Orphans and Vulnerable Children/DREAMS/Nutrition/Early Childhood Development Activities Design

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 19 April 2019
  • Rwanda
  • Closing on 16 June 2019

Job Description

Opportunity in Rwanda - Request for proposal

All proposals should be submitted

***Proposals should include a methodology addressing objectives in the below statement of work, a timeline, and a cost estimate associated with the timeline.***

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted through ZemiTek partnered with CAMRIS International, to recruit and hire a qualified individual for the following position:

Title: Orphans and Vulnerable Children/DREAMS/Nutrition/Early Childhood

Development Activities Design
United States Agency for International Development/ Rwanda, Office of Health
With more than 30 years’ experience providing information technology (IT) and management consulting services worldwide, Rosa Caldas, formed ZemiTek in 2007. Based in the Washington, DC metro area, ZemiTek delivers solutions to the federal government by supporting agencies such as USAID, US Patent and Trademark Office, US Department of Justice, US Department of Agriculture, and Department of Homeland Security, among others; and internationally to their missions in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

CAMRIS International is among the top 20 USAID contractors for the third year in a row. CAMRIS realizes innovative solutions to health and development challenges through high-quality, cost-effective programs and research management services. With experience working in more than 80 countries, CAMRIS combines proven systems with today’s most effective, evidence-based best practices to improve the lives of people around the world.

BACKGROUND
To date, the USAID/Rwanda Health Office has had two separate Project Appraisal Documents (PADs) - one focused on strengthening the capacity of the health system (SCHS) and the other focused on community health and improved nutrition (CHAIN). The orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) activities have traditionally been under the CHAIN PAD. Moving forward, the Health Office is in the process of developing an integrated health project whose purpose is to improve the health and resilience of communities in Rwanda.

The draft results framework includes four intermediate results:
1) Improved quality of care at all levels;
2) Strengthened systems for delivery of health, nutrition and WASH;
3) Improved governance for health, nutrition and WASH; and
4) Increased resilience for families and communities. The OVC activities will fall under the fourth intermediate result.

The Rwanda Integrated Health Project will be a cross-sectoral project, reflecting contributions and priorities from across USAID/Rwanda’s DOs. OVC and DREAMS activities will be part of integrated mechanisms that incorporate nutrition and ECD interventions – currently referred to as the NODE (Nutrition-OVC-DREAMS-ECD) mechanisms.

Parts of this integrated approach that will be most relevant for the NODE design include:
* All Health Office mechanisms will be coordinated by the Integrated Health Systems implementing partner and will be expected to co-locate with other Health Office partners in three district hubs, located in Rubavu, Nyanza, and Kayonza.
* All Health Office mechanisms will be expected to jointly plan, implement, and evaluate their work in complementarity with one another.
* Of the planned NODE mechanisms, one will be a TA provider and provide policy support, while the other mechanisms will be local CSOs who will conduct all of the implementation. This model is being replicated across the rest of the portfolio as Health Office moves to work more directly with local partners while also continuing to build their capacity. The TA providers and local CSOs will be conceived of and treated as one unitary service provider, however.
* The NODE mechanisms will be co-funded with nutrition and maternal and child health (MCH) funding; however, the nutrition and MCH portions of these activities will be drafted by a separate design team contemporaneous with this consultancy.
* As a result, the deliverables for these mechanisms must (in addition to reflecting OVC and PEPFAR priorities as outlined below) also be inline with the GOR vision for early childhood development and nutrition as articulated in the National ECD Strategic Plan, USAID’s Nurturing Care Framework, and USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy.

In Rwanda, the policies and objectives related to the wellbeing of OVCs are mainly captured in two national documents: the Integrated Child Rights Policy (ICRP) and National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV/AIDS. The ICRP serves as the comprehensive child policy framework that addresses the rights and needs of children in the country.[1] This document also ensures coordination and consistency in interventions across various thematic areas and ministerial mandates. Rwanda’s HIV NSP outlines social mitigation objectives that are important to OVC and their families: 1) ensure economic opportunity and security of PLHIV, 2) protect OVC targeting school attendance greater than 85% in the 10- 14 year old age group and 3) reduce stigma and discrimination.

While the percentage of children who lost one or both parents has decreased from 13% to 7% from the DHS 2010 to the DHS 2014/15, only 84% of orphans aged 10-14 attend school compared to 95% of non-orphans. This is a slight decrease from DHS 2010 where 88% of orphans attended school compared to 96% of non-orphans. A study conducted in 2016 showed that over 4,000 children with disabilities are currently residing in institutional care. A qualitative study conducted in 2016 also showed that children with disabilities are largely excluded from family life and from different services including education[2].

Related guidance for the OVC program comes from the National Early Childhood Development Program (NECDP), which oversees early childhood development, nutrition, and hygiene interventions in Rwanda. The NECDP Single Action Plan also provides guidance on how to ensure child protection and protection from violence in the household more broadly.

The PEPFAR guidance for Rwanda has also evolved, to include a focus primarily on older OVC (in the 9-17 age group) as well as prevention among adolescent girls and young women (10-24 years old). This

USAID is one of the largest donors of direct services for vulnerable households providing an age-appropriate minimum package of services, including school fees, vocational training, health insurance, child protection, psychosocial support, shelter and care, ECD, nutrition and WASH messaging, and HIV prevention education. Beginning in 2017, the OVC platform also integrated Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) initiative programming targeting adolescent girls and young women into their package of services. The integrated OVC and DREAMS program in Rwanda is implemented by four partners: one international NGO, Global Communities (implementing Twiyubake), and three local CSOs, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) (implementing Turengere Abana), African Evangelistic Enterprise (AEE) (a faith-based organization, implementing Ubaka Ejo), and Caritas Rwanda (FBO implementing Gimbuka). These partners also have nutrition, MCH, and WASH interventions integrated into their current package of services.

The OVC program is implemented in five provinces in the 13 districts that were identified as having the highest HIV prevalence and highest number of Most Vulnerable Children (MVC). IPs have begun to engage with the structures of the National Council of Persons with Disability (NCPD) to ensure that enrollment of new beneficiaries includes vulnerable children and adolescents with disabilities. The current awards are ending in September 2020. To continue uninterrupted support to vulnerable households in Rwanda, USAID envisions two to three new five-year awards to local CSOs for program implementation and one five-year award to an international NGO to provide technical assistance.

[1] The policy aims to strengthen families, provide a family environment for all children and ensure universal access to education and health services. It emphasizes children’s participation; protection from abuse, violence and exploitation; priority for children without discrimination; and accountability of GOR and non-State actors to ensure the respect and human rights of children.

[2] UNICEF/Rwanda - Tubarerere Mu Muryango (TMM) Phase III

USAID/Rwanda seeks a team of consultants (a maximum of four, both local and international) to review USAID OVC and DREAMS investments and opportunities in Rwanda, and draft/finalize a program description (PD)/scope of work (SOW) for two 5-year project RFAs/Ps for the Mission to solicit (one for a single award to an international partner and one for multiple awards to local partners). The Mission further seeks the services of an administrative assistant to provide logistical support to the project design team. The primary purpose of the consultancy is to (a) review existing USAID-funded programming in Rwanda and (b) based on that review, develop and propose designs for the new 5-year programs.

All new procurements must build on investments made and lessons learned by USAID’s current implementing partners. The new procurements will also continue to include nutrition and ECD activities; these components of the SOW/PD will be designed by USAID HQ staff. It is anticipated that the OVC/DREAMS consultant team will collaborate with the USAID Nutrition team to ensure activities will be integrated in the resulting SOWs/PDs. The new activities will be expected to act as one program and develop an integrated workplan along with their individual workplans.

USAID wishes to employ a participatory design-and-deliver methodology, where the Team Leader manages the process of organizing the team and the stakeholder meetings, drafting recommendations, and delivering a final official draft program description/scope of work for use by the mission to competitively procure and award the NODE program.

The proposed program, expressed in the form of a final PD (with multiple awards for the local CSOs) and a PD/SOW for the international technical assistance partner, must clearly describe required activities to measurably advance Rwandan local civil society organizations’ ability to sustainably provide high quality integrated OVC care and support in line with the Government of Rwanda (GOR) priorities in the social and welfare sector and following PEPFAR guidelines.

The specific objectives of this assignment are to:
1 Assist USAID and the GOR (NCC, NECDP, and RBC) to formulate the role for a new integrated OVC/DREAMS/Nutrition/ECD project within the landscape of the USAID Policy Framework and Effective Partnering and Procurement Reform (EPPR), specifically in the area of catalyzing local public-, private-, and non-profit-sector to own their development objectives and facilitate the host country’s journey to self-reliance.
2 Identify lessons learned, threats and opportunities for a continued and growing provision of prioritized and focused OVC and DREAMS interventions that address children’s and adolescent girls’ and young women’s most critical care needs through household and family strengthening focusing on sustainability.
3 Make recommendations for the design of a new 5-year OVC project that will assist USAID in supporting the aforementioned USG and GOR goals and objectives, and
4 Draft two well-developed PDs/SOWs and other procurement related documents to be incorporated into two RFAs/Ps that will be advertised for full and open competition.

DELIVERABLES AND ACTIVITIES:
* Pre-arrival Phase: Prior to the team’s arrival in Rwanda, the team leader will develop a communication strategy targeting team members and relevant USAID mission staff in Kigali and Washington, DC to ensure clarity of function, planning and coordination and a clear planning schedule, highlighting the full range of actions. The Team Leader, with the support of the USAID/Rwanda mission, will ensure that all team members understand and accept the requirement to submit all final drafts of writing assignments PRIOR to departure from Kigali.
* Document review: Prior to arriving in Rwanda, the team will be provided with a package of electronic briefing materials related to the USAID/Rwanda OVC program activities for their review. Copies of materials not available electronically will be available at the Mission once the team arrives. To the extent possible, the team will read the materials before arriving in country.

This documentation will include but not limited to:
* USAID/Rwanda Health Strategy and Operational Plans
* Current OVC related Cooperative Agreements, Work Plans, Quarterly and Annual Reports (will be made available from AORs/CORs)
* Integrated Child Rights Policy (ICRP), Strategic Plan for ICRP in Rwanda, Early Childhood Development Policy, Family Planning/Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Strategic Plan
* Rwanda DHS 2010 and 2014/15 Reports
* Information on other funding for OVC activities: Global Fund Grants, UNICEF, etc.
* Key assessment reports (ISVP Evaluation, Gikuriro Mid-term Evaluation, Savings Group Assessment, etc.)
* Other relevant documents
* Team Planning Meeting in Rwanda: A two-day team planning meeting (TPM) will be held in Rwanda before the design process begins. The TPM will:
* Review and clarify any questions on the SOW;
* Clarify team members’ roles and responsibilities;
* Establish a team atmosphere, share individual working styles, and agree on procedures for resolving differences of opinion;
* Review and finalize the assignment timeline and share with USAID/Rwanda;
* Meet and outbrief with the Nutrition team from USAID/HQ to understand the nutrition portion of the designs to date
* Develop data collection methods, instruments, tools and guidelines;
* Review and clarify any logistical and administrative procedures for the assignment;
* Develop a data collection plan;
* Draft the initial work plan to share with USAID/Rwanda;
* Develop a preliminary draft outline of the PD; and
* Assign drafting responsibilities for the PD.
* Individual interviews with USAID/Rwanda’s health team, GOR and other resource staff: Once the team is assembled and the process is launched, the team will conduct in-depth interviews with OVC activities’ AORs as necessary and with GOR counterparts at NCC, RBC, NECDP, etc. Internal and external meetings (including a series of stakeholder consultations) will be planned in advance and facilitated by the team leader. The team’s work week is six days, Monday through Saturday.
* Small round table/group discussions with OVC implementing partners and stakeholders: To make more efficient use of time, several round table sessions can be planned with OVC Chiefs of Party and project technical officials as well as with GOR agencies.
* Meetings with USAID Health team and key stakeholders: After the review of existing USAID supported OVC programmes the USAID Health Office will host a stakeholders meeting facilitated by the consultant team to consider lessons learned and opportunities for a new program description. It is assumed that all the OVC implementers have been involved in stakeholders’ meetings during the previous group discussions; therefore, the purpose of this meeting would be to share findings and key recommendations for future OVC programming.
* Preparation of the draft program descriptions: Based on the above interactions, the team will prepare drafts of each of the two program descriptions required (one for the international TA partner and one that will cover all LCSOs). Based on the USAID Health Office’s feedback on the draft PDs, the team will conduct revisions and deliver the proposed program description and RFA/P.

Deliverable Timeline:
* Deliverable
* Communication Strategy
* Document Review
* Data collection plan, initial workplan, draft outline of PD
* Stakeholder meeting to refine recommendations for future OVC programming
* Prior to leaving country
* Draft program descriptions

Timeline
* 2 days after start date
* 1 week after start date
* 3 days after arrival in country
* 1 week after leaving country

Expected Duration: 30 days

It is envisioned that the team will consist of three international consultants. The design team members must be senior technical experts well-recognized by their expertise in social science or international public health research, programming and/or assessments. The Team Leader should have additional skills and experience in project and team management. The other technical member(s) should have solid international public health (HIV/AIDS preferred) and/or child protection/youth development knowledge or management skills. All consultants should have experience working in integrated health systems in developing countries. An administrative assistant will be hired to provide the team with logistical support and administrative management.

The following are proposed roles and minimum qualifications of team members:

International Consultant - Team Leader
The Team Leader will organize the process, manage all aspects/elements of the process, and provide effective leadership for the team of experts (USAID personnel and others). The Team Leader must have extensive experience providing strategic leadership to USAID health programs, writing strategy documents, as well as expertise in child survival and OVC programming, including a detailed working knowledge of programmatic parameters that govern PEPFAR-funded OVC funded programs.

* Master’s or higher level degree in social sciences, public health, or other related discipline
* Excellent general research and analytical skills, including experience doing health program assessments or evaluations using both quantitative and qualitative methods (5-7 years)
* Knowledge of health development projects management
* Knowledge of child protection, HIV prevention for Adolescent Girls and Young Women, and/or OVC and HIV/AIDS programming
* Experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa, desirable
* Fluency in English is required, fluency in French is desirable
* Excellent report writing abilities
* Demonstrated experience managing teams
* Ability to liaise well with senior management in USAID, IPs and host governments
* Proven ability to lead a team of highly qualified individuals
* Excellent organizational and time management skills
* Ability to manage and produce high quality deliverables on time.

International Consultant
Two international consultants as part of the design team will bring together all the information and data collected in the design process, they will manage all aspects/elements of the information collation, and provide the team accurate and precise summaries for the team analysis and inclusion in the requested deliverables. They must have extensive experience providing strategic leadership to USAID health programs, summarizing strategic information, as well as expertise in social, health or child protection programming.

* Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences or other related disciplines
* Excellent general research and analytical skills, including experience in writing complex documents
* Experience in doing health program assessments or evaluations (5 years)
* Knowledge in health development project programming
* Knowledge of child survival, child protection, OVC and HIV/AIDS prevention among adolescent girls and young women (3 years)
* Experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa, desirable
* Fluency in English required , fluency in French is desirable
* Excellent report writing abilities
* Ability to facilitate team work

Administrative Assistant
The local administrative consultant will be a Rwanda professional assigned to work with the design team to provide the historical context, desk review documents, organizing the time flow, meetings, and assisting with logistics and other agreed upon tasks. The administrative assistant takes direction from the Team Leader, and serves the needs of the team.

* Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in management, social sciences, public health, or other related disciplines
* Experience in providing administrative management and logistical support (2 years)
* Experience with the Rwandan country context
* Fluency in English and Kinyarwanda is required, fluency in French is desirable
* Excellent organizational and time management skills
* Working knowledge of budget management and logistics
* Ability to prepare meeting agendas, team time tables in country, arrange transportation requirements and assist team in any other administrative requirements

This is an opportunity for employment or a contract, but we reserve the right to make no selection or award.

ZemiTek and CAMRIS International offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits.

ZemiTek and CAMRIS International are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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