Consultancy services to develop an emergency health financing strategy ( International and National)

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 8 months ago: Monday 21 Mar 2022 at 17:55 UTC

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Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

While the COVID-19 pandemic is a health crisis, it has also become a socioeconomic crisis presenting the greatest threat to the public finances. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed financial shock due to uncertainty in the flow of resources for the health sector. It has tested the features of sustainable financing of health systems and their pandemic preparedness in absorbing such unprecedented shock. The ferocity with which global pandemic affected countries globally has highlighted the importance of emergency public financing. The rapid spread of the disease requires a rapid, proactive and comprehensive approach to control its transmission. As such, governments need to have adequate funds availed on time to the health sector to finance preparedness, mitigation and post epidemic recovery while ensuring continuity of care for essential services. Good public financing identifies measures as the use of existing budgetary flexibility and exceptional spending procedures for quick action, accelerating revision of finance laws to secure additional earmarked funding and accelerating budget execution and funds release to the frontlines. Lack of clear institutional arrangements and legislation for use of public financing in the context of emergency financing limits the effectiveness of the expenditures and ensures accountability when urgent action is needed.

The purpose of the assignment is to develop an emergency health financing strategy to ensure the continuity of funds for both preparedness and response including continuity of essential health and nutrition services during emergencies. The strategy is expected to guide health reforms by evaluating the existing public financial management (PFM) system, health policies and institutional arrangements in light of their current experiences to rebuild a resilient health system and prepare for future crises as well to improve the efficiency and access to health care. The strategy will focus on resource mobilization strategies and mechanisms to overcome the declining and unpredictable revenue generation in health financing through more responsive and flexible PFM rules and processes that will facilitate quick reprioritization and reallocation of public funds and emergency injection of additional funds to the health sector.

Scope of Work

Two Technical Experts comprising of an International and local consultant shall be fielded to develop an emergency health financing strategy. The international consultant will lead the develop of the strategy and the local consultant will support the international consultant to deliver the tasks, as provided under the scope of work below:

International consultant:

  1. Conduct a situation analysis and review of the current state of health financing in Bhutan, laws and policies related to the health sector and the PFM system and understand the institutional mechanisms. The facts gathered in this analysis will help shape the development of a national emergency health financing strategy. The consultant must also carry out desk reviews based on the international and regional best practices on health financing.

    1. Conduct diagnosis of health system performance during emergencies; identify problems and their underlying causes, including financial barriers. Mapping the existing budgeting process and flow of funds through the system as well as the institutional responsibilities and autonomy for implementing the health financing functions can help provide this overall perspective.
    2. Define specific objectives to address the underlying causes of under-performance/under-financing of the health sector and develop strategic interventions to strengthen health financing during emergencies.
    3. Develop strategic resource mobilization strategies for health emergencies based on the identified causes of under-performance and should be consistent with the national plans and programmes as well as in harmony with the global best practices. The analysis and recommendations must be translated into objectives and expected results including a log frame.
    4. Outline the governance and implementation modalities by reviewing the existing implementation modalities, and propose any changes to laws, policies and regulations which may be needed to support the implementation of the strategy.
    5. Develop the capacity of key government officials on any new knowledge products and tools, health financing mechanisms and resource tracking that may be necessary to support the implementation of the strategy.
    6. Disseminate the knowledge products using a simpler format/template to raise public awareness to ensure the changes are well understood and supported by all key actors.
    7. Conduct a stakeholder analysis to identify potential political obstacles as well as opportunities to move to implementation, as well as other work to identify risks and then to develop strategies to reduce or mitigate them.
    8. Participate in expert meetings, committees of government/other institutions, including the National Technical Working Group.
    9. Liaise and advise the national consultant for the duration of the assignment.
    10. Any other relevant tasks assigned by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and UNICEF Bhutan. Local consultant:

    11. Conduct literature research, reviews and gather data and evidence from relevant sources with prior consent/or approval of the relevant competent authority on health financing and the PFM system, including budgeting and fund flow aspects, laws and policies in Bhutan and share with the international consultant.

    12. Carry out a needs assessment of workshops/meetings/seminars within one week from the award of work in close consultation with the Policy and Planning Division (PPD), MOH and UNICEF Bhutan.
    13. Work closely with the international consultant on the presentations, consultations, and organize workshops and meetings with relevant Ministries, CSOs, private entities, etc. in collaboration with the PPD, MOH and UNICEF Bhutan and maintain a record of discussions.
    14. Coordinate and organize Technical Working Group meetings and maintain a record of discussions.
    15. Any official correspondences other than Technical Working Group must be routed through PPD, MOH and keeping UNICEF in the loop.
    16. Support the international consultant to train key government officials on the tools and knowledge products that will be necessary to implement the strategy.
    17. Liaise and work under the advice of the international consultant to ensure that the key deliverables are submitted on time.
    18. Be the link between the international consultant and national stakeholders on any tasks related to the assignment.
    19. Any other relevant tasks assigned by the MOH and UNICEF Bhutan.

    General Conditions: Procedures and Logistics: The consultants are expected to use their own computer and work from their own workstation. Travel is not anticipated for this assignment but if travel is required for the local consultant, the travel cost will be paid as per the UNICEF’s financial rules and regulations.

    Payment terms and conditions:

    The Consultant payment terms and conditions are specified below upon certification by the focal Point of PPD, MOH and UNICEF’s Social Policy Specialist that all deliverables have been submitted satisfactorily and based on incorporation of feedback and invoice. The payment terms and conditions are as follow:

  • 20% upon submission and acceptance of the inception report detailing the research methodology, outline of the strategy and work plan
  • 40% following submission of the first draft report and completion of the presentations with TWG members and national stakeholders
  • 40% after training key government officials on knowledge products and upon submission of the final comprehensive Report on emergency health financing strategy in Bhutan and acceptance of the report by MOH and UNICEF Bhutan.

    Note: Although UNICEF will have two separate contracts, one each for the international and local consultant, the consultants must work closely to deliver the key tasks as highlighted above. If any of the consultants fail to deliver any task, the payment of the consultants will be withheld unless and until the tasks are delivered through a mutual support and cooperation.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

International Consultant: Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required


Minimum of a Master’s degree in economics, health economics, public finance, public health with focus on economics and health financing, statistics or related fields. PhD in similar field will be an added value.


  • At least some relevant experience in public health financing, PFM and governance as well as resource mobilization
  • Good understanding of the health system in LMIC including Bhutan, including some experience of working in developing countries
  • In dept knowledge of financial management system and evidence of having carried similar work before, particularly in the health sector.
  • Excellent analytical skills and track record of teamwork and ability to produce high quality results and outputs under pressure with minimal supervision
  • Strong communication, presentation and interpersonal skills, including excellent speaking and writing skills in English

Local Consultant: Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required

  • Minimum of a Master’s degree in economics, health economics, public finance, public health, statistics or related fields. PhD in similar field will be an added value.
    • Good understanding of the health system in Bhutan
    • Good Knowledge of the public financial management system in Bhutan. Evidence of having carried similar work before, particularly in the health sector will be an added value.
    • Excellent analytical skills and track record of teamwork and ability to produce high quality results and outputs under pressure with minimal supervision

    Strong communication, presentation, coordination and interpersonal skills, including excellent speaking and writing skills in English and Dzongkha

Proposal should include the following:

  1. Consultant’s qualification and experience for both consultants;
  2. Approach and methodology that will be followed in executing the assignment;
  3. Full Curriculum Vitae;
  4. A lump sum fee structure, indicating a breakdown of professional fee for the anticipated number of working days;
  5. Name(s) of collaborator(s) (if applicable) with their full curriculum vitae;
  6. Reference to similar work (final products or links to previous work can be shared along with the proposal)
  7. Filled UN P-11 form

Filled UN P-11 form

Effective working skills and strong drive for results.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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.

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