Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of NTDs (ASCEND) is a £200 million investment from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), to advance the impact and sustainability of national programmes tackling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). To be implemented between September 2019 to March 2022, ASCEND comprises of two lots – one focusing on South Asia, East and Southern Africa (lot 1) and the other on West and Central Africa (lot 2). ASCEND lot 1 is implemented by a consortium of technical partners led by Crown Agents, including Abt Associates, Oriole Global Health and the Royal Tropical Institute. Central to ASCEND 1’s approach is a close collaboration with National Governments and other implementing partners, to enhance national approaches to NTD control and elimination. ASCEND’s goal is to contribute to the global goal of reducing the burden of targeted NTDs so that they are no longer a public health problem.**
In Sudan, ASCEND will focus on four NTDS –Schistosomiasis, Trachoma, Lymphatic Filariasis and Onchocerciasis on the following broad areas of intervention:
(i)Treatment and prevention of disability, including mass drug administration (MDA), diagnosis and treatment, surgeries, morbidity management.*
(ii)Increasing theintegration of aspects of NTD programmeswithin the health systems.
(iii)Strengthening national health systems, integrating efforts to strengthen the relevant building blocks of the health system.*
(iv)Data for targeting and monitoring, including impact assessment and alignment of NTDs with national and international MEL systems and processes.*
(v)Cross-sectoral collaboration, in particular within the health and WASH/BCC sectors.*
Across all of these areas, ASCEND is committed to the principles of ensuring no-one is left behind and as such is required to capture data disaggregated by gender, age, disability and geographic location.**
DFID has contracted Crown Agents together with its consortium partners to act as Fund Manager for ASCEND in Sudan. Therefore, Crown Agents will work with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to support the immediate procurement of services from Implementing Partners (IPs) that will further the above-stated objectives of ASCEND in the country.
2.Scope of work
The MEL Officer will be supporting the NTD – Division in the Federal Ministry of Health and will oversee and support all the monitoring, evaluation, learning and data management activities of the NTD division. He/She will be responsible for implementing the country MEL framework as outlined in the ASCEND MEL strategy and build the capacity of the FMOH staff and partners in all aspects of MEL.
The MEL Officer will be reporting to the ASCEND Country lead and the head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (FMOH).
The MEL Officer
LEVEL1: Enabling environment
Organizational Structures with M&E Functions
· Lead all MEL initiatives for the ASCEND project including monitoring data quality, tracking the progress of activities, collect and report key indicators as required for the monitoring of the ASCEND logframe and informing staff capacity building initiatives (including cross-cutting activities which are not necessarily carried out by the FMOH, and that focus on WASH, BCC and Leave No One Behind).
· Establish a national M&E technical working group. Define its scope of work, membership criteria and procedures for meeting, making decisions and communicating its decisions.
· Develop and implement a national strategy for human capacity development to support data collection, management, analysis and use.
· Assess and track the overall performance of the M&E system regularly.
Human Capacity for M&E
· Define a national strategy for human capacity development for M&E that projects human resources need and focuses on pre-service and in-service training, professional development and professional standards.
· Identify the training needs of the MEL and the County health records officers and for all implementing partners and coach, train and mentor as needed.
· Support the development and implementation of monitoring procedures and tools as required by the FMOH and agree upon by the ASCEND consortium.
Partnerships for Planning, Coordinating and Managing the M&E System
· Compile an inventory of organizations involved in M&E
· Set-up management mechanisms that will allow the national M&E technical working group to support the stakeholders effectively.
· Lead in-country efforts to mainstream NTD reporting into national and district-level health systems; to include and monitor NTD indicators among national health indicators; to monitor and support effective supply chain management for NTD supplies and activities, and to empower the workforce by ensuring national policies are in place to fulfil essential NTD activities.
· Support program managers at ASCEND and FMOH in ensuring coordination with stakeholders’ agreement on protocols for data collection and reporting, as well as survey design and implementation are achieved and adhered to.
National, multi-sectoral M&E plan
· Institutionalize coordinated M&E planning procedures for key M&E stakeholders, including periodic M&E assessments and performance monitoring linked to the National NTD Strategic Plan.
· Dedicate staff time and resources to align the national M&E plan to the monitoring and evaluation of the country’s broader development plans.
M&E Work Plan and costs
· Establish and maintain a planning unit to lead and oversee the Joint Annual Programme Review
· Establish and maintain a unit with responsibility for managing and coordinating financial resources for M&E.
· Ensure country-level work plans and semi-annual reports appropriately incorporate the relevant data, including accurate and high-quality reporting and using data to inform strategy and activities.
Communication, Advocacy and Culture for M&E
· Establish and maintain a communications infrastructure for M&E-related information, including a dedicated communications team or unit with responsibility for the timely production and distribution of useful M&E information targeted at key audiences.
LEVEL2: Data and information
Routine Programme Monitoring
· Develop, distribute and maintain standardized tools and clear operational guidance for data collection, analysis and reporting. Provide training on the tools and guidance for all appropriate individuals/organizations.
· Produce a clear plan for the timely collection of high-quality data as part of the Health Information System
· Assess existing information technology systems; fill gaps in skills and equipment (e.g., hardware and software).
· Implement regular assessments of the quality of program monitoring data, including data from the Health Information System using an existing standard tool
· Provide technical assistance to FMOH to facilitate high-quality submission of Joint Application packages (JAP) for NTD medicines.
Surveys and Surveillance
· Develop and implement a strategy for the management of data collection efforts focused on surveys and surveillance and for data sharing, which respects security and confidentiality concerns.
· Conduct timely health / KAP / coverage/prevalence surveys as required to monitor coverage, disease burden and progress towards elimination.
National and Sub-national databases
· Establish procedures through which data can be obtained and managed in alignment with government policies, data flows, and the design of the national disease-specific databases.
· Establish a technical working group including representatives from the various sectors in charge of collecting and compiling disease-specific data to guide and harmonize databases and to assure the quality of data management and data sharing procedures.
Supportive Supervision and Data Auditing
· Support the development of protocols and reports for data quality activities, including but not limited to data quality assessments, treatment coverage evaluation surveys, and supervisors’ coverage tools in collaboration with FMOH/NTD program managers
· Support a data auditing unit for oversight of auditing and audit reports.
· Organize regular meetings between external data auditors and internal staff responsible for data quality
Evaluation and Research
· Organize a national workshop with relevant individuals and organizations to agree on priority questions for evaluation and research as part of a national agenda-setting process.
· Establish procedures for implementation of the national evaluation and research agenda
· Establish ethical procedures for evaluation and research and implement a mechanism for ensuring adherence.
· Maintain a regularly updated national inventory of evaluation and research studies
· Establish a mechanism for sharing evaluation and research findings, including the synthesis and interpretation of programmatic implications of the findings.
· Organize an annual national conference to discuss the implications of evaluation and research findings.
LEVEL3: Decision making
Data Dissemination and Use
· Develop and implement guidelines on data confidentiality and data release with explicit decision-making processes and authorities
· Develop a decision calendar to identify key points in the year when critical decisions are made, and data are needed.
· Work with in-country and HQ staff to identify opportunities for in-country learning and program adaptation, including operationalizing learning agenda action items.
· Support analysis of MEL capacity strengthening needs within the program in Sudan, synthesize learnings and work with the project management team on a capacity strengthening strategy to promote in-country learning and adaptation using the evidence generated
· In collaboration with the NTD disease focal points and specific project teams, analyse available data to assess which populations are at risk of being left behind.
Knowledge (Education & Related Experience):
o Minimum of a bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) in monitoring and evaluation, public health, Statistics, Quantitative economics, or related field from an accredited university.
o At least 5 years’ experience in NTD data management or Health management Information systems or NTD program management.
o Experience in monitoring and evaluation of large-scale NTD programmes, including experience in data management of NTD survey activities (TAS/IA/Coverage surveys) is essential.
o Excellent analytical skills coupled with proven ability in using visuals such as graphs, maps and GIS
o Working knowledge of NTD diseases is essential, experience in NTD research is preferred.
o Experience of producing data disaggregated by age, gender, disability and geographic location is a considerable advantage.
Skills (Special Training or Competence):
o Ability to build strong working relationships to enable effective management of partnerships and work collaboratively as part of a global team.
o Ability to deliver group-training sessions and build capacity in developing country contexts
o People management skills with a robust diplomatic understanding of culturally and ethnically sensitive issues.
o Strong communication skills as proven by past work experience.
o Willingness to travel and to conduct regular field visits.
o English fluency (required) These principles are: 1) A fair opportunity in life, 2) Every person counts and will be counted, 3) Respect the voice of those who are furthest behind, and 4) Equitable access to services
How to apply
Send a covering letter and a copy of your CV to “email@example.com” by 24thApril 2020