districts and conduct training of assessment team.

Tools for the assessment of the MCH referrals system between various levels of health care services in the project districts.

Training of the assessment team.

10

January 25, 2021

3

Conduct assessment of the MCH referrals system, structure and follow-up between various levels of health care services, jointly with trained assessment team in the target project districts;

The assessment report on MCH referral system that includes articulation of levels and pathways of referral in each districts referral, strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for improvement. 

15

February 25th 2021

4

Develop/revise the MCH referral and counter-referral pathways

District MCH referral and counter-referral pathways document that includes specification of information to guide development of electronic referral pathway registry

15

March 30th    2021

5

Develop an outline/structure of electronic antenatal registry, child health and mortality registries in three ADB MCHIC targeted districts and provide guidance to the local IT expert in development of electronic registries. 

The outline/structure of electronic antenatal registry, child health and mortality registries developed.

5

April 15th  2021

6

Develop a structure/design of mobile application and provide guidance to the local IT experts in development of a mobile application to improve communication between referring health facilities;

The structure/design of mobile application for referring health facilities developed

5

April 25th  2021

7

Develop training modules on application of referral and counter-referral path- ways and training materials on its use. Conduct ToT for between 15 and 20 on the use of the developed application 

Training module for mobile application for referral and counter referral pathways.

ToT on application of referral and counter-referral path- ways conducted

15

May 30th 2021

8

Develop indicators for monitoring compliance with referral and counter referral pathways

List of indicators for monitoring of referral and counter referral pathways elaborated

5

June 10th 2021

9

Produce a final report, summarizing the process and outcomes of the assignment as well as a set of recommendations and follow-up actions

Final report with set of the recommendations

5

June 30th 2021

All deliverables shall be submitted in English and Tajik languages (optional in Russian).

Due to COIVD19, the work and deliverables are subject to change. Consultancy company need to be flexible to adjust to any unforeseen adjustments that might occur during the implementation.

Terms of payment  

1st installment 20%: upon completion of deliverables 1and 2; 2nd installment 30%: upon completion of the deliverables 3 and 4

3rd installment 20%: upon completion of the deliverables 5 and 6; 4th installment 30%: upon completion of the deliverables 7-9

Payments shall be done according to the payment schedule. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/output is incomplete, not delivered, or for failure to meet deadlines

Structure of the report submission Inception Report: Contractor shall provide a detailed report of how the assignment will be conducted. Annexes should include the timeline and methodology/process for accomplishing the TOR tasks

Report of desk review of existing the national MCH referral regulatory framework

Final Report: A detailed draft report outlining the findings of the assessment, training package, the developed electronic antenatal registry structure and specification, application and technical specifications for mobile equipment, recommendation and issues identified that need to be addressed. The final report should be structured according to the following rubrics:

  • Title page and opening pages
  • Executive summary
  • Background
  • Objective of the assignment  
  • Findings, conclusions and recommendations
  • Annexes

Performance indicators for the evaluation of results: The evaluation of the application will be based on:

  1. Technical and professional competence (quality of the products delivered to UNICEF);
  2. Scope of work (e.g. No. of meetings with the stakeholders);
  3. Quality of work (quality of methodology, draft, and final report);
  4. Quantity of work (completing the tasks indicated in the table above within the set timeframe)

In addition, such indicators as work relations, responsibility, drive for results, and communication will be taken into account during the evaluation of the Consultant's work.

Estimated duration of contract and remuneration: The assignment will be carried out in 80 working days spread over a period ranging from December 1, 2020 till June 30, 2021.

Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan with travel to the districts (Fayzobod, Rasht (DRS) and Sh.Shohin (Khatlon region), Tajikistan. UNICEF will be responsible for arranging meetings with government counterparts and other stakeholders and for convening consultation events

On-location working days: Approx. 60 days.  Off-location working days: Approx. 20 days

Travel involved: Consultant is expected to travel to Tajikistan. Travel plans to be pre-approved and agreed to by UNICEF Tajikistan.
Travel paid for by UNICEF shall be based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC). Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance.

Supervision: The consultant will work under the technical guidance of the Health Specialist responsible for MNCH programming, in close collaboration with Early Years team members and with overall guidance provided by UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition

Reporting to: Health Specialist, UNICEF Tajikistan

Insurances: UNICEF does not provide or arrange life or health insurance coverage for consultants and individual contractors, and consultants and individual contractors are not eligible to participate in the life or health insurance schemes available to United Nations staff members. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming all costs related to required inoculations, vaccinations and medical examinations.  
Consultants and individual contractors are fully responsible for arranging, at their own expense, such life, health and other forms of insurance covering the period of their services as they consider appropriate. The responsibility of UNICEF is limited solely to the payment of compensation for service-incurred death, injury or illness as per the provisions detailed below.

Recourse: UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

Ethical considerations: Adequate measures should be taken to ensure that the process responds to quality and ethical requirements. The contracted consultant should be sensitive to beliefs, manners, and customs and act with integrity and honesty in their relationships with all stakeholders. It should also protect the anonymity and confidentiality of individual information.

Mandatory trainings: Consultants and individual contractors, regardless of contract duration, must complete the applicable mandatory trainings. The link will be provided during the selection process for the successful candidates.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have: 

  • Education: Advanced university degree in the fields of Public Health and/or Health/Social Policy and has Master's or PhD Degree in related areas. Clinical background specializing in maternal, neonatal and child health care is in advantage;
  • Strong knowledge of maternal and child health, health system strengthening, health policy design, and reform. Familiarity with a rights-based approach, gender and disability mainstreaming and institutional strengthening concepts;
  • Work Experience: Minimum seven years of practical experience in) the field of maternal, neonatal and child health services; Proven experience of adapting global standards and guidelines to developing countries context and implementation of the health sector assessments; strategic planning and capacity building; Recent experience (within the past 5 years) in the development projects with in countries with transition economies and experience of working with top-management of national ministries and local authorities would be an advantage;
  • Relevant technical expertise and consultancy experiences with international/UN organization in the field of maternal, neonatal and child health services, continuous quality improvement (including quality care assessment as per WHO guidelines), and health system strengthening. Extensive experience in CEE/CIS countries is an asset;
  • Competencies: Strong analytical and conceptual thinking. Excellent writing skills. Excellent communication and presentation skills with stakeholders and the ability to work under pressure and commitment to work to a tight timeframe.
  • Language: Fluency in English (written and spoken), knowledge of Russian and/or Tajik is an asset.

EVALUATION PROCESS:
Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

  1. Cover letter/application/CV.
  2. A technical proposal with proposed methodology/approach to managing the project, showing understanding of tasks.
  3. Financial quote for the consultancy in USD per deliverable, stating also the timeframe for completion of deliverable and/or daily rate in USD.
  4. Examples of previous, relevant work related to the deliverables.
  5. At least 2 References

Queries can be sent to tad-procurement@unicef.org  with the subject line "International consultancy to provide technical assistance to MOHSPP in development and operationalisation of effective MCH referral and counter-referral systems on maternal and childcare in three districts in Tajikistan". Applications must be received in the system by 29 November 2020 on our website: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index.php.   

Travel costs and DSA will be covered in accordance with UN rules and regulations. No other remunerations apply. The office retains the right to adopt assessment methodology including but not limited to interview or a small assignment. As a general principle, the fees payable to a consultant or individual contractor follow the "best value for money" principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible cost.

Please note that consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance.

During the selection, the ratio between the technical evaluation and commercial offer is 80 to 20.

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis methodology. The award of the Contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and b) Having received the highest score out of a weighted set of technical and financial criteria.

* Technical Criteria weight- 80%; * Financial Criteria weight- 20%;

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 64 points in Technical Criteria evaluation will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Financial Proposal Please provide a rate all-inclusive price (in US dollars) for delivery of professional services in accordance with the assignments described under this TOR.

The formula for the rating of the Financial Proposals will be as follows: FP Rating = (Lowest Priced Offer / Price of the Offer Being Reviewed) x 100

For every Child, you demonstrate UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Remarks:
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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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