Regional routine Immunization and COVID-19 vaccination coordinator Technical Assistant

ABH Partners PLC

UNICEF with WHO prepared immunization improvement road map which is approved by MoH.This ToR is developed to deploy competent technical Assitants at sub-national level to provide technical support on situation assessment, problem-specific solutions, result-based planning, implementation and monitoring and capacity building of the health workforce for immunization including COVID- 19 vaccination rollout regional level.

Attractive

Contract

Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, Sidama and SNNP

Career Level
10+ years
Type of corporation
Company size

ABH Partners Plc is a leading consultancy and human resources sourcing firm in Ethiopia with about 15 years of experience in supporting the implementation of development programs and projects. ABH exists to fuel synergistic societal growth by harnessing local knowledge and international standard. Dedicated to the betterment of societal development, technical assistance, and knowledge management, ABH has gained credibility and industry experience in the development sector in general.
ABH partners would like to invite applicants who meet the below requirements to apply for the position of Regional routine Immunization and COVID-19 vaccination coordinator Technical Assistant

Duty station:  Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, Sidama and SNNP

Salary: Attractive 

Level: NOC

Duration: 1 year

Reporting to: UNICEF Field office Health Specialist/Health Officer. TAs will work closely with EPI focal person of respective RHB Immunization team at UNICEF country office will provide over all guidance

Expected Start Date: Immediately after concluding the contract agreement

   I. Background

Ethiopia is struggling with multiple complex challenges in recent years, mainly the ongoing conflict and COVID-19 pandemic, extremely affected child vaccination and contributed to rise the number of zero-dose children.  It is estimated that among Ethiopia's annual birth cohort of around 3.6 million about 1.8 million (50%} remain unprotected against vaccine-preventable diseases which makes Ethiopia one of the countries in the world with the largest number of zero-dose children. The recurring measles outbreaks in many parts of the country also illustrate the low coverage of the immunization.

 Children living in rural, geographically isolated, topographically hard to reach areas, urban slums, and outskirts, displaced persons and those who are from the poorest and uneducated families are not utilizing the immunization service or dropping out from consecutive doses. This is mainly due to inadequate evidence-based planning, prioritizing, targeting, limited supportive supervision and process level monitoring at service provision level leading to inadequate knowledge and skill among service providers, lack of systematic monitoring sessions and service delivery approaches.

The Government's strategic plan- the second health sector transformation plan (HSTP II), the EPI comprehensive multi-year plan (cMYP 2021 to 2025) and immunization road map stipulates zero dose and missed community and inequity among geographic areas and different population groups as priority. UNICEF as mandated to monitor inequities among child health outcomes, is providing critical support to the government of Ethiopia to be able to expand immunization services for all children focusing on underserved community. Hence, reaching the poor and most deprived communities with cost-effective interventions such as immunization save more lives. UNICEF's technical support on equity analysis, bottleneck assessment, capacity building on identification of underserved communities, prioritization, evidence-based planning/problem solving, and monitoring has shown results to increase coverage of penta3 from 85% to 89% in UNICEF supported zones during the last year .

UNICEF deployed qualified Technical Assistants who supported maintaining and/or restoring immunization service, implementation of immunization improvement roadmap and supporting roll out of COVID-19 vaccination. The TAs received training and guidance on immunization improvement Roadmap and COVID-19 vaccination rollout. They transferred knowledge and skills to government staff at RHBs, zones, woreda and Primary health care units on the use of tools for better planning and monitoring sessions, coverage verification, data validation and feedback provision. This is implemented in partnership with FMOH, RHBs, ZHDs, EPI partners, local/INGO, and other relevant sector offices. A blended approach of supportive supervision, close monitoring, use of standard tools, and provision of positive learning environments at all levels is institutionalized and sustained in some of the zones. Thus, the MoH and regional state health bureaus requested UNICEF for such additional support.

    II. Justification

With the principle of no child left behind, improving immunization coverage, and ensuring equitable access to, and utilization by underserved children is the key priority for UNICEF. Over the years, though, overall vaccination coverage has improved; however, there are children who left behind in war-torn geographically isolated, and hard to reach areas, urban slums and have poorest and uneducated parents. These children are not able to fully utilize the immunization services due to various security, social, economic, and/ or geographic barriers.

The five agrarian regions of Amhara, BG, Oromia, Sidama SNNPR that consists 80% of the population contribute to 81.2% of the unvaccinated children  in the country- Oromia (42%), SNNP& Sidam (17%) Amhara (13.7%) and BG (0.5%). The FMOH, in consultation with RHBs and EPI partners has identified priority zones and requested UNICEF to recruit Technical Assistants for defined period to build capacity and transfer knowledge and skill to strengthen immunization system and improve coverage. Deployment of TAs at sub-national level will improve the immunization coverage and equitable use of vaccination services among underserved communities and enhance COVID-19 vaccination rollout. It will maintain UNICEF's reputation of delivering results for children and protecting the community from COVID-19 through intensified vaccination.

III.Objective

To improve immunization equity and coverage to reach the zero-dose children, enhance COVID-19 vaccination rollout, strengthen system through quality technical assistance, continuous capacity building, and supportive supervision, monitoring of implementation, and enhancing accountability.

Specific objective

•To  provide technical  assistance on  identification  of low  performing  spots and  missed community with zero-dose children, assessing health system constraints, and causalities.

•To build the capacity of immunization mangers and service providers on equity analysis, bottleneck assessment, planning, implementation, and monitoring.

•To provide support in devising strategies to reach zero dose children by implementing problem-specific solutions to overcome the barriers

•To provide technical assistance on COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the overall coordination of the monitoring and evaluation process

•To generate evidence, enhance advocacy and accountability, and document good practices.

IV. Scope of Work

Regional Technical Assistants will provide technical support to RHB, zones and woredas to improve immunization coverage through addressing the equity issues and strengthening immunization systems for both routine program and COVID-19 vaccination.

Key Tasks

•Provide quality technical assistance on spatial planning, identification of underserved communities (geographic, demographic, security, economic and social barriers}

•Support on identifying health system bottlenecks in immunization coverage, inequity, and causalities and identification of priority solutions to address the bottlenecks and causes for high number of Zero dose children

•Provide support to Primary health care units to develop quality and costed micro-plan including session, vaccine, demand generation and budget plan

•Conduct and ensure monitoring of activities, immunization session, vaccine, temperature, immunization coverage status among high risk community, and cause for unimmunized children

•Provide focused support to MCV2 in respective region and its zones to improve coverage with the scope of second year life vaccination

•Provide technical assistance on COVID-19 vaccination rollout and the overall coordination of the monitoring and evaluation process

•Strengthen implementation of effective vaccine management across the health system.

•Support documentation and dissemination of good practice

Detailed Activities

Regional Technical Assistants will be responsible for providing technical support to respective RHB, ZHD and woredas to implement and monitor routine immunization coverage improvement plan and enhance COVID-19 vaccination rollout. They will undertake the following specific responsibilities.

1. Coordinate Evidence-based Equity Assessments:

•Organize cascaded equity analysis workshop, mapping at woreda, health facility and community level to describe social characteristics/barriers and identify underserved and zero dose children (who, where and, why}.

•Support assessment of key health system bottlenecks related to supply, demand, EPI programme management, quality of services and causes (what are and why resists}

•Regularly consult and work with respective RHB/UNICEF FO Health Team, WHO EPI and surveillance officers and other partners to reach in consensus on necessary actions to be taken by all partners and monitor the implementation.

•Coordinate regional EPI Technical Taskforce, strengthen partnership and resource mobilization towards the implementation of Immunization Improvement Roadmap.

2. Facilitate high quality micro-planning

•Work closely with health care delivery system in the region, zone, woreda and health facilities to  improve capacity for equity focused EPI planning and preparation of bottom-up community-based micro-plans and resource allocation.

•Provide technical and operational assistance to ensure that kebele level equity- focused EPI micro-plans are prepared (using a community participatory approach at the local level), regularly updated, and implemented.

•Ensure that issues identified in high-risk communities are well addressed in the micro plan to ensure no children in those areas are left behind.

3.Ensure  timely and  adequate  vaccine supply, proper  cold  chain, and  temperature monitoring

•Facilitate timely distribution of vaccines (including COVID-19) and supplies to service delivery points

•Identify gaps in the system for CCE handling, maintenance, and operations; facilitate timely resolution.

•Facilitate, where necessary , skills improvement in managing inventory, reporting on monthly consumption and requesting replenishment of vaccines and bundled devices; while improving local systems for vaccine delivery to all levels, including outreach with overall goal of maintaining good logistics management practice on supplies availability (minimum to maximum level) in each month

•Facilitate regular EVM self-assessments, development of improvement plan and support its implementations

•Build capacity of cold chain focal persons at every level to monitor and analyze records from temperature monitoring devices and take actions based on findings.

4. Be the champion for routine immunization advocacy and social mobilization

•Prepare periodic advocacy factsheet based on local evidences for local government and stakeholders to enhance program support, resource mobilization, and system strengthening.

•Support respective RHB in conducting advocacy and social mobilization activities to ensure involvement of Government and strategic partners (NGOs, Medias, Education sector, etc.)

•Support the implementation/revitalization and capacity strengthening of regional/zonal social and behavioral change communication (SBCC) Technical Taskforce.

•Ensure the communication strategy development is participatory (including health officials, opinion leaders, local community platforms and communication structures), uses available social data; is context-specific, and addresses issues related with social distance and other barriers using socio-ecological, health believe model and human design approach .

5. Support COVID-19 vaccination   rollout in planning, coordination,   monitoring  and evaluation of the implementation

 •Actively participate in the regional and zonal Technical Working Group (NTWGs) for COVID-19 vaccine

•Provide technical assistance at all levels to estimate potential numbers of target population that will be prioritized  for access to vaccines stratified by target group and geographic location.

•Support training plan development for key groups of participants (vaccinators, supervisors and other who participate) and support training COVID-19 vaccination rollout

•Identify potential COVID-19 vaccine delivery strategies leveraging both existing vaccination platforms and non-vaccination delivery approaches to best reach community

•Collaborate with regional and zonal level regulatory offices on AEFI monitoring and reporting

•Participate in COVAX post-introduction evaluation exercise

6. Monitor EPI and COVID-19 vaccination performance and improve quality of data

•Provide technical support for RHB to have good documentation {list of missed communities with details and means of access, equity focused micro plans, estimated number of target population, service delivery strategy, cold chain and vaccine supply monitoring plans), updated vaccine  ledger book, and EPI recording and reporting formats

•Support in revision of existing integrated supportive supervision checklist to address equity related issues. Document findings and lessons learned from monitoring.

•Monitor and report results on change {removal of bottlenecks and change in vaccination status in high risk groups) attributed with equity-focused immunization program support using agreed reporting template.

•Provide technical assistance to RHB and ZHDs on EPI data collection, analysis and management to help data utilization for evidence-informed decision-making and planning for improvement in vaccine and cold chain management and coverage improvement.

•Identify, with ZHD, poor performing woredas for focused monitoring and to plan regular supportive supervision visits.

•Actively support periodic regional performance review meetings.

7. Surveillance and early life-saving response to vaccine preventable disease outbreaks

•With RHB surveillance team monitor monthly disease reports, AEFls and rumors, contribute to outbreak investigations, and facilitate timely and appropriate response.

•Triangulate and use surveillance data for analysis and planning.

8. Capacity Building

  • Support RHB in strengthening the capacity through on-job training, workshops, onsite demonstrations, and providing   support materials on routine immunization
  • Supplementary immunization activities, COVID-19 vaccination rollout and new vaccine introduction. Regularly conduct equity-focused routine immunization activities in each priority woredas, PHCU, HPs including hard to reach settings

V. Expected Deliverables

1. Documented, sustained improvement in results of problem-solving of system bottlenecks that contribute to improve immunization coverage and equity.

a. Supervisory and monitoring system for EPI and COVID-19 vaccination are in place and well-functioning.

b. Community-owned immunization work plans, and session plans are available, implemented, and monitored at woreda     and PHCU levels.

c. Cold chain system is functioning, and vaccines (EPI and COVID-19) are regularly available and being used at all level.

d. Health worker/HEW are trained in EPI service delivery and recording/reporting.

2. Functional RHB, zonal and woreda EPI and SBCC Task Force/social mobilization committee

3. Periodic (Monthly, quarterly, biannual, and annual) progress/performance and status report using agreed template are prepared and shared

4. At least one good/best practice, including inputs for human interest story, is documented quarterly

5. Functional cold chain system with "No alarm record and No VVM above stage 2 and expiry date"

VI. Reporting

• Regional Technical Assistant will work under the direct supervision of the UNICEF FO Health Team and overall guidance of Immunization team at UNICEF country office. They will work closely with respective RHB, and provide direct support and progress report to the EPI focal person of RHB

• The  TAs will prepare  and  compile a  monthly travel  plan and get approved  from the supervisor (UNICEF FO Health Team)

• Using an agreed format, the TAs will submit a monthly progress and travel report to respective RHB/ UNICEF FO Health Team and UNICEF country office immunization Team.

VII. Expected background and Experience

a) Education: Master's degree in public health with Public Health Experience

b) Work Experience: professional work experience of at least 10 years in planning, management, monitoring, and evaluation of immunization program. Experience of working on EPI at national and sub-national level.

c) Languages: Fluency in English is required and knowledge of main local language of the respective region is mandatory

d) Other Skills and attributes:

•Interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, work adaptability in multi-cultural environment, proven ability to facilitate cooperation in a multidisciplinary team.

•Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision, seriousness about quality and timeliness of the work.

•Ability to conceptualize, develop plans and manage programs as well as to transfer knowledge and skills to the health workers at sub-national level.

•Good data and analytical, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.

•Knowledge of Microsoft office and analytical tools/application

•Experience in Social and behavioral change communication for Immunization is an asset Note:

•TAs will be recruited through a UNICEF-appointed third-party HR Management firm.

•TAs will .be embedded in respective RHB, and is expected to support RHB

•TAs will be consulting and planning with the RHB and UNICEF FO Health Team for any logistic arrangements. They will be paid DSA as per government rate for overnight stay outside the duty station of posting; and entitled for monthly air time of 500 ETB

•TAs should use personal materials/equipment, i.e. mobile phone, computer etc.

•The payment of monthly remuneration is subjected to the completion and submission of monthly progress report for certification.

Policy both parties should be aware of:

  • HR firm will manage all the administrative issues and aspects based on HR' policies and procedures.
  • All remuneration must be within the contract agreement through the HR firm
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both HR firm and TA.
  • Travel will be facilitated and managed by the HR firm in agreement with UNICEF.
  • Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.

Qualified and interested applicants who fulfil the above requirements can apply by click on apply button: