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 lot 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 Malawi, ASCEND will focus on four NTDS – Onchocerciasis, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis and Trachoma:
(i) *Treatment and prevention of disability, including mass drug administration (MDA), diagnosis and treatment, surgeries, morbidity management.*
(ii) Increasing the integration of aspects of NTD programmes within 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 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 Malawi. Therefore, Crown Agents will work with the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to support the immediate procurement of services from Implementing Partners (IPs) that will further the above-stated objectives of ASCEND in the country.
1. Scope of work
The MEL Advisor will be working closely with the ASCEND country lead and will oversee and support all the monitoring, evaluation and learning activities of the NTD programme. He/She will be responsible for implementing the country MEL framework as outlined in the ASCEND MEL strategy and build the capacity of the MOHP staff and partners in all aspects of MEL.
The MEL Advisor will be responsible for the following;
- 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 log-frame and informing staff capacity building initiatives (including cross cutting activities which are not necessarily carried out by the MOHP, and that focus on WASH, BCC and Leave No One Behind).
- Identify the training needs of the MEL and the NTD data staff 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 MoHP and agreed upon by the ASCEND consortium.
- Facilitate and support the MOHP in data collection and the flow of data within project field teams to inform quality programming. Ensure that data collected is disaggregated by age, gender, disability and geographic location
- In collaboration with the NTD programme managers, analyse available data to assess which populations are at risk of being left behind.
- Support the NTD programmes to perform supervision field visits to ensure the validation and verification of the data collected for accuracy in reporting.
- Contributing monitoring data into the regular program and technical reports for the Country and for informing day to day programme management
- Collecting and reporting data for evaluation of epidemiological impact and progress towards control goals.
- Coordinating training activities and provide technical assistance to the MEL officers and the district data officers
- Continuously support capacity building of NTD staff both at the national and district level and implementing partners on MEL data collection and reporting.
- Support the NTD programmes in updating and maintaining the NTD Database and ensure that the database information is complete
- Linking the NTD database with the DHIS2
- In collaboration with the NTD programme managers and the specific project teams, ensure quality and timely reporting and documentation of the project activities.
- Support operational research endeavours, documentation and evidence to guide innovative approaches to NTD programme interventions in collaboration with external partners, including ASCEND;
- Provide support, as appropriate, into NTD research concept notes, protocols, ethics applications, data analysis, reporting and drafting papers for publication as needed;
- Apply that learning into improved work planning and project activities.
- Provide support in capacity strengthening of the MOHP and Implementing Partners to establish MEL processes that contribute to effective collaboration, learning, and adaptation systems.
- Prepare presentations on the use of information systems to collect, store, use and share data as well as the programmatic activities that generate and use these data
Knowledge (Education & Related Experience):
- Degree in Public Health or Statistics with specialisation in statistics and/or epidemiology.
- 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.
- Experience with digital health information systems is essential (DHIS2).
- Working knowledge of NTD diseases is essential, experience in NTD research is preferred.
- Experience in design and programming of m-Health surveys and applications, including training of surveyors (Essential)
- Experience of producing data disaggregated by age, gender, disability and geographic location is a considerable advantage.
- Demonstrated knowledge of protection, prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation and the field of safeguarding is an added advantage
Skills (Special Training or Competence):
- Ability to build strong working relationships to enable effective management of partnerships and work collaboratively as part of a global team.
- Ability to deliver group-training sessions and build capacity in developing country contexts
- People management skills with a robust diplomatic understanding of culturally and ethnically sensitive issues.
- Strong communication skills as proven by past work experience.
- Willingness to travel and to conduct regular field visits.
- 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 **
Send a covering letter and a copy of CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th January, 2020