Thailand: Consultant – Research and Analysis on HIV Program

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Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Thailand
Closing date: 23 Sep 2015

The HIV/AIDS section, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office is seeking an individual consultant to provide support on research and analysis of three key areas of the UNICEF HIV program for East Asia-Pacific including the Adolescent All-In Platform, Big Data and Smart Investments in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Health System Strengthening (HSS) and Health Immunodeficiency Virus/ Universal Health Care (HIV/UHC).

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“All In to end adolescent AIDS”

All In is a global adolescent –inspired platform launched by UNICEF and UNAIDS for collaboration to amplify and accelerate the work being done by governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector to fast track results with and for adolescents. The platform is aligned to the “90/90/90” and the “Fast-Track” for adolescents, with the following targets:

– 75% reduction of new HIV infections among adolescents by 2020

– 65% reduction of AIDS related mortality among adolescents by 2020

– End the AIDS epidemic among adolescents by 2030

“ALL IN is organized around 4 work areas of action to drive results: 1) mobilize and support adolescents themselves as agents of social change; 2) improve data collection, analysis and utilization to sharpen adolescent focus of national programmes; 3) foster innovation in reaching adolescents to reduce new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths; and 4) advocate and communicate globally and within countries for increased resources and attention to adolescents as a population that has been left behind in the progress on HIV/AIDS.

An Adolescent Assessment and Decision Makers’ (AADM) guidance document and tool was developed to support the All In adolescent platform primarily to improve data collection, analysis and utilization to sharpen adolescent focus of national programmes. The country assessment process is comprised of three overlapping phases as described in the Figure below. Countries will differ in their current progress along these phases:

Phase 1: Rapid assessment of adolescent programme context at the national and sub-national levels to define who is most affected, where they are located and what interventions have the largest coverage gap and are most critical to accelerate HIV results in adolescents.

Phase 2: In-depth analysis of bottlenecks affecting coverage of priority HIV interventions in priority geographic locations identified in Phase 1.

Phase 3: Evidence-informed planning to accelerate corrective actions to address bottlenecks, data gaps and improve intervention coverage, quality and impact.

In support of All In, the consultancy will center around Phase 1 and 2 of the Adolescent Assessment and Decision Makers’ (AADM) guidance document and tool requiring advanced research, data analysis and facilitation skills for four priority countries in:

  • Data collation, review and validation of selected indicators (Annex 4 in the guidance) across multiple data sources;
  • Assessing national programme enabling environment with partners and adolescents by convening a stake holders meeting;
  • Synthesizing data into a dashboard report using the AADM tool;
  • Identifying adolescent sub-populations, interventions, and geographic focus areas for programme acceleration; and
  • In-depth analysis of bottlenecks affecting coverage of priority HIV interventions in priority geographic locations.

Big Data – the potential to fill data gaps and/or augment existing rich data sources

Big data is on the horizon for almost every government, corporation and development partner in Asia-Pacific. There are many new sources of data that can inform policy-makers including satellite, mobile phone, social media, internet text, internet search queries, and financial transactions. However, in UNICEF we are still working to better understand how to leverage big data to support the EAPRO HIV development agenda, especially at sub-national level (provincial, district and community).

The assignment will explore new data sets that are becoming available (i.e. relevant social media platform (i.e. WeChat, Facebook, Line, Twitter, etc.) to determine if these data could be used to address data gaps and/or inform better programmatic actions for HIV. In addition, the consultant will look to leverage the wealth of consistent, credible data on the status of the world’s 2.2 billion children in combination with new data sets for greater insights and action towards programmatic interventions.

Smart Investments in ICT for HSS and HIV/UHC through More Effective Planning – a Business Case and Costing Model

There is tremendous potential for using ICT to strengthen HIV and health systems, making them more efficient and more effective. However, the current capacity to plan, cost and implement well designed, scalable and sustainable ICT systems remains weak, resulting in substantial risks. Most notably ICT investments are typically wasted due to limited planning beyond the pilot stage. It is estimated that close to 70% of all ICT pilot projects fail to reach scale or contribute to any measurable health outcomes. ICT planning typically goes as far as a donor funding proposal that doesn’t include a sound business case or total cost of ownership. This area of the consultancy will focus on the development of business case model that could support better decision making towards sustainable investments in Electronic Health (eHealth) and Mobile Health Technology (mHealth) to promote UHC and address gaps/gaps and bottlenecks along the continuum of care.

Work Assignment:

1.Develop detailed work plan incorporating all major elements of the consultancy
2.Review existing and on-going assessments on HIV and adolescents to document what is already known, the gaps and to ensure complementarity
3.Collate national studies and reports related to adolescent demography, HIV epidemiology and other adolescent issues
4.Facilitate a meeting of representatives from adolescent and youth networks to map adolescents’ engagement in decision-making and HIV programming/programmes. This will include the administration and collation of findings from the adolescent networks’ assessment of the programme enabling environment.

5.Conduct a desk review of available data on:

  • HIV epidemic among adolescents (including adolescent key affected population groups), risks, and vulnerabilities, including analysis by age (10-14 years; and 15-19 years), gender and geography
  • Availability, access and utilization of HIV and other adolescent-focused interventions disaggregated as far as possible by age, gender and geographic location; and for adolescent key population groups
  • Review existing national or provincial strategic plans, policies and/or guidelines on HIV and adolescents
  • Review of the programme enabling environment related to policy, the coordination system and stigma
  • Facilitate the technical validation of the data set for Phase 1 and 2 in the Adolescent Assessment and Decision-Makers’ Tool (AADM) with the technical working group members
  • Develop a plan for an in-depth analysis of low-performing interventions in selected geographic settings
  • Prepare a report of the rapid assessment

6.Map the strategic programme opportunities to present the findings from the assessment at the national and sub-national levels on HIV and adolescents. The mapping should include relevant sectorial plans, programme and resource mobilization opportunities from

7.Assess how big data could be used to support and augment the AADM process
8.Desk review and research of existing costing models for HSS and UHC and eHealth and mHealth

9.Explore how the cost models had been adapted to link to HSS, UHC and a business case for investments in ICT, including Total cost of ownership (TOC) for HSS

10.Identify the elements of a “re-useable” business case model that would support smart investment in eHealth and ICT for HSS and to strengthen linkages along the continuum of care.

End Product(s):

1) Detailed work plan, updated as necessary with Terms of Reference for travel to “countries that may include China, Indonesia, and Philippines.

2) Validated data set for rapid assessment in AADM

3) Populated AADM tool (adapted to country needs) and validated dashboard

4) Summary report (no more than 5 pages) of existing adolescent data sources and gaps (following UNICEF EAPRO template)

5) Analytical report of a) rapid assessment including log frame of HIV and adolescent national program and b) key barriers and bottlenecks limiting effective coverage of priority HIV programme interventions for adolescents related to supply, demand, quality and structural factors.

6) Consultancy debrief report (3-5 pages) describing the country assessment process, including steps taken, key stakeholders involved, lessons learned, etc.

7) Adolescent consumer behavior report, including a section that analyzes behaviors surrounding online dating and sexual networking

8) A completed and compelling business case for supporting this initiative.

9) A specific plan for operationalizing incentives to drive health outcomes with specific recommendations, a list of target companies, and suggested modalities for incentive schemes that include a description of the mechanisms/approach that will be used to monitor results

10) Develop report based on desk review and research of existing costing models for HSS and UHC and eHealth and mHealth

11) Exploring how the cost models had been adapted to link to HSS, UHC and a business case for investments in ICT, including Total cost of ownership (TOC) for HSS

12) Develop a “re-useable” business case and costing model to support smart investments in eHealth and ICT for HSS and HIV

13) Monthly Status reports

Estimated Duration of Contract:11 months staring from 15 October 2015 – 14 September 2016.

Official Travel:The consultant will travel to UNICEF country offices, development partners and government counterparts in China, Indonesia, and Philippines in agreement with supervisor in advance of missions to specific countries.

Qualifications or Specialized Knowledge/Experience Required:

  • Advanced degree in public health, epidemiology, demography, social science, health, economics or health financing or related field
  • Strong understanding of the following standardized surveys that collect adolescent data (MICS, DHS, etc.), second generation surveillance surveys in key populations (IBBS, BBS, etc.); ability to liaise with government programs, researchers in field of HIV and adolescent health, civil society, youth and adolescent networks, international partners
  • Strong communication skills with fluency in English
  • Excellent organization and collaboration skills
  • Strong ability to take initiative, and work independently

How to apply:

Interested candidates are requested to submit CV or P11, full contact information of minimum 2 references, availability, and proposed monthly professional fee in USD by 23 September 2015 to hrbangkok@unicef.org

Only short listed candidates will be notified.

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