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UNICEF Home-based Consultancy: Public Financing for Children for Health Expert (66 working days with travel as needed)

UNICEF Home-based Consultancy: Public Financing for Children for Health Expert (66 working days with travel as needed)

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.

UNICEF Home-based Consultancy: Public Financing for Children for Health Expert (66 working days with travel as needed)

  • Job no: 565386
  • Contract type: Consultant
  • Duty Station: Geneva
  • Level: Consultancy
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Categories: Health

Purpose of Activity/Assignment

Under the overall supervision of the UNICEF ECARO Regional Health Adviser and Regional Social Policy Adviser, in close collaboration with Headquarters, and other relevant sections, the consultant will report to the health financing expert in the health section and in the Social Policy Section, to develop the course content for Public Financing for Children (PF4C) with a focus on Health (with 50% of the overall content on immunization), and to deliver it.

The PF4C for Health expert will provide support to ECARO RO and COs in developing tailored course content. Earlier training courses in ECARO were adapted from the modules available in AGORA: the consultant will review the courses’ content available in AGORA, including a PF4C for Nutrition training, and other courses provided by sector’s organizations (e.g., WHO), as relevant. The final contents developed will significantly impact the skills and knowledge gained in comparison to all previous training and can be used globally for upskilling UNICEF staff in the field of Public Financing for Children, Public Finance Management and Costing Tools and make them actionable, by including Government Representatives.

The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias, or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic, and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated.

There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education, and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations. The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates this commitment to children’s rights into action.

Health systems strengthening (HSS), addressing inequities in health outcomes, and promoting integrated, multi‐ sectoral policies and programs are necessary approaches to achieve universal health coverage reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized children and women. UNICEF’s HSS strategy targets national, sub-national and community levels of the health system with inter-related systems strengthening interventions: 1) national-level: support Ministries of Health (MoH) to develop equity-focused health policies, strategies and plans, 2) district-level: improve management capacity for evidence-based planning and monitoring, to expand service delivery, 3) community-level: strengthen community platforms and ensure they are well integrated into sub-national health systems.

Central to UNICEF’s HSS approach is contributing to the social protection system and plan for financing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through primary health care (PHC) costing, development of investment cases, financial and fiscal space analysis and leveraging of resources as part of Public Finance for Children (PF4C ), e.g., promoting insurance schemes focusing on the most vulnerable and prioritizing primary health care, budgeting and design of financing mechanisms to benefit children and women. Given the focus on a comprehensive and coordinated approach, linkages with social welfare services, early child development and adolescent engagement are also promoted.

UNICEF is committed as a strategic partner of the National Governments in making public resources work better for children. UNICEF also provides strategic support in improving efficiency of current spending and advocating for increasing funds with coverage and quality in all sectors, and often determines whether the most disadvantaged children are truly reached or not.

For every sector, as part of Country Program Documents, and in line with the Strategic Action Plan (2022-2025), UNICEF will provide enhanced support to the governments in allocating and spending resources wisely: budgeting sufficiently, and spending funds effectively, efficiently, and equitably. This is embedded as a specific area of UNICEF’s social policy portfolio: Public Finance for Children (PF4C).

To be effective in this task, UNICEF staff require enhanced skills to both influence budget decisions and support government capacity to improve how funds are used, realizing that engagement with the Ministries of Finance and Planning has become imperative in advancing activities related to Health and Primary Health Care.

UNICEF ECARO Health and Social Policy Sections are jointly proposing to conduct 2 batches of Regional Trainings on PF4C focused on health. Training will be provided to UNICEF staff, and key stakeholders, including representatives from the ministries of Health, Finance, and Planning.

The main goal of the learning programme is to strengthen health-related outcomes for children. To do that, UNICEF would increase its support to strengthening public financial management (PFM) in the health sector, building a critical mass of competent program staff who are equipped relevant knowledge and tools, who can support timely advocacy and programming. The areas of reach include sector-specific and cross-sectoral financing, budgeting and PFM, the adherence to the national budgetary framework and PFM systems that sustain and scale up overall programme results, particularly for the most vulnerable children and their families.

The countries prioritized for the two batches are Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Ukraine which have been identified as the accelerator countries for Primary Health Care jointly by both UNICEF and WHO Headquarters (Global Action Plan Accelerators for PHC). Kosovo, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are the additional countries included based on investment cases and costing exercises being conducted on Home Visitation, Iron and Folic Acid, PHC, Immunization, Maternal and Newborn Health, HIV etc. Countries planning to conduct cost benefit analysis exercises will also be included, like Azerbaijan for HPV introduction and Bosnia and Herzegovina for PCV introduction. Finally, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan will be included due to the ongoing work related to costing, PHC, and other programmatic areas. However, the training will be offered to all the countries and ECARO Staff in different sections based on interest, and the final candidates will be selected based on country needs, planned activities for the current and coming years thus hugely benefitting it internally and externally.

Through this training, UNICEF staff and other participants will be able to:

  1. Interpret and apply key concepts encountered in main policy or political discourses or processes aimed at improving the adequacy, efficiency, and equity of public investments for children.
  2. Connect dots to detect signs of budget or PFM related constraints to results for children in a sector or cross-sectorally.
  3. Map key actors/ powers and partners for effective leveraging and influencing to improve budget policies and practices for better child outcomes.
  4. Improve programme-wide coordination on PF4C activities, using different programmes to reach the most relevant institutions, with the key messages at the right timing.
  5. Design ToRs to further investigate PFM problems and identify solutions; and
  6. Craft high-level communication messages to advocate for, raise awareness or alerts on issues with significant implications for children.

Scope of Work

It is expected that the strategic and technical leadership of the incumbent will significantly impact overall child survival and development across countries in the region. The efficacy and efficiency of the support provided by the position in terms of provision of guidance, resource, and technical support will contribute to strong strategic and technical positioning of UNICEF at the regional and country level. This will ultimately contribute to enhancing the leadership, credibility, and ability of UNICEF in PF4C for health as critical components of its efforts to improving child survival and development in Europe and Central Asia, and beyond. The developed course content will be made available in both English and Russian versions.

An “Initial Capstone project” will be given to participants to undertake situational analysis as a group work during the training at a self-paced fashion for feedback from the organizers/ trainers and these groups will later submit the completed Capstone Project within the following six months and will be later presented during the forthcoming Regional Network Meeting. This will be related to a specific activity on PF4C for Health, or PFM for Health and the details will be shared during the training.

Coordinate and Collaborate

  • Coordinate nominations from ECARO and COs, and observers from UNICEF HQ and other ROs.
  • Collaborate with health and social policy, and other sections to develop course content.


  • Lead the technical content writing of PF4C for health training, as below:
  1. Course roadmap and context: an overview of the PF4C programmatic activities (PF4C Global Programme Framework and ECAR PF4C Strategy); initial highlight of best practices and potential case-studies, that could be developed to become part of the course content.
  2. The politics of the budget: the political determinants of the budget allocation and execution, and the role of informal processes in budget management.
  3. Fiscal space: explaining the options for greater and more equitable investments for children, along with trade-offs involved.
  4. PFM systems: describing the core concepts of PFM.
  5. Budget Cycle: explaining the processes from policy development to budget preparation, execution, approval, oversight, and evaluation.
  6. Decentralization: the importance of effective financial management at the sub-national level in making budgets work for children.
  7. Overview of analytical tools: UNICEF experience for identifying budgets and PFM related constraints to equitable results, including that for improving child-focused public expenditure data.
  8. Expenditure analysis tools: reviewing tools to monitor expenditures at different moments of the service delivery chain.
  9. Value for Money analysis: explaining the tools to measure and maximize value for money, particularly in the social sectors.
  10. Expenditure and Revenue Equity Analysis: including analytical methods and key financing issues and policy options for addressing equity concerns in the social sectors.
  11. Using impact assessment and costing tools: Lives Saved Tool (LiST), OneHealth, NIS Tool etc.

Note: the consultant is encouraged to organize the course contents in a suitable format, such as slides. However, as both batches are expected to be delivered in presence, it is expected that the consultant would be making use of different learning techniques, beyond presenting the contents. This can include, although not limited to exercises, surveys, role plays, etc.

Knowledge management

  • Document and disseminate lessons learned from the training package developed and the efforts to improve partnerships for sustainable health systems strengthening.
  • Review the course content and develop PowerPoint, as needed.
  • Lead the development of technical content writing in both English and Russian.
  • Lead sharing of the course content with the Learning and Development Section (AGORA).

Other related duties

  • Whenever required and approved, represent UNICEF ECARO in relevant meetings at global, regional, and national levels to ensure that UNICEF perspectives are adequately represented in relevant strategies and frameworks related to PF4C for health training.
  • Explore areas and opportunities for country office staff development, specifically on PF4C for Health for cross fertilization with UNICEF staff from countries in other UNICEF regions.
  • Inform and upskill health staff in the region on PF4C for health.

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks / MilestoneDeliverables / OutputsTimeline / Deadline
Desk reviewInception report with work plan developed and agreed5 working days;By Oct 2023 or 1 week after the beginning of contract
Develop tools and training materials for Capacity Building on PF4C for HealthDraft outline of the course content developed5 working days;By Oct 2023 or 2 weeks after the beginning of contract
Develop tools and training materials for Capacity Building on PF4C for HealthInitial draft of the Training content drafted30 working days;By Nov 2023 or 6 weeks after the beginning of contract
Training conducted based on the developed course contentIn-person training conducted with the Final Draft of the Course Content Developed5 working days;By Dec 2023 or within 3 months after the beginning of contract
Review the contents of the training based on the training for the first batchTraining content finalized15 working days;By January 2024
Training conducted for the second batch based on the revised course contentIn-person training conducted with the Final Training Content developed, in English, and ideally in Russian language5 working days;By February 2024
Final report of the consultancyBrief Final report1 working day;By March 2024

Estimated Duration of the Contract

  • 66 working days (between October 2023 and March 2024)

Consultant’s Work Place and Official Travel

  • The assignment will be remote/home-based.

As part of this assignment, some travel to specific countries in Europe and Central Asia is expected. The consultant will arrange her/his travel as and when they take place, and related costs will be reimbursed per UNICEF travel policy.

Travel Clause

  • All UNICEF rules and regulations related to travel of Consultants apply.
  • All travels shall be undertaken only upon the prior written approval by UNICEF.
  • The consultant must be fit to travel, be in a possession of the valid UN BSAFE certificate, obligatory inoculation(s) and have a valid own travel/medical insurance and an immunization/vaccination card.

Estimated Cost of the Consultancy & Payment Schedule

Payment will be made on submission of an invoice and satisfactory completion of the above-mentioned deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs are incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

Please submit a financial proposal (in USD) in your application based on 66 working days to undertake this assignment. Please do not include travel fees as this will be reimbursed as and when they take place.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in health economics, health financing or public financial management or a closely related field is required.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant professional experience in a public finance or economic development role within the national/international health sector.
  • Prior experience conducting or developing course content on PF4C is an asset.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated knowledge of and professional experience in at least two of the following areas: Public Finance Management in health, health economic analysis, strengthening public health financing and governance, Health Systems Strengthening.
  • Experience of working in the region is considered an asset.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization, or in a global health initiative (TGF, GAVI, GFF) or development bank is considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Russian is preferred

DEADLINE: 05 Sep 2023 W. Europe Daylight Time

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