Implementation Research (IR) Consultant at UNICEF April, 2023
And we never give upUNICEF 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.Implementation Research (IR) Consultant at UNICEF April, 2023
It can take as long as 10-20 years for new evidence-based innovations and interventions to be included into national health policies and programmes. These delays lead to substantial and unnecessary loss of lives. The poorest and most marginalized segments of the population are the most likely to be affected, as their access to health and social services is already low and often compromised due to disadvantages in socio-economic circumstances, education, and geography. In addition, there is continued low and inequitable coverage of many well-established interventions that are already part of national plans, many times due to inadequate attention on how to ensure that these interventions reach all those who need and would benefit from them. An implementation strategy that works well in one setting and for one population group may not necessarily do so in another.
Implementation Research (IR) can help reduce these gaps and inequities, accelerate uptake of innovations, and provide the real-time evidence needed for decision-makers to scale up their Primary Health Care (PHC) policies, programmes, and practice. A recent review of IR in the context of UNICEF funded interventions, show that where IR was embedded into programmes, and where corrective action was taken with regards to programme implementation, child mortality was reduced by up to 63%.
Implementation research has been a focus of the health section of UNICEF Tanzania Country Office (TCO) since 2020. Through a partnership with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), IR has been embedded within the implementation of new national guidelines for Community Based Health Services in Kigoma Region and closely engaged key stakeholders and implementers at all levels throughout. IR is also ongoing to identify the “mechanisms of effect” of a complex bundle of interventions to improve perinatal health in Mbeya Region as well as on the integration of COVID-19 and routine immunization across several regions. UNICEF HQ has facilitated IR on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at the national level, with important findings for national AMR strategy.
In September 2022, UNICEF and MUHAS co-hosted an IR symposium which took stock of the learnings throughout this work. Linked to this symposium, a one-day workshop with government stakeholders was held to initiate the first steps of institutionalization of IR within routine structures and processes, cognizant of the potential benefit of IR if used more systematically. Several entry points for institutionalizing IR within government systems was identified during this workshop, as were necessary next steps.
How can you make a difference?
The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide high-quality technical and scientific contributions to UNICEF TCO’s Implementation Research agenda across four specific objectives:
1. IR Capacity building – for ability
The ability to conduct IR among stakeholders is fundamental for its application and use on a routine basis. Under this deliverable, the consultant will focus on adapting available IR materials (such as those available from TDR, WHO and other institutions) for hands-on and relevant learning by policy makers and programme implementers within the government’s PHC research unit at the President’s Office for Regional and Local Government (PORALG) and within UNICEF TCO. Specific activities will include:
- Develop in-service training plan for UNICEF TCO health staff and government PHC research unit staff
- Prepare in-service training materials for UNICEF health staff and government PHC research unit staff, including for use by government staff at subnational level, including module on beneficiaries’ participation in IR – specifically action research with adolescents, gender, environment, and climate.
- Conduct in-service training of UNICEF health staff and government PHC research unit staff
- Follow-up mentorship with UNICEF TCO health staff and PORALG research unit staff
2. IR institutionalization – for sustainability
- Review and provide regular updates into UNICEF TCO internal IR repository, to ensure ongoing programmatic use of findings
- Draft a national road map for implementation research in PHC, based on a series of consultations with government, UNICEF, and other stakeholders
- Draft Standard Operating Procedures/guidance for conducting IR and utilizing IR findings within routine systems based on a series of consultations with government, UNICEF, and other stakeholders
- Provide Technical Assistance in the development and use of the government’s IR repository for Primary Health Care, in collaboration with PORALG’s ICT and Research unit Institutionalization of IR within routine systems is a long-term goal and the early steps were identified in the first IR symposium held in September 2022. Under this specific objective, the consultant will support institutionalization within both UNICEF and government systems
3. IR practice – for the improvement of primary health care
The practice of IR, its application, should lead to adaptations and improvement in programme implementation. This requires timely, engaged, and relevant IR protocols with quicker than usual turn-around times for results dissemination to guide corrective action. Under this specific objective, the consultant will provide technical assistance in the drafting and review of IR studies supported by UNICEF, including but not limited to IR on urban community health and IR on client feedback mechanisms in PHC.
4. IR documentation and dissemination – for shared learning and wider impact
The documentation of IR is important at all stages. High quality technical review can enhance the quality of this documentation with greater clarity and impact on programmes as a result. In addition, documentation for various purposes, including scientific manuscripts for peer review and policy briefs for decision makers at different levels are needed. Under this specific deliverable, the consultant will provide technical assistance in drafting and reviewing research reports, manuscripts and policy briefs based on the conducted IR.
DELIVERABLES, TIME FRAME AND PAYMENT
|Work Assignments Overview||Remote /in-country (%)||Deliverables||# Days||Payment in % (USD)|
|Develop an inception report for the assignment to include detailed activities, methodology and timeline including proposed travel. Requires in-country consultation with UNICEF and government. Develop in-service training plan for UNICEF TCO health staff and government PHC research unit staff, including time frame, objective, methodology, content, approach. Presentation to and validation by UNICEF TCO and government.||70/30||Inception report and presentation||15||9%|
|Objective 1: IR Capacity building – for ability||55||35%|
|Prepare in-service training materials for UNICEF health staff and government PHC research unit staff, including for use by government staff at subnational level||100/0||In-service training materials||20||13%|
|Capacity building of UNICEF TCO health staff. Remote sessions with practice and follow up.||100/0||Training report including pre- /post training assessment||10||6%|
|Capacity building of PORALG research unit staff. In-person training in Dodoma for 5 staff in the fundamentals of implementation research including module for beneficiaries’ participation in IR – specifically action research with adolescents, gender, environment, and climate.||0/100||Training report including pre- /post training assessment||10||6%|
|Follow up mentorship with PORALG research unit staff, quarterly for 9 months. Remote x 2 and onsite x 1.||70/30||Mentorship quarterly reports||15||10%|
|Objective 2: IR institutionalization – for sustainability||65||40%|
|Review and provide regular updates into UNICEF TCO internal IR repository, to ensure ongoing programmatic use of findings.||100/0||Report on structure and proposed use of UNICEF TCO internal IR repository||10||6%|
|Draft a national road map for implementation research in PHC, based on a series of consultations with government, UNICEF, and other stakeholders. Prepare and document consultations. Draft road map document, solicit inputs, review and present draft for validation by UNICEF and the government.||75/25||National Road Map for implementation research in Primary Health care||20||12.5%|
|Draft SOPs/guidance for conducting IR and utilizing IR findings within routine systems, based on a series of consultations with government, UNICEF, and other stakeholders.||70/30||IR Standard Operating Procedures document||15||9%|
|Provide Technical Assistance in the development and use of the government’s IR repository for Primary Health Care, in collaboration with PORALG’s ICT and Research unit, including review of its structure and capacity building on its use.||50/50||Report on the establishment and use of the Government IR repository for PHC||20||12.5%|
|Objective 3: IR practice – for the improvement of primary health care||12||8%|
|Drafting and review of 3 IR protocols supported by UNICEF, in collaboration with implementing organization/institution||100/0||Documented input||12||8%|
|Objective 4: IR documentation and dissemination – for shared learning and wider impact||12||8%|
|Technical assistance in drafting and reviewing research reports, manuscripts, and policy briefs for 3 studies based on the conducted IR||100/0||Documented input||12||8%|
|Total||159 days||100% (USD)|
UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/output is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines
ASSESSMENT / SELECTION PROCESS AND METHODS
Evaluations: The applicant should submit both technical and financial proposal which clearly stipulate how the work will be conducted. The Financial Proposal should include all costs of this assignment including fee, travel costs, accommodation as UNICEF will not pay any DSA.
Proposals will be both technically and financially evaluated. The technical part will carry a weight of 75%, in which the consultant will put clear his/her technical approach to ensure quality attainment of each deliverable and the consultancy in totality. The financial part will carry 25% showing the proposed budget breakdown of consultancy cost for each deliverable (fees, travels and accommodation) and eventual total consultancy cost.
MEDICAL EVACUATION COVERAGE.
The consultant will be required to submit the proof of medical/Health Insurance with medical evacuation coverage.
LOCATION, DURATION & LOGISTIC
The consultant will operate remotely.
The validity of the contract will be for 159 days. The consultant will be required to travel to Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and other regions as appropriate – every three months or as agreed during inception phase.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- A minimum of eight years’ experience in the conduct and management of Implementation Research (IR) in the context of LMIC Health systems and services, including experience of teaching, supervising and mentoring others.
- Experience in engaging with initiatives and networks for implementation research and working with national and subnational levels, including in demand-driven IR
- Experience in stakeholder engagement and communication at both, national and sub- national level
- Documented contribution as first or last author to a minimum of 6 publications of studies using implementation research methodology.
- Excellent understanding of the current state of IR, challenges and opportunities facing the field, and linkages with larger global health agendas.
- Ability to conceptualize and develop high-quality IR outputs including journal articles to inform health system strengthening in LMICs.
- Excellent interpersonal and facilitation skills to engage with high-level policymakers in Tanzania, and in teaching and mentoring for IR skills development.
- Proven programme management skills towards ensuring timely production of high-quality deliverables.
- Documented excellent written communication skills, including the ability to tailor messages depending on the intended audience.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with international and national staff at all levels.
- Fluency in written and spoken English is required ▪ Proficiency in Swahili is an asset
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.
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.
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.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.
Deadline: 09 May 2023 E. Africa Standard Time
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