Senior Social and Behavior Change Advisor

at Social Solutions International
Published July 29, 2022
Location Washington, DC
Category Default  
Job Type Full-time  

Description

Overview

Social Solutions International, Inc. (Social Solutions) is a Hispanic and woman-owned business emphasizing quality research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and institutional support services. We are a mission-driven organization that believes that superior science can improve the world. Social Solutions is dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide.

Overview of the Position

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted Social Solutions to recruit and hire qualified individuals for the following position:

Title: Senior Social and Behavior Change Advisor

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Salary Range: GS-14

Over 1.8 million people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has further disrupted access to essential services including immunization and put tens of millions at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases.

Efforts to develop, distribute and deliver COVID-19 vaccines are a top priority globally. According to the COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework (GRRF), the U.S. government (USG) has committed to supporting the target of vaccinating 70% of the world population by the end of 2022. This requires an integrated effort of vaccine readiness and vaccine supply. The one does not work without the other.  As part of the U.S. Governments commitment to global frontline efforts to get shots into arms and save lives around the world, USAID is leading the U.S. Governments Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX), which will expand assistance and enhance international coordination to identify and rapidly overcome vaccine access barriers and save lives now, with a specific emphasis on scaling up vaccination support in sub-Saharan Africa.

Global supply forecasts estimate that the final months of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 will see a rising volume of COVID-19 vaccines rolling out in the 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries (LICs/LMICs). Based on initial estimates, these countries will have to increase their ability to administer COVID-19 vaccines (their vaccine readiness) by three to six times what they are currently doing in order to deliver vaccines to those who need them the most.

The Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition serves as the Agencys technical and policy lead on maternal, newborn, and child health; immunization; nutrition; and environmental health, with a focus on preventing child and maternal deaths.  The Child Health and Immunization Division provides technical and policy leadership, addressing the leading killers of children in the post-neonatal period, and on immunization and polio eradication.   USAIDs immunization activities include investments in Gavi to support Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, at the country, regional, and international levels.  In June 2020, the USG committed $1.16 billion to Gavi over Fiscal Years 2020-2023, subject to Congressional appropriations, to support Gavis 2021-2025 strategy (Gavi 5.0) to immunize 300 million more children and save up to 8 million lives. Additionally, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 the U.S. Congress appropriated $4 billion to USAID for the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccine.  With this additional contribution, the USG is the largest donor to Gavi.

The USAID Global Health Bureaus Vaccine Access and Delivery Initiative (VADI) is seeking a Senior Social Behavior and Change (SBC) Advisor to provide technical advisory support/recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine introduction and scale-up, with a focus of building vaccine confidence and demand, in approximately 100 countries globally.

The Senior SBC Technical Advisor will deliver exceptional, high-quality technical recommendations for USAID support to countries in building confidence in and demand for COVID-19 vaccines. The Senior SBC Technical Advisor will collaborate across the VADI team and report to the Lead Technical Advisor.

Responsibilities

Immunization Demand is defined as the actions of individuals and communities to seek, support, and/or advocate for vaccines and immunization services[1].  USAID categorizes efforts in Immunization Demand within the work the Agency does in Social and Behavior Change (SBC) interventions. SBC interventions address individual, social, and environmental determinants (factors) that can affect adoption of healthy behaviors. These determinants may include skills, attitudes, social norms, and access to materials or financing, or other health system inputs.

As a range of safe and effective C-19 vaccines become available, issues of demand and SBC will be of utmost importance to ensure adequate trust, confidence and uptake. The Advisor will serve as an expert advisor and technical authority on social and behavior change programming related to COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Global Technical Leadership (50%)

  • Stay abreast of new policy recommendations, emerging evidence, best practices, technical and programmatic developments, and data sources, in the area of SBC for COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Review and develop recommendations for areas of SBC programming as well as behavior-related research and evaluation relevant to COVID-19 vaccine demand and acceptance;
  • Facilitate sharing of COVID-19 SBC materials and best practices across US Government and other donor/bilateral programs in countries;
  • Draft briefers, talking points, and information memo on COVID-19 vaccine demand-related issues, programs and results;
  • Participate in inter-agency and global meetings, consultations, working groups, and negotiations related to COVID-19 vaccines, with a focus on social and behavior change, risk communication, community engagement, and demand;
  • Provide programming guidance related to COVID-19 vaccines demand and acceptance, including assisting with the preparation and/or review of strategies and project work plans across Global Health bureau projects;
  • Provide technical and program oversight of COVID-19 vaccines demand and acceptance activities supported by USAID/GH cooperating agencies, including flagship programs managed by the MCHN Office;
  • Facilitate the gathering of COVID-19 vaccines demand and acceptance data for reporting;
  • Support and contribute to the Implementing Partners Forum

Support to Country Programs (40%).

  • Provide state-of-the-art technical and program expertise, assistance and support to the VADI, regional bureaus and USAID field Missions in the development and evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine demand strategies, programs, and policies;
  • Provide high-quality, up-to-date technical assistance to VADI team members in the area of vaccine confidence and demand;
  • Liaise with the Lead Technical Advisor and other VADI team members to understand and develop tailored response mechanisms to address bottlenecks encountered in countries with regard to vaccine acceptance and demand;
  • Understand the landscape of partners / mechanisms best suited to deliver technical assistance for SBC, appropriate to country contexts;
  • Provide USAID country health teams and implementing partners with informed input and ongoing technical support to ensure best practices in SBC interventions for COVID-19 vaccine demand and acceptance;
  • Serve as a resource that provides technical assistance to USAID Missions and Washington staff as well as coordinates strategic priorities and external partner engagement;
  • As requested, support USAID Missions in developing and evaluating initiatives to build in-country capacity to address COVID-19 vaccine SBC issues;

Project Management Support (10%)

The Advisor serves as a technical advisor, working under the overall guidance of relevant Contract/Agreement Officers Representatives (C/AORs), and more generally serves to advance project management of USAIDs COVID-19 vaccine-related SBC and research and evaluation activities;

  • Review Scopes of work for activities related to COVID-19 vaccine demand and acceptance;
  • Provide support for program development and review of partner work plans and products;
  • Assist in monitoring the project(s) technical and financial performance; and
  • Support site visits to monitor the SBC COVID-19 vaccine field activities, as needed.

[1] Hickler B et al. Efforts to monitor Global progress on individual and community demand for immunization: Development of definitions and indicators for the Global Vaccine Action Plan Strategic Objective 2. Vaccine 2017;35(28):35159.

Qualifications

  • Masters degree in public health, social psychology, health communication or other relevant behavioral/social science field;
  • 9 years experience working in areas of public health programming, policy, or research, including substantial experience in social and behavior change work, with experience in international or resource-challenged settings;
  • Formal training in and demonstrated understanding of theories and frameworks relating to individual behavior change and broader social responses, the evidence base for social and behavioral/communication interventions and best practices, and familiarity with the current SBC and research and evaluation literature;
  • Hands-on experience designing, planning, implementing, and evaluating behavioral interventions is highly desirable;
  • Experience in vaccine demand-related programming highly desirable;
  • Excellent analytical, written, and oral communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team, including cross-cultural teams;
  • Ability to work in a high pressure, fast turn around environment
  • Experience with USAID programming, budgeting, and evaluation functions and procedures both in USAID/Washington and in USAID missions desirable;
  • Ability to travel internationally up to 20% time; and
  • US citizenship or US permanent residency required

Applicants selected will be subject to a background investigation and must obtain and maintain a favorable adjudication as applicable to their position/duties.

In order to fully evaluate your eligibility, your resume must include relevant paid and non-paid experience showing dates held with month, year and hours worked per week for each position.

Equal Employer

Social Solutions offers competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits. Please submit your resume online at www.socialsolutions.biz.

Social Solutions is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law.

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