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Purpose of activity / assignment:
- To support Risk Communication & Community Engagement (RCCE) activities for increased demand & uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- To coordinate the design & implementation of cross cutting Social & Behavior Change (SBC) interventions as part of the our clients country program 2023 – 2025 in support to the Government (Govt.) of South Sudan in the assigned state.
Background & rationale:
- In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. Since then, a few candidate vaccines have been developed & has already been deployed in several countries worldwide & in South Sudan (SS), the vaccine was introduced on the 6th of April 2021. It is always challenging to introduce a new vaccine, the process can have a significant impact both positive & negative. The country’s health system, the general public & the new target populations e.g., front line service providers must be well prepared to ensure the desired acceptance & uptake of the vaccine. The introduction of the new COVID-19 vaccine came with similar challenges, but it is key to the successful reduction of transmission & containment of the pandemic. There is also the need to respond to the recurring challenge of rumours & misinformation about vaccines among the community & in this regard, the COVID-19 vaccine. SBC is a critical component of this endeavour, aiming to inform the SS population about risks & prevention measures to ensure their support & acceptance of the vaccinations.
- Furthermore, the population of SS face significant challenges in access to health care, nutrition & food security, education & protection from violence & harmful practices, which is exacerbated by conflict, insecurity & other shocks. 1 in 10 children is not expected to reach their 5th birthday, with rates higher among boys than girls.1 The country has 1 of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, at more than 1,150 per 100,000 live births. About 1/3rd of children under the age of 5 years are estimated to be stunted.3 From the education perspective, limited progress has been made in ensuring access to education. An estimated 59% (2.8 million) children aged 3 – 17 years were out of school in 2020, of whom 53% were girls. Only 25% of girls receive secondary level education. Half of all girls are married or promised in marriage before the age of 18. Conflict related sexual violence & other forms of GBV against women & girls remains widespread, systematic & ongoing conflict has created a situation of great insecurity for women & girls.
- Our clients SS country program 2023 – 2025 addresses theses issues related to child rights by ensuring that “all children including children with disabilities, adolescents & women, particularly the most vulnerable, are safer & enjoy their rights, with systems strengthened to ensure that they have access to high quality, resilient services & that humanitarian assistance & development cooperation address the structural causes of fragility & vulnerability”. SBC & related community engagement strategies are central to achieving our clients SS country program. SBC is a cross cutting, evidence based process that uses a mix of communication tools, channels & approaches to facilitate participation & engagement with children, families, communities & networks, for positive SBC in both development & humanitarian contexts. Consultants will be hired to support the design and implementation of our clients SBC activities in the assigned states.
Scope of work:
- Personnel will work under the technical supervision of the SBC Specialist & the Chief of the Field Office, the SBC personnel will provide technical support in the implementation of evidence based SBC – Community Engagement (CE). This includes the development, implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) of SBC interventions aimed to promote the Extended Program on Immunization (EPI) & COVAX rollout in the country, under the Ministry of Health & Sanitation (MOH&S). Adapt capacity development materials & develop a training plan for relevant state stakeholders on EPI & COVAX with focus on interpersonal communication skills, CE & other SBC approaches. As cross cutting, the SBC Consultant will also provide support to the broader Maternal & Child Health (MNCH) program, nutrition, hygiene & sanitation, education & learning & child protection programs for increasing demand for social services, adoption of positive practices & for influencing social norms that can lead to a better well being of the population, especially the children & their families.
- Support the state level RCCE group in the local contextualization of national RCCE or SBC strategies & plans (COVID-19, immunization, etc.), SBC tools, guidelines, communication materials & key messages.
- Support rollout of training packages on interpersonal communication & CE for the social service workforce, community leaders & community networks.
- Engage with field offices & state stakeholders to support training rollout and integration into our clients thematic areas.
- Develop a Behaviour change community engagement and social mobilization strategy for girl education.
- Support the implementation of MOH RCCE action plan on COVID-19 vaccine & routine immunisation rollout, public acceptance & social mobilization, including risk communication at state level.
- Plan & implement SBC strategy for increased utilization of MNCH services especially antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, post natal care, early care seeking & routine immunization.
- Provide SBC support to nutrition, child protection, education & WASH programs.
- Where relevant, support the implementation & documentation of the results of World Bank (WB), KfW & global fund supported projects in coordination with the implementing partners & relevant line ministries.
- Support the State in the local adjustment & implementation of community feedback mechanisms, ensuring the voices of children with disabilities, adolescent & young girls, women & other vulnerable groups are reflected & addressed.
- Identify, build & maintain partnerships through networking & proactive collaboration with strategic partners at state level to reinforce cooperation to strengthen SBC to support our clients mission & goals for child rights, social equity & inclusiveness.
- Support State & county level RCCE / SBC coordination platforms to harmonize, link & coordinate interventions, resource mobilization, messaging & use of multiple media & communication platforms to enhance SBC outreach including in humanitarian contexts.
- Participate & provide SBC inputs into sectoral coordination platforms (clusters, regular programmes coordination meetings, etc.).
- Support the state in designing & implementing contextually relevant & consistent SBC approaches, mixing different approaches predominantly comprised of community engagement interventions such as community dialogues, radio engagement through call in, community radio listener groups’ activities & other 2 way communication interventions.
- Technically monitor implementing partners & provide feedback on the quality of the SBC programs.
- Develop Programmatic Visits’ (PVs) reports & submit to the supervisor for upload on e-tools.
- Co facilitate training of Program Officers & partners on the RCCE / SBC component.
- Develop dissemination plan for SBC materials for the state & ensure delivery of materials to final users.
- Conduct end user monitoring to ensure proper utilization of the delivered materials.
- Support our clients field office to monitor state level implementing partners in the timely liquidation of Direct Cash Transfers (DCT) used for the implementation of the SBC activities.
- Monitor the implementation of behavioural surveys & studies commissioned at national level by ensuring the involvement of state level govt. stakeholders are involved & through data collection monitoring.
- Ensure documentation of good SBC practices on COVID-19 vaccination & other supported program under different formats (human interest stories, technical report, etc.).
- Contribute to the development of donor reports by providing quality & timely inputs to the Chief of Field Office or the SBC section.
- Ensure support to contextualized roll out & monitoring of any central level initiative such as the future integration & harmonization of community networks, mosquito nets distribution campaign, etc.
- Perform any required task as per the guidance from the supervisor but to remain in the scope of SBC.
Expected results / key function, accountabilities & related duties / tasks:
- Contextualized COVID-19 RCCE plan available & implemented, activity reports made available by the state level RCCE group.
- Community based catch up plan for under immunized children available.
- Training of social service workforce, community leaders & community networks conducted, training reports available.
- State level action plan for increasing demand for MNCH services & improving nutritional, hygiene & sanitation practices available & implemented.
- WB, KfW & global fund supported projects timely implemented as per the planning, SBC data & information timely available to feed donor reports.
- Contextualized community feedback mechanism available & generating information to inform programming & decision making.
- Functioning RCCE & any other SBC coordination platform with meeting minutes & activity reports available.
- Programmatic visits reports available within a week after the trip with recommendations for improvement of RCCE / SBC activities for reaching results.
- Dissemination plan for SBC communication materials available & executed.
- 0 DCT more than 6 months from SBC activities for the field office.
- Human interest stories & documentaries on SBC activities are available & disseminated at the state level & shared with the country office.
- This role will work under the technical supervision of the SBC Specialist & the Chief of the Field Office.
- Bachelors Degree in any of the following fields is required: Social & Behavioral Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Education, Communication, Public Relations, or another relevant technical field.
- A minimum of 2 years of professional experience in 1 or more of the following areas is required namely social development program planning, SBC, public advocacy, or another related area.
- Experience in working on immunization, preferably prior experience in new vaccine introduction.
- Strong networking capacities & collaboration with a large range of stakeholders.
- Solid verbal & written communication skills.
- Willingness to travel & work in field environments.
- Knowledge of the local language in the applied state is a requirement.
- Excellent written & spoken English is required.
- Knowledge of Arabic is considered as an asset.
- Quality SBC contributions to donor reports from the state timely submitted to the country office.
- This role has no team management responsibility.
- The position is open for the following states namely, West Equatoria (Yambio), Central Equatoria (Juba), Western Bahr el Ghazal (Wau), Jonglei (Bor), Upper Nile (Malakal), Unity (Bentiu).
- 1 personnel is assigned to each of the states apart from Wau where 2 persons will be placed.
- The personnel will have close interactions with our clients field office program colleagues & frequent travel to the field for supporting coordination and planning at county level & monitoring the implementation of SBC activities in the ground.
- An average 10 – 15 day trip per month can be expected, depending on the needs.
- Qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply for this role.
How to apply
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