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Consultant on Strengthening the Assistive Technology Sector


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Copenhagen
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: Closed

1. Purpose of consultancy

The purpose of this consultancy is to support WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) Assistive Technology (AT) programme to scale up access to life-changing AT in parallel with transformations of wider health systems. The consultant will provide technical expertise to implement and operationalize the WHO/Europe AT programme in selected countries of the region.

The country of support will be agreed with WHO Regional Office for Europe prior to the initiation of the consultancy.

2. Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) European Region comprises 53 countries and is home to 900 million people. According to the WHO’s World Report on Disability, approximately 15% of the global population has a disability, which equates to approximately 135 million people in the WHO European Region living with a disability. Out of the six WHO regions, the European Region is the one most affected by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The impact of the major NCDs is equally alarming with an estimated 86% of the deaths in the Region and 77% of the disease burden. These chronic conditions are responsible for a high proportion of premature deaths, but they also cause substantial disability.

Assistive technology (AT) has a critical role to play in preventing and minimizing the limitations of function associated with injury, chronic conditions and ageing. The objective of AT is to support people with health conditions to remain as independent as possible, and to participate in education, be economically productive and fulfil meaningful life roles. WHO estimates that only one in ten of those in need have access to the AT required. Delivering ongoing AT to people who need it requires the development of health systems with an effective AT workforce and which are able to provide accessible services on a sustainable basis. Health systems should be equipped to provide services that optimize function and AT should be incorporated into packages of essential services. As such, the availability of accessible and affordable AT plays a fundamental role in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Universal Health Coverage and implementation of UN Convention in Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In the WHO European Region, the resolution (EUR/RC72/R3) on WHO European framework for action to achieve the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities 2022–2030 includes actions assistive technology, among others. Also, importantly, internationally agreed guidelines, including the Sphere Standards, the IASC Guidelines and WHO’s Emergency Medical Team minimum standards, call for assistive products (APs) to be provided from the onset of a conflict, stressing their roles in improving health service efficiencies and population outcomes.

The WHO resolution on improving access to assistive technology (World Health Assembly resolution WHA71.8, adopted May 2018) recommends actions for WHO Member States to take to ensure that everyone in need has access to high-quality, affordable assistive products to enable them to lead healthy, productive and dignified lives. The Global report on assistive technology (GReAT) was developed as a strategic response to WHA71.8, and sets out recommendations for improving access to AT.

In the light of the above, the WHO/Europe is providing technical support to several countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) to scale up AT as well as access APs in the Ukraine Health Emergency response for the injured and displaced population.

3. Deliverables

The tasks listed below will be required for the consultant to achieve to support the implementation and operationalization of the WHO/Europe AT programme.
1) Working with the WHO Regional Office for Europe to commence planning for, and implementation of, a comprehensive public awareness campaign on AT, including access to assistive products.
2) Design a training programme on procurement, product inspection and market research for government providers and registered providers.
3) Provide training on AT use, based on the WHO online training module on the use of assistive products, and specifically targeting primary health care personnel and other key personnel working in health and social protection services (Training in Assistive Products).
4) Develop a detailed operational plan to set up and implement AT provision across selected primary health centres in selected regions of the country.
5) Provide analytical and advisory technical support to WHO to strengthen access to assistive products in the health emergency response in Ukraine.
6) To prepare and implement WHO AT-system analysis tools in the countries.
7) Write coherent, succinct and timely country reports based on the findings of the systems analysis.
8) Provide analytical and advisory technical support to WHO for the development and implementation of the national assistive product list.
9) As appropriate, and as opportunities arise, provide technical advice and capacity development to key stakeholders on the strengthening of AT, in line with WHO country support and guidance from the Disabilities and Rehabilitation team, WHO European Regional Office.

The deliverables are:
• Deliverable # 1 Technical report on the country-based project implementation plan, initiate project implementation structures and conclude key stakeholder awareness/sensitizing on the WHO / Europe country AT programme objectives and activities – 31 March 2023.
• Deliverable # 2 Technical report on an agreed communications and awareness plan on AT/assistive products and public awareness campaign materials – 30 April 2023.
• Deliverable # 3 Project implementation plan for TAP developed, and a training report on the first phase of training delivered to health and social protection workers (including prioritization of selected primary health centre one-stop shop sites) – 31 May 2023.
• Deliverable # 4 Technical report on the review of existing standards and specifications relating to assistive products based on international standards and norms – 30 June 2023.
• Deliverable # 5 AT quality assurance mechanism report on the development and piloting of a quality assurance mechanism, including consultations with assistive product beneficiaries, with a view to national roll-out of the quality assurance mechanism – 31 July 2023.
• Deliverable # 6 Operational implementation plan to scale up one-stop shop assistive product service provision across selected primary health centres and districts in-country – 31 August 2023.
• Deliverable # 7 Country visit report with key recommendations – 30 September 2023.
• Deliverable # 8 Technical report, including outputs and outcomes, delivered from the country project implementation plan and make recommendations to support successful delivery of the AT programme in the country – 31 October 2023.
• Deliverable # 9 Country AT report with an assistive product list – 30 November 2023.
• Deliverable # 10 Technical report, including outputs and outcomes, delivered from the country project implementation plan and make recommendations to support successful delivery of the AT programme in the country – 31 December 2023.

4. Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:

Essential: Advanced degree in Assistive Technology, Rehabilitation, Public Health, Social Science or an equivalent level of experience.
Desirable: A doctorate in one of the above-mentioned fields.



• Seven years of combined national and international experience in implementing assistive technology programmes and services.
• Proven experience in planning, implementing and evaluating programmes in assistive technology and/or rehabilitation in a national and international setting.
• Demonstrated experience in the development and implementation of assistive technology policies, services, systems and/or human resources development.
• Previous experience of working with WHO, other international organizations and/or major institutions in the field of assistive technology, disability & rehabilitation, ageing or other related topics will be an asset.


• Work experience in organizing policy dialogue processes with key decision-makers and key stakeholders is desirable.
• Demonstrated experience in institutional fund raising and grant management on assistive technology, disability and rehabilitation related projects.

• Demonstrated specialist knowledge of specific (assistive technology) and/or technical area within public health.
• Proven ability to contribute to the development of country programmes, as well as training materials related to the assistive technology profession.
• Ability to work comfortably in a fast-paced environment.
• Ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as helping others to do the same.
• Demonstrated experience of working with low-middle income countries and/or in emergency settings in the area of assistive technology and/or rehabilitation.

Languages and level required:

  • Written and spoken fluency in English is essential.
  • Working knowledge of other UN languages is an advantage.

5. Location

50% offsite (home-based) and 50% onsite (WHO country and regional offices).

6. Travel

With regard to the programmatic needs, the consultant will be expected to travel and deliver activities across the participating countries and other essential travel as agreed with the WHO/Europe.

7. Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):

a. Band level B – USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month

b. Living expenses: While on travel under the terms of this consultancy, the consultant will receive a subsistence allowance.

c. Expected duration of contract : 10 months

This vacancy is now closed.
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