COVID-19 and PEPFAR Response Consultant (Local Consultant)

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 14 May 2021
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Job Description

GH-TAMS seeks locally-based (in Zambia) candidates for a short-term consultancy position providing USAID/Zambia with expert advice and guidance to inform USAID’s support to the Zambian Government to address COVID-19 and its socio-economic consequences on the country. This includes serving in an advisory capacity to members of the USAID/ Zambia Health office as it relates to continuity of programming across other health sectors in the face of COVID-19 including PEPFAR, but also malaria and TB. The consultant will provide strategic guidance to USAID, the Ministry of Health, and relevant COVID-19 response pillars on policy, technical, and implementation fronts.

The assignment is six (6) months in duration (with a possibility of extension), based in Lusaka, with several field trips within Zambia. The selected consultant will report to the Chief Medical Office within the Mission. Anticipated start date is approximately first week in June.

Background

Operating in close cooperation with the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Peace Corps, and the Zambian Government (GRZ), USAID/Zambia has invested enormous resources to address maternal and child health (MCH), reproductive health/family planning (RP/FP), infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria), health systems strengthening and human resources issues in Zambia. USAID/Zambia support has significantly contributed to improved health outcomes across all the supported areas. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020 and its on-going impacts on the health sector and other sectors of country, threatens to reverse gains made thus far due to competition for resources within the health sector, COVID-19-related medical absenteeism, and lockdowns which lead to decreased public transport and scaling down of community work.

To protect its investments in the Health sector in Zambia, USAID has joined hands with other stakeholders including the Zambian government, CDC, DOD, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the COVID-19 response, including promoting continuity of other essential health services. USAID supports the COVID-19 response through the following: USAID staff and USAID implementing partners directly providing technical assistance to various pillars of the COVID-19 response, procuring commodities and supplies, health systems strengthening and service delivery in support of the response. The USAID Chief Medical Officer coordinates COVID-19-related work within the USAID Health Office and between other entities, including other U.S government agencies, the Ministry of Health, the Zambia National Public Health Institute, and other donors. The Chief Medical Officer also provides strategic leadership and technical direction in the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of other USAID-supported programs. To support the Chief Medical Officer in the coordination of COVID-19-related work and other emerging medical threats, USAID has determined a need for a short-term consultancy.

The USAID/Zambia response is partly informed by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Technical Guidance on COVID-19 (updated weekly), which laid out a series of guiding principles for the provision of services in PEPFAR supported countries during the COVID Pandemic:

a. Protecting the gains in the HIV response: Continuity of treatment for people living with HIV (PLHIV) should be the foundation of PEPFAR programs during the COVID-19 pandemic;

b. The safety of PEPFAR-supported staff and clients being served must be assured: Programs should ensure that both clients and service providers are adequately protected from acquisition of COVID-19 through implementation of a hierarchy of infection controls:

  • Isolating clients with presumptive COVID-19 diseas
  • Engineering Controls, including minor renovations;
  • Social distancing;
  • Administrative controls: Country teams and implementing partners should follow Embassy Front Office direction on all programming that requires personnel movement; and
  • Deployment of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPEs).

In addition, the US government has provided a generous contribution to the Global Fund for COVID-19 and to sustain programming in HIV, TB and malaria. The US government has been guided to support Zambia’s Global Fund application and provide continued collaboration in the implementation of joint programming for COVID-19.

Role and Responsibilities

a. Internal Coordination: The consultant will assist with coordinating USAID/Zambia’s responses to COVID-19. The consultant will provide strategic advice to the USAID team during the planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of COVID-19 activities. To accomplish the mentioned expectations, the consultant will:

  • Participate in USAID/Zambia health team meetings providing COVID-19 updates
  • Coordinate USAID implementing partner meetings, in collaboration with the USG interagency, to discuss latest development in the COVID-19 outbreak.

b. External Coordination: The incumbent consultant will provide expert advice and guidance to the Zambian government and other stakeholders on a range of COVID-19 technical areas including: Case Management, lab systems strengthening for the diagnosis of COVID-19, vaccines, and risk mitigation. To accomplish the mentioned expectations, the consultant will:

Participate in select COVID-19 sub-pillar deliberations, providing written and/or oral technical input and/or guidance to the sub-pillars and providing feedback to USAID;

  • Participate in all US government agencies meetings convened to discuss COVID-19;
  • Meet relevant Ministry of Health contacts, providing written and/or oral technical input and/or guidance to the sub-pillars and providing feedback to USAID; and
  • Participate in ongoing coordination efforts between the US government and the Global Fund to facilitate coordinated planning and implementation of COVID-19 activities.

c. Project Management: The consultant will not manage any project but may be granted membership of activity management teams to bring COVID-19 expertise to these teams.

d. Speaking/Representational/Research: Other than providing technical advice, the incumbent will not have a formal role of providing representational speeches on behalf of USAID/Zambia ( Note: the consultant will participate in the development of protocols for COVID-related surveys and/or research, bringing up-to-date scientific discourse and ensuring that USAID interests and/or policies are adhered to).

Qualifications

• Degree in Medicine/Public Health/Human Biology

• Post-graduate degree in Medicine/Public Health

• Minimum ten years of experience in technical assistance support to Governments at the national level or provincial-level

• Demonstrated professional leadership and ability to coordinate with senior leadership at provincial/national health levels

• Expertise in principles and processes of COVID-19 and/or public healthcare in Zambia.

• Excellent written and oral communication skills.

• Demonstrable problem-solving and analytical skills.

About the Organization

The Global Health Technical Assistance and Mission Support Project (GH-TAMS) is a five-year USAID-funded activity providing the Bureau for Global Health (GH) and USAID field missions with high quality technical expertise to achieve the Agency's foreign assistance global health mission. With start-up in the fall of 2019, GH-TAMS follows the success of the Global Health Program Cycle Improvement Project (GH Pro).

GH-TAMS technical assistance covers a broad range of technical areas and cross-cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS. family planning, MNCH, infectious disease, TB, health finance, reproductive health, organizational development, OVC, project design, facilitation, M&E and strategic planning.

Project assignments are located in Washington D.C. and worldwide in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. Assignments typically range from two weeks to six months in duration.

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