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Background & Purpose:
Maldives has made significant progress in reducing child and infant mortality in recent decades, achieving a low of under-5 mortality rate of 10 per 1000 live births and an infant mortality rate of 8 per 1000 live birth. Child immunization rates also reached very high coverage in recent decades as a result of the expansion of public health services at the island and community levels, and delivery of primary health care services by local health workers. However, the most recent Demographic Health Survey (2016- 2017) indicated a worrying drop in the previously high immunization rate, dropping from 95% in 2009 to 77% coverage for all essential vaccines in 2016 (DHS 2016-17). The reasons behind this are complex.
The Ministry of Health has made 2020 "the year of public health" as part of its goal to achieve SDG 3. A functioning and effective immunization programme is key to strengthening the overall public health system in the country, however investments in systematic and consistent public outreach through regular campaigns, targeted communication messages and materials through a variety of channels has not been prioritized in the past decade.
UNICEF has been requested by the Ministry of Health to support efforts to strengthen the public health communication efforts, with a particular focus on child and adolescent immunization, and this consultancy aims to provide technical assistance to the Maldives Health Protection Agency (HPA).
The overarching purpose of this assignment is to provide technical assistance to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in its public health communication strategy development with particular focus on the expanded programme for immunization (EPI), which will come alongside the specific public health activities the Ministry is planning to roll out in 2020 and beyond.
The specific objectives and deliverables of this consultancy are:Support the Ministry of Health and the HPA in developing a strategic public health communication plan that considers different target groups (parents, teachers, health workers, children, adolescents, people with disabilities, elderly people, and migrants), various regional disparities (in the capital, Atoll, and island level) based on an equity and human rights-based approach and with a specific view to increase the overall vaccination rate for children, as per national immunization schedule. Develop a robust monitoring and evaluation framework alongside the strategy that allows the HPA to regularly monitor key indicators (process, behaviour change and public health) to monitor progress and inform decision-making; Provide technical support in developing targeted messages and appropriate materials adapted to the various media platforms and interpersonal social network channels identified in the strategy to reach the target audiences; Finalize and roll-out the vaccine communication plan which has previously been initiated by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health.
Duty station: The consultant will be based in the Health Protection Agency within the Maldives Ministry of Health, with travel to selected islands for consultations on a needs-basis.
Supervisor: The consultant will be co-supervised by Director of HPA and the UNICEF Maldives Programme Specialist for Health.
Major tasks of the Assignment:
In line with the overall objectives identified above, below are the specific deliverables and tasks the consultant is expected to complete within the assignment period.
Public Health Communication:Communicate on areas within public health and disseminate messages and information effectively on different media platforms on for different types of media. Develop content, communication products and positive messages and tailor for social media platforms as well as print-materials. Expand the reach of public health communication within the country and address as well as clarify misconceptions. Strengthen partnerships with media and other relevant stakeholders and explore opportunities and venues to publicize existing or new social media channels and websites, tools and groups. Develop a simplified communication monitoring plan, with baseline and process and output indicators. Update the monitoring plan and undertake an end-line review.
Vaccine Communication:Finalize and roll-out the vaccine communication plan, including development of an operational plan Support the planning and implementation of immunization campaign activities, especially the Measles Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) communication plan. Monitor social media and tools created and provide recommendations related to scale up or further expansion of these as part of the National Plan for Demand and Hesitancy. Carry out an updated audit based on continued monitoring of social media to identify negative attitudes and incorrect information being circulated on immunization and vaccines (building from past efforts that UNICEF has undertaken). Review existing social media sites and tools developed by the MoH / HPA and propose recommendations on ways to strengthen or improve these and other components needed. Support implement the recommendations proposed by MTAG & EPI programme Develop content and messages and IEC resources for print and mass media (drawing from or in alignment with the list of key messages and FAQs prepared as part of the National Plan) and tailor / design for effective use on social media platforms. Develop communications and outreach materials (such as info-graphics, video clips and other information bytes) for social media in close cooperation with the relevant sections of HPA. Explore opportunities and venues to publicize existing or new social media channels and websites, tools and groups for both caregivers and health service providers so that they are aware of these resources and use of these platforms also increases. Contribute messages and content related to immunization for use on the 1,000 Days App or other social media platforms. Assist with training / orientation activities on the positive use of digital media, particularly, social media for health service providers (and others), on use of sites or tools especially in high risk island or atolls (in alignment with the National Plan). Identify and coach other social media users / influencers â€“ at both national and sub-national levels (such as HSPs, teachers, journalists and other media workers, local councils, religious leaders and youth) - to actively engage with the sites or platforms to debunk or address any false or incorrect information or messages coming up and help "over-crowd" social media with positive and accurate messages. Build capacity for staff of MoH, HPA and the Vaccine demand plan core team on proactive and responsive use of social media and existing or new tools currently in place or being developed / designed. Support to document the process, and develop / translate resources, job aids and protocols for health professionals on vaccine communication.
Estimated duration of contract: The project will start in February 2020 and end in March 2020.
Travel: Travel to islands on a needs-basis.
Inception report (#1) with:Monitoring of issues on social media, and recommendations Outline of Public Health Communication plan strategy, with timeline Operational plan National Vaccine communication strategy plan
Monthly Progress report (# 2 - 8) with:Update of activities All communication products developed
Final report (#9):Final documents Final report
UNICEF will only make milestone payments based on achievement of specific deliverables as listed. All payments will be subjected to acceptance of deliverable by UNICEF.
Also note that UNICEF does not make advance payment and UNICEF is exempted from paying VAT and any other forms of taxes. Locals will be paid in local currency.
UNICEF would cover any arising travel costs as per agreed schedules with the MoH/HPA
Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience requiredUniversity degree in Communication, Public Health communication or relevant field Work experience in the health sector will be an advantage Past experience implementing communication plans, particularly in a health context Demonstrated good communication skills in Dhivehi and English Excellent written English and Dhivehi, and professional level writing skills Ability to organize, plan and coordinate activities within an agreed timeframe Proven ability to work in teams, past work in similar capacity People with disabilities are encouraged to apply
For every Child, you demonstrate¦
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
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UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Deadline for Application: 09th March 2020, 13:00 pm (Maldives Time)
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Consultants and Individual contractors are responsible for paying any taxes derived from the earnings received from UNICEF.