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Expert Consultant for Health Information Systems Strengthening

Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-20

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1. Purpose of the Position

To support the development and implementation of the strategy and activities in relation to the Health Information Systems (HIS) strengthening in the WHO Euro Member States and at the Regional level. Particularly, this includes the following sub-objectives a) implementation of HIS assessments along with situational analyses and baseline evaluation of HIS status, using appropriate tools and methods, particularly using the WHO “Support tool to assess health information systems and develop and strengthen health information strategies” b) capacity building in generating and management of healthcare big data and health information c) improving data quality, recording and reporting through promotion, adoption and implementation of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC), d) promoting and strengthening collaboration and integration of the HIS through multi-country health information-related networks hosted by WHO Euro.

In order to strengthen the capacity of the Data, Metrics and Analytics (DMA) unit and support the DMA work, the DMA is establishing a roster of qualified expert consultants that will include a diverse group in terms of regional representation, gender balance and experience.

2. Organizational context

The DMA unit of the Division of Country Health Policies and Systems (CPS) at the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO Euro), is responsible for data collection, collation, analysis, presentation and dissemination. It monitors and measures progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the triple billion goals whilst developing and implementing a measurement framework for the European Programme of Work (EPW).

The main priorities for the DMA are to strengthen HIS and implement health information management activities in the WHO European region, which are also priority areas of focus identified in the EPW. In the scope of HIS strengthening, the unit provides strategic direction, technical assistance and tailored support to WHO Euro member states to strengthen their capacity to be able to generate timely, credible, reliable and actionable healthcare data. In the scope of health information management, the unit provides the design, development, and strengthening of health data and metadata management systems in WHO Europe and in Member States.

The DMA is engaged with experts and partners both within and outside the Region to harness synergies, reduce data collection burden and fill important data gaps. DMA oversees routine health monitoring activities as well as supports technical units in developing new data collection initiatives. It aims to develop new approaches and methodologies including the generate and use of big data to complement traditional methods for timely measurement and monitoring of health status and health system performance. The unit oversees routine health monitoring activities as well as support technical units in developing new data collection initiatives.

The DMA is also responsible for ensuring timely and effective dissemination of health statistics to serve as a basis for the planning and prioritization of activities in the WHO European region. To contribute to this aspiration, DMA also assists member states to disseminate, update and implement the WHO WHO-FIC to strengthen national and international health information systems, statistics and support evidence-based decision making.

3. Description of duties

Expert consultants will work with the WHO Euro technical units and partners to support the development of country health information products. They will provide consultancy to strengthen all areas of HIS and/or data management and analysis initiatives and activities.
In the scope of listed objectives, the consultant will deliver the following work and/or activities:

a) Provide advice to the WHO EURO technical units on HIS strengthening, including HIS assessments as per the methodology of the “Support tool to assess health information systems and develop and strengthen health information strategies” and development / implementation of health systems performance assessments.

b) Provide technical support to CPS and other divisions of WHO/Europe in planning and implementing activities related to the capacity building, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities and programmes in health informatics and harnessing big data for health, including:
- Advice on technologies and internationally recommended best practices related to optimizing the implementation and overall functioning of electronic HIS platforms. .
- Provide technical cooperation and support to improve the analytical use of public health information and vital statistics systems, including public health surveillance activities at all levels.
- Provide technical recommendations and strategies for taking necessary steps towards mastering big data analytics and using stored data to uncover new insights with big data analytics and then present those ideas to promote better decisions.

c) Providing expert consultancy for implementation of capacity building activities to strengthen knowledge of health informatics and operations of HIS including support to countries in using WHO-FIC for improving the data quality, comparability and integration. This includes:
- Provide technical recommendations and strategies for strengthening vital registration systems (CRVS) and improving data management, analysis and forecasting.

- Advising and implementing HIS quality control mechanisms.
- Providing strategic options for improvement of mortality and morbidity data, registration practices, data flow, coverage and completeness of coding practices, quality of death certification and cause of death, data quality checks, access and use of data.
- Implementing and facilitating capacity building training programs on surveillance of population health, generating and using health information for policymaking.
- Implementing and facilitating capacity building training programs on the WHO-FIC introduction and preparation for implementation.
- Provide strategy and roadmap to support transition and adoption of the ICD-11 and other WHO Reference Classifications, (which includes International Classifications of Diseases (ICD), International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI)), for improving the data recording, reporting, quality, comparability and integration.

d) Provide technical support to regional and sub-regional health information networks through the CPS and other divisions of WHO Euro in the understanding and application of HIS assessment frameworks, tools, guidelines and procedures to improve the country and regional health information access and use. This includes also:

- Organizing and facilitating workshops for strengthening cooperation and collaboration between experts and stakeholders in the field of HIS.
- Support and facilitate the exchange of good practices and lessons learned in the adoption and implementation of the WHO FIC.
- Provide technical recommendations and contribute to the publication and dissemination of regional and country health information products.

For the data monitoring, analysis, and forecasting expert consultancy, the overall objective is to contribute to the design, development, and strengthening of health data and metadata management systems using appropriate technologies. In cooperation with technical units at WHO, other UN agencies, institutions and networks, the consultant is expected to support the development and implementation of a monitoring and evaluation framework for health and health systems within the European Region in line with GPW 13, EPW and the triple billion goals. The consultancy will cover the following tasks:

a) Using R/SQL and data management systems to manage updates and analyses to the European Health for All Family of databases. This includes producing new scripts to enable data management processes to be faster and more efficient.

b) Participating in data collection and validation of data from Member States, WHO technical units, and other international organizations and ensuring data submissions are timely and complete for opportune dissemination of indicators and health information products (publications, presentations, etc.)

c) Forecasting of time series data (specifically EPW measurement framework indicators, among others) based on historical data available in WHO databases;

d) Producing health situation and trend analysis based on available data and sourced data from other sources. This can take the form of presentations, briefs, or short reports. Data analysis products are requested with often quick turnaround times, so the ability to analyse large quantities of data efficiently is absolutely necessary and the ability to provide background research and context setting for presentations and publications is a necessary skill.

The exact format of each individual support will be agreed upon individually between CPS/DMA and before the project is started.

Working and report language is English. Visits to the Member State, if needed for the consultancy, may be conducted in Russian or local language, with simultaneous interpretation.

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

Essential:
For the HIS strengthening expert consultancy:

• Essential: Excellent writing skills for health information reporting.
• Ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as helping others do the same.
• Very good knowledge of the assessment, planning, development and implementation of projects and programmes on statistics, HIS, health informatics and big data.

Desirable:
• Being acknowledged experts with an outstanding record of achievements in their own field and an understanding of and proven interest in the area of work described above.
• Proven abilities to provide sound technical advice to institutions and governments, and to engage senior health policy makers in constructive dialogue.
• Good knowledge of the assessment, planning, development and implementation of projects and programmes on statistics, HIS, health informatics and big data.
• Ability to evaluate complex issues and weigh up conflicting opinions.
• Proven abilities in the design and delivery of national and international seminars, workshops and training activities.
• Excellent knowledge of the principles of public health, epidemiology, healthcare management and biostatistics.
• Ability to influence at a senior level.
• Working with national and international agencies active in the field of health statistics.

For the data monitoring, analysis, and forecasting expert consultancy:

• Proficiency and proven use of R for data cleaning, manipulation, and statistical programming as well as using SQL and R to implement data management activities. Ability to program Shiny dashboards and knowledge of related R libraries or other statistical software is considered an advantage.
• Advanced statistical programming and data management skills to customize databases and other tools and automate data processing.
• Technical expertise in the application of qualitative and quantitative techniques in data analysis.
• Knowledge of statistical principles, methods and software packages, particularly including statistical modelling, data administration, and analysis.
• Technical knowledge of PowerBI and creation of dashboards for data visualization.
• Experience conducting health situation and trend analysis for various health and demographic data sets.
• Proven experience with time series analysis and forecasting, particularly with respect to health, biostatistical, and demographic data.

Desirable:
For both assignments:
• Being acknowledged experts with an outstanding record of achievements in their own field and an understanding of and proven interest in the area of work described above.
• Proven abilities to provide sound technical advice to institutions and governments, and to engage senior health policy makers in constructive dialogue.
• Good knowledge of the assessment, planning, development and implementation of projects and programmes on statistics, HIS, health informatics and big data.
• Ability to evaluate complex issues and weigh up conflicting opinions.
• Proven abilities in the design and delivery of national and international seminars, workshops and training activities.
• Excellent knowledge of the principles of public health, epidemiology, healthcare management and biostatistics.
• Ability to influence at a senior level.
• Working with national and international agencies active in the field of health statistics.

Education Qualifications

Essential: Advanced university degree (Master's level) from a recognized university in biostatistics, epidemiology, public health, demography, health informatics or medical/public health degree with training in computer science, biostatistics, demography or epidemiology.

Desirable: Doctoral degree and/or additional university degree in any of the above fields.

Experience

Essential:
For the HIS strengthening expert consultancy:
• At least 5 years combined national and international work experience in designing, implementing, managing and/or assessing HIS, public health data platforms.
• Of which, at least 3 years' experience in Health Information related areas, such as HIS, Statistics, Demography, Epidemiology, Health Informatics, Big data.

For the data monitoring, analysis, and forecasting expert consultancy:
• At least 5 years of professional experience in the field of statistical data collection and validation in public health, harmonization of data and metadata, indicator production, data analysis and visualization, including experience with an management of data from a variety of sources and multiple dimensions/disaggregations of data.

Desirable:
For both assignments:
• At least 5 years of experience leading teams working on health information related projects as part of a national or subnational HIS.
• Experience with providing technical assistance to Member States as a WHO consultant especially in health information.
• Experience with implementing and using web-based data collection systems.
• Experience of operating at a strategic level in the public or other sectors.
• Experience conducting capacity building workshops in any of the above-mentioned areas.

Languages

Essential: Expert knowledge of English
Desirable: Working knowledge of Russian

5. Contract duration

The duration of the consultancy will depend on the required type of the work and specific Terms of Reference and might vary from couple of days to more than six months. It could be also full time or part time.

6. Location

Consultancy services could be needed for the home-based and/or on site in multiple locations with travel for in-country missions to support various areas of DMA work described in the deliverables. In addition, the location depends on the current COVID-19 pandemic situation, funding availability and/or the specific work request format.

7. Remuneration

Remuneration will be depending on the nature of work including in terms of responsibilities, complexity, required degree of specialization by the work to be performed. Also, it will be depending on the knowledge, qualifications, experience and skills required and applied for the grade in accordance with WHO’s national or international 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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