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Remote Technical Assistance Consultant

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Consultancy: Technical Support to WHO AFRO for Designing a Rapid Response Fund for Public Health Emergencies

Organizational Context

Resolve to Save Lives is a global public health not-for-profit organization with a mission to prevent 100 million deaths from heart disease and to make the world safer from epidemics. Since 2017, the Resolve to Save Lives Prevent Epidemics team has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, academic and other partners to strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. Working across multi-disciplinary teams and multiple government departments, Resolve to Save Lives supports small teams of health professionals to effectively manage and implement National Action Plans for Health Security to improve capacity indicators across 19 different technical areas and to improve capacity in Emergency Operations Centers. For more information about us and our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: www.resolvetosavelives.org www.preventepidemics.org?

The World Health Organization is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system. WHO has 194 Member States and more than 7,000 people working in 150 country offices, 6 regional offices and headquarters in Geneva. The Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW 13) defines WHO's strategy for the five-year period, 2019-2023. It focuses on triple billion targets to achieve measurable impacts on people's health at the country level. The triple billion targets are to ensure by 2023:

  • One billion more people are benefiting from universal health coverage
  • One billion more people are better protected from health emergencies
  • One billion more people are enjoying better health and well-being

Established in 2016, WHO's Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) Cluster seeks to strengthen the capacity of Member States to prepare for, detect and respond to health emergencies. Globally, EPR actively detects, investigates, monitors, and responds to roughly 350 events annually that may pose a risk to international public health. The African region has the highest burden of health emergencies, ranging from outbreaks of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and Ebola to humanitarian crises. Although many health emergencies in the African region are preventable or controllable with proven public health interventions, they continue to cost lives, overwhelm health systems, and fuel socio-economic disruption.

WHO AFRO EPR works closely with governments and partners to address the Africa region's wide range of emergency demands ?" with a dual focus on meeting the immediate health needs of crisis-affected populations and addressing the underlying causes of their vulnerability. This role has traditionally been accomplished by providing guidance and technical assistance to African governments to withstand adversity, strengthen systems, and enhance health security. May 2016 witnessed a paradigm shift in responsibilities when at the World Health Assembly, member states approved the WHO role for operational capabilities for outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies that complements and goes beyond the traditional technical and normative roles of WHO. Through the combination of normative, technical and operational roles, WHO AFRO EPR provides people access to life-saving healthcare in emergency settings. This work is carried out across three levels:

  • The regional level, with an office in Brazzaville
  • The Hub level, with offices in Dakar and Nairobi as well as a third office being considered in Southern Africa
  • The country level, via WHO Country Offices in all 47 Member States

Project Context

In August 2022 at the 72nd WHO Regional Committee for Africa, African health ministers endorsed a new Regional Strategy for Health Security and Emergencies 2022?"2030. By adopting the strategy, Member States agreed to reach 12 targets by 2030, which will strengthen their capacity to address health emergencies. To assist countries in operationalizing the strategy, WHO AFRO EPR is rolling out a flagship initiative, which was also endorsed by all 47 African Ministers of Health at the Regional Committee meeting. The flagship is the result of extensive consultations with African governments, technical actors and partners such as Africa CDC, whose contributions have shaped priority activities. It focuses on:

  • Promoting the Resilience of Systems for Emergencies (PROSE): PROSE will build the capacities of countries to anticipate risks, plan for contingencies, and prepare to mobilize resources to stabilize emergency situations rapidly and effectively.
  • Transforming African Surveillance Systems (TASS): TASS will strengthen national public health surveillance systems at the national, district, community, and health facility levels, to enable quicker detection of public health threats through the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) Framework.
  • Strengthening and Utilizing Response Groups for Emergencies (SURGE): SURGE will develop a workforce of 3,000 African elite emergency experts who are highly trained and equipped to respond to health hazards within 24-48 hours. SURGE is integrating with Africa CDC's African Health Volunteers Corps (AVoHC) to ensure a well-coordinated continental workforce. SURGE is currently operational in five early implementing countries: Botswana, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Four of the five countries ?" Botswana, Mauritania, Niger and Togo ?" have recruited their teams, totaling 232 experts recruited.

As part of this initiative and to help provide quick cash to investigate potential infectious disease outbreaks and support the early response to emergencies, WHO AFRO in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives is exploring the creation of a new rapid response fund.

More information: Announcement of the adoption of the Regional Strategy & Flagship; Regional Strategy for Health Security and Emergencies 2022-2030; Flagship Brochures outlining the project vision; Flagship Detailed Proposals outlining specific activities and the monitoring framework.

Consultancy Summary and Terms of Reference

Under the supervision of the Vice President of Prevent Epidemics at Resolve to Save Lives, the Consultant is responsible for working with WHO AFRO and Resolve to Save Lives to research and conceptualize a rapid response funding to accelerate outbreak investigation and response within the AFRO region. This will include:

1. Hold initial consultations with WHO AFRO and Resolve to Save Lives

2. Produce short white paper outlining the functionality, structure and governance of similar funds including various mechanisms for funds transfer, distribution and accountability, including but not limited to electronic cash transfer, third party fiduciary agents and internal grant making processes.

3. Investigate key questions to inform strategic design of the fund, through independent research and proposing/leading additional stakeholder consultations including at country level. Areas of inquiry include:

  • Defining triggers for release and scope of activities supported by funding
  • Defining clear roles, responsibilities, and SOPs for stakeholders involved, including who can access, approve, and utilize funding
  • Defining processes for accessing the funds
  • Developing strong accountability and reporting mechanisms including minimum standards for data and reporting for fund management and outbreak response activities
  • Ensuring fund design is complimentary to other related funds (e.g., Contingency Fund for Emergencies, African Public Health Emergency Fund [APHEF])
  • Ensuring fund design incorporates best practices/learnings in cash transfers
  • Defining parameters and processes for replenishment of fund

4. Present findings to WHO AFRO and Resolve to Save Lives to support decision-making.

5. Produce detailed proposal for the fund. This should include:

  • An articulation of the vision for the fund
  • Practical case studies elaborating how it could be rolled out in 2-3 specific countries utilizing proposed funding model(s)
  • Accountability framework
  • Criteria/recommendations for country selection
  • Replenishment recommendations

It is envisioned that a majority of the activities will be completed within the first 3 months of the consultancy, with additional time built in for additional follow-up to recommendations as appropriate.

Required Qualifications, Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum of 10 years of working experience combined at the national and international levels in emergency coordination and outbreak response, incident management, emergency financing mechanisms, cash transfer programs, or related areas.
  • Advanced university level degree (Master's level or above) in public health, epidemiology, health systems, health policy or similar field.
  • Field experience in Africa, including field-level implementation activities.
  • Experience with UN agencies, US or Africa CDC, Ministries of Health or a health cluster member organization. Experience with WHO preferred.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with cash and voucher assistance programming and the establishment, management and monitoring of rapid response and revolving fund mechanisms
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work together as a team with a variety of stakeholders and meet deadlines.
  • Proficiency in the Microsoft office suite of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, SharePoint) and remote working technologies.
  • Languages: excellent knowledge of English; intermediate or higher knowledge of French preferred

Host Institution:

Resolve to Save Lives

Duration:

6 months

Starting Date:

Immediate

Location:

Home-Based

Summary
Company name: Resolve to Save Lives
Remote job title: Technical Assistance Consultant

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