- Role: Digital Health Deployment Specialist, Global Innovation Centre
- Location: Office of Global Innovation
- Work Type: Consultancy
- Duration of Contract: 11.5 months
- Duty Station(s): Flexible, but must have the flexibility to travel.
If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.
For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection, and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
UNICEF Innovation is currently planning the scale up of several mobile driven tools supporting core UNICEF programmes such as in health, education, and youth engagement. Current development of the open-source technologies supporting UNICEF’s programmes require tools and components designed to accelerate replication by other country offices.
Evidence shows that digital health (eHealth), including strategies that leverage mobile technologies such as Short Message Service (SMS), can improve routine service delivery in terms of timely data collection and quality case management. Many of these eHealth systems show great potential in accelerating progress towards improving health service delivery. For example, in Uganda a nationally scaled RapidSMS based solution called mTrac supported by UNICEF and WHO has allowed the government to track antimalarial medicines, contributing to a reduction in stock-outs from 79% in 2011 to 15.4% by 2014. However, current experience to date has been based primarily on pilot projects with few evaluations. As a result, large-scale implementation or integration of eHealth innovations within national government health programs is still limited. Therefore, there is an absence of adequate evidence about what works and knowledge of how to scale interventions that have demonstrated efficacy; and increasing calls for an evidence-based ‘systems approach’ to integrating these strategies into existing health systems.
One of the biggest challenges facing government and health development partners is the effort and cost required to deploy even the most basic eHealth system. While there are a number of eHealth tools that are hosted in the cloud or run off local computers, emerging government policies and laws often require health data to be hosted at in-country data centres. This necessitates sending expensive foreign consultants, and hiring and training numerous technical staff to manage at great cost. Furthermore, establishing reverse-billed shortcodes – often a requirement for many mobile eHealth applications – can take years of negotiation with Mobile Network Operators in some countries. Most investments in the eHealth space still do not take into account emerging best practices on enterprise level health information system architecture, including those coming from communities such as OpenHIE.
To address this, UNICEF has developed RapidPro. RapidPro is designed for programmatic experts–not technologists–to be able to easily create SMS-based workflows to monitor programmes, track activities, or engage with beneficiaries. The platform includes tools for quick graphing and data analysis, as well as the ability to export data directly to Excel for further analysis. It retains and expands upon the functionalities of RapidSMS, which powers U-Report, mTrac, Mother Reminder, Project Mwana, and the Rwanda’s RapidSMS 1,000 Days, but is easy to set up and manage without technical expertise. In addition, local government cloud hosting arrangements, service, and contracts with Mobile Network Operators will be taken care of by the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. UNICEF programmes in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are planning to either upgrade their current RapidSMS systems or implement new programmes on top of the RapidPro platform. All other UNICEF programmes are being encouraged to adopt RapidPro as the platform of choice for running SMS based mobile programmes.
UNICEF is currently exploring opportunities to support alignment of a number of key eHealth tools – including DHIS2 – through the promotion and adoption of emerging best practices around health systems, enterprise level architecture and Application Protocol Interfaces (API’s). Moreover, axtend the functionality of a core set of eHealth tools that are already serving as the foundation for many national Health Information Systems through RapidPro; increasing the effectiveness of these tools exponentially and creating a platform for expanding specific interventions and programmes.
PURPOSE OF THE APPOINTMENT
This role will focus heavily on providing support to core countries (esp. Congo-Brazzaville, Indonesia, Senegal, and Zambia) in implementing and documenting immunization innovation initiatives, including extended in-country support as required. This will include supporting design and user needs research, gathering technical and functional requirements, developing training materials and documentation, working to ensure scalability and interoperability with national HMIS, and assessing the contribution of the innovation initiatives to achieving immunization program objectives (e.g., increased coverage with equity; reduced “dropouts”). Since the program needs and context are different in the two focus countries, it could be that this immunization innovation initiative results in more than one “product” or platform.
The Digital Health Deployment Specialist will serve as the focal point for UNICEF Innovation’s digital health deployment activities – particularly around the use of RapidPro and related tools in support of interventions across the 1,000 Days – under the supervision of the Senior Innovation Deployment Specialist. The Digital Health Deployment Specialist will work directly between country offices and UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre, while also working closely with the Immunization Specialist – C4D at UNICEF NYHQ.
The general objective of this consultancy is to provide in-depth support to the design and implementation of mHealth innovations (focused on immunization) in Congo-Brazzaville, Indonesia, Senegal, and Zambia and, in turn, overall digital health deployment coordination and “on the ground” support to the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre the deployment of digital health applications in UNICEF’s country offices. The work of the Digital Health Deployment Specialist will contribute directly to the Programme Mainstreaming initiative currently underway between the Office of Innovation, Programme Division, and ICT within UNICEF. In turn, the work will be informed by the UNICEF Digital Health Strategy that is currently under development.
This candidate needs to gather a large amount of information from various sources and synthesize it into concrete plans for how the Global Innovation Centre should develop and enhance existing tools according to demand from UNICEF country office.
Beyond the tasks identified above, the role will also focus on remote and in-country support to the design and deployment of projects in these core countries, as well as the documentation of the digital health models and deployment experience, this role will expand to the broader coordination of RapidPro deployments and related tools in support of interventions across the 1,000 Days with a subsequent emphasis to build strategies around cross-country post-deployment support.
It will require an ability to understand complex, abstract concepts, and ability to think creatively about best fitting technology for each project and build the end product. It will take an understanding of currently available technology and trends to develop effective solutions for the Health sector. It also requires an extensive background and presence in the mHealth/eHealth communities.
- Providing direct support as needed to priority country offices regarding the deployment and documentation of an immunization innovation initiative and contributing to the use of RapidPro and related tools in support of interventions across the 1,000 Days.
- Working with UNICEF Office of Innovation, Regional offices, and country offices to advocate for a global digital health approach based on GreenTree principles and other existing best practices in the field.
- Updating and facilitating the uptake of a new digital health deployment toolkit
- Providing direct support to country offices in developing best practice strategies on using real-time information tools in Health.
- Executing the product deployment of immunization, mother reminders, mTrac, and other relevant digital health modules powered by RapidPro and related tools n support of interventions across the 1,000 Days
- Work with the UNICEF Health team to integrate into the broader strategy, and provide input to fundraising efforts (draft language and develop budgets where there are gaps in financing from a country level)
- Supporting coordination of the development of training materials and documentation for RapidPro and related tools in support of interventions across the 1,000 Days in target countries;
- Participating in relevant standards/interoperability communities, working with existing open-source mHealth platforms (MoTECH, CommCare, DHIS2, OpenMRS, iHRIS, and moree) to ensure that any country implementation meets interoperability requirements.
- Assessing further support needs required by countries to rollout RapidPro digital health services and integration.
- Designing and managing Digital Health Deployment Monitoring tools in collaboration with CSD PD + mHealth initiatives knowledge database.
- Lead on development of UNICEF Digital Health Toolbox website
DELIVERABLES AND DEADLINES
Month 1: Updated strategy and work plan for 2017 to guide digital health initiatives (immunization-focused) in all countries of focus, including monitoring mechanisms established for each initiative to ensure steady progress tracking.
Month 2 & 3: Approved deployment plans for each focus country; country-level activation activities required to set up and deploy products support mHealth initiatives (immunization-focused) in all countries of focus.
Month 4: Global digital health deployment documentation finalized and distributed (including live webinars for UNICEF staff) in both English and French.
Month 5 & 6: A scalable (technical) model for digital health to improve immunization coverage for the most vulnerable (last mile)
Month 7: Policy + strategy recommendations for UNICEF and counterparts for implementing the recommended solution(s) within broader Health Information System frameworks and the Global Digital Health Strategy / Framework
Month 8 & 9: Go-to-scale strategies for mHealth initiatives in countries of focus
Month 10 & 11: In depth reports / stories of what this investment has yielded in focus countries, including a description of a scalable model for adaptation and deployment in other country contexts.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EDUCATION
At least 7 years of professional experience. Proven experience in the mHealth field – especially on the deployment of mHealth solutions. Significant experience with project management with an ability to translate complex ideas from various areas into unified, clear guidance is a must. Advanced degree in a relevant field or equivalent related practical experience.
Additional Experience and Knowledge:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Experience working in, designing, or deploying solutions in/for low-resource settings
- Extensive experience working with the mHealth/eHealth community
- Experience in writing contracts and memo-lengthed to long form documents for organizations. Academic documentation experience a plus.
- Experience designing and supporting mobile projects with Government (esp. Ministries of Health)
- Knowledge and experience with DHIS2, OpenMRS, iHRIS, OpenHIE, MoTECH, CommCare, etc
- Familiarity with open-source technology
- Experience with processing large amount of information and synthesizing it
- Ability to work in a team and in a diverse work environment.
- Knowledge of United Nations – particularly UNICEF – processes and work streams
Fluency in English and French
Applications must include the following files:
- Cover letter,
- P-11 form
copies of the last two Performance Evaluation Reports (where applicable)
To view our competency framework, please click here.
Please indicate your ability, availability and monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a monthly rate will not be considered.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.
Opening Date 26 Jan 2017 Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date 15 Feb 2017 Eastern Standard Time