Human Resources for Health (HRH) -International Lead Consultant

United Nations Population Fund

Job Title: Human Resources for Health (HRH) – Lead Consultant

Contract type: International Individual Consultant (P5)

Closing date: 30th Dec 2022

Duty Station: Juba, South Sudan


Health professionals are at the heart of every country’s health system and an adequately motivated health workforce is important for a functioning health system. In South Sudan, however, the situation is dire as the country faces one of the most significant health human resource capacity gaps in the world and some of the poorest health and socio-economic indicators.

Retaining and motivating health workers remain one of the most critical factors affecting the performance of a health system, especially in post-conflict settings, where health systems have been disrupted such as South Sudan. Evidence shows that the pay and income of health workers could affect health care in many ways including motivation, performance, and the ability of employers to attract and retain staff. It is widely acknowledged that when remuneration is poor, many health workers do other jobs to supplement incomes or engage in other “under the table” activities such as exorbitant and informal user fees from patients/clients, and illegal selling of medical supplies and drugs, among others.

In this regard, for South Sudan, payment of health workers’ salaries has been a major challenge because of the limited government funds available for the public health sector. This has resulted in low remuneration and delayed payments by the government to health workers resulting in frustration and a severe shortage of health workers as they sought other forms of employment and income-generating activities.

As such and with guidance and support from development partners, incentives and salaries have been paid to health workers to ensure that there are no disruptions in essential health service delivery. These incentives included for a harmonized approach for salary top ups, for health workers, vaccinators and harmonized approaches for some allowances including field and transport. However, there remain several challenges with the implementation of these salary and incentive payments for public (health) sector workers. Additionally, it is not expected that these incentives and salaries will continue to be paid by development partners in the long term. The government is expected to incrementally take over and pay appropriate and timely salaries and incentives to public sector workers.

Considering the above, UNFPA in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the Health Development Partners Group will engage the services of an international consultant to review the salary and incentive payments to public health sector workers and make recommendations on the way forward to attract and retain qualified staff in the public health sector in South Sudan.


Under the overall guidance of the Head of the Integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health Team at UNFPA and in collaboration with technical teams from UNFPA and WHO, the consultant will review the salary and incentive payments to public health sector workers and make recommendations on the way forward to ensure the attraction and retention of qualified staff in the public health sector in South Sudan.

The specific objectives of the consultancy are as follows:

  1. To review the current practices on incentive and salary payments to health workers in the public sector and their implications for attracting and retaining health workers
  2. To determine or establish an appropriate incentive package to attract and retain health workers in the public sector in South Sudan
  3. To make recommendations on strategies for the implementation of the proposed incentive package including financing of the package

Scope of work:

  1. Conduct a scoping assessment to design and propose the appropriate methodology to conduct this assignment
  2. Conduct desk review and analysis of related documents, reports, policies, plans and assessments
  3. Engage in consultations, and meetings with a sample of stakeholders from all 10 states and the three administrative regions of the country including health workers, facility administration, Ministry of Health leadership at national and subnational levels, NGO partners, developmental partners, other line Ministries as necessary
  4. Engage in consultations, and meetings with all categories of health workers (broad categories such as nurses, midwives, doctors, allied health workers, Specialists, community health workers, and auxiliary workers)
  5. Design and administer questionnaires, hold focus group sessions, and consultative workshops as necessary
  6. Conduct field missions and visits to health facilities as necessary


The following deliverables are expected:

  1. Inception Report with detailed methodology and approach after two weeks on the assignment, by 31 January 2023
  2. Comprehensive report on the current practice of incentive and salary payments to health workers in the public sector and its implications for attracting and retaining health workers
  3. Comprehensive report on the incentive package to attract and retain health workers in the public sector in South Sudan and recommendations for the implementation of this incentive package including its financing

Reports are to be submitted both electronically and in hard copy by the end of the assignment, but not later than 30 June 2023. The consultant is expected to work for 5 months, from 16 January 2023 to 15 June 2023. The consultant will travel for the assignment to South Sudan and be provided with operational and logistical support for travel to field locations.

Qualification and Experience:

The Consultant should have the following key competencies:

  • Advanced degree in public health, Human Resource Management, Health financing or related field
  • At least 10 years’ experience in Health Systems Strengthening, Public health or Human Resources for Health programming and implementation in a similar context
  • Experience working in a fragile state setting
  • Experience in conducting discrete choice experiments, National Health Workforce Accounts, or health labour market analysis
  • Technical competency in statistics and statistical software as well as qualitative research methods

Functional skills and knowledge required:

  • Technical expertise in designing health systems policies and strategies particularly human resources for health strategies, policies, and plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and technical expertise in health financing.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide, negotiate and present sound methodological and technical advice and guidance to multiple stakeholders and partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse political context and interact and negotiate effectively with multiple interests at the political level including working effectively with the Ministry of Health and with stakeholders at the national and sub-national levels.
  • Knowledge of the health systems situation, stakeholders, and context in South Sudan.
  • A team player and prepared to work in a resource-scarce environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate, integrate, synergize, and communicate complex ideas in English, verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to monitor and communicate progress in terms of process and results.
  • IT proficiency


  • Fluent in written and spoken English, knowledge of Arabic will be an asset.

How to apply

Please send your application and a short letter of motivation with “Human Resources for Health (HRH) Lead International Consultant” in the subject to UNFPA South Sudan [email protected] and cc to [email protected] before close of business (cob) on 30th December 2022.