United Nations UNICEF Job Vacancies – RapidPro Health Suite Product Manager

Job Title:  RapidPro Health Suite Product Manager

Organisation: United
Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: P4 / NO-D
Duty Station: Kampala,
Reports to: RapidPro
Health Suite Product Manager
UNICEF, the United Nations
Children’s Fund, is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights
of every child are realized.  Uganda is
one of the over 190 countries and territories around the world where we work to
overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, and discrimination
place in a child’s path.
About UNICEF Global Innovation Lab:
UNICEF’s Innovation Unit and
the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre are currently planning the scale up of
several mobile driven tools supporting core UNICEF programmes such as in
health, education, nutrition, coordination with partners, and broadcast media
to facilitate gathering direct information in a timely and cost effective
manner from hundreds of thousands of young people on everything from access to
safe drinking water to views and behaviors about HIV and sex. Current
development of the open-source technologies supporting UNICEF’s programmes require
tools and components designed to accelerate replication by other country
Evidence shows that digital
health (eHealth), including strategies that leverage mobile technologies such
as Short Message Service (SMS), can improve routine service delivery in terms
of timely data collection and quality case management. Many of these eHealth
systems show great potential in accelerating progress towards improving health
service delivery. For example, in Uganda a nationally scaled RapidSMS based
solution called mTrac supported by UNICEF and WHO has allowed the government to
track anti-malarial medicines, contributing to a reduction in stock-outs from
79% in 2011 to 15.4% by 2014. However, current experience to date has been
based primarily on pilot projects with few evaluations. As a result,
large-scale implementation or integration of eHealth innovations within
national government health programs is still limited. Therefore, there is an
absence of adequate evidence about what works and knowledge of how to scale
interventions that have demonstrated efficacy; and increasing calls for an
evidence-based ‘systems approach’ to integrating these strategies into existing
health systems.
One of the biggest challenges
facing government and health development partners is the effort and cost
required to deploy even the most basic eHealth system. While there are a number
of eHealth tools that are hosted in the cloud or run off local computers,
emerging government policies and laws are now increasingly requiring health data
to be hosted at in-country data centres. This often necessitates sending in
expensive foreign consultants, and hiring and training numerous technical staff
to manage at great cost. Furthermore, establishing reverse-billed short codes –
often a requirement for many mobile eHealth applications – can take years of
negotiation with Mobile Network Operators in some countries. Furthermore, most
investments in the eHealth space still do not take into account emerging best
practices on enterprise level health information system architecture, including
those coming from communities such as OpenHIE.
To address this, UNICEF has
developed RapidPro.[1] RapidPro is designed for programmatic experts–not
technologists–to be able to easily create SMS-based workflows to monitor
programmes, track activities, or engage with beneficiaries. The platform
includes tools for quick graphing and data analysis, as well as the ability to
export data directly to Excel for further analysis. It retains and expands upon
the functionalities of RapidSMS, which powers U-report, mTrac, Mother Reminder,
Project Mwana, and the Rwanda’s RapidSMS 1,000 Days, but is easy to setup and
manage without technical expertise. In addition, local government cloud hosting
arrangements, service, and contracts with Mobile Network Operators will be
taken care of by the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. UNICEF
programmes in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are planning to either upgrade their
current RapidSMS systems or implement new programmes on top of the RapidPro
platform. All other UNICEF programmes are being encouraged to adopt RapidPro as
the platform of choice for running SMS based mobile programmes.
The Innovation Center in
Nairobi and the UNICEF Innovation Unit in New Yorkscaling up RapidPro
(http://www.rapidpro.io/) as UNICEF’s mobile phone based system for Real Time
Data collection for improved monitoring of service delivery. RapidPro is a
communication engine to power connections among decision makers, young people,
and frontline workers and UNICEF. It’s been designed based on seven years’
experience, challenges, failures, successes, and lessons learned around
implementing RapidSMS. It is specifically designed for programmatic experts not
technologists to be able to set up, easily create SMS-based workflows, and
monitor programs, track activities, or engage with beneficiaries.
UNICEF is currently exploring
opportunities to support alignment of a number of key eHealth tools – including
DHIS2, iHRIS – through the promotion and adoption of emerging best practices
around health systems enterprise level architecture and Application Protocol
Interfaces (API’s), and extend the functionality of a core set of eHealth tools
that are already serving as the foundation for many national Health Information
Systems through RapidPro; increasing the effectiveness of these tools
exponentially and creating a platform for expanding specific interventions and
Additionally, a broader
RapidPro supported “eHealth Suite of Tools” is planned, which will update and
extend the reach of already UNICEF supported RapidSMS applications including
maternal reminders, while adding new modules including a community counseling
hotline application. This includes the community counseling hotline module
(based off of the Zambia U-report HIV/AIDS counseling service) with an emphasis
on breastfeeding and maternal, newborn, and child health counseling. The mother
reminder application which will be built off of Project Mwana and the Uganda
mother reminder systems, which strengthens the link between the community
(through CHWs) and the formal health system (facilities).
In order for the work around
building out the health suite of RapidPro, including interoperability with
other open source mHealth solutions, to support the implementation of an MNCH
grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and existing initiatives
around The Every Newborn Action Plan, SUN movement, Global Fund-MNCH-Plus,
Breastfeeding Advocacy, and iCCM initiatives to be properly designed, deployed,
managed, UNICEF sees a great need to strategically place an mHealth product
manager within UNICEF’s Health program.
Job Summary: The UNICEF
Product manager would serve as the focal point on RapidPro Health activities,
while ensuring standards/principals are kept during deployments,
mHealth/eHealth communities are engaged around the interoperability of
RapidPro, partnerships are developed and maintained, and country offices are
supported in developing and implementing mHealth activities pertaining to
grants by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The product manager
will work between UNICEF’s Health and Innovation teams at headquarters and
UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre, with the expectation that country offices,
RapidPro teams and stakeholders, and partners are visited when needed. The
coordinator role will allow RapidPro to be strengthened in its health
application rollouts and systematically integrated into other e and mHealth
systems. The general objective of this consultancy is to provide overall product
mHealth coordination and strategy support to the UNICEF Global Innovation
Centre. This candidate needs to gather large amount of information from various
sources and synthesis is it into concrete plans for how the Global Innovation
Centre should develop and package tools within the RapidPro Health suite.
Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Working
    in liaison with UNICEF HQ Health Section, Regional offices and countries
    to develop a global mHealth approach on MNCH based on GreenTree principles
    and other existing best practices in the field.
  • Actively
    supporting MNCH grant countries in mHealth strategy development and
    implementation, linking to other existing mHealth platforms in the
  • Providing
    support to both UNICEF Health and Innovation teams on ways forward to
    further strengthen RapidPro’s suite of mHealth services in a sustainable
  • Actively
    coordinating and aligning the RapidPro Health suite: roadmap and
    requirements with UNICEF HQ and Gates MNCH Grant strategies, and provide
    strategic guidance and oversight to the RapidPro Technical Architect and
    Product Managers
  • Developing
    a scalable rollout and support strategy for deployments of maternal
    reminder and community counseling hotline application, including providing
    an integrated community support option for these products
  • Work
    closely with the UNICEF Health team to integrate into the broader MNCH
    strategy, and develop budgets and fundraise where there are gaps in
  • Technically
    supporting coordination of the development of training materials and
    documentation for RapidPro suite of mHealth services in target countries;
  • Actively
    participating in relevant standards/interoperability communities, working
    with existing open-source mHealth platforms (MoTECH, CommCare, DHIS2,
    OpenMRS, iHRIS etc) to ensure that any country implementation meets
    interoperability requirements.
  • Assessing
    further support needs required by countries to rollout RapidPro mHealth
    services and integration.
  • Intuitively
    review existing UNICEF Health strategies, and provide recommendations to
    mainstream emerging best practices in the field of digital health systems
    into UNICEF programmes.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The
    ideal candidate for the United Nations UNICEF RapidPro Health Suite
    Product Manager
  • Should
    have a minimum of eight years of professional experience.
  • The
    applicant must also hold an advanced degree in a relevant field or
    equivalent related practical experience.
  • Proven
    experience in the mHealth field – especially on deployment of mHealth systems
    with multiple partners and multiple systems.
  • Significant
    experience with project management with an ability to translate complex
    ideas from various fields into unified, clear guidance is a must.
  • Possess
    the ability to understand complex, abstract concepts, and ability to think
    creatively about best fitting technology for each project and build the
    end product. It will take an understanding of currently available
    technology and trends to develop effective solutions for the Health
  • It
    also requires an extensive background and presence in the mHealth/eHealth
  • The
    Project Manager who is comfortable working on the database, front-end
    code, and everything in between.
  • Significant
    exposure to managing external software vendors
  • Past
    experience writing technical contracts
  • Past
    experience writing technical documentation
  • Significant
    experience working in working, designing, or deploying solutions in/for
    low-resource settings
  • Extensive
    experience working with the mHealth/eHealth community
  • Working
    knowledge and experience with MoTECH, CommCare, DHIS2, OpenMRS, iHRIS,
    OpenHIE, etc
  • Familiarity
    with open-source technology
  • Excellent
    written and verbal communication skills
  • Past
    experience with processing large amount of information and synthesizing it
  • Possess
    the ability to work in a team and in a diverse work environment.
Languages: Fluency in English.
Visit us at
www.unicefstories.org, www.unicef.org/innovation and http://rapidpro.io/
How to Apply: 
All interested and suitable
candidates should send their applications, including Cover letter, P-11, Download Here,
Updated CV, Github ID and copies of their last two Performance Evaluation
Reports (where applicable) with Subject “RapidPro Health Suite Product Manager”
to: jobsugic@gmail.com. Applicants must
clearly indicate the position applied for and use this order to name file
attachments: Firstname_Lastname followed by document e.g. Gold_Mukasa_P11 or
Gold_Mukasa_CV or Gold_Mukasa_CoverLetter. Only short listed candidates will be
Deadline: 11th January 2015

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