LHSS COVID-19 Learning Activity Consultant, South Africa
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Abt Associates
Job Description

Job Description


The USAID Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS) project helps low- and middle-income countries transition to sustainable, self-financed health systems as a means to support universal health coverage.

Led by Abt Associates, the five-year, $209 million project works with partner countries and local stakeholders to reduce financial barriers to care and treatment, ensure equitable access to essential health services for all people, and improve the quality of health services.

USAID’s Office of Health Systems (OHS) and Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL), with other USAID partners, are spearheading learning activities across multiple countries implementing USAID-funded COVID-19 response efforts.

In line with that work, LHSS will design and implement a learning activity to understand :

The extent to which COVID-19 supplemental funding has been leveraged to strengthen core health system functions inclusive of public health response and preparedness

The role USAID plays in supporting capacity development of local actors (e.g., government and community leaders) to strengthen systems in preparation for future shocks or stressors

The effect of taking the approach of integrating COVID-19 responses into HSS on both COVID-19 response metrics and broader health system dynamics and outcomes

The learning activities will include USAID-funded COVID-19 response activities in five countries. LHSS is seeking a consultant in South Africa to support this learning activity, partnering with in-country teams implementing USAID funded projects.

Aim of the Consultancy

A local consultant is needed to support the implementation of the learning activity in South Africa. The specific assignment of the local consultant is listed below :

Phase 1 : Context Analysis

The consultant will review the learning activity workplan and research protocol together with the learning activity team.

Based on the discussion and review, the consultant will develop a detailed implementation plan with a timeline in line with the expected tasks and deliverables.

Supported by the LHSS learning activity team, the consultant will identify relevant documentation for desk review such as activity workplans, reports, capacity-strengthening assessments and tools, and implementation research products.

The consultant will report on these findings to the LHSS team and provide a written summary report.

The consultant will also explore local IRB requirements. If local IRB submission is needed, the consultant will work with the learning activity team to tailor an umbrella protocol to local context (e.

g., facilitate translation of IRB packages and completion of local IRB forms), submit IRB for local review board, and follow approval processes.

Phase 2 : Document Outcome Descriptions

The consultant, in reviewing the relevant documentation, will conduct the desk review and document change stories of interest identified by the learning activity team.

The consultant and the learning activity team will plan for the collection of supplementary data that can identify additional potential change stories, describe the context and what changes were achieved, address gaps in data, describe which interventions contributed to which change and the significance of the change.

Phase 3 : Supplemental Data Collection

The consultant will coordinate closely with the LHSS team to address logistics and resource needs for leading meetings with local stakeholders (including activity implementers and others involved in the implementation of COVID-19 response, such as local government representatives) to collect supplemental data as planned.

These data collection efforts will contribute to refining and validating change stories developed during the design workshop, documentation review, as well as ensure interventions contributed to changes.

Additional meetings will be convened with independent stakeholders that were influenced by the change, know about the role of USAID but were not directly involved in COVID-19 response, such as other government counterparts and civil society organizations’ representatives.

These independent stakeholders can substantiate implementers’ observations and can also identify ripple effects and unanticipated changes as a result of interventions.

The local consultant will develop a detailed implementation plan and timeline for these meetings with stakeholders based on local context and existing options for in-person and virtual convenings.

In addition, the consultant will prepare transcripts as well as a summary report from thestakeholderss interviewed.

Phase 4 : Analysis and Interpretation of Results

After documentation review and supplemental data collection, the consultant will support the finalization of the learning activity process, through facilitating workshops, data analysis, interpretation of results, and developing recommendations and action plans.

The consultant will be responsible for draft final results and recommendations in a slide deck that is of quality to present to MOH, USAID mission as well as USAID Washington.

The consultant in South Africa will :

Review the learning activity protocol, which will include the research questions, methods, study instruments, data management plan, and timeline

Examine and respond to initial change stories developed prior to their engagement, based on knowledge and data available to the core learning team at that early stage in the activity

Identify relevant documentation such as activity workplans, reports, capacity-strengthening assessments and tools

Review and summarize the relevant documentation and document change stories

Collect data that can identify additional potential change stories and describe the context, what changes were achieved, which interventions contributed to which outcome, and the significance of the change

Adapt the umbrella protocol to South Africa program and context

Work with the country team and learning activity team to identify and select respondents

Tailor the data collection instruments to South Africa context

Address logistics and resource needs for and facilitate meetings of local stakeholders

Conduct data collection as outlined in the umbrella protocol and country-specific plan. A combination of in-person meetings or workshops, interviews and short surveys is currently envisioned.

Some local travel within South Africa may be required.

Facilitate workshops to validate findings

Prepare and share transcripts of interviews and summary reports

Contribute to analysis, interpretation of results, and developing recommendations, and action plans, with the guidance of the learning activity team

Maintain weekly contact with the core learning activity team through regularly scheduled virtual / in-person meetings over the course of the project

Draft a final slide deck specific to South Africa that includes the results, recommendations, and action plans


Phase 0 : Project Management Deliverables

Weekly virtual meetings with the LHSS team

Detailed implementation plan with timeline

Monthly progress reports and a final activity report reflecting on the technical accomplishments and outcomes achieved

Phase 1 Deliverables : Research protocol adaptation

Context analysis report summarizing findings from the documentation review

Local IRB package ready for submission, if needed

Phase 2 Deliverables : Desk review

Documentation of change stories

Detailed implementation plan and timeline for supplemental data collection including interviews

Phase 3 Deliverable : supplemental data collection and reporting

Identified list of interviewees, interview transcripts, edited meeting notes, and other relevant collected documentation from supplemental data collection

Phase 4 Deliverable : final report and recommendations in slide deck

A final slide deck specific to South Africa that includes the results, recommendations, and action plans. This deck should be high quality and ready for presenting to MOH, USAID Mission and USAID Washington.

Minimum Qualifications :

Minimum of Masters degree in public health, medicine or related field

Research and evaluation skills : administering qualitative surveys (conducting in-depth interviews, facilitating focus group discussions, collecting and cleaning data qualitative data, developing transcripts and thematic analysis of qualitative data)

Familiarity and experience applying complexity aware monitoring methods a plus

Experience in supporting data use for decision making

Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing

Collaborative team player with excellent interpersonal and organizational skills

Ability to engage remotely (virtual meetings) with learning activity staff both in South Africa and USA)

Ability to travel locally within South Africa

Excellent language proficiency in English required.

Proficiency in Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

Level of Effort and Period of Performance :

The anticipated period of performance for this assignment is April 2023 October 2023. Depending on experience, we expect the level of effort during this period to be around 30-75 days.

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