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Senior Consultant to conduct assessment of the gender-related barriers to immunization in Rwanda (GBA), Kigali Rwanda, 3 months - For Internationals ONLY
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Consultant Consultancy Internationallly Recruited
Job Expired 26 Feb 2024
Expired
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description

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, Development

To learn more about UNICEF work in Rwanda, please visit the country website https://unicef.sharepoint.com/sites/RWA/ or watch this video about UNICEF work in Rwanda: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7B91m5Yzoc 

How can you make a difference? 

Background:

The Immunization Agenda 2030 (IA2030), which aims at halving the number of zero-dose children by 2030, and the Gavi 5.0 strategy for 2021-25, which aims at reducing the number of zero-dose children in Gavi eligible countries by 25% by 2025, both recognize the critical importance of overcoming inequity in delivering vaccination services and most specifically gender-related barriers to immunization for these goals to be achieved. Strategies that effectively lower gender barriers to immunization are likely to be effective also for increasing access and utilization of other maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services as well as primary health care (PHC) services more broadly. Gender transformative interventions will over time help change cultural and societal norms towards greater equality between men and women and increase men’s participation and responsibility for children’s health and welfare. Designing, evaluating, and scaling gender-responsive and gender transformative strategies for immunization is a priority for UNICEF and represents a critical contribution to the success of IA2030.

Gender-related barriers to immunization encompass multiple reasons why mothers and pregnant women from certain socio-economic, age groups and religious groups find it more challenging to access and use immunization services compared to women from other groups in the same society. The root causes are found in gender norms and power dynamics between men and women that circumscribe women’s agency and restrict their access to and control over the resources required to act in their children’s best interest. In countries where differences in vaccination rates between boys and girls still exist, gender-responsive services have a significant role in closing that gap as well; an inequality that will often be obvious in other outcomes that are influenced by sex preferences in the society, including education, care seeking and child mortality.

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Identifying and measuring gender-related barriers and designing and monitoring the effectiveness of gender-responsive strategies is an emerging and challenging area of work for national immunization programs. Further, the intersectionality of gender barriers with other socio-economic, age, and religious determinants of vaccination can make it difficult to recognize gender barriers and to decide on the most effective approaches for mitigating their impact. There is an increasing need to ensure gender equality, inclusion and protection considerations are addressed in management structures, immunization policies, guidelines, practices, and accountability measures.

In view of the above, UNICEF seeks a consultant to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) to assess the immunization supply-side and demand-side barriers and bottlenecks and opportunities associated with gender social norms, discriminatory practices, policies, and systems structural dimensions.

Purpose of the consultancy:

This assessment aims to obtain evidence on existing supply and demand gender-related barriers to immunization, for an in-depth understanding of the socio-economic, age related and religious aspects that influence access and use of immunization services based on gender, as well as document lessons learnt and best practices.

The research findings will guide the design of the National Immunization Strategy, the Rwanda-Gavi Full Portfolio planning and inform/ guide health system strengthening efforts to ensure gender responsive or transformative systems including of service delivery platforms, health Information system, health workforce and working environment.

The main target audiences for the study will be: a) parents/caregivers of children aged 0 to 6 years; b) local leaders, influential persons; c) health professionals, including pediatricians at the national, provincial and district hospitals and community health workers.

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The geographic scope will be all the 4 provinces and the City of Kigali in Rwanda with a focus on areas with substantial number of zero-dose children reported.    

The assessment will employ quantitative and qualitative research methods to answer its research questions. Overall, the methodology employed will be participatory and inclusive ensuring the reach of the caregivers/parents with a focus on vulnerable groups (poorest households, hard-to-reach populations like those living in remote areas) and health professionals.

Specific objectives of the study are to:

Review existing evidence on the immunization supply-side and demand-side barriers and bottlenecks.

 and opportunities associated with gender social norms, discriminatory practices and policies, and systems structural dimensions in Rwanda.

  • Generate evidence (using quantitative and qualitative methods) to inform development of further interventions at system and community levels to improve access, quality and utilization of immunization services and its monitoring and evaluation framework.
  • Document and analyze existing health policies and practices to define gender-related barriers and opportunities for solutions (the supply perspective – opinion of policy makers, and health professionals).
  • Document and analyze gender-related barriers and opportunities for solutions to optimal uptake of vaccination of children considering the socio-economic, age of mothers including teenagers and religious aspects (the demand perspective).

Tasks and milestones

1. Desk review and data collection:

    • Conduct a comprehensive desk/literature review of immunization supply and demand subject to existing gender-related bottlenecks and opportunities associated with gender, social norms, discriminatory practices and policies, and systems structural dimensions.
    • Develop profile of most disadvantaged communities (zero dose, under vaccination, displaced population, migrants/displaced, refugees, teenage mothers, and others).

Determine the detailed study methodology (qualitative and quantitative); sampling frame and method, data gaps to be addressed by the field activities approved by MOH/RBC and UNICEF and 

    • finalized detailed conceptual framework aligned with existing UNICEF guidance on coverage and equality assessment.
    • Develop assessment tools that should be discussed/approved by UNICEF/MOH-RBC. Testing of the tools in the field and their amendment if needed and ensure approval of the study tools in local language with (country team support).
    • Conduct training of data collectors.
    • Provide technical oversight for field data collection and quality assurance for data collection and provide data collection monitoring report.
    • Analyze collected data.

2. Final Gender Barrier to Immunization Analysis report with key milestones and indicators to measure progress and results:

    • Develop and share the preliminary report of findings and recommendations of the Gender Assessment for UNICEF and MOH/RBC to review and comment.
    • Incorporate comments and finalize assessment report.
    • Submit the final assessment report and a policy brief approved by UNICEF, MOH/RBC, and database (qualitative and quantitative).

3. Documentation of gender and immunization and development of plans to reduce gender barriers to immunization in Rwanda:

  •  Develop operational plan to address the identified gender barriers to immunization
  •   integration of gender-based interventions in the NIS (National Immunization Strategy) including in country capacity building
  • Develop tools and draft guidelines to reach zero dose children with gender lens.

Deliverables

Payment 1: 20%

  • Desk review report, methodology and data collection tools and detailed conceptual framework developed.

Payment 2: 50%

  • Data collection report and raw/clean data

Payment 3: 30%

  • Final Gender Barrier Analysis for Immunization report and corresponding slide deck with key milestones and indicators to measure progress and results.
  • Operational plan to address gender barriers.

Duration and Duty Location

This consultancy will be completed within 3 months. The consultancy is home based, but the consultant will have some days working in the office.

Selection Criteria

Applications shall be assessed based on their technical and financial proposals. Maximum scores for technical and financial applications will be 75% and 25%, respectively.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

  • An advanced university degree (master’s or higher) in Medicine, Public Health, Health Policy, and Management, Social or Behavioral Science, and other related fields. Additional qualifying experience of 5 years with bachelor’s degree may be accepted in lieu of the master's degree.
  • Minimum of 8 years relevant professional experience in planning, management and implementation of immunization or health programs.
  • Very good understanding of national immunization programs, Primary health care and health systems.
  • Experience in supporting countries to design and implement coverage and equity assessments, equity analysis, gender analysis, strategies to reach zero dose and under-vaccinated children etc.
  • Have conducted a quality GBA to immunization.
  • Knowledge and experience with reaching every district or community (RED/REC) approach.
  • Immunization programming field experience in contexts such as urban, remote rural, conflict, gender, and related areas an advantage.
  • Proficiency in use of statistical software an advantage.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience synthesizing information from multiple sources.
  • Fluency in English, both spoken and written, is required. Knowledge of French 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 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. 

Remarks:  

Individuals engaged under a consultancy 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. Consultants 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. 

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