Remote/Home-Based Consultancy: Traceability and Verification System (TRVST) implementation Consultant (100 working days between Dec 2022 and Aug 2023) - Europe and Central Asia Regional Offi

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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CH Home-based; Geneva (Switzerland)

Application deadline in 8 hours: Wednesday 30 Nov 2022 at 22:55 UTC

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Purpose of the assignment

To support UNICEF ECARO and ECA Country Offices in the initiation and deployment of Traceability and Verification System (TRVST) in selected ECA countries to reduce the risk of falsified and counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines and other health products entering the national supply chains; and to support establishment of the national level verification solutions which are in alignment with global data storage capabilities.

Background & Rationale

Due to the growth and globalization of trade, medical products are manufactured and distributed in complex supply chains. As a result, the products' entire journey from manufacturers to patients is complex and lengthy. Furthermore, as distribution spreads geographically and the supply chain becomes more fragmented, the oversight capacity of national regulatory authorities becomes stretched, and the link is broken due to the low vigilance capacity of countries. Thus, falsified vaccines and medicines cost low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) $30 million/year and over $200 billion globally. Further, as COVID-19 vaccine distribution ramps worldwide, counterfeit vaccines have been found, presenting significant risks to the public health and financial loss. Therefore, monitoring the product quality, verifying and traceability are imperative for COVID-19 vaccines, as for other health products.

Moreover, COVAX - the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, country governments, funders, and partners need to have information about COVID-19 vaccine stock levels and supply chains to ensure that the right products are available and can be transported to their required destinations. The aim is to provide data to strengthen the manufacture and distribution of health products and COVID-19 commodities and to ensure that the risk of shortages or expiration of products is minimized. Therefore, UNICEF and partners established an initiative to support countries to reduce the urgent risk of falsified and diverted health products, including COVID-19 products in national supply chains, with a vision towards national traceability systems to strengthen the verification and visibility of vaccines, medicines, and other health products.

The countries in ECA region introduced a variety of COVID-19 vaccines and, so far, received over 51 million doses. More vaccines are in the pipeline for booster and additional doses. Thus, the Governments in the region are interested to participate in the verification and traceability initiatives to protect beneficiaries from counterfeit health products while strengthening digitally enabled supply chains for all public health use cases. The incumbent, therefore, will support the deployment of the Traceability and Verification System in selected ECA countries to reduce the risk of falsified and counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines and other health products entering the national supply chains; and to establish a national level verification solution which is in alignment with global data storage capabilities. It is expected that this work would establish the foundation for full national level GS1-enabled track and trace capabilities. The incumbent will provide technical expertise that is needed at the regional and country level to implement and provide project management services.

Scope of Work and specific tasks

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Procurement Services and Financing Specialist of UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) and in close coordination with ECAR Country Offices and the relevant UNICEF Divisions the incumbent is expected to undertake the following tasks:

1) Establish and coordinate the functioning of the UNICEF Traceability Team in ECA region and produce a budgeted workplan, applying project management skills to: leverage human and financial resources; advocate and communicate ECARO’s objectives and goals; and create mechanisms to actively engage UNICEF Supply, Program, Technology for Development (T4D) and Innovation staff in Country Office in meaningful ways to:

  • Implement the UNICEF components of the Traceability Initiative.
  • Draft a business continuity plan for ECARO and selected Country Offices, in support of the Traceability Initiative; and
  • Manage TRVST project implementation in the region in collaboration with Supply Division’s Supply Chain Strengthening Centre.

2) Subject matter expertise: provide traceability technical leadership and advice on the implementation of national level verification solution to prevent falsifications and diversion of the COVID-19 vaccine and other health products.

  • Work closely with the governments’ medicines regulatory authorities to develop requirements and selection of the national verification solution which utilizes, at a minimum, GS1 barcoding standards on secondary packaging of health products.
  • Work closely with the governments of countries in the region to align the TRVST with the national supply chain and traceability system(s)/IT infrastructure and roadmap/plan.
  • Build on what exists – work with partners to define opportunities to strengthen existing systems.

3) Landscape & roadmap: work with National Regulatory Authorities to establish the necessary data repository, associated standard operating procedures (SOP), data privacy rules and regulations, administrative rights to national verification solution, and other tasks as needed.

  • Mapping of existing enabling environment (e.g., policy, strategy, governance, etc.).
  • Gather information on current traceability IT systems/infrastructure and capabilities.
  • Support selected countries in the region to draft an end-to-end traceability roadmap, for medium to long term vision of end-to-end commodity traceability.
  • Utilize the information from the LMIS mapping, and the efforts of partners (USAID, Global Fund and others) to inform the roadmap.

4) Project management & coordination: provide project management services to develop workplans, and project materials in collaboration with SD – Supply Chain Strengthening Centre (SCSC) and to implement the TRVST. This includes:

  • Liaising with countries and stakeholders such as project personnel, vendors, and end-users regarding project requirements.
  • Working closely with the countries in the region to plan and oversee the preparations, project artifacts and project communications.
  • Working closely with SCSC, CO and Verification and Traceability initiatives (VTI) stakeholders to ensure timely implementation of TRVST in the region.
  • Monitoring project progress and support implementing changes where necessary.
  • Ensuring compliance with objectives, organizational policies, procedures, and standards.
  • Ensuring project complies with best practices, SOPs, government policies as stipulated by host country authorities.

Expected results

  • Timely and quality expert analysis leads to actionable recommendations that efficiently and effectively resolve complex supply chain issues, removing barriers and bottlenecks in order to prevent falsification and diversion of COVID-19 vaccines and other health products with a medium to long-term vision of end-to-end commodity traceability.
  • The highest level of integrity, standards and accountability is maintained by implementing sound, accurate supply chain advice in accordance with UNICEF procedures, including regular and accurate reporting.
  • Technical leadership, support, coaching, and training builds the capacity of UNICEF and government staff to replicate, expand, and improve on system strengthening and resilience efforts.
  • Effective collaboration with UNICEF, governments, and local partners maintains coordination, communication, and networking, which reinforces strong working relationships.

Work Assignment Overview

Tasks / Milestone******Deliverables / Outputs******Timeline / DeadlineDevelop a detailed consultancy work plan, in consultation with relevant colleagues, including detailed summary of proposed deliverables and schedule for tasksConsultancy plan5 working daysDevelop a summary of the current state of the traceability enabling environment in the region (e.g., vision/strategy, policy, governance, data/IT systems and infrastructure)Landscape analysis and summary of the current state of the traceability enabling environment15 working daysPrepare stakeholder mapping for TRVST, traceability key partners, stakeholder groups, areas of expertise and assetsStakeholder mapping5 working daysDevelop a road map for TRVST implementation in ECA regionRoad map for TRVST implementation15 working daysDevelop ECA (individual countries) TRVST project schedule/workplan and budget for each selected country for TRVST implementationTRVST project schedule/workplan and budget for each selected country15 working daysWork with National Regulatory Authorities in selected countries to establish the necessary data repository, associated standard operating procedures (SOP), data privacy rules and regulations, administrative rights to national verification solution, and other tasks as needed.Support selected countries in establishment of traceability enabling environment20 working daysEstablish, manage and coordinate the functioning of the UNICEF Traceability Team in ECA region. Establish a bi-weekly project meeting to coordinate team members from the ECA countries, ECARO and other key stakeholders; develop meeting agendas and materials, track action items. Liaising with countries and stakeholders such as project personnel, vendors, and end-users regarding project requirements. Working closely with the countries in the region to plan and oversee the preparations, project artifacts and project communications.Project management and coordination15 working daysCreate a dedicated TRVST web page on the ECARO SharePoint, to post the materials and to link supply, logistics and procurement staff to the resourceTRVST web page on ECARO SharePoint5 working daysPrepare and submit a comprehensive final consultancy report summarizing the highlights from the established TRVST work, the results, the way forward, the recommendations and relevant accompanying documentsConsultancy report5 working daysEstimated Duration of the Contract

100 working days (between December 2022 and August 2023)

Consultant’s Work Place and Official Travel

The Consultant will be remote/home-based.

Estimated Cost of the Consultancy & Payment Schedule

Payment will be made on submission of an invoice and satisfactory completion of the above-mentioned deliverables. Please indicate a daily fee based on 100 working days to undertake this assignment.

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

Qualifications required

  • Advanced university degree in Business, Business Administration, Public Health, Health Supply Chain Management, IT, Pharmacy, Quantitative Studies and/or in another relevant discipline for health supply management.
  • Minimum eight (8) years of experience in product traceability, supply chain management; and installation, piloting and/or scaling of eLMIS systems in LMICs contexts.
  • Experience working in low- middle-income (implementing) countries; utilizing project management skills; and has been accountable for delivering results within a team.
  • Technical knowledge on GS1-enabled traceability and associated IT solutions; vaccine and pharma manufacturer labeling and/or supply chain operations in low resource settings.
  • Knowledge of private sector traceability solutions and their effectiveness; and managing diverse teams with complimentary but different skills sets and experience.
  • Country Experience in supporting national traceability systems; supporting health system strengthening; or bringing supply chain innovations to scale for commercial or public sectors.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas as well as transfer knowledge and skills.
  • Excellent computer skills.

Qualifications desired

  • Knowledge of and experience with countries in the Eastern European, Central Asia regions and Caucasus is an asset.
  • Knowledge of ECARO countries health information systems and e-health architecture.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization; experience working in LMIC contexts.

Language requirements

  • Fluency in English (written and verbal) is required.
  • Knowledge of other languages relevant to the region is an added advantage.
  • Proficiency in Russian is highly desirable.
  • Knowledge in another UN language is an asset.

Other skills and attributes

  • Demonstrated strong competencies of a subject matter expert in product traceability, supply chain management; and installation, piloting and/or scaling of eLMIS systems in LMICs contexts.
  • Demonstrated strong communication, presentation and writing skills are essential.
  • Strategic thinking and critical analysis.
  • Commitment and drive, with a clear focus on results.
  • Ability to juggle competing priorities under pressure, whilst maintaining attention to detail and meeting deadlines.
  • Creative and innovative.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with UNICEF supply community, programmes and partners.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS), and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

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.


Please include a full CV and Financial Proposal in your application by indicating your availability and daily rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered. 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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. 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.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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