Routine immunization (RI) against vaccine preventable diseases (e.g. measles, polio, TB, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough) is one of the most cost effective interventions for reducing childhood illness and mortality. Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is an ambitious programme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) that aims to reduce morbidity and mortality due to Vaccine preventable diseases (VPD). Joint Review Missions and Common Review Missions organized by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on a regular basis) have noted that whilst UIP performance in India has improved overtime, there still remain a number of key constraints impacting immunization coverage in the country. Further, there are significant inequities in vaccination coverage in different states based on various factors related to individual (gender, birth order), family area (area of residence, wealth, and parental education), demography (religion, caste) and the society (access to health care, community literacy level) characteristics.
The GAVI Alliance-funded Health System Strengthening (HSS) programme is one of the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to improve the quality and level of immunization coverage in India.
Some of the main constraints currently preventing India from achieving a quality immunization programme with universally high coverage rates relate to Cold Chain and Vaccine Logistics Management. There is limited cold chain infrastructure and capacity in many states – even for routine UIP vaccines. Systematic efforts to identify gaps and address issues in cold chain and VLM have been conducted in recent years. Key constraints identified include: inadequate and poor infrastructure, HR issues including technical capacities; weak monitoring and MIS issues; and Vaccine management. These constraints have led to high breakdown rate of equipment, overstocking and stock outs, inadequate monitoring and supervision, poor management thus hampering improved vaccine coverage.
UNDP under the GAVI HSS II grant 2017-2022 will address some of the above mentioned issues by the development of an integrated and innovative solution that aims to provide real time information of vaccines stocks at the various level of the Routine Immunization Programme as well as have real time information on the temperature at the various levels of storage in the remaining states of the country. Moreover, UNDP will strengthen the evidence base for improved policy-making on programmatic areas through a well developed and implemented national M&E plan and research framework.
For the specific purpose above UNDP intends to recruit the Senior Project Officer- Health System Strengthening who will be based in state capital of Tamilnadu. The position will require extensive travel to the designated districts. The Senior Project Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Chief Health & Development.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Senior Project Officer will be responsible for the following tasks:
Programme Planning and Implementation of eVIN in the State:
- Provides advice and support to the development and phased implementation of the Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) that includes vaccine logistics and cold chain management on one single information system platform in the state. This activity will involve a systematic and phased scale up of a system for SMS-enabled real time Management Information system (MIS) for cold chain and vaccine logistics management (VLM) at the respective state level.
Liasoning & Advocacy with the Government & other development partners:
- Partners with the state and district level health vaccine structures to assess and understand the capacity needs and support required for the effective and timely implementation of the eVIN. This activity will involve working closely State Level Health officials, coordinating with the GAVI- HSS partners namely UNICEF and WHO and other development partners working on immunization.
Capacity Building and technical assistance for Government :
- Assists state level government to identify capacity-building needs on eVIN and undertake capacity-building activities. This will include support to the development of training modules for different levels of health professionals and field-level functionaries, facilitate learning exchanges as well as policy influencing and providing technical expertise as required.
Providing Overall Leadership & Guidance:
- Provides guidance and direction to the Project and to the Project team in the State. Able to deals with HR issues including problem solving and conflict management. Discharges administrative and other responsibilities associated with the position. Mentors and supports State and district based personnel supported by UNDP. The Senior Project Officers will be direct responsible to the mentoring and supervision of project officers, trainers and other project staff.
Monitoring and Evaluation of eVIN delivery in the state:
- Facilitates the review of the system and capacities relating to the delivery of eVIN in conjunction with State Health Mission. This will include undertaking field visits to monitor the implementation of the system and providing technical inputs to address gaps and bottlenecks. Documentation to the implementation process and analytical learnings from the implementation to feedback into the effective scale up in all the districts.
Report Writing: Prepares periodic status reports, annual reports, case studies, etc. in a qualitative and timely manner
Job knowledge and technical expertise
- Has strong knowledge of project area and keeps abreast with new developments in areas of professional discipline and seeks to develop herself/himself professionally
- Has sound knowledge of project management tools and utilises these regularly in work and assignments
Results based management
- Leads and facilitates work planning, alerting those involved of potential obstacles and helping to identify suitable alternatives as needed
- Takes accountability for the delivery of agreed results
- Ability to work independently and with minimum supervision
Building and managing strategic partnerships
- Identifies common interest and goals and carries out join initiatives with partners
- Makes effective use of resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships
- Brings visibility, promotes ideas and develops partnerships to advance the organisation’s work
- Recognises key players in decision making, engaging them and building consensus for final decisions.
- Should have analytical, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills;
- Demonstrates an understanding of client / partner / donor perspective and strives for high quality client oriented services
- Establishes smooth relationship and enabling environment between clients and service providers
Leadership and Management
- Is results driven and solution oriented, is able to work under pressure
- Uses fair and transparent decision making and calculated risk taking
- Ability to identify problems, propose solutions and take immediate corrective measures
Required Skills and Experience
- Minimum requirement MBBS
- MD in Community Medicine/MPH/DPH
- A minimum of 10 Years of professional work experience in the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, 1-2 years should be in Routine Immunization programme including the vaccine logistics and cold chain mechanisms;
- One year Experience in Immunization working at State level;
- Should have computer knowledge in MS Office and other applications;
- Demonstrated experience in Health Policy analysis and influencing
- Demonstrated experience in managing and scaling large projects preferably in health sector;
- Experience of working in the Tamilnadu Government will be an asset.
- Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English is required.
- A good working knowledge of local language of the duty station will be an asset.
- The position will require extensive travel to the designated districts
Remuneration package is Rs.1,52,593 / per month (taxable). UNDP also offers additional benefits which include medical insurance coverage and limited pension reimbursement for contract holder and encourages work life balance to its employees.