Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vacancy: Research Assistant, APW

Type of assignment:        Research Assistant, APW
Duration:                            3 months (March to May 2014)
Location:                            Makati City, Philippines
Preferred starting date:   3 March 2014 or earlier)
Host agency:                     UNAIDS Country Office -Philippines
Application deadline:       20 February 2014

The UNAIDS Country Office (UCO) in the Philippines provides technical support to assist in the implementation of the 5th AIDS Medium Term Plan (AMTP5) for 2011-2016. The AMTP5 emphasizes among other the need to increase the availability and use of information for policy makers and programme planners through monitoring, evaluation and research. It also stresses the need to establish an effective resource tracking system in order to ensure increased, sustainable and efficiently allocated resources for the national response to HIV and AIDS.

The UCO provides technical support in a range of areas including monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, costing and resource flow tracking. Particular assistance is granted by the UCO to the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) who is mandated with the coordination and the monitoring of the national multisectoral response to HIV and AIDS. The mandate of the PNAC involves the tracking of financial resources that support the implementation of the national response to the epidemic, particularly monitoring progress towards the achievement of targets set at the UN High Level Meetings on AIDS, most recently the 2011 UN High Level Meeting (HLM) in New York.

National financing and spending assessments were done the Philippines since 2005 and has covered more than a decade of AIDS investments in the Philippines (2000-2012). Data from these assessments were used to contribute to the bi-annual progress reports to the UN. These assessments were conducted under the leadership of the PNAC, through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and with technical support from the UCO.

Financing and spending assessments will be conducted again this year, to collect data needed to track resource flows and to inform resource mobilization and allocation efforts. The data will be used also for the 2014 Global AIDS Response Progress Report (GARPR) of the Philippines to the UNAIDS Nations and financial gap analysis as input to the concept note of the Philippine HIV Programme Proposal to the Global Fund. The global guidelines on the GARPR reporting is already available, including the definition of indicators related to AIDS financing, spending and investments.

The UCO is committed to providing technical support to the PNAC and NEDA with the organization and implementation of the upcoming assessment. However, additional human resources will be required to meet this commitment and therefore the UCO seeks to identify a suitable candidate who can assist primarily with carrying out the financing and spending assessment. Whenever possible, the candidate is also expected to support the finalization of the 2014 GARPR.

The research assistant will work on a UCO space under a UNAIDS Agreement for Performance of Work (APW). 

Description of Duties
Under the direct supervision of the UNAIDS Strategic Information Advisor, and co-supervised by the PNAC Secretariat Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, and the NEDA Specialist on NASA,  the research assistant will undertake the following duties and responsibilities:
·        Work in close collaboration with PNAC and NEDA staff to implement the financing and spending assessment. This includes but is not limited to providing assistance with the following tasks:
§  Organize and facilitate meetings, and presentations on the assessment;
§  Refine survey instruments and update directories of respondents including government institutions, non-governmental organisations, bi- and multilateral organizations;
§  Monitor sending and reception of survey instruments to/by respondents;
§  Respond to queries and provide clarifications to respondents;
§  Verify and cross check information received and revert to respondents for complementary information or to request corrections if required;
§  Prepare data entry spreadsheets, enter all the data and cross-check and clean the data;
§  Analyse and interpret the data and develop graphic presentations; and
§  Draft report with assessment results and other documents and presentations.

It is essential that the above tasks be conducted in a participatory manner.

·    Work closely with M&E staff at the UCO and at PNAC to support the following activities:
§  Preparation of the 2014 GARP report and related summaries and multimedia presentations; and
§  Participation in relevant meetings, workshops and conference as required.
·  Other tasks assigned by the UNAIDS Strategic Information Advisor and/or Country Coordinator.

Expected Results/Outputs
·    Financing and spending assessment (2011-2013) successfully completed and report produced.
·    Timely and meaningful inputs and effective support to the above-mentioned tasks and functions.

·  University degree (preferably Masters degree or enrolled in Masters Programme) in Economics, Social Sciences or Public Health with a solid training in Economics or in Accounting;
· Good knowledge and skills in surveys, preferably with financial or economic surveys/assessments;
·     Proven quantitative and qualitative data collection, processing, analysis and interpretation skills;
·        Practical work or research experience in developing countries a major asset;
·        Excellent oral and written proficiency in English and experience in report writing; and
·        Good understanding and/or genuine interest in HIV and AIDS issues.

·        Computer skills:  Strong computer knowledge and skills, especially in Excel
·        Language skills:  Fluency in English
·        Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
·        Very good interpersonal and communications skills;
·        Experience in interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds;
·        Excellent organization, communication and presentation skills; and
·     Pro-active and independent individual who takes initiative and is an outstanding team player.

Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, through sending a cover letter and updated CV under the subject line ‘Research Assistant” to by 20 February 2014. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted and references will be required before appointment.