Within the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases (DEC) in the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization (VPI) programme aims to reduce disease and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases including surveillance and response with emphases on the parts of the region, where the support is needed the most. Specific attention is paid to the relationships between the burden of disease, the relevant risk factors and the actions needed at country and inter-country level.
The VPI programme unit is developing a roster of consultants to work on specific elements of immunization systems and, vaccine-preventable disease control and elimination. The consultant roster will provide a cadre of specialists to respond to requests for support from the Member States to enable WHO to achieve its 13th General Programme of Work (GPW 13). The main responsibilities of the consultants will include supporting the Member States in achieving the relevant immunization goals and objectives linked to the regional vaccine action plan.
Deployments will be for varying lengths of time, from days to weeks, including occasional rapid deployment, depending on the nature of the work and the availability of consultants. Various experience levels will be required for individual pieces of work.
Description of duties
VPI is building a roster of experts, at varying levels of seniority, to contribute tospecific elements of immunization systems and, vaccine-preventable disease control and elimination across a number of technical areas and issues. This is a generic description of areas of expertise developed for a roster of consultants/experts. The exact terms of the reference for the assignment/contract will be based on the actual requirements of the assignment. Experts on the roster will be invited to take on specific, clearly defined assignments in one or more of the areas listed below, in line with their specific profile and expertise.
Under the overall guidance of the Programme Manager, VPI and in technical guidance with the technical focal points in WHO Regional Office and the Country Offices, the consultant/expert will be expected to carry out time-limited assignments at the regional and/or country level in one or more of the following areas:
Accelerated vaccine-preventable disease control and elimination
- develop regional/national plans on elimination standards surveillance for measles and rubella; conduct investigation and support the countries to develop response plan for outbreak and monitor the quality of supplementary immunization activities;
- assess appropriateness of polio endgame and post-certification implementation strategies in countries targeted towards maintaining polio-free status;
- conduct hepatitis B serosurveys to validate the achievement of regional hepatitis B control targets with specific focus on writing protocols, conducting analysis of data, and publishing serosurvey results;
- conduct needs-assessment and review of existing regional surveillance guidelines and plans on vaccine-preventable diseases, and conduct surveillance review including development of improvement plan;
- develop and conduct research activities (operational and/or implementation research) in achieving and maintaining control/elimination of targeted vaccine preventable diseases;
- develop outbreak response immunization and surveillance activities for vaccine-preventable diseases.
- conduct desk-reviews for laboratory network annual accreditation and review of external quality assessment results and accreditation checklists for assessment of national measles laboratories;
- review the laboratory component of annual country reports for polio and measles regional commissions and assist in preparing relevant laboratory documents for the regional meetings;
- undertake onsite laboratory assessments.
New vaccine introductions
- conduct analysis of national level disease burden in introduction of new and under-utilized vaccines, develop proposals and relevant national implementation guidelines;
- conduct new vaccine post-introduction evaluation using standardized WHO tool, develop questionnaire surveys, conduct field visits, analyze results, and prepare evaluation reports.
Strengthening informed decision making on immunization
- conduct evaluations of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAG) including interviews with NITAGs and key stakeholders, develop recommendations on NITAG strengthening, and prepare evaluation reports;
- conduct trainings for NITAGs and the national secretariats to ensure application of required skills into routine practice.
Immunization Systems Strengthening
- develop operational plans to address identified barriers in addressing immunization inequity and implement capacity building activities and monitor plans to improve routine immunization coverage;
- conduct Expanded Programme on Immunization reviews and performance reviews and develop costed multi-year plans for immunization to integrate immunization policy within the broader health system.
- assess the national Adverse Events following Immunization (AEFI) surveillance systems to identify the strengths and potential areas for improvement;
- develop national policy, guidance, training resources and conduct advocacy and capacity building activities on AEFI surveillance including AEFI surveillance data management systems;
- conduct investigation, review and causality assessment of AEFI cases;
- conduct preparedness assessment and capacity building on vaccine safety-related events to respond to vaccine-related crisis situations and develop guidance, strategies and plans.
Vaccine management and immunization logistics
- conduct Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) assessments and develop improvement plans;
- conduct temperature monitoring studies;
- conduct installation qualification tests of walk-in cold rooms (WICR) as per the laid down WHO recommendations and protocol;
- conduct vaccine cold chain inventories, needs assessments and develop cold chain rehabilitation plans including immunization logistics data management systems.
Access to affordable vaccine supply
- conduct gap assessments and identify opportunities to improve access to affordable vaccine supply including advocacy and capacity building activities;
- review vaccine market price and procurement data and producing analysis, reports and advocacy tools to improve access to affordable vaccine supply.
- conduct Injection safety assessments (following the methodology defined by the WHO Revised Injection Safety Assessment Tool);
- develop national policy, guidance, training resources and conduct advocacy and capacity building activities on injection safety.
Health care waste management
- conduct health care waste management assessments using WHO methodology, develop national policy, guidance, and conduct capacity building activities on health care waste management.
Immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases surveillance data management
- conduct data quality assessments and develop data quality improvement plans;
- review and develop appropriate immunization information system within the realm of eHealth system in a country;
- develop vaccine-preventable diseases and routine immunization country and regional profiles;
- validate annual immunization data collected through WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF) and vaccine-preventable diseases surveillance data to improve data quality in the Region.
- develop communication materials about vaccination and promotion of immunization-related public awareness campaigns including social media and websites management;
- design and/or adaptation of communication/meeting materials such as posters, brochures, social media tiles, infographics and/or videos.
Vaccine demand and acceptance
- plan and implement research studies to understand barriers and drivers to vaccination in key population groups;
- design interventions based on WHO Europe Tailoring Immunization Programmes (TIP) approach to increase vaccination uptake informed by findings from research studies.
The minimum academic and professional experience required to apply for the roster is outlined below. The actual grade for each individual contract will be determined in accordance with WHO guidelines on minimum requirements at the time of contract issuance.
Note: Please indicate clearly in your cover letter, the specific technical areas (1,2, 3, up to 13 as above) and indicate clearly your experience in these areas.
For all assignments: Advanced university degree from a recognized university in medicine, health sciences, public health, medical microbiology/virology, medical/social anthropology, social sciences and/or relevant related field.
Specialized training in relevant field
Young professional: minimum one up to four years relevant work experience with immunization including experience in international context
Specialists: minimum five up to 10 years relevant work experience with immunization including experience in international context
Experts: above ten years relevant work experience with immunization including experience in international context
Relevant work experience in international settings with diverse partners.
Previous experience with WHO laboratory networks, vaccine-preventable diseases surveillance, immunization data management and/or immunization systems strengthening will be an asset.
High quality technical presentations and reports.
Immunization information management.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English is essential.
Excellent knowledge of English
Working knowledge of Russian.
Working knowledge of another WHO EURO language is an asset.
Remuneration is based on classified requirements of the terms of reference of the individual consultant contract with related academic and professional experience applied for the grade in accordance with WHO’s consultant’s pay band ranges.
- £ Salary Offer POA