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 60 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.
1. Purpose of Assignment & Justification:The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programmes, in advocacy and in operations. The equity approach, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children's rights into action. Children exposed to and living with HIV are a vulnerable group. The 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines recommend that anyone diagnosed with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment (ART) soon after diagnosis. Limited availability and timely access to adequate HIV laboratory services to determine HIV status in infants and younger children, and to monitor treatment (ART) outcomes for children, women and families at large, remain major bottlenecks to effective roll out of the 2015 WHO guidelines. UNICEF, with financial support from UNITAID, has been working to promote introduction of a new generation of Point of Care (POC) / near POC diagnostics for early infant HIV testing and HIV viral load monitoring in seven countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) as they become available to the market. The project is now entering an expanded Phase 2b during which activities will be rapidly accelerated and expanded in geographic scope to three countries in Western and Central Africa (WCA). The aim of the project is to make POC technology available in these countries and improve timeliness of HIV test results on the same day for children, and well as viral load test results to expediting clinical decision-making and improving children and maternal survival on ART.
The HIV Specialist is responsible for managing, implementing, monitoring and reporting of progress of national HIV/AIDS programmes/projects. The Specialist provides technical guidance and mangagement support throughout the programming process to faciliate achievement of outcomes as detailed in the projects. The HIV/AIDS Specialist will collaborate with other UNICEF sections, staff of other UN Agencies, and Government officials, international and local media, technical matter experts, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors and implementing partners (particularly CHAI), to ensure successful project implementation.
2. Supervisor: Chief HIV/AIDS / UNICEF Country Office With guidance of the UNICEF Regional HIV Advisor in Western and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) and in collaboration with the Diagnostic Advisor and (Point of Care) POC Project Manager in UNICEF New York Headquarters (NYHQ).
3. Major duties and responsibilities:
A. Project management, workplan development, implementation and monitoring
1. Manage Projects by ensuring National operational plans are aligned with the global project activities and outputs wit measurable progress indicators
2. Closely engage with MOH and relevant technical working groups to support and develop updated POC enabling policies and guidelines to expedite registration.
3. Support evaluations and operational research (OR) for sharing performance of POC testinG
4. Support the development and implementation of strategic scale up of EID and VL diagnostics
5. Support with conventional laboratories for strengthening national diagnostic network
6. Engage with National HIV Programmes and Technical Working Groups to support in-country planning exercises and implementation activities.
7. Coordinating with Supply Division and COs to ensure POC operational demands are generated
8. Support CO focal points in managing country specific challenges for introduction and scale up of POC for early infant diagnosis (EID) and viral load monitoring (VL), and linkage to effective treatment and clinical decision making
9. Preparing timely and quality project report in line with grant commitments
B.Technical Leadership and partnership building capacity development on POC diagnostics Working closely with the Headquarters (HQ) and Regional Office (RO) to support global normative guidance to inform programmatic decision-making in country Convene necessary trainings and provide technical inputs to support and develop guidance and knowledge sharing on HIV laboratory technologies Supporting the diagnostic scoping assessments Support HQ, RO and Supply Division and to ensure POC operational demands are generated. Facilitating and driving technical leadership on diagnostics, POC and linkage to treatment for country programme preparation and providing inputs for reviews where appropriate. Providing guidance and feedback to HQ and RO in development of POC related funding proposal. Creating and maintaining national partnerships and networks with key technical stakeholders to support HIV programmes, policy, advocacy and diagnostic needs Works closely with regional WHO, CDC, CHAI, and other technical organizations to ensure quality assurance and harmonized and synergistic partners' contributions to POC.
C. Communications and Knowledge Management Generate evidence and the analysis of POC programming in national diagnostics strengthening, and related health systems, through documentation, annual reporting and assessment of promising practices. Support Coordination and the effective dissemination of global promising practices nationally. Iintroduce innovative approaches and good practice to build the capacity of partners and stakeholders and to support the POC implementation Keep abreast, research, benchmark and implement best and cutting edge practices in HIV diagnostics and POC. Institutionalize and share best practices and knowledge learned.
Qualifications of Successful Candidate Advanced university degree (Masters) in one of the following or related: Health laboratory, biomedical sciences, Public Health. Knowledge of POC diagnostics and the HIV programming.
At least 5 years of relevant experience working in the areas of global health, HIV and /or development, laboratory diagnostics, project management or related areas. Experience managing projects and reporting to donors and demonstrable track record in country level support is essential. Experience in HIV programmes and policy matters in sub-Sahara Africa is an asset.
French (Fluent), English (working knowledge) Duration of appointment: 11 months
Opening Date 20 Dec 2016 W. Central Africa Standard Time