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International Consultancy - Cold Chain & COVID-19 Vaccine Management in Malawi

Lilongwe (Malawi)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Lilongwe (Malawi)
  • Grade: D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Logistics
    • Supply Chain
    • Transport and Distribution
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-20

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The overall objective of this consultancy is to ensure that country supply chain has the capacity to receive, store, package and safely ship the COVID-19 vaccine and ancillary items to specified distribution/usage points within the agreed timeline. In this regard the consultant is expected to understand supply chain management processes required to successfully deploy vaccine and ancillary items. This should be done through assessment and documentation of the capacity of the country’s supply chain system, identification of gaps, and preparation of surge capacity as required along with the budget to support it.

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, good health


COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that becomes the greatest challenge to countries in a short period of time. Since its emergence late last year the virus has spread to every continent. The pandemic is more than a health crisis that created an unprecedented socio-economic crisis stressing every country it touched.

In order to fight this pandemic, a group of global health actors launched an initiative called “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A)” to promote and accelerate the development, production, and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

One of the goals of ACT-A is to avail 2 billion doses of COVID 19 vaccine by end of 2021. Rapidly deploying and quickly vaccinating the target group will be the most goal of the exercise. In this regard, the importance of an effective supply chain in general and cold chain management remains vital.  In such a situation, several activities need to be accomplished within a record time, this includes but not limited to a determination of the required logistics the will be informed by vaccination strategies, The storage, and transportation need for the vaccine should be understood and the required capacity should be determined in a short window of time.  A detailed storage and distribution plan need to agree and followed strictly. These activities require additional time and knowledge.

Hence, UNICEF Malawi Office is seeking assistance in the form of a consultancy equivalent to 130days of full-time work to be completed over a period of 6 months, to support on planning, monitoring, and implementation of Cold Chain and Vaccine Management related activities during the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

How can you make a difference?

Under the general guidance of the Health Specialist-Community Health and in close collaboration with EPI Manager & Cold Chain Officer-Ministry of Health, Government of Malawi, the selected consultant will assist the planning, monitoring, and implementation of cold chain related activities for COVID 19 as outlined below.


       Coordination / Project management role

  • Coordinate with a national level technical group such as NLWG and NITAG to ensure timely planning, monitoring, and implementation of cold chain related activities. This includes but not limited to the preparation of detail planning with timeline, roles and responsibilities, timing and resource requirement
  • In collaboration with NLWG assign members with their roles and responsibilities to ensure efficient implementation and avoid delays.
  • In collaboration with NLWG, Conduct country-specific stakeholder mapping (specific to the cold chain) and support NLWG in articulating communication strategy,
  • Map cold chain related risks and prepare management strategy in collaboration with the country NLWG.
  • Develop a checklist for ensuring cold chain and waste management readiness prior to the campaign
  • Support the preparation of waste management and reverse logistic plan that clearly describes how, when, where, and by whom filled safety boxes and left-over vaccines should be transported and stored/incinerated/discarded?
  • In collaboration with NLWG, implement an efficient temperature monitoring system including dashboard
  • In collaboration with NLWG and other technical groups, review / develop training materials related to CC and supply needs, distribution, storage and maintenance, and waste management

       Assessment role

  • Conduct quick assessment of cold chain. Transport and waste management capacities at all levels to determine adequacy and identify gaps. Support in maintenance management of existing cold chain equipment.
  • Develop procurement and distribution plans as applicable and follow up procurement process.
  • Identify training needs of health workers including the reverse cold chain, develop training plans, and participate in training and micro plan activities.
  • Waste Management Maintenance of incineration facilities for SIAs.
  • Assess if the received supplies of vaccines and other inputs consistent with the target population and expected wastage factors.


  • Evaluate the quality of the training with the designated health worker on the correct use and preventive maintenance of the new CCE.
  • Plan, evaluate and participate in the random quality survey during and at the end of the campaign
  • Evaluate the content and quality of the training to technicians on preventive maintenance, installation, troubleshooting, and repair of the new CCE.
  • Use intra-campaign supervision visits to identify and correct inappropriate cold chain practices and safety and waste management.
  • Participate in daily data aggregation, reporting, and analysis
  • Reinforce the importance of adequate stock levels, accurate forecast of vaccine requirements, and wastage reduction.
  • Document lessons learned and convene stakeholders to share lessons learned
  • Include cold-chain equipment purchased for the SIA in the RI Programme equipment inventory and maintenance plan
  • Make sure that vaccines collected after the campaign are accounted for are stored incorrect storage conditions.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

  • Advanced university degree from a recognized academic institution in one or more of the following areas is preferred: Supply Chain Management, Engineering, Project Management, Data Management, and Analysis or related to supply and logistics operations in UNICEF program areas.
  • A first university degree combined with relevant professional work experience and understanding of relevant functions may be considered in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • Minimum eight years progressively responsible professional work experience at national and international levels in supply management, vaccines programming including cold chain and vaccine management.
  • Work experience managing large-scale projects, working with governments, working in resource-limited settings, monitoring and evaluating supply chains, and risk management, mitigation will be an asset.
  • Product knowledge on cold chain equipment, new cold chain technologies, and understanding of the principles of vaccine management, knowledge, and experience with data collection, data management analysis, and reporting are essential. Knowledge of procurement processes and good distribution practice could be beneficial.
  • Strong analytical, negotiation, oral and written communication skills
  • Effective presenter including the ability to adapt the message and visual aids for multiple audiences to deliver concise, impactful presentations of primary health care interventions. 
  • Effective facilitator with proven ability to engage and train a group of individuals at the national level and for front line health workers as well

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

For further details and information, refer to the attached ToR

Download File TOR _Cold chain and vaccine management_COVAX.pdf

Use the attached template to submit your financial proposal

Download File Template for Financial Proposal.xlsx

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Candidates are requested to also submit a technical proposal for the assignment

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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.

What does it mean?

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