United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (Documentation Of Maternal And New-born Health, Key Lessons and Best Practices)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health – District Local Governments, UNICEF MNH team in the CO, teams in zone offices and UNICEF ESARO, the consultant will support documentation of key results, lessons and best practices of the MNH programme.

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, a fair chance

Uganda is one of the over 190 countries and territories around the world where we work to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, and discrimination place in a child’s path. Together with the Government of Uganda and partners we work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the objectives of the Uganda National Development Plan, and the planned outcomes of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

Visit this link for more information on Uganda Country Office https://www.unicef.org/uganda/ How can you make a difference?

Background: Ending preventable Maternal and Perinatal mortality is a global priority under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. The aim is to reduce the average global Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and neonatal mortality to at least 12 deaths per 1000 live births by 2030. The Uganda Health Sector development plan (2016-2020) targets are to reduce MMR from 336 to 219/100,000 live births and ambitious target for institutional MMR from 92 to 60/100,000 between 2020 and 2025 has been set in the revised RMNCAH sharpened plan. Remarkable progress has been made over the past decade to improve maternal new-born and Child Health indicators. For example, in 2019, the Annual Health Sector Report (2018/19) showed that 42 and 62 per cent of pregnant mothers attended 4th Antenatal care (ANC) visits and delivered in Health Facilities compared to 38 and 60 percent in 2017/2018 respectively.  In 2020, due to COVID 19 pandemic these indicators slightly declined. The number of maternal deaths among 100,000 health facility deliveries reduced by 12% to 92 per 100,000 facility deliveries in 2018/19 from 104 per 100,000 in 2017/18. This achievement is beyond the target of 102 per 100,000 facility deliveries for FY 2018/19 however the main causes of mortality remain the same; obstetric hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders, puerperal sepsis and abortion related complications. In FY 2019/20, a total of 28,174 perinatal deaths were reported. Fresh still births and newborn deaths (0-7days) constitute 63% of the perinatal deaths- this represented a 20% reduction in institutional mortality comparing with the  three previous reporting periods.

Despite the reduction in mortality, quality of care for newborns in Uganda remains poor at all levels of the health care system from Health Center III to tertiary hospitals. In 2017, the Ministry of Health adapted the WHO maternal newborn child health (MNCH) quality of care standards and developed the standards for hospital care of newborns  and to address the significant drivers of mortality; infection, birth asphyxia, and complications of low birth weight. While maternal care is greatly enhanced , the majority of the tertiary health facilities/institutions function below the standards for tertiary care for newborns as defined in the standards. Most of the designated newborn care units in HC IV and hospitals can only provide basic neonatal care with minimal capacity to provide care for sick newborns including care for the high-risk newborns such as pre-term and term babies with complications.

With funding from SIDA, UNICEF in partnership with the MOH, district local governments and implementing partners such as  Baylor, Intra-health and AVSI, are working to strengthen the capacity of the district health systems to deliver an integrated package of Reproductive Maternal New-born Child Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAHN) inclusive of HIV, and Nutrition using a Health System Strengthening approach and Quality Improvement (QI) approaches. Additional efforts are geared towards supporting facilities to implement the WHO QOC standards for mothers, new borns and children; and learning from MPDSR.

The programme aims to strengthen the continuum of care for maternal, new-born and child health by working leadership/management structures and frontline providers, using locally available data for planning, prioritisation and budgeting to;
  1. Increase availability and service readiness of Essential Maternal New-born Child Health services (Emergency Obstetric and New-born Care ( EMoNC), Ante Natal Care (ANC), Deliveries, Post Natal Care, Integrated Management of Newborn and childhood illness (IMNCI) at the facility and strengthen referrals  in priority districts
  2. Increase utilization of quality maternal, new-born child health services, including emergency obstetric and new-born care at the community and referral facility levels
  3. Increase community awareness, demand and acceptance of lifesaving MNH interventions through innovative approaches for MNCH services.
Notwithstanding the current context of Covid 19, the MNH programme has made significant achievement in improving the quality of maternal and newborn care intervention districts and generated lessons and good practices. These practices will be relevant for further scale-up to the other parts of the country but more importantly inform policy and planning at the national level.

There is therefore a clear need to document best practices and lessons learnt to aid scale-up of some of the effective approachs to additional districts and facilities and to contribute to global evidence through peer reviewed journal publications. These terms of reference have been prepared to hire the services of an individual national consultant to support UNICEF with the documentation process of the maternal newborn health programme results in focused districts.

Purpose of the assignment: In collaboration with the MoH – District Local Governments, UNICEF MNH team in the CO, teams in zone offices and UNICEF ESARO, the consultant will support documentation of key results, lessons and best practices of the MNH programme.

The assignment involves the following:

Overall objectives: As part of UNICEF effort to generate evidence for the maternal and new born health, the consultant will closely work with UNICEF MNH Specialists, UNICEF Zone office teams, UNICEF ESARO to;
  • Develop a clear workplan and process for documentation including identification of best practices and relevant knowledge management products.
  • Review country documents such as national RMNCAH policy/plans and reports (Annual health sector reports, programme reports, assessments and surveys) and, maternal and newborn standards and guidelines, implementation approaches, country progress reports and other relevant documents to identify best practices across different aspects of program implementation and health systems strengthening. The spectrum of best practices will involve different Capacity Building approaches, various modalities of supportive supervision, referrals mechanisms, ensuring availability of essential equipment and commodities for improved case management, better Community Engagement, and strengthened monitoring mechanisms including integration with existing m-health initiatives. Some of the interesting approaches include; on the job surgical skill training of clinicians; quality of care collaboratives; MPDSR, transport vouchers scheme; roll out of KFCPs/familyConnect/Catchment Area planning and action (CAPA) and adolescent engagement. Key challenges and learnings will also be a rich area for detailed documentation.
  • Develop protocols and data collection tools to be used.
  • Conduct field missions (in-country travel) to collect data/information where needed for case studies, human interest stories, policy briefs and other documentation of learnings. Data collection methods may include surveys, key informant interviews or focus groups with health workers, district health managers, Community Health Workers, parents, ministry of health staff and other partners engaged in RMNCAH programme in focused districts/ region.
  • Analyse data on care for the sick newborn, care-seeking behaviour of neonatal illnesses and alternative IMNCI.
  • Compile inputs and develop draft analytical write-ups such as case studies, human interest stories, policy briefs etc.
  • In collaboration with UNICEF health team, UNICEF ESAR and HQ, develop and submit manuscripts for publication on different approaches to scale up quality maternal and newborn health care, innovations to improve demand and strengthen services for small and sick newborn, best practices including challenges and lessons learnt.
  • Develop dissemination plan and power point slide decks based on findings for use during webinars, global meetings and other key advocacy moments.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

The selected Consultant should have: Education:  

An advanced university degree required in Public Health, Social Sciences or related discipline Work experience:

  • At least 5 to 7years of experience in quantitative and qualitative data Analysis, research, and documentation of maternal newborn, adolescent Health Programs, or RMNCH required –particularly in Ugandan context.
  • Motivated, highly organized, critical thinker with strong analytical skills who can work as part of a team and independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate national-level assessments with multiple stakeholders, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with MoH, including partners, UN organizations, NGOs, academic institutions, and the private sector;
  • Strong writing and communication skills.
  • Ability to travel and work in rural locations.
  • Fluency in written and verbal English is essential.
  • Work experience with similar assignment and relevant publications
  • Previous experience working with UNICEF is an asset.
Competencies:

  • Builds and maintains partnerships: Builds a network of external stakeholders and alliances with government counterparts, civil society, the media and the private sector in order to promote and advance the work of the organization (Level 1)
  • Demonstrates self and ethical awareness: Self-aware of own strengths, limitations, working style and deeply held convictions and biases. Displays ethical awareness through behaviors that are consistent and compliant with the standards of conduct for international Civil Servants, UNICEF’s values and relevant UNICEF policies and procedures (Level 1)
  • Drive to achieve results: Commits to action and assumes responsibility and ownership for own performance and the associated outcomes. (Level 2)
  • Innovates and embraces change: Open to and proposes new approaches and ideas, adapts and responds positively to change. (Level 2)
  • Works collaboratively with others: Establishes and maintains mutually supportive working relationships, demonstrates sensitivity to people of diverse backgrounds, respects differences and ensures that all can contribute and succeed. (Level 2)
  • Thinks and acts strategically: Understands the big picture and can identify potential opportunities for action and challenges that exist. Forms sound evidence-based judgements in the delivery of UNICEFs results. (Level 2)
  • Manges ambiguity and complexity: Demonstrates resilience and composure, getting things done despite challenges and maintaining performance levels in pressured, adverse and uncertain environments (Level 1)
Language:

  • Fluency in English.
Application Procedure/Call for Proposals

Interested candidates are required to submit a technical proposal on how they intend to approach the work. The proposal should include a timeline, and methodology, based on the Terms of Reference. The proposal must also include detailed CV of the consultant, as well as a financial proposal, clearly indicating daily rate for professional fees. The financial proposal must be all-inclusive of all costs (consultancy fees and where applicable air fares, airport transfers, daily living expenses).  This is an international level consultancy and competitive market rates should apply.

Evaluation of Candidate:

The consultant will be competitively selected from a list of applicants based on their past experience of doing similar work (extensive experience in writing donor reports, in compiling and editing annual reports for various UNICEF offices).

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.

  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.

Remarks:

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

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