International Consultant: Comprehensive Abortion Care

Contract Type: Consultancy
Closing date: 9 June 2020 - 5:00pm(New York time)
Duty station: Johannesburg, South Africa

Duration: 11 months

Purpose of Consultancy

To support the efforts by UNFPA ESA regional office, working in partnership with WHO, to strengthen regional and country responses to address unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion by ensuring access to comprehensive abortion care, including safe abortion care to the fullest extent of the law and post-abortion care, using an integrated approach, with linkages to HIV and SGBV in East and Southern Africa. 

The consultant will support the efforts of UNFPA HQ, UNFPA ESARO and UNFPA country offices, WHO and other implementing partners. Specifically, the consultant will support regional coordination, provide technical assistance to capacity development efforts, coordinate the procurement of commodities and supplies, and support advocacy, communication and document lessons learnt. 


Scope of Work

Regional coordination

  • Support the coordination of efforts on unintended pregnancies, contraception and unsafe abortion bringing together the efforts of the Maternal Health Thematic Fund, the Access Initiative and 2gether 4 SRHR. 
  • Support the coordination of work to prevent unintended pregnancies, and unsafe abortion through increased access to contraceptive services and comprehensive abortion care with WHO and other regional partners working in the region. 
  • Convene bi-monthly meetings with countries to provide an update on issues relating to unintended pregnancies, contraception and unsafe abortion. 
  • Coordinate the provision of technical assistance by UNFPA and WHO to countries in the region to strengthen national programmes on prevention of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion. 
  • Monitor and report implementation of work plans and budgets by countries on the work on unintended pregnancies, contraception and unsafe abortion. 
  • Document and compile lessons learned and case studies, with specific attention to the work on comprehensive abortion care. 
  • Support monitoring of the continuity of SRH services and interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic

Capacity Building: 

  • Manage and oversee the implementation of the work plan by implementing partners to strengthen the capacity of countries on prevention of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion. 
  • Coordinate inputs across UNFPA ESARO (in close collaboration with HQ) and WHO in the review of national guidelines for safe abortion within the context of the law design of training tools, post abortion care, in service training curricula and materials unintended pregnancies, contraception and unsafe abortion. 
  • Support the coordination and organization of VCAT trainings for UNFPA in East and Southern Africa. 
  • Support the roll-out of online clinical refresher training in EmONC and comprehensive abortion care in countries, and COVID19 specific guidance to prevent unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
  • Provide and facilitate technical support to countries in the design, management and execution of the clinical training on an integrated package of sexual and reproductive health to prevent unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion. 

Procurement of commodities and supplies: 

  • Manage TA requests from the countries around quantification and supply chain management for reproductive health commodities, with a focus on abortion commodities. 
  • Support countries procurement of reproductive health commodities, including for capacity building initiatives. 
  • Support countries with waivers for relevant RH commodities, in particular combination packs (mifepristone and misoprostol) as a response to the COVID19 pandemic, and support advocacy to include all RH medicines and commodities on the global essential medicine list on the national lists (e.g. combipack, mifepristone, Injectable-SC, emergency contraception).

Advocacy, communication and amplification 

  • Support the development of a regional advocacy plan to address unintended pregnancies, contraceptive and unsafe abortion in partnership with other partners. 
  • Identify and provide input for strategic opportunities for advocacy with key regional stakeholders on issues relating to unintended pregnancies, contraceptives and unsafe abortion including development of talking points, key messages and other relevant information materials. 
  • Support advocacy efforts in countries to expand access to SRH services including abortion/PAC according to the law permitted in the country.


Duration and working schedule:

This assignment is for 11 months and will commence on 01 July 2020 and continue until 31 May 2021.


Place where services are to be delivered:

UNFPA ESARO, Sunninghill Place, 9 Simba road, Sunninghill, Johannesburg

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered:

The consultant will deliver electronic monthly progress reports by the 25th of each month to show progress and outline the work plan for the coming month.


Monitoring and progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:

The consultant will work with the M&E Officer of the 2gether 4 SRHR Programme to track and provide narrative progress and reports against the indicators for the ACCESS Initiative and the 2gether 4 SRHR Programme for submission to donors as required. 

The consultant will provide bi-monthly meetings with Manager of the Access Initiative, relevant technical officers and countries to provide programmatic updates.


Supervisory arrangements:

The consultant will contractually work under the supervision of the Project Manager for the 2gether 4 SRHR Programme at UNFPA and will work in close consultation with the Manager of the Access Initiative, the Family Planning Adviser, the Health Systems Specialist and other relevant units at UNFPA ESARO.


Expected travel:

Owing to limitations relating to COVID-19 the consultant will be expected to work remotely as much as possible. Travel to countries will include but not limited to: Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.


Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements:


  • An Advanced (Master’s) University Degree in Health Sciences, Social Sciences or Public Policy/ Administration, or
  • An equivalent professional qualification in a discipline relevant to the following areas: Health Sciences, Reproductive Health; Public Health; Health Policy, Financing and Management; Pharmacy, Business Administration

Knowledge and Experience: 

  • Minimum of seven (7) years of increasingly responsible professional experience at the advisory/managerial level in the area of relevant programme/project management and coordination, with at least three years at an International level;
  • Previous solid experience conducting capacity building in Safe Abortion Care/CAC, VCAT; implementing Policy and Advocacy in SRH particularly related to SAC and CAC.
  • Familiarity in communicating in a clear and articulated manner, technical and/or complex issues to different types of audiences;
  • Ability to communicate in Portuguese an added advantage;
  • Possess excellent interpersonal, negotiating, intercultural communication skills and political acumen;
  • Proven experience in managing complex programs and large scale projects would be an asset;
  • Experience working directly with developing country ministry of health staff preferred;
  • Previous experience with the United Nations and/or an International Institution or Organization is preferred;
  • Experience working in the East and South Africa and West and Central Africa is preferred;
  • Computer Literacy: Proficiency in the use of standard MS Office packages and the Internet.


Fluent in English, with Portuguese a distinct advantage.


Inputs / services to be provided by UNFPA or implementing partner (e.g support services, office space, equipment), if applicable:

UNFPA will provide relevant support and guidance to ensure the successful undertaking of this consultancy, including administrative and financial support.  

Key counterparts:

  • WHO-Afro and HQ
  • MoH in selected countries
  • Ipas
  • FIGO
  • CSB
  • SRHB


Other relevant information and how to apply:

  • Deadline for applications is 9 June 2020, 5 pm New York time.
  • Submit your application with a detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) and motivational letter which includes your monthly fee to Please specify in the email subject ‘International Consultant-Comprehensive Abortion Care’. 
  • UNFPA does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training) or other fee, or request information on applicants’ bank accounts.
  • UNFPA will only respond to those applicants in whom the Regional Office has further interest. In the event that UNFPA does not contact you by 30 June 2020, please consider your application unsuccessful.

We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

South Africa
Population : 59.3 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 65%
Girls 79%

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