United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Quality Assurance Advisor (Health Products)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNDP's policy work carried out at HQ, Regional Hubs and Country Office levels, forms a contiguous spectrum of deep local knowledge to cutting-edge global perspectives and advocacy. In this context, UNDP invests in the Global Policy Network (GPN), a network of field-based and global technical expertise across a wide range of knowledge domains and in support of the signature solutions and organizational capabilities envisioned in the Strategic Plan.

Within the GPN, the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS) has the responsibility for developing all relevant policy and guidance to support the results of UNDP's Strategic Plan. BPPS's staff provides technical advice to Country Offices, advocates for UNDP corporate messages, represents UNDP at multi-stakeholder fora including public-private dialogues, government and civil society dialogues, and engages in UN inter-agency coordination in specific thematic areas. BPPS works closely with UNDP's Crisis Bureau (CB) to support emergency and crisis response. BPPS ensures that issues of risk are fully integrated into UNDP's development programmes. BPPS assists UNDP and partners to achieve higher quality development results through an integrated approach that links results-based management and performance monitoring with more effective and new ways of working. BPPS supports UNDP and partners to be more innovative, knowledge and data driven including in its programme support efforts.

The 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind reflect the interconnectedness of health and sustainable development, including widening economic and social inequalities, the climate crisis, rapid urbanization, the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases (e.g., malaria, tuberculosis), the growing burden of non-communicable diseases and the emergence of health threats. The scope and scale of delivering health and well-being for all demands innovative partnerships and financing. As affirmed in the Political Declaration of the 2019 High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and others are critical partners for delivering on the health-related goals of the 2030 Agenda. Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All outlines how a dozen multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies, including UNDP, the Global Fund, Gavi and others will collaborate to be more efficient and effective in supporting countries to deliver UHC and achieve the health-related SDG targets.

UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund, in line with UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots, makes a vital contribution to UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs and the pledge to leave no one behind.

As a long-standing partner of the Global Fund, UNDP’s value proposition lies in providing an integrated package of development solutions to strengthen institutions to deliver health services. Through its contributions as interim Principal Recipient (PR) and provider of technical assistance to Global Fund grants in 53 countries since 2003, UNDP’s provision of integrated policy, implementation and capacity development support to countries has yielded significant health and development results in challenging operating environments. Proactive risk management and investing in sustainability are the cornerstones of UNDP’s portfolio management approach in supporting to countries with significant national capacity constraints to manage large-scale health programmes. By providing technical assistance to national counterparts during all phases of implementation, strengthening legislation, policies and regulatory frameworks, and building capacities across key functional areas, including financial management, health information systems, procurement and supply chain management, UNDP is able to deliver results whilst sustainably transitioning to national entities. UNDP’s track record as PR over the last 17 years and capacity to deliver in challenging operating environments has been critical for strengthening its positioning as a health implementation support partner.

Based on demand from Country Offices, and building on the relationships, expertise, systems, partnerships, including across the UN family, and comparative advantage established through the Global Fund partnership, the GPN/BPPS/Global Fund Partnership/Health Implementation Support Team (GF/HIST, Global Fund Partnership Team) is providing support to Country Offices through three overarching modalities: 1) the Global Fund portfolio, 2) health procurement and supply chain management support, and 3) other health implementation support beyond the Global Fund, including Gavi-funded activities and Solar for Health. The GF/HIST provides its support through a country team approach to strengthen and integrate the different functional capacities (e.g., programmatic, procurement/SCM strengthening, finance, capacity development), leveraging technical assistance and policy support from the HHD Group and other GPN teams.

An increasing number of governments are requesting UNDP to help strengthen national capacities and systems for the provision of health services, especially for the procurement and supply management of medicines and health products.

The primary focus has been medicines and diagnostics for infectious diseases, but it also includes a broad range of laboratory and hospital equipment. Increasingly, UNDP is receiving requests to support the procurement of medicines, diagnostics and medical equipment for non-communicable diseases. In addition to procurement services, UNDP also supports governments to build resilient and sustainable health systems and support the national procurement and supply chain system. This includes providing technical expertise to strengthen legal, policy and regulatory frameworks, improve procurement rules and regulations, and remove potential barriers to equitable access to affordable medicines.

In line with established best practice, UNDP has a Quality Assurance (QA) Policy for all health products supplied by UNDP. The UNDP QA Policy is a key document for all parties involved in health procurement activities across UNDP as well as for national partners, suppliers and donors as it details UNDP’s requirements for health procurement, which are in line with international best practice. Regular monitoring and oversight of the implementation of the QA policy, and support to its implementation, is under the responsibility of Global Fund Partnership Team.

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Health Procurement and Supply Management Advisor, Global Fund Partnership Team, the Quality Assurance Advisor (Health Products) will lead and manage the QA Team and will have the overall responsibility for the development, implementation and monitoring of the UNDP QA Policy for health products. In case of major challenges in the implementation of the QA Policy and for issues of non-compliance and corporate reporting the Quality Assurance Advisor will report directly to the Manager, Global Fund Partnership Team. The Quality Assurance Advisor (Health Products) will provide strategic guidance and technical support and oversight in quality assurance for the procurement and supply of health products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics products and will work to ensure that health products procured and distributed by UNDP are compliant with the UNDP QA Policy. The role will also require representing UNDP in international, regional forums for quality assurance of health products and the engagement with relevant partners (e.g., UN, international NGOs) and knowledge management activities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provides strategic guidance and technical support on quality assurance (QA) for the sourcing and monitoring of health products procured and supplied by UNDP with the following key responsibilities:

  • Lead and coordinate the quality assessment of health products sources (e.g., manufacturers, products, procurement agencies);

  • Develop and update the QA Manual and any others related documents (including, standard operating procedures, training documents) in collaboration with other UNDP units;

  • Ensure that all QA activities are appropriately documented and develops and maintains a record management system;

  • Lead the annual QA performance review of the suppliers in coordination with UNDP’s Global Health Procurement Centre;

  • Coordinate the updating of UNDP database of qualified suppliers and health products;

  • Participate in the adjudication of tenders for health products for QA aspects;

  • Provide technical advice and guidance for the selection of quality control laboratories, particularly for establishing the scope of work, the methodology for testing and reporting; and

  • Lead and coordinate the monitoring of the quality of the health products (e.g., quality testing reports, follow-up complaints, re-assessment of sources).

Provides advisory and technical support services to UNDP Country Offices, Regional Hubs and headquarter unit staff on quality assurance (QA) related issues, with the following key responsibilities:

  • Provide high-level advisory and technical advice and guidance to UNDP’s Procurement and Supply Chain Managements Specialists on technical issues related to the quality of health products and monitoring of suppliers for all quality assurance aspects;

  • Coordinate and lead on the improvement and establishment of UNDP’s QA Policy, processes, procedures taking into consideration the local conditions and ensuring they are in line with international good practices within UNDP projects;

  • Support Country Offices through the audit process (internal, external), including supporting the timely and effective implementation of QA recommendations;

  • Lead on the identification of QA issues, challenges and risks and provides constructive solutions in the handling of health products at country level (storage and distribution), including preparing briefs to the Risk Committee; and

  • Ensure UNDP staff training and the availability of training materials and technical updates and contributes to information sharing across the organization.

Ensures human resources management and supervision of Quality Assurance Team and experts and strategic information sharing, with the following key responsibilities:

  • Build and create a positive team environment where team members can perform optimally, respond to challenges creatively and collaboratively, and access coaching and mentoring as needed;

  • Lead on maintaining expert rosters and the development and management of institutional contracts;

  • Facilitate effective collaborative work planning and implementation processes for the implementation, monitoring, oversight and review of the UNDP QA Policy and the achievement of results within the resources allocated;

  • Coordinate recruitment processes with the Senior Health Procurement and Supply Chain Management Advisor and performance management systems ensuring link of job design with recruitment, performance management and career development; and

  • Contribute to internal and external reports, including reports for the Organizational Performance Group, annual reporting on compliance and monitoring of UNDP QA Policy.

Ensures collaboration and communication with quality assurance (QA) experts from international, regional and local levels, with the following responsibilities:

  • Manage and lead the communication with WHO, other UN agencies, non-governmental agencies, the Global Fund and others key actors for all matters related to QA of heath products and providing technical support to respond to queries from media, donor and partners;

  • Represent UNDP in relevant technical meetings with partners, working groups and works towards harmonization and update of the QA Policy and other relevant QA matters (e.g. substandard/falsified health products);

  • Contribute substantially to information sharing on quality of sources and quality complaints with other agencies/partners at the global, regional and local level and within UNDP; and

  • Actively participate in UNDP and other relevant external networks to promote the UNDP QA Policy and its implementation in relevant forums (conferences, e-forum).

Any other activity assigned by the Senior Health Procurement and Supply Management Advisor, GF/HIST or Manager, GF/HIST.

CompetenciesCoreInnovation
  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work

Leadership
  • Ability to persuade others to follow

People Management
  • Ability to improve performance and satisfaction

Communication
  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform

Delivery
  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Technical/FunctionalPrimary HIV, Health and Development
  • Access to Treatment: Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and non-communicable diseases access to treatment policy and principles and strategic and/or practical situations

Quality Assurance
  • Knowledge of and practical experience of issues related to QA of health products and the ability to apply them to strategic and/or practical situations relevant to procurement of health products

Project Management
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

Procurement Supply Management
  • Knowledge of procurement and supply management concepts, principles and methods, and ability to apply to strategic and/or practical situations

Risk Management
  • Ability to identify and prioritize risks, and organize action around mitigating them

Capacity Development
  • Ability to strengthen and maintain the capabilities of individuals, societies, organizations and governments to set and achieve development objectives over time

SecondaryRepresentation
  • Ability to productively share UNDP knowledge and activities (at UN and other venues)

Advocacy
  • Ability to advocate a point of view and influence others

Knowledge Management
  • Ability to capture, develop, share and effectively use information and knowledge

Required Skills and ExperienceEducation:
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Pharmacy.

  • Additional Public Health diploma and/or Quality assurance in health products certification is an asset.

Experience:
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience with the majority working in quality assurance for health products at national and international level including, developing quality assurance related policies, tools and providing guidance to procurement teams.

  • Demonstrated understanding of WHO prequalification program and/or others assessment/registration process followed by stringent regulatory authorities.

  • Demonstrated experience in the management of people and complex situations in high-pressure environments.

  • Experience in developing partnerships with UN agencies, partners and donors on quality assurance issues for health products.

  • Knowledge of Global Fund’s quality assurance and procurement policies, an asset.

  • Experience in interacting with senior government officials and major supplier companies, an asset.

  • Work experience in a developing country with knowledge or understanding of national regulatory requirements in low and middle countries, an asset.

Language Requirements:
  • Proficiency in English both written and oral.

  • Working knowledge of another UN language an asset.

Other:
  • Willingness to travel frequently including visits to UNDP suppliers and Country Offices.

  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) and advance knowledge of web-based management system.

Disclaimer

Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment.

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

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