- Purpose of the Consultancy
The purpose of the consultancy is to support the finalization of the global case-based and aggregate surveillance data package as well as coordination of implementation of the DHIS2 platform for disease surveillance at regional and country levels in the African Region.
The objective of the High Impact Epidemics (EHI) Unit is to detect, identify and respond to threats to national, regional and global health security arising from epidemic-prone, pandemic and emerging diseases.
The EHI Unit works within WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) to increase capacity at the country level to detect and respond to specific epidemic prone diseases that require mass and/or rapid interventions, i.e. epidemic meningitis, yellow fever, VHF and cholera.
The need for strong epidemic-prone and vaccine preventable disease surveillance has been highlighted as one of the key priorities in the Region. This can only be effective if the different subcomponents of surveillance such as case search and notification, laboratory and data management are integrated in a common platform. The District Health Information Software (DHIS2) has been selected as the data platform for the collection and management of the aggregated and case-based surveillance data for epidemic-prone and other vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs), given its widespread use in countries of the African Region, including for immunization data.
The DHIS2 system is adapted to countries’ information systems and needs, with national data available on a country platform linked to a Regional DHIS2 instance. The ultimate goal is to link all AFRO countries to the Regional platform. The DHIS2 platform replaces existing country Excel and Epi info system for the reporting to WHO. All diseases within countries’ IDSR package are also included. The case-based surveillance targets all main VPDs. The system is linked to the routine immunization information system in DHIS2.
There is ongoing work to ensure DHIS2 interoperability with other existing country systems and its implementation can be customized according to country needs and preferences. The modernization of the current system will bring more efficiency, improve timeliness, allow more visualizations, and provide more opportunities for data triangulation and analysis, contributing to improved decision-making and ownership.
Work to be performed
The work to be performed is both technical and programmatic. The goal is to support both internal and external coordination and to facilitate timely implementation of the DHIS2 disease surveillance project. The overall goal will be achieved by the following activities/outputs:
• Output 1: In coordination with WHO AFRO and country offices, HISP groups, and the University of Oslo (UiO), ensure implementation of the DHIS2 surveillance package developed based on agreed VPD and epidemic-prone disease surveillance standards at regional and country levels. Progress should be measured according to the workplan for both aggregate and case-based surveillance systems. In case of sub-optimal progress, to mitigate risk, propose solutions and discuss with meningitis team, in a timely manner. The consultant will support achievement of output 1 by the following activities:
o For the case-based and aggregate systems at country level:
▪ Monitor and ensure the implementation of the case-based system in the 3 pilot countries according to the plan.
▪ Ensure roll-out of the aggregate surveillance system in all AFRO countries according to the implementation plan.
▪ Regular engagement with AFRO, HISP and country level stakeholders to ensure the implementation of trainings and workshops
▪ Identify and report on main bottlenecks and solutions for its implementation.
o For the regional platform:
▪ In coordination with AFRO DHIS2 focal point, ensure that all activities for the establishment and operationalization of the regional case-based and aggregate data repositories and dashboards are implemented according to the workplan.
• Output 2: To support and facilitate the finalization of documentation for case-based and aggregate surveillance data package implementation
o Training materials
o Surveillance Data Analysis and Interpretation Guide
• Output 3: To ensure consultation and coordination with stakeholders of the project, including organization of meetings and briefings as required:
o Within WHO HQ and AFRO relevant departments (VPD surveillance, emergency programs, health information systems)
o With technical advisory group and partners: University of Oslo and HISP, CDC, Gavi, WAHO, WHO.
• Output 4. To submit bi-monthly progress reports and a final technical report at the end of the project.
The consultant will work under the close supervision of meningitis team lead in HQ/WHE/WRE/HEI, and coordinate closely with AFRO colleagues, University of Oslo and HISP, project partners and other WHO colleagues as relevant.
Duration and Remuneration
Start date: 28/06/2021 End date: 23/12/2021
Full-Time Equivalent: 100%. Extension of the contract will be considered depending on performance and programme needs.
Remuneration will be a monthly rate confirmed and based on the specialist P4 range (USD 7,667- 9,583) according to experience and qualifications.
• Advanced University degree in public health, epidemiology, health informatics or equivalent.
• At least 7 years of documented experience in infectious disease epidemiology, including 3 years in health information system development and/or implementation.
• Strong experience at national and international levels in disease surveillance in the context of developing countries, particularly in the African Region.
Skills / Technical skills and knowledge:
• Demonstrated coordination skills in projects involving several stakeholders.
• Demonstrated knowledge of DHIS2 platform and/or other health information system applications
• Related experience in development and implementation of strategies and action plans within WHO and/or other UN agencies.
• Capacity to innovate, contribute to share knowledge and to develop new approaches to engage partners.
• Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact in a multi-cultural, multilingual, multidisciplinary environment and promote consensus.
• Essential: Excellent oral and written skills in English and French required.
- Place of assignment
The consultant is expected to perform her or his duties remotely, primarily working from home with regular virtual meetings and calls.
- Place of assignment
Travel is not anticipated for this consultancy, given the current COVID-19 situation, but should it evolve, any travel will be previously agreed with the consultant. Any travel arrangement would be coordinated and organized by WHO.
The contract is subject to WHO Rules and Regulations.
Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
How to apply
Interested applicants should submit their motivation letter and CV to Geraldine Putman-Cramer at email@example.com and Katya Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating ‘’Call for expressions of interest to support WHO work - DHIS2 disease surveillance data consultancy’’.