Consultant for assessing health system for efficient response on health needs of refugees and migrants

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Thursday 3 Nov 2022 at 22:55 UTC

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This is a Consultancy contract. More about Consultancy contracts.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all qualified candidates, irrespective of nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNICEF’s office is accessible to a certain extent, and employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that are needed for ensuring equitable working conditions.

Refugees and migrants remain among most vulnerable population groups in the society and are often faced with discrimination, substandard living, housing and working conditions. Very often, they have restricted or inadequate access to mainstream health (and other) services. The health needs of the refugee and migrant population, in particular children and adolescents, is shaped by experiences in their country of origin, their migration journey, their host country’s entry, integration policies and living and working conditions. These experiences can increase the vulnerability of refugees and migrants to chronic and infection diseases.

The very intensive migratory wave in Serbia, that has started in 2015 and is still ongoing, resulted in that more than 1.5 million refugees and migrants have passed through Serbia, of which between a third and a quarter were children. Since then, while the overall surge of refugees and migrants has decreased, the numbers remain relatively high at any given time with around 7,000 accommodated in reception and transit, and 6.000 in asylum centres.

The right to health for foreign citizens, a person without citizenship, a person with refugee status, and an asylum seeker, is recognized and regulated in Health Care Law. Aligning their action with the relevant legislation, in the previous few years, the Ministry of Health has been supported by the European Union for ensuring access to health services for the migrant population. Despite the fact that refugees and migrants received life-saving health care, the access to preventive health care services, which are of crucial importance for improving and maintaining health for the whole population, but specifically for women in reproductive age and children, has often been limited. This primarily refers to mandatory immunization services for children, preventive check-up examinations of children and pregnant and women after delivery, as well as adolescent health services.

During transiting Serbia, most of the refugees and migrants stay in transit migrant centres for a certain period, where they are provided with basic health care. The onset of the Ukrainian refugee flow demonstrated a different practice - a greater number of people fleeing Ukraine stay in private accommodations spread throughout Serbia, rather than in government-provided centres. This poses additional challenges to securing their right to both preventative and emergency health care services, and requires an integrated access to health services provided through local community services in primary health care institutions as an entry point for meeting health needs.

Therefore, there is a need to identify an adequate response strategy by analysing potential bottlenecks and opportunities to this public health challenge to ensure universal health coverage for all migrants and refugees, specifically of pregnant women, children, and adolescents from the refugee and migrant population, by enabling their enhanced integration in the public health system.

Work Assignment Overview:

The consultant will assess the bottlenecks and opportunities for obtaining universal health coverage of migrant and refugee population in Serbia and provide evidence-based recommendations for integrating preventive health care of pregnant women, mothers and children from this population groups, including routine immunisation, into the public health system. The scope of work will range from legislation, organisation, and data management to financing and social norms. The process should be consultative, including all key stakeholders and should result also in the preparation of a Policy Brief document that will serve for advocacy with the local authorities and inclusion in UNICEF work plans.

Duration of the assignment: Nov 2022 – Feb 2023 (part-time, home-based, up to 35 workdays)

Task description:

  1. Study and analyse international and national legislation in the field of health care and health insurance, which regulates the right to health care for migrants and refugees, focusing on the right to health care for migrant women and children.
  2. Identify the practices/examples of provision of health care to migrants and refugees in other countries, with the mandatory inclusion of countries in the region that have a migrant influx, focusing on maternal and child health.
  3. Prepare a draft and final proposal for the provision of health services in the public health system, including immunization and other preventive services to migrant women and children.
  4. Organize a consultative process with the representatives of the Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health of Serbia, RHIF, and Commissariat for Refugee and Migrants of Serbia.
  5. Prepare a Policy Brief on the importance of expanding universal health coverage among migrants and refugees.

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Care Management, Health Financing, or Humanitarian Law.
  • At least 10 years of experience in the areas of public health, health care management and financing.
  • Excellent knowledge of healthcare systems generally and deep understanding of the legal and organizational framework of the functioning and financing of the health care system in Serbia.
  • Knowledge of health regulations on maternal and child health care.
  • Knowledge of the financing of health care in Serbia.
  • Knowledge of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Core Commitment for Children and other relevant international and regional standards of importance for migrant and refugee response.
  • Familiarity with the regulation of the health care for vulnerable population groups and their needs.
  • Excellent speaking and writing skills in Serbian and English language.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Previous participation in the preparation of regulations in the area of health care financing and organization of health services will be considered as an advantage.
  • Previous work in the area of migrant and refugee health care will be an asset.
  • Previous work experience with UN/UNICEF or other international organization will be considered as an advantage.

How to apply:

The application must include a financial proposal in RSD as a separate document, providing the following information:

  • Daily rate (all costs included, e.g. usage of mobile phone).

Important notes:

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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

Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

For every child, you must demonstrate UNICEF's core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability and Sustainability.

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.

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