Consultancy : Digital Health Strategy Specialist-Health Section, Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit – REQ#528630 119 views

Consultancy : Digital Health Strategy Specialist-Health Section, Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit – REQ#528630

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    • #3445528
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    UN Children’s Fund

    Closing date:
    01 Jan 2020

    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.

    Vacancy Announcement for Consultants and Individual Contractors

    Consultancy Title: Digital Health Strategy Specialist

    Duration: 11.5 months

    Section/Division/: Health Section, Implementation Research and Delivery Science Unit

    Duty Station: The consultant will be based in Dakar, Senegal, and will be required to travel to remote-based locations, including: Sierra Leone, Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and New York. As travel dates and locations will be decided by UNICEF and partners as project progresses, UNICEF will arrange all travel for the consultant on an as needed basis, charging to the appropriate cost center

    About UNICEF

    If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


    Digital technologies and improved data capacity are important catalysts for accelerating achievement of the 2030 SDG3 targets. Actionable and relevant data is the foundation to monitor progress toward SDG 2030, while harmonized digital systems optimize the health system to deliver in a coordinated manner quality, coverage, and equity of health services. Digital systems can catalyze a necessary transformation in the health system –addressing ongoing data gaps and persistent health system challenges –facilitating a more resilient, person-centered, and responsive health system.

    Digital innovations at community and primary health facility level can be useful for strengthening the linkages with, and use of, formal health services, while also supporting the institutionalization and strengthening of the community health system as a whole. The term “digital health”, which includes both mHealth and eHealth, describes the general use of information and communication technologies (digital, mobile and wireless) to support the achievement of health objectives. Some successful examples include stock management tracking, electronic decision support tools for health workers, health worker communication and performance feedback, targeted messages and service delivery to clients, citizen based reporting for increased accountability, and data storage, aggregation, and visualization do drive action/response.

    While most countries now have some level of digitalization of their health system functions, countries struggle with the implementation of a large number of pilots which often are not designed for scale, using systems architecture that lacks interoperability, sometimes using non-validated solutions and solutions that are not designed with the users in mind, and which often do not have a sustainable financial or technical support model to allow for scale-up. This has resulted in highly fragmented and uncoordinated implementation of small-scale pilots with many types of tools and software solutions (often targeting the same health workers), not feeding data into health management information systems (HMIS) and not addressing the system problems or Ministry of Health needs.

    Terms of Reference / Deliverables

    Over 11.5 months the consultant will work with the West and Central Africa Regional Offfice and country offices (COs) in up to five countries (e.g. Mali, Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso) to support the production of country specific investment cases for digital health that are embedded with the community and/or primary health care roadmaps. CO staff will work in close collaboration with the consultant and be expected to leverage their expertise in the local context, partnerships, CO plans/strategies, and other resources to actively engage in and support this wok on the ground. The main results of this project will be:

  • Stakeholder engagement: Stakeholder mapping and engagement (with existing technical working groups (TWGs) or formation, as needed), assessment and consensus on digital health governance structures and standards, and establishment of strong in-country partnerships.
  • Assessment: Conducting assessments and/or review of existing assessments of the PHC system, including the contextual environment, community health information system, challenges to service delivery; and identify appropriate digital health interventions and their technical and operational requirements, to address identified bottlenecks.
  • Planning: Produce an implementation plan and project charter for the digital health strategy, including infrastructure, legislations, leadership and governance, financial cost assessment, operationalization and monitoring, implementation research and evaluation, and design/adaptation/configuration needs, that is signed off for approval by the TWG and other governance bodies.
  • Investment case for Digital Health to support community health/PHC: Through support from a costing consultant, conduct economic analyses using total cost of ownership to co-create a costed scale-up plan with a sustainable financing model that can be used when approaching donors and other investors.
  • Technical assistance: support provided to up to 5 countries to strengthen their national community health information system and linkages with DHIS2 deployment efforts as per needs.
  • Activities

    This project will focus on two main phases of activities which will be further outlined in consultation with the COs, Ministry of Health and partners:

    Phase 1: Stakeholder engagement + assessments (0-6 months of initiative)

  • Stakeholder engagement (with existing TWG or formation, as needed)
  • Analyze governance structures and determine needs for establishing strong partnerships for success
  • Assessments:

  • Bottleneck Analysis
  • Contextual Environment (Policy environment: community health, HIS, ICT; Technical: network and electricity, infrastructure; and Digital health landscape including existing investments and partnerships)
  • Community Health Information System (CHIS) Assessment
  • Knowledge + Evidence Gathering (efficacy and effectiveness of digital health solutions to address bottlenecks)
  • Technology requirements: data; interoperability and adaptability
  • Operational requirements: including personnel, training and support, outreach + sensitization, contingency
  • Phase 2: Planning and initial design and testing/development of a digital health investment case (6-12 months of initiative)

  • Planning
  • Digital health maturity assessment
  • Financial cost assessment and development of financial model and business plan
  • Operational planning
  • Monitoring, IR and evaluation and planning
  • Validation of Plans:

  • Sign off and approvals for TWG and other governance bodies
  • Project charter
  • Design
  • Adaptation/configuration of digital solutions, including user centered design approaches
  • Testing of early prototypes (functionality and usability)
  • Adaptation of tools based on results of testing
  • Additional activities will focus on supporting countries to integrate their community-based information system into DHIS2 and the documentation of processes and lessons learnt
  • Qualifications

    At least 7 years of professional experience. Proven experience in the mHealth/digital health field – especially on the deployment of information systems and mHealth solutions, such as decision support and client communication tools. Significant experience in providing technical assistance and thought leadership surrounding the design and implementation of digital health for system strengthening. Significant experience with project management and proven ability to translate complex ideas from various areas into unified, clear guidance is a must. Advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent related practical experience.

    Additional Experience and Knowledge:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience working in, designing, or deploying digital health solutions in/for low-resource settings
  • Extensive experience working with the mHealth/eHealth community
  • Knowledge and experience in community health/primary health care programmes is essential
  • Experience designing and supporting digital health projects with Government (esp. Ministries of Health)
  • Knowledge and experience with DHIS2, OpenMRS, iHRIS, OpenHIE, MoTECH, CommCare, etc
  • Familiarity with open-source technology and standards (especially HL7/FHIR)
  • Experience with processing large amount of information and synthesizing it
  • Ability to work in a team and in a diverse work environment.
  • Knowledge of United Nations – particularly UNICEF – processes and work streams is an asset
  • Requirements:

  • Completed profile in UNICEF’s e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:

  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here:
  • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
  • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
  • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF. At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage. Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

    U.S. Visa information:

    With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.

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

    For every Child, you demonstrate…

  • UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at:Here
  • 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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