Remote/Home-based: Zero-Dose Immunization Consultant (180 working days) – Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO)

negotiable / YEAR Expired 4 weeks ago
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JOB DETAIL

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, access.

Purpose of Activity/Assignment

UNICEF, in alignment with its Immunization Roadmap 2022–2030, is committed to increasing equity in vaccination coverage by reaching zero-dose children and communities, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region (ECAR) countries. The Immunization Roadmap underscores the importance of extending immunization services to under-served populations, including those in fragile and humanitarian settings. The Roadmap also emphasizes leveraging resilient primary health care systems and integrating immunization with broader essential services to maximize impact.

Immunization programs have made remarkable strides in reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases globally. However, despite these gains, significant challenges persist, including the concerning phenomenon of immunization backsliding. Immunization backsliding refers to the reversal of immunization gains, leading to declines in vaccination coverage rates and the re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases. This regression can occur due to various factors, including vaccine hesitancy, health system weaknesses, misinformation, vaccine supply chain disruptions, and socio-political instability.

One of the most pressing issues within the immunization backsliding is the presence of zero-dose children. Zero-dose children are those who have not received any vaccines, placing them at heightened risk of contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases. The existence of zero-dose children in ECARO underscores deep-seated inequities in access to immunization services, often disproportionately affecting marginalized and vulnerable populations, including those residing in remote areas, conflict zones, and urban slums. Addressing the needs of zero-dose children requires tailored actions that go beyond traditional immunization approaches and encompass a comprehensive understanding of the underlying determinants of vaccine uptake.

The purpose of this consultancy is to support UNICEF’s efforts in decreasing the number of zero-dose children by coordinating response activities in ECAR countries. This will involve centralizing data collection and monitoring through a unified platform, developing a standardized approach/framework for supportive supervision programs, and fostering innovative and evidence-based strategies to enhance vaccination equity.

Under the direct supervision of the Immunization Specialist from ECARO, the consultant will provide technical support to assist the health team in addressing the immunization backsliding and implementing tailored actions that prioritize equity, community engagement, and innovation.

Scope of Work

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Immunization Specialist the consultant will:

  1. Develop and implement a centralized platform as a dashboard for tracking immunization data across ECAR countries, ensuring accessibility and usability for stakeholders.
  2. Collect, collate, and analyze data on zero-dose children and vaccination coverage from various sources, including health facilities, community health workers, and immunization campaigns.
  3. Disseminate analyzed data to key stakeholders, including national health authorities, UNICEF offices, and partners, through regular reports, dashboards, and presentations.
  4. Collaborate closely with national health authorities, partner organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure data accuracy, completeness, and alignment with national immunization priorities and strategies.
  5. Conduct regular analysis of the measles situation in ECAR and assist countries in formulating outbreak response action plans. Additionally, prepare reports and funding applications for the Global Health Thematic Funds and Outbreak Response Funds to address measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Following up with the countries that received GHT funds.
  6. Design and develop a standardized approach/framework for supportive supervision programs tailored to the context of ECAR countries, incorporating best practices and evidence-based strategies.
  7. Provide technical assistance and guidance to national counterparts in implementing supportive supervision activities, including conducting needs assessments, developing supervision tools, and establishing monitoring mechanisms.
  8. Deliver training sessions and capacity-building workshops for health workers and supervisors on supportive supervision principles, methods, and techniques to enhance immunization coverage and quality.
  9. Strengthen the capacity of national counterparts in leadership, management, coordination, and strategic planning of immunization programs through targeted capacity-building initiatives, mentorship, and knowledge transfer.
  10. Coordinate with relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, UN agencies, and community organizations, at national and sub-national levels to ensure a cohesive and integrated approach to reaching zero-dose children and communities.
  11. Facilitate the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and innovative approaches among ECAR countries through workshops, seminars, and knowledge-sharing platforms to optimize immunization program effectiveness.
  12. Support the development and implementation of innovative strategies and interventions aimed at improving vaccine access and uptake, particularly in underserved and hard-to-reach areas, leveraging community engagement, technology, and social mobilization.
  13. Conduct operational research, evaluations, and assessments to generate evidence on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing zero-dose populations and improving immunization outcomes.
  14. Utilize evidence generated from research and evaluations to inform policy and programmatic decisions related to immunization, advocating for evidence-based approaches and interventions that prioritize equity and effectiveness.
  15. Collaborate with COs, relevant departments to generate timely and accurate reports for internal and external dissemination, facilitating evidence-based decision-making and accountability.
  16. Any other relevant activities in consultation and discussion with the supervisor without deviating from the scope of this consultancy, to accommodate emerging needs and priorities in the immunization sector. Regular consultations with supervisors should allow for adjustments in activities to address urgent challenges and support countries effectively.

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks / Milestone Deliverables / Outputs Timeline / Deadline
Assessment Report on the assessment of the current Zero Dose agenda in ECAR outlining the situation, activities implemented, and the way forward. A compilation of best practices and lessons learned from successful immunization programs and interventions across ECARO countries, serving as a resource for knowledge sharing and replication. 15 working days;

By 30 July 2024

Outbreak plans Analysis report of the measles situation in ECAR. Countries outbreak response action plans. Reports and funding applications for the Global Health Thematic Funds and Outbreak Response Funds to address measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Following up on the implementation progress with the countries that received GHT funds. 15 working days;

By 30 August 2024

Documentation A fully functional dashboard implemented and customized for each ECAR country, providing real-time visibility into immunization data, including coverage rates, zero-dose children statistics, and vaccination trends. 15 working days;

By 30 September 2024

Data work Regional workshop conducted with representatives from ECAR countries to present the newly developed immunization data dashboard and gather feedback on its usability, functionality, and relevance to national immunization programs. 15 working days;

By 30 October 2024

Supportive supervision framework A toolkit comprising standardized supervision framework, training materials, and monitoring tools tailored to ECAR countries, facilitating the implementation of supportive supervision programs to improve immunization coverage and quality. 15 working days;

By 30 November 2024

Emerging needs A detailed plan delineating capacity-building activities for national counterparts, including training workshops, mentorship programs, and leadership development initiatives aimed at enhancing immunization program management and coordination. 15 working days;

By 30 December 2024

Planning Individualized plans developed in collaboration with national health authorities to address immunization inequities, including strategies, action steps, and performance indicators to monitor progress and impact. 15 working days;

By 30 January 2025

Portfolio of strategies A portfolio of innovative strategies and interventions for improving vaccine access and uptake, accompanied by implementation guidelines and case studies showcasing successful implementation. 15 working days;

By 28 February 2025

Policy briefs Policy briefs and advocacy materials synthesizing key findings and recommendations from research and evaluations, targeting policymakers, donors, and other stakeholders to advocate for increased investment in immunization and equity improvement efforts. 15 working days;

By 30 March 2025

Novel solutions Organize an innovation challenge inviting stakeholders from academia, technology companies, and civil society to propose novel solutions for addressing immunization inequities and reaching zero-dose children. 15 working days;

By 30 April 2025

Virtual learning Establish a virtual learning collaborative platform bringing together immunization experts, policymakers, and practitioners from ECAR countries to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and co-create solutions for reaching zero-dose children. 15 working days;

By 30 May 2025

Emerging Needs Report showcasing adaptive actions taken in response to emerging needs and challenges. 15 working days;

By 30 June 2025

Estimated Duration of the Contract

180 working days between July 2024 and June 2025.

Consultant’s Work Place and Official Travel

The Consultant will be remote/home-based with no travel foreseen.

Estimated Cost of the Consultancy & Payment Schedule

Payment will be made on submission of an invoice and satisfactory completion of the above-mentioned deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs are incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

Please submit a professional fee (in USD) based on 180 working days to undertake this assignment.

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

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • Master’s degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, or Health Management
  • At least eight (8) years’ experience in epidemiology, public health, including health planning, immunization and health systems management;
  • Sound understanding and knowledge of technical aspects of immunization services/programmes;
  • Provision of supporting documents of analytical reports and health planning in the field of immunization, epidemiology, public health and health systems strengthening;
  • Previous experience in working with Gavi is an asset;
  • Previous experience working in the ECA region is an asset;
  • Knowledge of the United Nations system or other international organizations is an asset;
  • Knowledge of international development, humanitarian issues and children’s rights is an asset.

Skills and attributes:

  • High level of analytical ability to analyse qualitative and quantitative data, including using relevant software packages;
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality, concise, analytical and insightful reports and presentations in English;
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas;
  • Strategic thinking and critical analysis;
  • Commitment and drive, with a clear focus on results;
  • Ability to manage competing priorities under pressure, whilst maintaining attention to detail and meeting deadlines;
  • Good facilitation and communication skills.

Languages:

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Proficiency in Russian is an asset.
  • Knowledge of other languages relevant to the ECA region is an added advantage.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS), and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most marginalized children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family 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.

Remarks:

Please include a full CV and Cover Letter in your application. Additionally, indicate your availability and professional fee (in USD) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a professional fee will not be considered. 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.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants 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.

Geneva, Switzerland
This job has expired.