Job Opening

Posting Title: Health Data and M&E Framework Specialist
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 29 July 2022 - 04 August 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Commission for Africa-186425-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

In line with the above stated, ECA seeks the services of a Senior Health Data and M&E Specialist to facilitate and support the data mapping and data metrics identification for the establishment and creation of a functional medicines and related products information sharing database across the 10 pilot countries, with a view for integration and scale up to other regional platforms such as African Medicines Suppliers Platform (AMSP) and to other countries in Africa. Some of the main domains and data metrics to be captured in this Pharma Initiative database include:

• Pharmacopeial information of all selected products among the essential medicines list of Sexual Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health products (SRMNCH) – the selection and priority of data sharing will be assessed and agreed with the member states in collaboration with the current National Pharma consultants
• Prices of Medicines (with historical trends if possible) – metrics for prices and benchmarks from other platforms such as UNICEF, Global Fund and AMSP will be explored and data format, specifications and availabilities in each pilot country mapped and assessed
• Vendor performance to include information on procurement modalities and terms under each of the countries and assessment to whether integration to current procurement systems will be required
• Products demand among participating countries – this will require understanding of current national demand aggregation methods used by each country and how to share and standardize this information across the database for good market intelligence
• Registration status of the products
• Information on available local production across the continent with a view to engage private sector etc

The Senior Health Data Specialist is expected to work with current Pharma Initiative Pillar and National consultants as well as with the IT Expert both within ECA and hired to support the immediate objective and deliverable of a first stage informational sharing database by September 2022.

Proprietary ownership of the database fully resides with the ECA during development and upon completion of the product. Data would be held and hosted in the Secretariat’s chosen private Cloud Platform managed by the designated ICT division. Thereafter and during the Implementation Phase 3 of the Pharma Initiative, migration and integration of relevant database functions and data will be discussed and implemented with the AMSP as and when member states approve its integration for select medicines.

Work Location

Addis Ababa

Expected duration

The consultancy would run for a period of three months from August – October 2022.

Duties and Responsibilities

I. Background
The AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative (Pharma Initiative) was initially launched in November 2019 by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), alongside the Government of Seychelles (representing select Small Island Developing States (SIDS)), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD), in collaboration with UN Family entities, WHO, UNFPA, UNDOCO and UNAIDS. The initiative was first commissioned in select 10 pilot African countries which include Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Djibouti, Eritrea, Rwanda Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia anchor at IGAD.
The Pharma Initiative contributes towards the aspirations of the 2030 Global Development Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. In addition, it demonstrates the operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) by ensuring that private and public sector collaborations yield tangible results.
The Pharma Initiative’s specific objectives are:
i) To address socio-economic-related challenges facing African member countries relating to access to equitable, safe, and affordable medicines and the creation of fiscal space to the African countries in the era of rising government debts,
ii) To showcase the operationalization of the AfCFTA and Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) within the Pharma Initiative’s three pronged pillars: localized pharmaceutical production, pharmaceutical pooled procurement, and a harmonized regulatory and quality standards framework,
iii) To increase intra-African trade of manufactured goods including medicines.
As part of the Pharma Initiative Work Program, two studies were successfully conducted and validated namely, Feasibility Study and Situational Analysis, and the Framework for Implementing a Centralized Pooled Procurement Mechanism (CPPM) in 10 Pilot Countries focusing on Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Products (RMNCH). As a follow up to key recommendations, the ECA in collaboration with its partners and stakeholders launched the CPPM and its work program on 29 July 2021. The virtual meeting objectives was to seek the buy-in of all stakeholders and agree on common approaches to deliver on the mechanism.
In order to deliver on CPPM, the Pharma Initiative’s national pharmaceutical and pillar consultants will now be involved on the ground in putting into practice the first stage of information sharing database on the purchases of medicines, vendor performance, annual requirements, and other relevant information regarding status of existing supply chain management in pilot countries. This is key deliverable of a Level 1 information sharing database towards the endorsed CPPM in Phase II.
It is generally accepted that the concepts of harmonization and convergence are important building blocks in the strategy of centralised pooled procurement mechanism. In harmonisation, member countries together become involved in the adjustment of differences and inconsistencies among their different methods, procedures, or systems to make them uniform and mutually compatible. The ultimate goal is convergence where the countries get together to form a new whole. In addition to the above concepts, it is now universally agreed that the different models of pooled procurement start with information sharing through the creation of a platform for participating countries to share basic information on pricing, vendor performance and products demand. This can be effectively achieved through a regional medicines database platform that can be custom-made to achieve the requirements of the member countries.
The platform can also be utilised as a network for work sharing among the member countries whereby successes in procurement and supply chain management achieved by one country can be shared on the platform through discussions among those responsible in the procurement of health products. It is against this background and specifically focused on the establishing the CCPM framework and first level information sharing database by end of September 2022 that this term of reference seeks the services of a Health Data and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist to facilitate the data mapping and wireframe development of the database.

II Duties and responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the ECA Executive Secretary of ECA, Ms. Vera Songwe and Directors of Regional Integration and Trade (RITD) and Gender, Poverty & Social Policy Division (GPSPD), the senior health data specialist will provide overall leadership and technical assistance on development of the information sharing database when it comes to the data mapping and data metrics identification and specification of the Pharma Initiative. In addition, the specialist will work very closely with the ECA IT focal person and Digital Health IT Consultant that will be hired to support the wireframe development of the database and integration to ECA’s Cloud platform. The consultant will have the responsibility to undertake the following:

• Technical Support: Provide ongoing health data technical support to ECA-led Pharma Initiative team of consultants that are part and parcel of the development, integration, implementation and evaluation of the AfCFTA-anchored Pharma initiative. Thus, provide expert data, monitoring and evaluation technical and scientific advice to the professional and technical staff of the Agencies and oversee and support the implementation of the CCPM information sharing database and provide guidance for larger integration and operational for sustainable scale up and integration to regional platforms such as AMSP.
• Serve as a subject matter expert in the area of strategic health and pharma value chain across relevant ECA research and data outputs and as requested by the directors of this project – this can include review of progress reports, policy briefs, communication documents or any other ECA outputs that require subject matter expertise and technical assistance.
• Knowledge Building: facilitate knowledge building, sharing and management of all key findings and data/research or publications that are outputs of this Initiative; Be a lead in maintaining knowledge and communication of current literature and research, policies and experiences regionally and globally in order to recommend appropriate approaches and best practices to the Commission.
• Data Management System: Identify valuable data sources and integrate with ECA data storage and knowledge storage system and strategy; help source data, analyse and present information for data visualization techniques by collaborating with ECA statisticians and product development team and partners
• Stakeholder liaison and engagement: Liaise with all relevant internal and external stakeholders as relevant and pertinent to the implementation of this project; leverage on own network and country affiliations across both public and private sector to ensure successful advocacy and implementation of Initiative
• Advocacy and result dissemination: Throughout the engagement for this project, ensure technical support for the development and dissemination of relevant key findings and analyses leveraging on existing ECA platforms such as webinars or other.
The following tasks and activities are expected of the consultant:
• Review current available country level procurement models and available data systems and procurement across select SRMNCH products
• Work along ECA’s internal server specifications and understand available databases wireframes, technical specifications and agree on a platform – likely a cloud-based platform under which to start developing the database
• Detailed data mapping scope: which will include review data metrics and indicators used for benchmarking regionally (e.g AMSP, other pooled procurement databases, USAID, etc.) and map to select pilot country available data formats and metrics
• Propose economic and social data metrics to collect at country level and enter in database to meet the Initiative’s feasibility M&E metrics and UNECA’s scope for member state’s reporting
• Ensure wireframe and prototype being developed is easily aligned to other databases for integration such as with ECA’s internal database schemes and specifications as well as AMSP and other AU digital databases for ease in future integration and interoperability
• Conduct research, examine best practice on various databases, and make appropriate recommendations to the UNECA Secretariat.
• Consult with various stakeholders including relevant government agencies and other non-governmental national and international institutions working in similar subject areas.
• Report work progress to the designated UNECA official Head on a regular basis and as required

Key Deliverables and Milestones are:
• Mid-August 2022 – First report to propose benchmarking and data metrics available across all member countries and get full endorsement and alignment with partners such as AMSP and ECA IT and Trade divisions
• 1st week of September 2022 – propose a first prototype of database and elements of database and initial country profiling information
• Mid – September 2022: Present the initial database and country profile results to High level stakeholder partners meeting and member states as part of Phase 2 closure of Initiative
• End of September 2022: Draft and submit a full report that will include all proposed specifications of the database include data inputs from countries and roadmap for scalability to other countries and platforms at the end of the consultancy in accordance with the agreed timelines.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: The consultant must have at least a Master of Science in Epidemiology or Health data and M&E related field or Health statistics related discipline.
Experience: The candidate should have at least twelve (12) years of relevant technical experience working with governments and private sector on international health issues and in the policy space. At least 5 years’ experience in an international or emerging market experience/setting is also required to provide the global and relevant technical oversight and input to this scope. Demonstrated ability to develop positive working relationships with government, donor/development partners, private sector actors and host country officials is a must. Strong health data and technical skills with ability to plan, coordinate, and implement work inputs from several sources and partners, and handle simultaneous delivery of multiple outputs is preferred. Strong understanding of characteristics, data issues and drivers of the pharma sector across Africa both from the demand side of the market as well as the supply side and a strong understanding of the enabling environment including data governance and state of play is preferred. Excellent data analytics, written and oral communication skills with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work across agencies and cross-culturally with diverse teams. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision is a must.
Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat and is required for this TOR given the need for extensive regional countries engagement.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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