National HIV/AIDS Consultant in Kazakhstan

UNICEF Global


National HIV/AIDS Consultant in Kazakhstan

Type of contract: Consultant, full-time
Duration: 11 months from 16 July 2022 to 16 June 2023
Workplace: home-based

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.
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Background

International community has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030. This is the ambitious goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. With HIV infection, it became possible to achieve complete control of the disease, subject to effective lifelong treatment. But the concept of “health” according to the WHO definition is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just the absence of disease and physical defects.
 
Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. Worldwide, about 120,000 children under the age of 14 have been recorded as dying from AIDS-related causes. Meanwhile, among new HIV infections worldwide in 2017, 250,000 were among adolescents aged 15 to 19. According to projections published in the UNICEF statistical update “Children, HIV and AIDS: The World in 2030,” at the current rate of infection, there will be 3.5 million new cases of HIV among adolescents by 2030. In Kazakhstan, over 28,000 people live with HIV, among which 65,2% are men and 34,8% women ( http://kncdiz.kz/ru/  ).HIV infection affects key aspects of adolescent life: physical, psychological, social and spiritual. In Kazakhstan, 497 children aged 0-14 and 730 adolescents aged 15-19 were officially registered as living with HIV in 2019. In 2019, 49 cases of HIV infection were detected in the country among adolescents (10-19 years old).

An assessment of psychosocial support services for children and adolescents living with HIV was carried out in 2020 as a joint effort between UNICEF, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Labor. The assessment found that in some regions of the country (Almaty and Turkestan regions, Almaty and Shymkent cities), introduction of the psychosocial support standards led to reaching 100 percent HIV disclosure rates in children under 12 years of age. Introduction of the standards also ensured high levels of preparation and effective transition of adolescents with HIV aged 15-18 from pediatric to adult care. In many regions, implementation of the standards resulted in the establishment of multidisciplinary teams, which enhanced intersectoral collaboration and the quality of support to families affected by HIV via application of case management methodology. If back in 2019 there was weak interaction between AIDS centers, PHC, education and social protection sectors, then already in 2021 the case management standard in many regions was partially or completely implemented (66% implementation rate in Turkestan and Shymkent, 50% implementation rate in Almaty). However, significant implementation gaps remained. Facility staff continued to conduct the majority (82%) of HIV disclosures with only 12 per cent of disclosures conducted by mothers and one per cent by fathers, pointing to the need for further strengthening of the capacity of parents to support their children through the disclosure process. High levels of self- and external stigma among children and adolescents living with HIV also continued to be a considerable barrier to disclosure, with 57 per cent of respondents keeping their own status secret and 61 per cent of respondents reporting that they would be careful not to disclose their results to anyone. Furthermore, 23 per cent of respondents experiencing stigma reported being hurt by others’ reactions to learning of their HIV status and only half of the respondents reported receiving information from the programme on managing internal or external stigma.

To accelerate progress in HIV prevention and response with children and adolescents, more effective policies are needed, alongside the development and introduction of innovative technologies in the service delivery system. In coming years, UNICEF plans to expand programmes aimed at psychosocial support for HIV-positive adolescents considering the achievement of the “last mile” (well-being for the most vulnerable and marginalized) as a priority. Aspects beyond clinical needs can be extremely important for the successful treatment and overall well-being of children and adolescents living with HIV.

The UNICEF country programme for 2021-2025 is supporting the Government in moving towards achieving the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: On the Fast-Track to Accelerate the Fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, which includes an important overarching commitment on “delivery of more integrated services for HIV” implying the need of integrating HIV services into primary care. In achieving this, UNICEF prioritizes promotion of inclusive adolescent-friendly health and psychosocial support services for HIV and chronic diseases prevention and management. UNICEF advocates for institutionalization of Psychosocial support standards (PSS) for children and adolescents living with HIV, prevention of stigma/discrimination in health and education settings, strengthening knowledge and skills of children and adolescents LWHIV on chronic disease self-management, adherence and healthy living, and continues working with the Ministry of Health, local Akimats and private sector to scale up online treatment, care, and support services for adolescents and young people in Youth Health centers (YHC). UNICEF collaborates with UNAIDS and the Ministry of Health in integrating HIV/AIDS response into primary health care (PHC).

In 2020-2021, UNICEF supported various activities in promoting inclusive adolescent-friendly health and psychosocial support services for HIV and chronic disease prevention including development of Methodological recommendations for schools on prevention of stigma/discrimination and supporting children and adolescents living with HIV, Methodological recommendations for effective transition of adolescents living with HIV to adult care, National Guide on self-management of chronic disease, adherence and healthy living for children and adolescents. Among promising areas for UNICEF is strengthening family care and forming the lifelong support system for children and adolescents living with chronic disease (HIV, diabetes) via building and strengthning the capacity of Parent’s networks (support groups).

Purpose of Activity/Assignment

The National HIV/AIDS consultant will provide professional technical, operational expertise throughout the programming process for the HIV/AIDS programme and projects. The incumbent will apply his expertise and competencies to support 1) knowledge development and management through research, data collection and analysis 2) the development, formulation and implementation of the HIV/AIDS output within the Country Programme, 3) the development and management of partnerships with government, UN agencies, businesses and NGOs, 4) the design, planning and implementation of social and behaviour change strategies and activities and 5) office’s resource mobilization.

The consultancy is to assist the Ministry of Health in HIV/AIDS prevention and scaling up treatment, care and support services which needs specific technical expertise

As HIV or other chronic disease affect genders, age groups and cultures in different ways, the HIV/AIDS consultant will prioritize development and implementation of highly contextualized, equitable and sustainable community intervention work, in which the human rights, vision and special needs of grassroots communities are seen as fundamental priorities.

The National HIV/AIDS Consultant reports to the UNICEF Health and Nutrition Specialist, and will work in close collaboration with all sections concerned, national counterparts and partners

Scope of Work:

HIV/AIDS Consultant will guide building system of adolescent-centered care and support services for children and adolescents living with HIV or other chronic disease in the context of the national project “Healthy Nation” until 2025, guide testing and scaling-up models to ensure universal access to quality services for vulnerable adolescents and families, including institutionalization of psychosocial support standards (PSS), scaling up online treatment, care, and support services for adolescents and young people in Youth Health centers (YHC), preventing stigma and discrimination in health and education settings, strengthening knowledge and skills of children and adolescents LWHIV on chronic disease self-management, elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV (eMTCT), strengthening family care and forming the lifelong support system for children and adolescents living with chronic disease via building capacity of parents’ networks (support groups).

1. Plan and implement evidence generation
• Researches and analyzes the regional and national development trends in the area of HIV/AIDS. Collect, analyze, verify, and synthesize information to facilitate HIV/AIDS programme development, design and preparation.
• Prepares technical reports and ensures inputs for HIV/AIDS programme design, planning, documentation, and reporting at the country, regional and global levels, ensuring accuracy, timeliness and relevancy of information.
• Collects, analyzes and shares information on HIV/AIDS programme implementation issues.

2. Support to HIV/AIDS programme output implementation
• Provides technical and administrative support throughout all stages of HIV/AIDS programming processes by executing and administering a variety of technical programme transactions, preparing materials and documentations, and complying with organizational processes and management systems, to support all stages of programme results-based management (RBM),
• Supports monitoring and evaluation exercises, HIV/AIDS programme reviews and annual sectoral reviews with the government and other counterparts, and prepare minutes and reports on results for follow up action by UNICEF management and other stakeholders.
• Undertakes field visits and surveys, and exchange information with partners and stakeholders to assess progress and provide technical support in the area of HIV/AIDS. Takes appropriate action to resolve issues and/or refer to relevant colleagues and management for resolution. Reports on critical issues, bottlenecks and potential problems in the HIV/AIDS output for timely action to achieve results.

3. Support the Health and Nutrition team of UNICEF Country Office to establish and maintain partnerships with government, UN agencies, businesses and NGOs
• Provides technical support for the promotion and implementation of UNICEF policies, strategies, and best practices on HIV/AIDS related issues, with government counterparts, NGO partners, UN agencies, and other country office partners and donors
• Establishing and maintaining effective working partnerships with HIV/AIDS sector government counterparts and national stakeholders, including business leaders participating in UNICEF Business Advisory Council (BAC) meetings and HIV/AIDS national task force, putting to good use UNICEF expertise, government political leverage and business ability and streamlining advocacy/information sharing about the programme.
• Advocating UNICEF’s chronic disease self-management, adherence and well-being programme among children and adolescents living with HIV, which encompasses activities to help adolescents LWHIV control their illness, prevent future complications, and cope with the impact of both the disease and its treatment on themselves and others, including: healthseeking behaviors, monitoring of symptoms, lifestyle behaviors, taking medication, medication side effects, communicating with service providers, psychosocial support, sexual/reproductibe health, mental health etc.

4. Contribute to social and behaviour change activities
• Drafts and adapt communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support fund raising for HIV/AIDS programme.
• Design and support the implementation of communication strategies and activities for awareness raising for HIV/AIDS programme, including the development of communication materials adapted to targeted audience

5. Contribute to office’s resource mobilization
• In close collaboration with the UNICEF Partnership Officer, researches information on potential donors and prepares resource mobilization materials/proposals and briefs for fund raising and partnership development purposes.

Download File Work Assignment Overview HIV AIDS National Consultant.docx

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
• Master degree (Master’s or higher) in Social Sciences, Health Science, Psychology, Education, International Relations or related field
• At least three (3) years of relevant professional work experience in public health, HIV/AIDS, social work, community engagement, awareness raising, advocacy for vulnerable groups
• Technical expertise in HIV/AIDS research, strategies and policies
• Experience in the development, planning and management of strategies and programmes in the area of HIV/AIDS, social work.
• Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
• Ability to write quality reports on HIV/AIDS or other related fields;
• Fluency in English, Russian language
• Knowledge of Kazakh language is an advantage.
• Highly developed communication skills.
• Ability to work in an international and multi-cultural environment.
• Ability to work independently and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner.
• Excellent analytical and organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to contribute to a team.
• Competencies:
– Communication;
– Drive for results;
– Analyzing;
– Formulating Strategies and Concepts

For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability (https://www.unicef.org/about/unicef-culture)
View our functional competencies framework Download File Functional Competencies.pdf

Remarks:
• Completion of the UN/UNICEF mandatory trainings is obligatory upon commencement of the contract.
• Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
• UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
• UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
• All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.
• The Individual contractor or Consultant will perform his/her duties in line with UNICEF standards and procedures.
• The successful candidate will be required to have medical insurance (at his/her own cost), covering the whole period of contract, including travel. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).
• Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
• Payment upon completion of each deliverable according to schedule. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

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