TB Program Review - Laboratory Expert


Location : UNDP Country Office, Juba, SOUTH SUDAN
Application Deadline :01-Jul-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
17-Jul-2019
Duration of Initial Contract :21 Days
Expected Duration of Assignment :4 Weeks

Background

The decades of war that affected mainly the Southern part of the then Sudan disrupted TB control interventions. Through the support of Faith and Non-Faith based organizations, TB control activities were restarted at a small scale in the late 1990's. These TB activities were coordinated, managed and supervised by the World Health Organization in close collaboration with the Secretariat of Health for Southern Sudan.

Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 and the formation of the different ministerial structures by the Government of Southern Sudan, a formal National TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control Programme was established under the Directorate of Preventive Health Services of the Ministry of Health in November 2006. This Programme took over the role from WHO and was mandated to coordinate, plan, monitor and supervise the implementation of all TB activities in Southern Sudan and now South Sudan following independence in 2011.

Since the establishment of the Programme, significant strides have been made in terms of TB prevention, care and control activities in South Sudan. Key among others are the establishment of functional central and state level TB coordination structures, expansion of TB diagnostic and treatment centers from 46 in 2008 to 95 in 2018. There was an increase in the number of detected TB cases from 4,414 in 2008 to 14,371 in 2018. TB/HIV collaborative activities initiated in 2007 with gradual improvement of uptake of HIV testing among TB patients from 24% in 2008 to 95% in 2018 with 9% of TB/HIV coinfected patients initiated on anti-retroviral therapy in 2018.  The Programme further developed key documents which include National Strategic Plans (2009 - 2013, 2012 - 2016 and 2015 - 2019), Guidelines For Tuberculosis and TB/HIV Prevention, Care and Control In South Sudan and training manuals, Laboratory Quality Assurance and Acid Fast Bacilli and training manuals, South Sudan  National Guidelines for Childhood And Adolescent Tuberculosis Clinical Care,  Guidelines For Clinical and Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB and Community TB Home Health Promoter Manual.

However, despite these achievements, the challenges remain immense, including limited coverage of TB services, weak network of laboratory services, the emerging threat of drug resistant TB etc.  Throughout the implementation of the three Strategic Plans, the Programme has not conducted a national Programme review to deliberate on the achievements made, challenges and programmatic gaps, lessons learnt along the course of implementing their implementation and how the Programme can better position itself in addressing quality TB prevention, care and control activities in South Sudan.

It is against this background that the NTLBP is seeking to hire a Laboratory Expert to support the implementation of the planned program review.

The primary objective of this assignment is to provide laboratory technical expertise in the TB Programme Review and make relevant recommendations for strengthening diagnostic and reporting capacity of the TB diagnostic laboratories, and National TB Reference Laboratory. The consultant will review the performance of the laboratories for the period under review including whether the laboratories have skilled laboratory staff, adequate reagents and commodities, functional equipment, proper infrastructure, Standard Operating Procedures for laboratory diagnosis, disease reporting tools and that registers are in-use, biosafety/biosecurity practices are established and that quality assurance procedures are in place.


Duties and Responsibilities

Overall, the incumbent will lead the evaluation of the programmatic management aspects of the National TB Programme related to the laboratory and diagnostic management. The incumbent will:

  • Review the performance and status of TB laboratory diagnostics and drug susceptibility testing;
  • Analyze the status and implementation of laboratory protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) and provide recommendations;
  • Assess the laboratory management system and coordination between the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), and develop recommendations for improving the structure, communication and coordination.
  • Assess the efficiency of the specimen transportation system and develop recommendations for its improvement;
  • Review laboratory equipment maintenance processes, norms and schedules and provide recommendations on further steps for improvement;
  • Review the completeness of patient outcomes and overall availability of lab results to guide patient management and provide recommendation to lab/diagnostic to address any identified gap.
  • Follow-up on recommendations provided by different partners and experts (WHO, GLC etc.) with regards to the NTRL activities and performance
  • Submit a technical report highlighting findings and recommendations of the review
  • A slide deck summarizing key findings and recommendations to be presented during the stakeholders meeting
  • Reporting: The consultant will work in close collaboration with the other consultants participating in the review exercise and will report to the lead consultant.

Travel:

All travel costs will be covered by UNDP according to its rules and regulations. Travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses will be agreed upon, between UNDP and the Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be covered and paid by UNDP. The fare will always be “most direct, most economical” and any difference in price with the preferred route will be paid for by the expert.

Evaluation:

  • Applicants will be evaluated based upon their submitted expressions of interest and financial proposals, which includes a cumulative analysis method based upon a combination of technical and financial evaluation results.

Payment Method: All-inclusive Daily Fee.

  • The consultant will be paid on a daily rate (based on the number of days worked).
  • Payments will be based on the Certificate of Payments that will be submitted;
  • Time Sheet will be attached and verified by the direct supervisor; and
  • Final tranche upon performance evaluation from the direct supervisor.


Competencies

Professionalism:

  • Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter;
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment;
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements;
  • Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
  • Demonstrates diplomacy and tact in dealing with sensitive and complex situations.
  • Able to work in difficult and remote areas for extended periods of time

Planning & Organizing: 

  • Organizes and accurately completes multiple tasks by establishing priorities while taking into consideration special assignments, frequent interruptions, deadlines, available resources and multiple reporting relationships;
  • Plans, coordinates and organizes workload while remaining aware of changing priorities and competing deadlines; Establishes, builds and maintains effective working relationships with staff and clients to achieve the planned results.


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree (M.S./M.Sc./M.A) or a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in either of the following relevant specializations: Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Biochemistry.

Experience:

  • A minimum of Five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in a clinical, public health or academic laboratory
  • Experience in laboratory techniques including knowledge of procedures for Molecular diagnostics, microbiological techniques, immunology, quality assurance and knowledge of the laboratory facilities, health care system and structures including familiarity with MOH policies, program priorities and regulations. The incumbent must have good working knowledge of team management techniques to plan, organize and direct multi-disciplinary project teams, activities, and overall administrative requirements.
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in conceptualizing national strategies, programs, and plans and overseeing their management and implementation.
  • Experience working in partnership with programmes supported by international agencies such as WHO, World Bank, Global Fund and bilateral agencies such as CDC and USAID.
  • Experience in procurement and management of laboratory’s supplies would be considered a strong asset.
  • Experience with the introduction of rapid WHO-recommended laboratory diagnostic techniques for TB and DR-TB in resource-limited settings.
  • Work experience in management of TB laboratory services in resource limited countries.

Language:

  • Proficiency in English Language is important.

How to Apply

For consideration, the nominated consultant (s) should submit their applications by 18 June 2019 on the UNDP jobsite. Incomplete applications will not be considered and only candidates for whom there is further interests will be contracted. Proposals must include:

  • CV of the consultant and any other individuals who will contribute to the project or complete?
  • 2 or 3 references most recent in related works / assignment
  • Download completed? Letter of interest with? all Methodology of Approach? With attachment of? financial proposal (as per the requirements mentioned below)?
  • Read and agree to the General Terms & Conditions;
  • Click the ‘apply’ icon and complete what is required; Scan all documents into 1 pdf folder and then upload

Technical Proposal:

  • Explain in a cover page (maximum 2 pages) how candidate’s qualification and experience in makes? Him/Her? suitable for the work and can lead towards the successful deliverable of ALL the objectives of this consultancy within the required timeframe.
  • Please list and summaries at least 3 samples of related work previously involved.

Financial proposal

Specify a lump sum amount which is all inclusive and considers various expenses the candidate expects to incur during the contract, including:

  • The cost of travel from the home base to the duty station UNDP Office, Rep. of South Sudan? and vice versa;
  • Communications, utilities and consumables; and
  • Life, health and any other insurance.

Evaluation:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following’s methodology:

Cumulative analysis

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight; [70%]

* Financial Criteria weight; [30%]

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 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.


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