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Consultancy for operations research on health system strengthening with HKI

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David Doledec

Country Director - Helen Keller Kenya

Normal user

7 Nov 2017, 07:49

120 days consultancy over 2 years for operations research on health system strengthening

Background information

Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently offers programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States. The organization combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research.

Program Overview

The SETH project is designed as a partnership between Action against Hunger (AAH) and HKI. It covers five counties in Western Kenya (Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Trans- Nzoia, West Pokot). It runs from October 2016 to March 2020 and focuses on strengthening county health systems. Its objective is to improve quality, availability and access to Maternal, New-born and Child health and nutrition services (MNCHN).
One component of the SETH project is to support the roll out of the Community Health Strategy in the counties.
The community health strategy (CHS) was published in 2007 then updated in 2012. The initial community health strategy was never implemented at scale; the principle challenges identified included limited incentives for community health workers (CHWs), the heavy workload imposed on CHW and the lack of prioritization around their activities. Despite the limited reach of the CHS roll out, where it has been implemented it has yielded significant positive effects on health facilities attendance and improved health and nutrition practices among mothers and children. It has also been shown elsewhere that improved planning prior to the implementation of the CHS and better community participation improve significantly the uptake of ANC by pregnant women and exclusive breastfeeding for children under six months of age.

The SETH project aims at strengthening the roll out of the CHS to allow CHWs conduct social behavior change communication (SBCC) towards improving health seeking behaviors.

Scope of work

Many questions still require a response on the roll out of the CHS. For instance, what is the maximum number of interventions CHWs can deliver to all the households they are supposed to cover? What is the importance of awareness on parent’s decisions to attend or not MNCHN? What are the most effective approaches to sensitize and mobilize caregivers to attend MNCHN services? What are the main bottlenecks to implementation of the CHS? What are the most effective processes to roll out and implement the CHS from the county to the community level?
To select the appropriate research question and support the conduction of the research that will help build more evidence around CHS and SBCC as part of a Health system strengthening (HSS) approach, HKI is looking for a consultant with significant experience in research. The consultancy will focus on implementation research to build evidence on how to best roll out the CHS in counties in a sustainable way.
The consultant will work in close collaboration with the SETH team to perform the tasks outlined below.
• Support the identification and analysis of data to inform the selection of a research question
• Support the production of a research protocol and of research tools
• Support the implementation of the research project
• Support the analysis of research data
• Support the production of a research report and peer reviewed papers


1. Research protocol and research tools
2. Regular monitoring reports of research project
3. Research report / research database / papers for peer review


• Holder of Masters in public health (Mph) or other relevant field, but PhD preferred;
• Demonstrated experience in advanced statistical analysis and research;
• At least five years’ experience of humanitarian programs;
• Ability to analyze data and produce reports;
• Extensive skills in statistical analysis including but not limited to understanding STATA, SPSS;
• Systematic and efficient approach to work assignments with good judgment and analytical ability;
• Ability to manipulate large data sets, and excellent attention to detail;
• Excellent communication and analytical skills

Consultancy period

The consultancy will be organized over a two years period and will require around 120 days, possibly divided as follows:
- 30 days for identification of research question and preparation of protocols and tools
- 60 days to support the conduction of the research
- 30 days for analysis of data and production of report and papers


Applicants should send their resume and a cover letter to by no later than November 20, 2017.
The cover letter should not exceed one page and should provide indications on the consultant experience in similar activities and suggest approaches to undertake the proposed research.

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