Lesotho: International Consultancy -Technical Advisor to Expanded Programm on Immunization (EPI) teamMaseru, Lesotho 179 views

Closing Date : 2019-11-21
Duty Station : Maseru, Lesotho
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Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Lesotho
Closing date: 21 Nov 2019

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Scope of Work

Goal and Objective: Under the joint supervision of the UNICEF Chief of Child Survival and Development, and Head of Family Health (MoH), the consultant will provide technical assistance for the strengthening of the National Immunization Programme in the Ministry of Health

Specific Objectives: The consultant is expected to meet three objectives

To ensure high quality of the Gavi Full Portfolio Planning (FPP) process for immunization support, including the Program Support Rationale (PSR) document which encapsulate the second Health Systems Strengthening (HSS-2) proposal, the proposal for measles and rubella supplementary immunization activities (MR-SIA) and the proposal for re-introduction of HPV vaccination for girls.To develop and start the implementation of a long term plan for strengthening the technical EPI skills and the LMC capabilities of the National Immunization Programme teams at central and provincial levels with the aim of having a fully functional NIP that effectively plans, leads, and implements all aspects of national EPITo provide technical assistance as needed to bridge gaps in the NIP skills set, knowledge base and human resources until such a point that the NIP can take on the responsibility.

Details and reference to AWP areas covered: The activity aligns to the rolling workplan (2019-2021) signed by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF under outputs 1.1 – the capacity of the Ministry of Health and the cadre of health workers is improved to deliver quality integrated maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and HIV services

Activities and tasks:The activities and tasks that the consultant is expected to deliver in order to achieve the three objectives of the contract are described in some detail as they relate to each objective.

Activities in support of Objective 1: High quality FPP process, PSR and grant proposals.

To achieve objective 1, the consultant will support the NIP and MoH and facilitate the completion of the PSR document and the HSS-2 grant proposal, and ensure that these are submitted to Gavi in time and in the correct formats. This will include the facilitation of a Stakeholders Consultation and the collation and analysis of vaccination coverage and equity data. It will further include a bottleneck analysis (BNA) of the challenges to: effective and equitable service delivery, collection and use of immunization data, and effective activities to promote demand and trust in vaccinations. The consultant will lead and facilitate the Country Dialogue and ensure that the Gavi portfolio of support for the next 3-5 years is evidence-informed, reflects national context, capacities and priorities, and is owned by the GOL and supported by EPI partners.

PSR:The PSR should provide the country-specific rationale for Gavi vaccine and financial support and address systems-related bottlenecks to sustainable improvements of vaccination coverage and equity. It should demonstrate the theory of change underpinning the proposals, and reflect longer-term EPI plans as well as broader national health sector strategic plans. It should draw directly on the preparatory analysis of Vaccine-Preventable Disease (VPD) epidemiology in Lesotho and the vaccination coverage and equity situation at national and sub-national levels. It should address particular activities to improve: effective vaccine supply and management, demand promotion, community engagement for immunization services, immunization information systems (IIS), data quality, equity in vaccination outcomes, and NIP leadership, management and coordination (LMC).

The PSR is shaped during the country dialogue and through reviews by the Gavi Secretariat, WHO, UNICEF and other relevant partners. A draft PSR exists from the previous submission to Gavi but the document must be updated and finalised based on the feedback received from the IRC and the outcomes of the ongoing Country Dialogue. It is the consultant role to ensure that the IRC feedback and partner comments are transparently communicated and systematically considered by the NIP and the GoL. In this process, the consultant must be able to provide authoritative and strategic guidance on the proposed activities and priorities. The final PSR is signed by the Minister of Health and Minister of Finance and endorsed by the ICC before submission and review by the GAVI IRC.

The IRC review of the previous (2019) PSR had concluded that although a number of assessments have been undertaken in Lesotho, including Human Resource Assessment (HRA), Effective Vaccine Management Assessment (EVMA), Data Quality Assesment (DQA), Knowledge, Attitude Practice (KAP) study, and Equity Assessment (CEA), there is limited demonstration that the findings and recommendations from these assessments are being taken forward for implementation. The IRC highlighted that the BNA in the PSR was strong but that the activities in the HSS proposal did not reflect its findings and the recommendations from previous assessments. A key task for the Consultant will be to conduct a desk review of reports and consolidate key recommendations across focus areas. This should result in a NIP plan to implement the recommendations.

During the entire FPP process, it is essential that the consultant:

Ensures government ownership and accountability of the process and the proposals, and supports the program manager in leading the process.Actively coordinates and collaborates among EPIs partners, including GAVI, UNICEF, WHO, CHAI, CHAL, Lesotho Red Cross and other civil society organisations (CSO) to arrive at a clear outline of roles and responsibilities.Promotes a systematic and evidence-based situation analysis and facilitates translation of the findings into concrete, realistic and achievable program activities.Ensures the quality and timely completion of the FPP process including the portfolio view of vaccines and health systems for the next 3-5 year timelineFacilitates the translation of the strategy to complete GAVIs Programme Support Rationale and vaccine requests, together with detailed budgets and operational plans, and Grant Performance Framework (GPF)

b) Activities in support of Objective 2: Strengthen technical and leadership skills and capabilities of the NIP.

To achieve Objective 2, the consultant will assess the need for strengthening technical knowledge and capabilities of the NIP central team and district teams in all areas of EPI management. The assessment will be based on review of documentation (HR report), consultation with partners, individual interviews with NIP staff, and team discussions. The outcome of the assessment should be a NIP strengthening plan that should be composed of a plan for the NIP team as a group and individual professional development plans for each member. The team and individual plans should cover technical EPI knowledge as well as LMC skills tailored to individual member’s roles and responsibilities. The professional development plan for the NIP team and the individual plans should be completed and signed off by 15 February 2020. The plans should have clearly defined activities and the Consultant will review progress against SMART indicators together with individual members at regular intervals.

The professional development plans will include a mix of individualized and group capacity building activities. The professional development activities shall run continuously over the entire consultancy period and will be central to the fulfillment of the contract. The Consultant will establish individual development plans with each participating staff member and support them to achieve their goals. The program should be versatile and woven into the day-to-day tasks of the EPI staff. The Consultant should have regular

scheduled mentoring sessions with the staff in the program in which they will together review progress and plan activities. The program will apply a broad range of formal and informal training methods and resources. The focus will be on skills development and on rapidly translating new knowledge into practices. The Consultant will provide practical on-the-job coaching and personal mentoring throughout the programme. The Consultant will propose online training resources that s/he will coach the participants through.

There is a need for stronger coordination among EPI partners and stakeholders to reduce duplication of activities, increase focus on key activities and raise the effectiveness of external support for the NIP. The Consultant will work closely with the NIP manager and support her in her LMC responsibilities.

c) Activities in support of Objective 3: Bridge gaps in the NIP current knowledge base, technical skills set, and human resources.

It is recognised that the Lesotho NIP will need hands-on support with delivering some of its technical, management and planning responsibilities and that the Consultant will have to bridge technical gaps in order to progress planned activities. It is important that the Consultant do not perform such tasks in isolation but actively involves the NIP team members and encourages their participation, accountability, and ownership.

Work relationships and reporting:

The consultant will be embedded full-time within the MoH NIP team. This means that the Consultant will have a work station in the NIP office in the MOH and work alongside the NIP staff the entire duration of the assignment. The supervision and reporting in the contract means that the Consultant must visit the UNICEF Country Office regularly. The work time spent in the UNICEF CO should not exceed 10-20% of the total work time and should be scheduled to one day of the week and the consultant should not be asked to take on internal UNICEF responsibilities. The Consultant is expected to work independently and take end-to-end responsibility for delivering the activities and achieving the objectives in the contract. He/she will actively facilitate coordination between NIP and immunization partners and stakeholders in and outside the country.

Outputs and Deliverables:

An in-depth analysis of vaccination coverage and equity trends and VPD epidemiology in Lesotho.A desk review of existing NIP documentation, including assessments, reviews and routine reports of relevance for the FPP, that should make clear conclusions and recommendations about programme performance and capacities, quality and efficiency of vaccination services, demand promotion, and public trust and satisfaction. The review should identify capacities and potentials to develop, mitigate barriers and bottlenecks, and strategies and interventions to overcome them. A draft PSR document and HSS-2 proposal, and a power-point presentation on the key findings and the strategic focus of the Gavi portfolioFacilitation of the Stakeholders Consultation planned for February 2020, and finalization of all documents for the package of proposals for Gavi support to be submitted in May 2020.High-quality submission meeting the Gavi May 2020 deadline that includes the PSR document and the HSS-2 proposal.Assess the needs for strengthening NIP technical capabilities and LMC skills and design and deliver a time-bound programme for achieving the goals set in the prorgamme. The delivery of the programme must consider technical assistance planned by NIP partners and should be based on the individual professional development plans for NIP staff. Help the NIP bridge the gaps in technical knowledge and skills on a day-to-day basis without substituting NIP staff.

The following are ideas and examples of activities for consideration when the Consultant develops the capacity strengthening programmme together with the NIP. The list is not exhaustive and there are no obligations to include these particular activities in the programme. What is important is that the programme is developed in close consultation with the NIP staff members, that it is realistic and achievable, and reflects the needs identified in the assessment. The focus should be on on-the-job training and translating theoretic knowledge into practice. Lastly, the programme should include a monitoring and evaluation component

Project-based on-the-job training: Coaching in the execution of well-defined projects helps staff to gain technical skills as well as planning, M&E and presentation skills. The projects should be relevant to program implementation. Part of the initial assessment for the capacity building programme could include identifying such projects.

Implementation research (IR): Developing IR questions and study protocols, and conduct studies that inform program design and implementation.

A tailored series of group sessions with the EPI team. For formal group sessions to be effective and well-received, they have to be thoroughly planned and executed by the consultant, and the topics have to be selected based on the needs assessment and the interests of the NIP.Online training resources: The consultant could coach and support EPI to take online courses such as the Mid-level Manager training (MLM), the Immunization in Practice (IIP), the UNICEF Health System Strengthening MOOC, and other online courses.As part of the capacity building for the EPI team, assign members individual projects to complete which they have to report on to the group. Examples are preparing a discussion on a particular EPI related topic, present an article or complete a job-related project such as setting up a Cold Chain Inventory.One-on-one coaching with the EPI manager on LMC skillsPractice presentation and teaching skills with the team. This can be woven into project management and planning.Practice supportive supervisory skills in the fieldPlan and provides support for the implementation of the Reaching Every District (RED) approach at Health Centre level.

Plan and conduct Focus Group Discussion FGD and Key Informant Interviews and write up and present the findings

Major tasks



Schedule of payment

1) Develop a workplan and Gantt chart for completing the Country Dialogue and submission of the PSR, and HSS by May 2020, including field work, facilitation of the Stakeholders Consultation, and finalization and submission of proposals 2) Develop a LMC plan

Inception report and workplan for the completion of the FPP process.

A LMC strengthening plan with proposed methodologies, activities, and milestones.

10 days


Review of EPI performance including analysis of vaccination coverage and equity in services and immunization outcomes. Identification of lessons learned, best practices, programme risks, and bottlenecks for effective service delivery. Analysis of current situation to understand the gaps and pockets of low coverage and inequity in service delivery as well as the solutions needed to address these, including

Analysis of programmatic risks following the audit findings, IRC recommendations from the previous (January 2019) submission

1) Draft report on the desk review findings of EPI performance including analysis from equity assessments 2) Reports from field work: KII, FGDs, observation visits 3) Agenda for Stakeholders Consultation on the Gavi portfolio of support including: expected outcomes, list of participants, presenters and facilitators, ToR/description of the roll-out of the consultation 4) 1st version of the draft PSR document

25 days


Facilitate the Stakeholders Consultation and the completion of the PSR and HSS proposal through an iterative consensus-building process with EPI and its stakeholders.

1) Report of Stakeholders Consultation workshop 2) Final drafts of PSR document and the grant proposals for Gavi support for HSS, including the budgets, in the correct format in the Gavi template, and the Gavi GPF.

Signed endorsement by the ICC of the Gavi submissionReceipt of submission of documents

20 days,

by 30 March, 2020


Conduct and facilitate LMC activities, including one-on-one mentoring, on-the-job training, and coaching of formal online EPI trainings

A mid-term progress report on LMC strengthening, including skills and learning activities covered and a LMC improvement plan for the remaining TA period, including individual plans for EPI team members

May 2020


Continue to strengthen LMC capabilities within the NIP team members in accordance with the LMC improvement plan.

Support the NIP as requested in technical areas, development of SOPs, manuals, monitoring and reporting forms and other program management tools

A final report on the TA deliverables including recommendations for further strengthening of EPI programme capacities and developments and investments in the immunization program.

October 2020


Ensure that any report or document includes an Executive Summary of max. 3 pages. All deliverables will have to meet the expected quality and standards as assessed by the supervisors (MoH and UNICEF) of the assignment. Should the consultant fail to deliver as per expected quality and standards, UNICEF reserves the right to amend the payouts accordingly or to delay them until the satisfactory submission has been received

Desired profile

The Consultant should have documentation of the following qualifications, experiences and skills:1. Advanced degree in Public Health, Health Economics, Health Services Management or related field2. Broad technical knowledge and skills of EPI and in-depth experience EPI implementation or the provision of technical support to national immunization programmes. Experience from Africa is an advantage.3. Knowledge and experience of Gavi processes, requirements and application forms.4. At least 10 years practical experience in the areas of health sector development and health system analysis and strengthening.

5. Experience from Africa is an advantage.6. Excellent teaching, tutoring and mentoring skills7. Excellent planning, convening, writing, presentation and facilitation skills8. Creativity, ability to work independently and to drive for results

Administrative issues

The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts:1. The Consultant will work on their own computer in the execution of the assignment.

2. The MoH will allocate office space/work station for the consultant.

3. The consultant fee shall be inclusive of all office administrative costs i.e (travel, living allowance and visa fees)

4. The consultant will be engaged fulltime in country during the execution of this assignment. The consultant is required to travel within Lesotho. Transport will be organized by the MOH or the UNICEF CO and the consultant will receive standard UN living allowance for travel within the country. The consultant can work remotely (outside the office desk) with prior approval from the supervisor.

5. Payments will be made against approved deliverables and in accordance with UNICEF’s Standard Terms and Conditions attached

6. The consultant payment is a lump sum inclusive of travel (a two-way travel based on economy class fares), living allowance and professional fees; when the consultant is to travel outside Maseru and stay overnights, related living allowance will be paid and transport supported by MoH or UNICEF. This living allowance (outside Maseru) has been estimated at $2,000 for the contract period. Expenditures above this ceiling will be discussed and may be re-imbursed.

7. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.

8. Consultant will not be entitled to leave, however, unpaid day offs will be discussed and agreed with supervisor

How to Apply

Qualified candidates are requested to complete an application including profile to the respective advertisement on https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/Please indicate your ability, availability and financial proposal/quote to complete the terms of reference above.

Rates (monthly) must include all expenses related to the assignment (e.g. consultancy fee, travel/flights, field trips, living allowance).

Applications submitted without a fee/ rate will not be considered.

If you have not been contacted within 2 months of the closing date please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Regret emails will be sent only to shortlisted/contacted candidates.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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

How to apply:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=527431

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