Call for Experts – Piloting Complementary Private Sector Engagement in the Health Sector of Northern Syria At Union des Organisations de Secours et de Soins Médicaux

Background information:

UOSSM France is a French/Syrian diaspora organization founded in response to the Syrian crisis in 2012. As part of an institutionally funded multi-stakeholder project, the organization seeks to explore – as a pilot – options to strengthen the health sector in Syria in a long-term oriented, structural manner, whereby the private sector is complementing direct health and humanitarian service delivery which the organization is dominantly engaged in. The focus of such a piloting exercise will be in shifting away from short-term-focused interventions for healthcare staff and service provision, to strengthen the sector in capacity-focused manner with dedicated sustainability as well as equity considerations.

Large numbers of health workers have either left the country or died in the conflict/persecution; creating scarcity and causing access issues since entry of non-Syrian staff to the region is highly restricted, creating a significant bottleneck in all health-related service provision endeavors. Financially, NGOs (who are the dominant healthcare providers in Northern Syria today) are struggling with finding enough funds to sustain their health programs as the conflict is well into its 10th year, making this shift towards exploring more sustainable finance models even more necessary, whilst of course life-saving basic medical provisions e.g. through health centres, will remain the immediate focus for most NGOs. However, beginning to build up an evidence base for engaging with more sustainable solutions such as engaging with the private sector is of interest, as there is a real lack of data beyond mere anecdotal evidence on the role the private sector plays in the region.

Key responsibilities:

Given the above points, we are seeking to place any such investments in a thorough research-based monitoring and evaluation framework. Furthermore, any actual engagement with the private sector should be conducted in a way that is, due to the pilot nature, with an “easy to engage, easy to disengage” strategy, and clearly with the principle of “do no harm” at the center of the focus. For example, engaging the private sector via specific clinical and clinical support services rather than funding entire facilities as the latter would not solve the sustainability issues.

The key tasks envisioned are as follows (keeping in mind the iterative nature of the task at hand, this is likely to be flexible upon agreement):

1- Developing an understanding of health private sector engagement examples in other comparable contexts to Syria, highlighting lessons learned and key principles through a literature review, producing a report.

2- Reviewing data collected by field teams so far and developing a plan on how to best substantiate it and complement it with further data collection.

3- Planning, supervising and coordinating initial scoping/ mapping assessment(s) in two parts of Northern Syria exploring challenges and opportunities as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the private sector and its interactions with other services in the region.

4- Communicating key steps and deliverables with partners through regular seminars and workshops.

5- Based on the results of the first tasks, making recommendations of suitable activities/ interventions engaging the private sector.

6- Designing and supervising the implementation of a thorough monitoring and evaluation/ operation research framework for the two interventions/ activities being implemented.

7- Concluding with a report of key lessons learned and recommendations for future endeavors in the region.

8- Conducting capacity building workshops (with potential for travel to Turkey) together with our partner organizations to ensure the experiences are shared and reflected throughout with the teams on the ground.

9- Leading the process of submitting an academic publication documenting the experience, upon approval of key stakeholders.

Required qualification, experience and skills:


  • A Higher degree (Master’s degree or PhD degree) within a relevant discipline (Health economics, public health, health systems, or other relevant discipline).
  • Experience in supervising high-level research studies (in the field of private sector engagement in health).
  • Experience in working on health system strengthening in fragile or conflict affected settings (Syria related experience is an asset).
  • Ability to make operational recommendations of interventions involving the private sector.
  • Experience of building in-depth monitoring and evaluation frameworks for interventions involving a great degree of sensitivity.
  • Experience in academic publishing.
  • Applications as teams or research/ academic institutions as well as individuals welcomed.

Skills and competences

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (English, Arabic is an asset).
  • Proficiency in relevant software such as statistical/ qualitative analysis software relevant for data collection and analysis.
  • Ability and willingness to travel to Turkey and Iraq (Erbil).
  • Compliance with ethics rules of the different elements of the project ensuring that no harm is done directly or indirectly to key stakeholders.
  • Excellent organizational skills with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Strong drive to meet deadlines and cope with working under pressure.

How to apply

E-mail the required documents listed below to by 1st of October 2021. Please also indicate “Call for Expert” as your e-mail subject.

Required documents:

  • Applicants are expected to submit an initial proposal/ concept note of how they would approach the task at hand including a workplan.
  • CVs of the applicant(s).
  • Examples of previous relevant work.
  • Financial quotation
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