Job Description – Consultant (Antenatal Care (ANC) Reasearch Officer/SSA/NOC (2304482)

As part of the continuum of care, antenatal care (ANC) is a critical time for women, babies, families and communities. However, as a platform to provide integrated and quality services for women, it has not been utilized efficiently and effectively. Thus, in November 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) released its comprehensive recommendations on routine ANC for pregnant women and adolescent girls. Using an integrated service delivery approach, the guideline aims to create a momentum for countries to re-design or re-align their health systems ‘to provide pregnant women with respectful, individualized, person-centred care at every contact, with implementation of effective clinical practices (interventions and tests), and provision of relevant and timely information, and psychosocial and emotional support, by health providers with good clinical and interpersonal skills within a well-functioning health system.
Therefore, this new guideline provides a great learning and implementation opportunity to better design and provide ANC services in countries and utilize it to strengthen health systems and improve quality of care, thereby improving outcomes for mothers and newborns.
Since 2018, WHO / Country Office, supported by the Regional and Headquarters Offices worked with the MoH and relevant stakeholder to:
– Adapt the new guidance based on needs; and
– Validate and disseminate the national ANC Guideline to improve the quality of ANC as an integrated service delivery point (including malaria, HIV, TB).
– Develop and implement the ANC Adaptation Kit
– Develop the Training package and support materials including registers.
As part of the next phase, WHO is supporting the implementation of ANC research study in Nyanza and Nyagatare districts. The new evidence-based model, outlined in the 2016
WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience, which was adapted to the country context, is being tested through an implementation research.
To support the implementation, WHO Rwanda is recruiting a public health specialist (or with background in related sciences) with research and digital health experience to work as a staff on Special Services Agreement (SSA) for a one-year from 2023 with a possibility for further renewal up to the end of the project in 2024.
* Purpose of the Position
The main objective of the position is to support the Ministry of Health/Rwanda Biomedical Center through Maternal, Child and Community Health Division on the implementation and coordination of the remainder of the implementation research study of the ANC guideline model in Rwanda including digitalization.
With this background WHO/Rwanda seeks an experienced medical doctor with public health specialist/or related sciences and experience in research to work as a national officer for a one-year period with a possibility for further renewal. The position requires interpersonal, leadership, and communications skills, as well as the ability to monitor and supervise service providers to ensure high-quality research.

Summary of Assigned Duties:

Under the overall guidance of WHO Representative Rwanda, and the direct supervision of the WHO UHC Life Course Team Lead and technical coordination of Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition Program Officer in WHO Country Office and in collaboration with Maternal, Child and Community Health/Rwanda Biomedical Centre (MCCH/RBC), the ANC Officer will support the ANC research study implementation and coordination in the two districts Nyanza and Nyagatare. The incumbent will be hierarchically and functionally accountable to WHO but work closely with the RBC/MCCH and other partners involved in ANC. The day-to-day supervision of the incumbent will be done by the UHC Life Course Team Lead in collaboration with the MCCH Division Manager. Additional technical guidance to the incumbent will be provided by relevant WHO Country Office Focal Points responsible for nutrition, immunization and health systems. The Officer is also expected to provide technical support to RBC/MCCH to implement ANC research project in the two selected districts.
He/she will be based in RBC/MCCH and will also liaise with the WHO Country Office Focal Point for ANC as well as the implementation research partner/Institution (University of Rwanda – School of Public Health and 1000 Hills) among other stakeholders.
In addition, the Officer will be required to travel to the research sites to provide technical oversight to the health facility staff and oversee the implementation of the activities at health facility and community levels, including a digital intervention, while the remaining time will be expected to work at central level/MCCH.
In collaboration with RBC/MCCH the SSA/ANC Officer will undertake the following On going Activities: In the context of preparing for the implementation research, the Officer will be responsible for supporting the following activities, in coordination with WHO country office & implementation research partner:
1. Participate in the finalization of monitoring and evaluation tools which will be used for research purpose
2. Support the organization of health care providers training in all research sites (including the digital intervention)
3. Ensure the availability of equipment such as Ultrasonography (USG) and supplies, including screening and diagnostic tests needed for better implementation of the research
4. Support efforts to cost all activities related to the implementation research study and the country-specific ANC package of interventions
5. Support the review health information system needs including related to digital health and ANC monitoring framework
6. Review regularly the data from HMIS related to ANC in Nyagatare and Nyanza districts
7. Facilitate regularly communication between research sites and MCCH
8. Report regularly on the research progress to MCCH
9. Support communication between MoH/MCCH/RBC and local technology partners
10. Any other activities as required by MCCH and/or WCO

Additionally, the Officer will be responsible for supporting the following activities, in coordination with WHO country office & implementation research partner:
1. The individual will work as a part of a team of staff and S/He dedicated to the improvement of global sexual and reproductive health and improving quality of antenatal care. Conduct joint supervision and monitoring activities, including facilitating the trainings of health workers at research sites and the digital intervention activities, as necessary
2. Ensure supplies and equipment at sites are available and functional and support the coordination of stocks, repair or replacement of equipment with Implementation Research partner and WHO /County Office
3. Liaise between RBC/MCCH, WHO Country Office and implementation research partner (University of Rwanda – School of Public Health) to ensure successful completion of research study and project deliverables
4. Support RBC/MOH and WHO /Country Office in preparing plans for scale up ANC guideline and Digital Adaptation Kit
5. Any other activities deemed necessary by WHO/Country Office

Competencies: Generic
1. Teamwork
2. Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
3. Communication
4. Producing results
5. Ensuring the effective use of resources
Competencies: Management
• Moving forward in a changing environment
• Creating an empowering and motivating environment
Functional Knowledge and Skills
* Describe the essential knowledge and the skills specific to the position
The person must have medical background and a master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, or other related field, and with at least five years of experience in health research and implementation of health programmes at national level, with experience in supervising health workers, and excellent communication and writing skills. He/she must also be familiar with MoH procedures especially with regards to research, and related requirements (i.e. ethical approval systems, procurement procedures) and should have done at least two research in Rwanda. The work also requires an individual with the capacity to efficiently meet deadlines and produce results.
Education Qualifications
* Essential

First University degree in medicine with experience in Public Health, Maternal health and digital health.

Post graduate qualification in public health or equivalent degree

* Essential

At least five years of experience in programme implementation, research and research management, and have completed at least two health research studies in Rwanda.
Experience with digital health/innovations, either research or implementation in the country.

Essential: Expert knowledge of English and Kinyarwanda
Desirable: Knowledge of French is an added value.

WHO/Rwanda Representative


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