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Climate-Health Nexus Intern
|Location :||Hanoi, VIET NAM|
|Application Deadline :||20-Sep-23 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Internship|
|Post Level :||Intern|
|Languages Required :||English|
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
UNDP is working to strengthen new frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. We support countries' efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which will guide global development priorities through 2030. The key 2030 Agenda principle of leaving no one behind and stamping out inequality is at the core of everything we do.
UNDP focuses on helping countries build and share solutions in three main areas:
In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women, minorities, and the poorest and most vulnerable.
Overview of UNDP Viet Nam’s Climate Change & Environment Unit
The UNDP Viet Nam Climate Change & Environment (CCE) unit covers the following areas of work:
UNDP support focuses on advocacy, policy research and formation, capacity and partnership building and coordination, technology testing and transfer, piloting models, and promoting the participation of businesses and local communities.
On Health Digitalization
The provision of affordable, good quality primary healthcare services at the grassroots level is crucial for ensuring universal health access and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 on Good Health and Well-Being. While the Government, the Ministry of Health (MOH), and localities in Viet Nam have implemented various solutions to enhance the quality of medical services and healthcare facilities, challenges remain, particularly in rural, mountainous, and socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified these challenges, limiting access to healthcare services for many people.
To address these issues, UNDP has been collaborated with the MOH to launch the Grassroots Telehealth programme, utilizing the Doctor for Everyone software application. This programme aims to improve the quality of medical consultation, examination, and treatment; increase access to healthcare services; and enhance the capacity of healthcare workers at the grassroots level. Currently, the programme has been implemented in three phases across eight provinces in Viet Nam.
Phase 1 of the project, conducted from August 2020 to June 2021, involved developing and piloting the grassroots digital health platform. The project team developed the digital solution and conducted initial piloting in three remote and mountainous communes in three districts, including Hoang Su Phi district of Ha Giang province, Ba Be district of Bac Kan province, and Cao Loc district of Lang Son province.
Phase 2, conducted from July 2021 to June 2022, involved scaling up the implementation of the digital health platform in these northern mountainous pilot provinces. UNDP in collaboration with the MOH provided training to all relevant healthcare personnel at the grassroots level and field tested the system. The Doctor for Everyone software was initially deployed in over 558 grassroots health facilities in Ha Giang, Bac Kan, and Lang Son provinces. An evaluation of the grassroots telehealth program conducted in these three provinces showed initial positive results while identifying challenges and opportunities for expansion.
Phase 3, from September 2022 to June 2023, focuses on expanding the implementation of the software to five additional provinces in different geographic areas that are facing socioeconomic constraints and climate change impacts, including Thua Thien Hue, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Ca Mau, and Dak Lak. By the end of March 2023, 2,167 healthcare staff (of whom 1,082 are female) at more than 800 grassroots health facilities have been trained and have been actively using Doctor for Everyone software to manage patients’ health appointments and to conduct health consultations and regular meetings between commune health stations and district health facilities.
In the first 2.5 years of implementation to mid-April 2023, the programme has been scaled up in eight provinces, covering 87 districts and 1,259 wards/communes, with 4,893 healthcare workers trained, of whom 2,739 are female, and 2,419 are from ethnic minority groups. Health care workers started introducing the software to the community from March 2023. By mid-April 2023, more than 87,500 community members have established accounts and 4,745 people have had their first telehealth-supported examination appointments with commune health stations. In addition, healthcare workers have made 2,693 telehealth video-calls for patient consultations, tele-video meetings, trainings, and other purposes.
In the coming time, the project Telehealth to improve access of healthcare services for disadvantaged groups in Viet Nam will expand the program to ten provinces with the purpose of promoting the health of disadvantaged groups by offering good quality healthcare services to ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, etc., living in mountainous areas in Viet Nam. At the same time, it will aim to strengthen digital transformation in health services, contributing to improving the quality of grassroots medical services.
On the One Health Nexus of Climate Change and Environment
Viet Nam is identified as a country at high risk for emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic diseases due to human population density, biodiversity, livestock and wildlife farming and trade practices, climate change, and other factors. Overexploitation of natural resources, habitat loss, and degradation create the potential for increased contact between humans, livestock and wildlife species, increasing disease spillover risk. Farming, trade, and consumption of wildlife have been identified as key risks for zoonotic disease spillovers. Increasing intensification of livestock rearing, transportation, and slaughtering to meet growing demand for protein for consumption without sufficient land and biosafety practices raises the risk of disease transmission from wildlife (e.g., from wild birds into poultry) and then on-transmission between livestock and spillovers into humans. Intensification of livestock farming also raises the risk of pathogens being present in water supplies and the surrounding environment, posing a further risk of disease spillover.
Climate change, including changes in rainfall patterns, saltwater intrusion, and increased frequency and/or intensity of extreme weather events and disasters, is associated with impacts and changes in farming, land and forest use practices, and livelihoods that can result in new or intensified forms of contact between wildlife, livestock, and humans, leading to additional risks of zoonotic disease spillovers. Growth in tourism is also bringing increasing numbers of tourists and tourism employees into high biodiversity areas where there is a risk of disease spillover directly from wildlife or via the environment.
Viet Nam has a strong commitment to addressing climate change, including an ambitious pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2021 (COP26). MOH’s Climate Change National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for the Health Sector from 2019-2030 and vision to 2050 notes that climate change is likely to increase infectious diseases and emerging infectious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, influenza A (H5N1), H1N1 flu, and Zika fever (also known as Zika virus disease), and that new diseases which are linked to climate change are foreseen in Viet Nam.
The potential project Strengthening Viet Nam’s One Health Implementation at the Nexus of Climate Change, Environment and Biodiversity is expected to be awarded, with objectives including:
Duties and Responsibilities
The assignment will focus on providing inputs to strengthening the development, management and implementation of UNDP Viet Nam’s climate-health nexus portfolio. Specifically, the intern will be expected to support implementation of the following two projects:
Scope of Work
Based in the Climate Change and Environment Unit, and under the overall direction of the Assistant Resident Representative, the intern will report on a day-to-day basis to the Programme Analyst on the Climate-Health Nexus. S/he will also work closely with relevant international technical specialists, programme officers, and programme associates in the Unit.
As a member of the UNDP programme team, the intern is responsible for the oversight and implementation of projects assigned to him/her to ensure quality planning, budgeting, procurement of services and consultants, and oversight of implementation, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation for timely delivery of quality results/products.
As a member of the UN family in Viet Nam, the intern is expected to make contribution to the implementation of the UN One Plan, advancing the UN’s delivery as one (DAO) agenda, enhancing synergies and impacts of UN support in the area of climate and health. The intern will work in partnership with UNDP colleagues, government counterparts, project staff, and non-government organizations, as relevant, to ensure successful programme development and implementation to achieve One Plan results.
In addition, the intern may be engaged in ongoing project initiatives on climate and health, conducting knowledge management and research assignments, and providing management oversight and policy advocacy in support of timely and quality delivery.
Through the assignment, the selected intern will benefit from:
The intern’s assignment may entail any of the following tasks:
Task 1: Strategic partnership building and resource mobilization strategy
As a member of the CCE team, the intern is expected to contribute to the formulation of new projects and mobilize resources in the area of climate and health. S/he may be engaged in the following tasks:
Task 2: Management and implementation of projects
The intern will function as part of the UNDP programme team responsible for project implementation, backstopping UNDP's overall support and quality assurance work of on-going projects in the area of climate and health, by conducting, as relevant and instructed, the following possible tasks:
Task 3: UN reform agenda and advocacy
The intern will function as part of the UN family in Viet Nam, which commits to deliver as one (DAO) to enhance synergies and impacts of UN support in the area of climate and health, by conducting the following tasks:
Required Skills and Experience