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UNICEF is committed to focusing on Primary Health Care (PHC) for the current Strategic Plan 2018-2021 period and has acknowledged that it is an effective approach to contribute to the global SDG target (3.8.1) on Universal Health Coverage. Functional PHC, especially at community level, in turn depends on robust health systems, and UNICEF must prioritize Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) as a core area of programming.
Advances in digital, mobile, and wireless technologies offer a unique opportunity to accelerate PHC efficiency, especially at community level and to reach underserved population. UNICEF’s Approach to Digital Health outlines a common vision for digital health at UNICEF, identifies strategic priorities for investments in digital health that align with the organization’s Strategy for Health 2016–2030, Health Systems Strengthening Approach , UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2021) and the Data for Children Strategic Framework, and describes UNICEF’s comparative advantage in supporting governments and coordinating and aligning with other organizations, civil society, private sector and communities to leverage digital technologies to accelerate achievement of health sector and strategic plan priorities. It outlines approaches that UNICEF can use to support countries to establish digitally enabled health systems where technology solutions are effectively and efficiently adopted so that the most marginalized and vulnerable children, adolescents, and families are reached with health information and services, while at the same time the health system is strengthened to collect, analyze, and use health data to continually improve the reach and quality of services at all levels.
The term ‘digital health’, which includes both mHealth and eHealth, describes the general use of information and communication technologies (digital, mobile and wireless) to support the achievement of health objectives. Some successful examples include stock management tracking, electronic decision support tools for health workers, health worker communication and performance feedback, targeted messages and service delivery to clients, citizen-based reporting for increased accountability, and data storage, aggregation, and visualization to drive action/response.
While most countries now have some level of digitalization of their health system functions, countries struggle with the implementation of many pilots which often are not designed for scale, using systems architecture that lacks interoperability, sometimes using non-validated solutions and solutions that are not designed with the users in mind, and which often do not have a sustainable financial or technical support model to allow for scale-up. This has resulted in highly fragmented and uncoordinated implementation of small-scale pilots with many types of tools and software solutions (often targeting the same health workers), not feeding data into health management information systems (HMIS) and not addressing the system problems or Ministry of Health needs.
The Digital Health Consultant (Level 3) reports to the UNICEF ROSA Senior Health Specialist for Immunization and Health System Strengthening with a secondary reporting line to the Regional Technology for Development Business Analyst. The individual will work in close liaison with the RO Health Programme staff and RO ICT/T4D team, and if needed, the central ICT and Health Divisions.
The purpose of this role is to provide leadership in the setup of a digital health strategy in/for low- and middle-income countries in the South Asia Region. The Consultant will ensure health information system strengthening of the country offices (COs) by recommending digital health investments best suited to the context, participating in establishing and maintaining standards, documentation, and support mechanisms for the investments, and identifying key partners to maximize the potential for the scale-up and sustainability of technology and digital innovation for health programming. This entails the identification, assessment, planning, coordination, design, documentation, and deployment of digital health solutions, with a specific focus on solutions to address bottlenecks to health service delivery for women and children.
This assignment will begin by supporting the mapping of existing digital health tools being used across the region. The Digital Square/PATH survey tool has initially been focused on 25 high priority USAID countries, and UNICEF ROSA would like to ensure that information is collected from all South Asia countries (and updated in this common spreadsheet – https://uni.cf/mapping-digital-health), creating a baseline for further work with country teams to evaluate availability of digital systems for various common use-cases, for COVAX and for broader health system-strengthening.
The Consultant will also provide recommendations and strategies to ensure integration of digital development and technology innovation into the health programme planning lifecycle and aim to build the capacity and knowledge within the health section on digital development, train UNICEF staff, partners, government counterparts and other end users in creating and maintaining high quality digital health systems.
Key Assignments and Tasks:
The main tasks for the consultancy will be as follows: Adapt an already existing survey tool for use with UNICEF country offices in South Asia to map the landscape of digital health platforms currently being used across the region. Support the mapping of digital health platforms in the eight (8) South Asia countries using the adapted survey tool. Conduct analysis of the mapping results to identify key areas of commonality and gaps across the region in order to inform the necessary technical support to UNICEF COs. Support country offices to publish details of their key digital health initiatives in both the WHO Digital Health Atlas and the UNICEF internal digital project inventory platform (INVENT) to promote knowledge sharing among offices. Support documentation of important digital health success stories from across the South Asia region. Encourage the participation of digital health focal points from both Regional Office and Country Offices in UNICEF’s internal Digital Health Community of Practice. Provide technical assistance to country offices when required with regards to requests involving digital health platforms, strategies, and proposals. Work with the ROSA Health and ICT/T4D teams to analyze the type of digital health support requests received by the regional office and recommend specific areas of capacity-building that may be necessary.
The consultancy will be home-based; however, the Consultant will be expected to be available for meetings during normal ROSA working hours (0900 to 1730 GMT+5:45). Consultant will also be expected to meet with country offices subject to their timezones, ranging from GMT+4:30 (Afghanistan) to GMT+6:00 (Bangladesh). The consultant will accrue 1.5 days of leave per month of service, to be utilized within the period of assignment with UNICEF ROSA.
Duration: 11.5 months (1 June 2021 to 15 May 2022)
Note: Please submit your applications with financial proposal. Applications without the financial proposal will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advanced to the next stage of the selection process.
Advanced university degree (Master’s) or equivalent professional experience in health informatics, computer science, public health/medicine, development studies, economics or related field is required.
B) Work Experience:
C) Language proficiency:
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language or local language of the duty station is considered as an asset.
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.
The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…
The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate the following competencies that are necessary to this consultancy:
• Excellent communicator of concepts both verbally and in writing to a developing country government and international audience.
• Able to quickly understand instructions, to proactively seek clarification when needed.
• Able to work well in a team environment.
• Demonstrates communication and relationship-building skills.
• Works in a multi-cultural environment and establishes harmonious and effective working relationships.
• Enterprise architecture design and standards and interoperability in the area of digital health.
• Strong knowledge of digital health applications in health systems and public health.
• Ability to communicate and engage with experts and stakeholders from different fields, including policymakers, researchers and the civil society.
• Works independently and is problem-solving oriented.
• Strong analytical, research and report writing skills.
• Effective project management skills.
• Ability to work comfortably in a fast-paced environment.
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.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Interested and qualified candidates are required to fill up the google form at this link:https://jobs.unicef.org/mob/cw/en-us/job/539878
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.