Consultancy : Evaluation Specialist Consultant - Partners' joint evaluation of COVAX/vaccine pillar, 12 months (240 days), Evaluation Office, NYHQ
New York City
The Evaluation Office seeks an Evaluation Specialist consultant to work collaboratively with COVAX partner agencies, notably with the GAVI Evaluation Manager on a joint evaluation of in-country delivery aspects of COVAX /Vaccine pillar, with the support and oversight of the Senior Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF. The assignment is over a 12 month period (240 days)
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, evaluate
The UNICEF Evaluation Office located in New York HQ provides global leadership and oversight of the evaluation function in the organization. As such, it manages independent, corporate evaluations and evaluation syntheses, provides technical assistance and quality assurance for evaluations commissioned at the decentralized level (country and regional offices, as well as other divisions in HQ offices), develop evaluation methods, and reports to the UNICEF Executive Board.
The work of the Evaluation Office is guided by the Plan for Global Evaluation 022-2025 (PGE), an Executive Board-approved document. As part of that plan, the Evaluation Office was to conduct an evaluation of UNICEF’s contribution to the Access to Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration launched in April 2020 to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. Due to issues of scope and timing, this evaluation has been re-framed as an evaluation to be conducted jointly with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) focused on COVAX (ACT’s vaccine pillar) and the delivery/implementation stage of the partnership.
By conducting a joint evaluation, the burden on countries and partners is potentially reduced by consolidating efforts. As a unique global partnership, COVAX, the evaluation builds on these partnership arrangements for the purposes of ‘evaluating as a partnership’. Importantly, this effort builds on work of the Gavi Evaluation and Learning Office which has planned and budgeted for a series of evaluations examining the work of the COVAX, specifically the COVAX Facility and Advanced Market Commitment(s). The Gavi Evaluation and Learning Unit Office will commission and lead the management of the joint evaluation.
COVAX was established in April 2020 to make at-risk investments in a broad portfolio of promising vaccine candidates and enable the manufacture and equitable distribution of successful candidates through rapid scale up delivery of vaccines to cover high risk target groups. To support this mission, COVAX brought together expertise and resources from international institutions across the global vaccine ecosystem: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Once vaccines became available on the market, during 2021, the aim to scale up global vaccinations and slow transmission of the virus was impeded primarily by of the COVID-19 vaccine. With the support of many, significant efforts were made to ensure enough vaccines were available for low- and middle-income countries and economies. By January 2022, the global supply of vaccines was no longer a binding constraint and the main challenge had become vaccine delivery.
The remit of the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP) is to support countries by providing urgent, time-bound and specialized support using emergency response practices to overcome financial, political and operational bottlenecks while playing a coordinating and convening role.
In CoVDP, agencies were brought together under one organizational ‘umbrella’ for strategic alignment, led by a global lead coordinator with strong connections to senior leadership within the agencies and capacity for political engagement at the highest levels of political decision-making within countries. The work of CoVDP built on global and regional coordination mechanisms that were established by UNICEF and WHO through the Country Readiness and Delivery working group developed comprehensive guidance, tools and training packages for each new vaccine and provided updates with new evidence and EUL approvals to support vaccine introduction and roll out.
Between January and November 2022, CoVDP had facilitated the disbursement of $128 million in quick-impact funding through a process that included a regular funding alignment mechanism between UNICEF and partners across 16 countries. Funds were used to support campaigns that contributed to the vaccination of an estimated 63 million people. Among the measures of progress reported among the 34 countries for concerted support, coverage increased from 3 per cent to 20 per cent, by November 2022.
UNICEF. 2023. Update on COVID-19 vaccination and the progress achieved through the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership. United Nations Children’s Fund Executive Board First regular session 2023 7–10 February 2023. UNICEF/2023/EB/6. i.e. WHO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Africa CDC, the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank and other partners. Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.
How can you make a difference?
In May 2023, the partners agencies in COVAX (Gavi, WHO, UNICEF, CEPI) began a dialogue about a joint evaluation to address issues of in-country delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. By conducting a joint evaluation, the partners are potentially reducing burden on countries and partners by consolidating their efforts. In addition, as a unique global partnership, COVAX, the evaluation (in principle) builds on these partnership arrangements for the purposes of ‘evaluating as a partnership.
The key expected result is timely and effective support, provided in a joint and coordinated manner with partners, resulting in efficient engagement and contribution across UNICEF (country offices, regional offices and HQ divisions) and to maximize learning across the same based on the evaluation. With the Evaluation Specialist consultant fully engaging in management and direction of this joint partner evaluation of COVAX in-country delivery, the resulting evaluation should have greater relevance and inform UNICEF-specific needs/use cases.
Under the supervision and with the technical support of the Senior Evaluation Specialist, the consultant will be responsible for the following:
- Working collaborative to co-manage joint evaluation of COVAX delivery
Among these responsibilities, the consultant will play a role in managing and coordinating governance/oversight mechanisms for the joint evaluation. This includes supporting the overall work of the Steering Committee, ensuring their input is taken into consideration in key deliverables, as well as supporting and active participation in the Delivery Evaluation Partners Group. The Evaluation Specialist would also provide support to UNICEF representatives on the Steering Committee, as well as the larger processes.
The consultant will also be responsible for support and development of communication and learning plan, specifically integrating needs and priorities of UNICEF, as a partner agency, into the plan. The consultant should also identify and coordinate, as appropriate, with complementary activities including other evaluation work being undertaken within UNICEF and partner agencies.
- Support and coordinate country- and regional-level activities, input and contribution to the joint evaluation of COVAX delivery
Successful coordination of evaluation activities at country level will be critical success factor in this evaluation. The Evaluation Specialist manages and supports the country- and regional-office levels to effectively engage in the joint evaluation, for both WHO and UNICEF. This would likely include a convening a Country Office focal points group for countries with evaluation team visits, ensuring that the COs are engaged with clear ‘asks’, respect to timeframes, and provided a feedback loop. The evaluation contractor will prepare a country visit protocol to complement this work.
From the inception phase, the Evaluation Specialist/consultant will play a role in the development of repository of relevant country and regional documents for use during inception, data collection and analysis phases. Working closely with partners, the Evaluation Specialist consultant will develop proposed KI lists, across levels, and facilitate communications between UNICEF key informants and the evaluation team.
Throughout implementation, the Evaluation Specialist supports and provides inputs and QA on data collection methods and tools as well as on the evaluation deliverables. The Evaluation Specialist will be expected to accompany the evaluation team on a number of country visits.
As needed, the Evaluation Specialist consultant will manage communications and meetings between the evaluation team, various stakeholders in HQ, Regional and Country Offices, for participation and inclusion in events (e.g. sense-making workshops).
- Support and coordinate communication and uptake of evidence
The Evaluation Specialist consultant will support the implementation of the jointly developed communication and learning plan (as above). This includes finalizing the Evaluation Report as agreed for submission to UNICEF Executive Board, broader transmittal and dissemination.
Up to 240 days, spread over a period of 12 months (on average 20 days / month), starting in October 2023 through September 2024.
- A comprehensive repository of country-level information and data from across agencies for the desk review and facilitation of its effective utilization by the evaluation team.
- Country office and field missions by the evaluation team are well-planned and organized with full participation of the respective Country Offices resulting in quality case studies.
- Communication and Learning Plan which is inclusive of key processes and events that enhances the utility of the evaluation for UNICEF.
- Timely completion of daily tasks of evaluation management.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
The Evaluation Specialist position will be depending on the profile and experience of the consultant. The Evaluation Specialist consultant will be managed by the Evaluation Office, reporting to the Senior Evaluation Specialist, however, will work in close daily contact with partner agency staff in co-managing the joint evaluation.
- Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in public administration, social sciences, policy research, or related fields is required.
- Strong background (minimum 8 years) in managing mixed-methods evaluation is required, preferably with experience in inter-agency and partnership programme evaluations.
- Knowledge of UNICEF structures and organization and familiarity with priority areas of programming is important.
- Familiarity and understanding of the ACT-A background, governance and operating modalities, particularly COVAX is important.
- The following are strongly desired:
- Experience in evaluating vaccine related programming
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively in teams and collaborate intensively with various people, teams and processes. Strong organizational skills ability to work rapidly and guide timely decisions and action
- Strong facilitation skills particularly design of stakeholder consultations exercises
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Computer literacy in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Fluency in English a must; good knowledge of French strongly desired.
The Evaluation Specialist consultant will be paid on monthly basis upon invoice.
How to Apply
Applications must include:
- CV, which should include up-to-date contact details of at least three reference persons or P-11 form, which can be downloaded from: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc
- Samples of previous evaluation of other analytical work are desired (authored or co-authored by the applicant).
- Short cover letter with the following information:
- Description of the applicant’s interest and relevant qualification/work experience for this assignment
- Availability (start date)
- Daily rate (in US$)
Qualified candidates will be contacted for an interview. Reference persons will be contacted as well.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.
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.
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.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.
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