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TOR – Consultant to provide support to management of Strategic Information (SI), monitoring for EMTCT of HIV; Adolescent & Young Women SRH, Paediatric & Adolescent HIV & TB care services (For South African Nationals ONLY)

Apply now Job no: 539396
Contract type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: South Africa
Categories: Consultancy

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Background and Justification

South Africa has made significant progress towards preventing Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) over the last decade that has contributed to improved health outcomes for mothers and babies. The MTCT of HIV rate has declined from 6.24 per cent in 2014 to 4.1 per cent in 2018[1], preventing 53,000 new HIV infections among newborns[2]. However, there are still remaining challenges that hinder the reach targets to full elimination of MTCT and access to paediatric and adolescent HIV & TB services:

  • With the decline in the absolute number of new infections that occurred at or before birth, the post-natal period now accounts for 70 – 75 per cent of all the new HIV infections among exposed children[3]. Children have not reached the desired and planned 90–90–90 targets[4]; just 56 per cent of children under 15 needing ART were on treatment and 67 per cent were virally suppressed. For adolescents, 64 per cent of those aged 10-14 years and 44 per cent of the 15-19 years old were initiated on ART, which is far less than the targeted 95 per cent.
  • Adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in South Africa in particular face many challenges.  Teen pregnancy, high-risk sexual practices, gender-based violence, drug and alcohol abuse and poverty placing them at higher risk of sexually transmissible infections and HIV/AIDS.  Adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years (AGYW) remain at higher risk of new HIV infections. Although new infection among this group have declined from 80,000 in 2016 to 66,000 in 2019, the country still has the highest infection rates. AGYW are disproportionately impacted, for instance they have eight times higher HIV prevalence rates than their male counterparts. An explanation for this gender differential is that this vulnerability is fuelled by women’s socio-economic dependency position, the role of power in sexual relations and socio-cultural norms that encourage gender inequality, and prevalence of gender-based violence.

UNICEF worked with National Department of Health (NDOH) and relevant partners to review of routine programme and national laboratory data which showed that about 60% of HIV infections in children were coming from 14 districts (out of 52) in the country, across seven out of the nine provinces. These are districts with very large populations (e.g. Metros) or districts where there are high levels of MTCT. Some of the issues contributing to the high burden of HIV infections include poor adherence, poor retention in care and loss to follow up leading to inadequate viral load suppression and unsafe breast-feeding practices, especially among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) including those pregnant and breastfeeding. The findings of the 2019 joint review of the HIV, STI, TB and PMTCT program especially identified data issues, reporting systems, weak linkages between community and facilities as bottlenecks hindering the performance of the health care systems and emphasizes the need to pay more attention (monitoring implementation and performance) to the high transmission districts (focus for impact) and at the same time monitoring the rest of the districts.

UNICEF’s Health and Nutrition programme contributes to national efforts to prevent new HIV infections, specifically among pregnant adolescent girls and young women, provide treatment and care to adolescents living with HIV, as well as to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT). This includes supporting Government with the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of innovative and sustainable high impact combination prevention and treatment interventions for adolescents and young people. In addition, UNICEF has worked with UNFPA and government counterparts to develop a Joint program that focuses on improving SRH and reducing Gender Based Violence (GBV) among vulnerable AGYW (ages 15-24) in Alfred Nzo, uThukela and Nelson Mandela districts. 

Scope of Work 

  1. Goal and ObjectiveUnder the direct supervision of the Chief of the Health and Nutrition, the consultant will work very closely with NDOH, UNFPA and UNICEF to provide support to management of Strategic Information (SI) and monitoring of the national and the district PMTCT, paediatric and adolescent HIV and programmes as well as relevant SRH and Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) programmes indicators, ensuring that data and information is analysed and reported on regular basis. The consultant will be expected to monitor national and district programme implementation and performance; and guide continuous evidence-based programme action planning as well as ensuring that data quality is improved. While support will primarily be directed towards the 14 focus districts as EMTCT plan, the consultant will be expected to conduct programme performance analyses and reports for all the 52 districts in the country at least twice during the consultancy.
  2. Provide details/reference to AWP areas covered: The assignment aligns with output 3 (PMTCT and Paediatric HIV care) and output 4 (Adolescent HIV care) of the RWP 2019 / 2020
  3. Activities and Tasks:   The specific tasks are:
  1. Assist to collate, analyze and report Strategic information (from DHIS, Laboratory, TIER.Net, ETR.Net, existing survey and study reports) for the purposes of monitoring national and district level, EMTCT, paediatric and adolescent HIV and SRH programme performance and supporting evidence-based planning (quarterly in the 14 priority districts; and biannually for all the 52 districts)
  2. Assist to collate, analyze and report relevant strategic information on MNCH and SRH programme indicators directly linked to EMTCT, paediatric and adolescent HIV & TB programme priorities
  3. Assist with field monitoring and implementation of District Plans (focus on EMTCT, paediatric and adolescent HIV & TB) as well as building capacity of district teams to improve quality of programmatic data including analysis and reporting focusing in the 14 priority districts; documenting and reporting best practices and lessons learnt in data quality improvement
  4. Assist DOH, UNICEF and partners to design tools and roll out the cohort monitoring system to support longitudinal tracking of mothers and children including adolescent girls and young women 
  1. Provide coordination, oversight and technical support to the Young Peer Mentor Mother project making sure that the deliverables in the contract are met timeously
  2. In collaboration with UNFPA, UNICEF and Districts; develop district SRH and Social services dashboard to monitor implementation of the district SRH, GBV and Social protection services in three districts (Nelson Mandela, Alfred Nzo and uThukela
  3. Mentor the district and institutionalize the use of the district dashboard as program a monitoring tool in the districts   
  1. Management of consultancy: The consultancy involves working closely with the National Department of Health, Provincial and District Departments of Health and implementing partners working in the field of HIV, MNCH, SRH and TB programmes
  2. Outputs/Deliverables: 

Deliverables

Duration

(Estimated # of days or months)

Timeline/Deadline

Schedule of payment

Outline/action plan for meeting the deliverables during the consultancy, data collation template and performance reporting framework, and baseline  data collated and analysed for relevant indicators (EMTCT, paediatric & adolescent HIV and TB, SRH and MNCH)

Up to date report on preparatory work related to establishment of cohort monitoring system

Meeting report for the  three districts (Nelson Mandela, Uthukela, Alfred Nzo) to discuss development of the district monitoring dash boards that includes Department of health, social development and justice (SRH and GBV)  indicators submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 1

Month 1

Monthly report: a)Strategic Information summary, b) District programme monitoring and capacity building

Draft SRH and GBV dashboard indicators for the three districts identified and submitted 

30 days/1 Month

Month 2

Month 2

Detailed National and District Strategic Information report for EMTCT, paediatric & adolescent HIV and TB programmes and relevant SRH and MNCH indicators

New PMTCT guidelines rolled out in the 14 priority districts;

Monthly district programme monitoring and capacity building report

Progress report: a) work related to establishment of cohort monitoring system, b) consultation and finalization of the key SRH and GBV indicators for the three districts

30 days/1 Month

Month 3

Month 3

Monthly report: a) Strategic Information summary, b) District programme monitoring and capacity building

Draft monitoring SRH and GBV dashboard with targets developed and submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 4

Month 4

Monthly report: a) Strategic Information summary, b) District programme monitoring and capacity building

Progress report on review of the draft SRH and GBV dashboard shared

30 days/1 Month

Month 5

Month 5

Detailed National and District Strategic Information report for EMTCT, paediatric & adolescent HIV and TB programmes and relevant SRH and MNCH indicators

Monthly district programme monitoring and capacity building report

Progress report on work related to establishment of cohort monitoring system

Best practices and lessons learnt in data quality improvement report

Final SRH and GBV dashboard submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 6

Month 6

Monthly report: a)Strategic Information summary, b) District programme monitoring and capacity building

Capacity building plan outlining timeline to train district health management team to use the SRH and GBV dash board submitted 

30 days/1 Month

Month 7

Month 7

Monthly report: a) Strategic Information summary, b) District programme monitoring and capacity building, c) ongoing capacity building report submitted and write up on experiences on development and  use of the SRH and GBV dashboard in the three districts submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 8

Month 8

Detailed National and District Strategic Information report for EMTCT, paediatric & adolescent HIV and TB programmes and relevant SRH and MNCH indicators

Monthly report: a) district programme monitoring and capacity building

b) ongoing capacity building submitted and write up on experiences on the use of the SRH and GBV dashboard in the three districts submitted.

Progress report on work related to establishment of cohort monitoring system

30 days/1 Month

Month 9

Month 9

Monthly report: a) Strategic Information summary, b) district programme monitoring and capacity building, c) ongoing capacity building report submitted and write up on experiences on the use of the SRH dashboard in the three districts submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 10

Month 10

Monthly report: a) Strategic Information summary, b) district programme monitoring and capacity building, c) ongoing capacity building report submitted and write up on experiences on the use of the SRH dashboard in the three districts submitted

30 days/1 Month

Month 11

Month 11

Detailed National and District Strategic Information report for EMTCT, paediatric & adolescent HIV and TB programmes and relevant SRH and MNCH indicators

Progress report on work related to establishment of cohort monitoring system

Final Consolidated Report

  • Strategic Information summary report
  • district programme monitoring and capacity building report
  • Development of the SRH and GBV district dash board and the use in the three districts
  • Best practice and lessons learnt documentation report

15 days/0.5 Month

Month 12

Month 12

Desired competencies, technical background and experience

The applicant must have;

  1. EducationAn individual with any of the following – postgraduate degree in epidemiology, biostatics, public health, social and allied sciences
  2. Work Experience: a minimum of five years’ experience in the public health sector.
  3. CompetenciesThe individual must have demonstrated ability, understanding and experience in managing complex Strategic Information for HIV, TB, SRH and MNCH. An understanding of the South African public health system, the different levels of health care service delivery, as well as prior experience with developing, implementing and monitoring results driven frameworks for public health programmes is required.  Experience in working with the South African Departments of Health (national, province and district) and close partners is an asset.
  4. Languages needed: English. Working knowledge of the languages spoken in South Africa is an added advantage. 

Administrative issues 

  • UNICEF will make a workspace available to the consultant when s/he is at the UNICEF offices.
  • In a case where the consultant might not be based in Pretoria, South Africa, s/he has the option of working from his or her own office or a personal workstation 

Conditions

  • The contractor will work on its own computer(s) and use its own office resources and materials in the execution of this assignment. The contractor’s fee shall be inclusive of all office administrative costs
  • Local travel (outside of location where consultant will be based) and airport transfers (where applicable) will be covered in accordance with UNICEF’s rules and tariffs. All travel is by most economical fare and reimbursement as per UNICEF policy
  • Flight costs will be covered at economy class rate as per UNICEF policies.
  • Any air tickets for travel, will be authorized by and paid for by UNICEF directly
  • The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.
  • As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. 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

Risks

Delays in accessing data and information from the national systems may be a challenge. UNICEF will continue to work with NDOH to facilitate timely access to data and information for analysis and programme performance reporting. 

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates are requested to submit their application to the following link: https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=539396 by 21 April 2021.

This notice will also appear on http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/, http://www.unicef.org/southafrica, UN Job List, UN Jobs.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in ZAR) to undertake the terms of reference above (including admin cost if applicable). 

Applications submitted without a fee rate will not be considered.


[1] 2019 Epidemiological Review of the PMTCT Programme

[2] 2018 UNAIDS

[3] 2019 Epidemiological Review of the PMTCT Programme

[4] UNAIDS. 90–90–90: an ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic. Geneva, Switzerland: UNAIDS; 2014.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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 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:

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.

Advertised: South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: South Africa Standard Time

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