International Consultancy (Hand Hygiene for All – Regional Coordinator)
Background and Justification
Covid19 has highlighted the importance of hand hygiene in preventing disease transmission, something that most people never gave much thought to. Even though handwashing with soap and water has proven to be the single most cost-effective intervention to prevent top causes of under-5 mortality including acute respiratory diseases, over 386 million people – 80% of the population living in Eastern and Southern Africa region – do not have readily available access to handwashing facilities at home. The risk of stunting increases substantially with each diarrheal episode and days of illness before 2 years old. Better understanding of disorder of chronic intestinal inflammation caused by constant faecal-oral contamination, suggests that stunting is less of a nutrition issue, and more of a development issue. Even in some high-income settings where handwashing facilities may be widely accessible, compliance with recommended handwashing behaviour is very low.
Climate change also intensifies the risks that climate variability poses for sanitation and hygiene, and creates new risks, heightens uncertainties, and can increase inequality in hygiene and sanitation access. The increased risks, uncertainties, and potential inequalities has numerous implications for sanitation policy and programming responses.
Taking full advantage of the opportunity presented to rebuild better conditions for hand hygiene in the context of COVID-19, UNICEF and WHO have initiated consultations on Hand Hygiene for All Initiative. This initiative is calling on several platforms such as the WASH Cluster, Sanitation and Water for All, the World Economic Forum to prioritize hand hygiene but more importantly, take a whole of society and systems approach to hand hygiene. The initiative also aims to support countries and development partners to develop a coordinated response to the coronavirus outbreak, to ensure that hand hygiene is adequately included in coronavirus responses.
The Hand Hygiene for All initiative was launch at the end of June 2020 for which a number of advocacy materials have been prepared. Going forward, the Regional Coordinator will focus on the development of plans, develop and implement tools and workstreams and materials to translate the HH4A initiative into action at global, regional and country level.
The assignment requires a highly specialized skill set with specific knowledge of multiple organizations needed and across multiple regions.
The support provided by level 4 Regional Coordinator for Hand Hygiene will strengthen UNICEF’s leadership roles in ensuring universal hand hygiene in Eastern and Southern Africa in line with the Hand Hygiene for All Initiative (HH4A). The strategic support to the global secretariat through the Regional Coordinator while maintaining a functional coordination and advocacy mechanism at regional level will strengthen the regional office’s capacity to provide technical support to country offices for the Hand Hygiene Initiative. When done effectively, this will improve child survival; growth and development, prevent infection and reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other hygiene related diseases after the pandemic and to safely care for those who are infected.
Scope of Work
1. Goal and Objective:
Universal hand hygiene is essential to prevent infection and reduce transmission of COVID-19, and to safely care for those who are infected. When considering how to achieve universal hand hygiene, it makes sense to consider all settings public and private, rural and urban approaches which includes, households, refugee and IDP camps, institutions (schools and health care facilities), workplaces, markets and food establishment, and transport hubs.
2. Overall Objective:
Mirroring the coordination mechanism at global level, the assignment will help establish regional coordination mechanisms tasked to coordinate between core partners at regional level; engage regional stakeholders and stakeholder platforms; support countries to develop roadmaps, monitoring and knowledge exchange; and capture innovations and distill lessons learnt at regional level.
3. Specific Objective:
This consultancy will help to set up and maintain a functional coordination and advocacy mechanism at regional level as well as strengthen the regional office’s capacity to provide technical support to country offices for the Hand Hygiene Initiative.
4. Reference to AWP Areas Covered:
This assignment is aligned with the overall objective of the ESARO WASH (2018-2021) programme structure that aims to improve access to basic service levels for drinking water and sanitation, to reduce open defecation and to inculcate good hygiene especially for the most vulnerable populations in context specific settings such as household, community and facility levels. It will support the development of synergistic models & partnerships for sustainable hygiene behavior change in the areas of handwashing, safe water handling and safe disposal of child excreta (health/nutrition)
It seeks to contribute to regional priorities 1,2 &3 and identified by Output 240R.A0/801/004.
Change strategies to achieve results: strengthening enabling environments; evidence and data generation; strategic partnerships and alliances; policy advocacy; capacity development; building sustainable markets; regional platforms for inter-country actions.
5. Activities and Tasks
The primary areas of work are the following:
a) Working across different sectors is as important as working across different levels of government, including subnational governments where most actions towards scaling up hand hygiene happen. This will require i) setting up a coordination platform for core partners and maintaining a database of regional membership ii) preparation of detailed work schedule for the HH4A initiative in the region and provide regular updates to the core group iii) Coordinate regular regional convenings of core partners iv) develop and maintain a calendar of regional events considering a variety of sectors relevant to the HH4A Initiative
b) Leadership is needed to embed a culture of hand hygiene across all parts and levels of government and society including the academia, private sector. This would involve i) preparation of one high-level advocacy product to strengthen advocacy activities at regional and/or country level ii) support preparations for Global Handwashing Day and/or other key advocacy events including conferences and webinars and brief documentation of one the events iii) support the identification of strategic moments of engagement and advocacy with regional stakeholder and stakeholder platforms iv) contribute to the design and execution of events (webinars, conferences, etc.) v)er meetings with regional multi-stakeholder platforms (e.g. AMCOW/AfricaSan, SADC, ESAR WASH Partners Forum, ESAR WASH Network meeting)
c) Incorporating examples of excellence that may exist across different countries in the region can encourage transfer of knowledge and prevent duplication of effort. This will involve i) facilitating and moderating discussions on multi-lateral platforms for knowledge exchange (Knowledge point, Yammer and/or similar) and motivate active participation by country and regional stakeholders ii) Identification of outstanding examples of comprehensive hand hygiene programming in the region and document lessons learnt from their programming in two case studies representing different settings and rural / urban approaches iii) Coordinate and collate regional inputs to quarterly global newsletter
d) To base behavior change on evidence, there will be a need to disseminate technical guidance on evidence-based behaviour change approaches to increasing use of hand hygiene facilities and adoption of best practices. This would involve, i) provision of countries with timely, constructive feedback on technical documents, including country roadmaps for hand hygiene; case studies; policies, strategies and plans; Baby WASH guidelines ii) supporting countries to up knowledge exchange mechanisms and run monitoring systems or integrate hand hygiene into existing monitoring systems iii) providing inputs to the ToRs, reviewing the feasibility studies and disseminating appropriate approaches under the Climate Resilience Fund through the Regional Open-WASH Programme iv) support the translation and regional dissemination of key technical resources
Under the direct supervision of the WASH Specialist (Hygiene and Sanitation) and overall guidance of the WASH Regional Adviser and in direct coordination with the Hand Hygiene for All Initiative Global Secretariat as well as Regional Coordinators in other regions, the consultant will provide regional planning and coordination support as well as technical support to Country Offices related to the Hand Hygiene for All initiative. The consultant will also be expected to liaise with: i) other ESARO sections relevant for Hand Hygiene including health, nutrition, C4D, and education.
6. Desired competences, technical background, and experience
• An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: public health, social sciences, social and behavioral science, behavior change communication or another relevant technical field.
• At least 8 years of professional experience in WASH or Public Health including knowledge management and coordination
• Excellent communication skills (written and oral) in English are required. [insert other relevant language skills for the region
• Ability to work independently.
• Excellent analytical, communication, writing skills in English language
• Experience working with UNICEF or WHO on water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in the region. Experience with related organizations, such as the World Bank, or Sanitation and Water for All is an advantage.
• Experience in and knowledge of WASH in institutions including healthcare facilities and schools; nutrition and Baby WASH would be an added advantage.
• Knowledge and experience infection, prevention and control (IPC) and C4D
• Knowledge of Microsoft 365 is required, specifically Word, PowerPoint, Yammer, SharePoint, Zoom and Teams.
• Excellent interpersonal and partnership management skills. Demonstrated experience working in a multicultural environment and demonstrates the core values of UNICEF.
• Working language will be English, French and or Portuguese will be added advantage
7. Administrative issues
The ESARO WASH section will provide access to information and country level contacts and will be accessible via email throughout the contract period. Progress meetings will take place virtually at least once every month. Contractor will be expected to provide his/her laptop, appropriate office equipment, including IT services.
As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts. As and when required, all travel will be by most economical fare and reimbursement as per UNICEF policy
• This consultancy is a part of a multi-national and multiple regional project with many more interlinking components. A delay in completion of one component may cause a delay in the overall completion date.
• Lack of understanding and familiarization with the multi-national contexts and inability to respond to country office requests for technical assistance in a timely manner and potential delays in the finalization of key documents
• varying perceptions of rebuilding better conditions for hand hygiene in the context of COVID-19. Resentment towards some of the approaches and divergence in opinions will be expected.
Possible mitigation actions
To address these concerns, a regional multi-stakeholder stakeholder platform and platform of core partners will be constituted to monitor the progress of the consultancy against the agreed deliverables and timeline. Any deviations and or delays will be flagged at the monthly and quarterly stakeholder / core group meetings for immediate actions.
The UNICEF supervisor will take every measure to facilitate the work of the consultant and in particular her/his relations with the country offices as key stakeholders of this consultancy.
How to Apply
Interested candidates should apply online using the button below. As part of their application, candidates should provide:
- A cover letter that specifies how you meet the desired competencies, technical background and experience (no more than 2 pages)
- A short CV (no more than 4 pages)
- A financial proposal that should include the total fees for the assignment
- Evidence of experience working internationally and nationally
Advertised: 05 Nov 2020 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 18 Nov 2020 E. Africa Standard Time