Rapid Water Quality Testing Field Trial Consultant
Comments: Flexibility as to workplace
Duration: 90 days over 180 days as required
Field Missions/Travel: 2 missions expected, contingent upon how the Covid-19 crisis evolves (see below):
- 1 to Copenhagen Supply Division (duration approx. 15 days)
- 1 to a UNICEF field location (duration approx. 18 days)
Financial quote should include estimated cost for these trips. Per diem cost for the specific field location and ticket cost will be reimbursed for all approved trips related to the assignment, in line with UNICEF the travel rules (Tickets will be based on the most direct and economy class ticket irrespective of the duration of the journey).
Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible – June 2020
Context and Purpose of the Consultancy:
UNICEF is challenging product developers to identify an easy-to-use, rapid detection method that can accurately determine faecal contamination in drinking water. UNICEF is seeking solutions for three key use cases: 1) data collection in household surveys; 2) behaviour change and water safety planning with communities; and 3) on-site or field testing for regulatory oversight or surveillance purposes. A rapid water quality test could empower individuals and local communities to monitor and manage their water quality, ensuring their own health and safety.
As a result of engagement and an open Request for Proposals (RFP) with industry, UNICEF will be field testing products that score best when evaluated against a tender (released in March 2020). Products will be selected to review at Supply Division, Copenhagen (estimated July 2020) then tested in the field for further evaluation. UNICEF will do this fairly, transparently and in line with the Target Product Profile (TPP).
Purpose of the consultancy
The purpose of the consultancy is to support the evaluation process outlined above by developing a field trial protocol and facilitating testing of products in the field. The consultant will develop and manage the field testing approach and implementation. The selected consultant will support the project team by building on the testing parameters, the tender technical criteria and TPP into developing a protocol for application in the field.
The consultant will be briefed on the innovation project by UNICEF and WHO stakeholders to understand the key goals for the field trials and help further define how products are to be assessed. Products will undergo a sample evaluation in Copenhagen when the RFP closes (this is estimated to be in July and is part of the days for the consultant to be at SD). Products that are found to be performing to a satisfactory standard will then undergo field trial in a location yet to be selected (for which the consultant is expected to attend the trails).
The consultant will develop a draft protocol for the sample evaluation and for testing of up to 8 products in the field, as well as developing criteria for location selection to be reviewed by the project team. This protocol should consider the appropriateness of the technology for UNICEF, more specifically;
- Appropriateness of products and how they function in the operating conditions;
- user training needs;
- how wastes relating to testing is disposed of;
- presentation and interpretation of results;
- equipment dimensions and the number of tests that can be processed in a working day.
This list is not exhaustive, the consultant is expected to develop this list, along with other relevant criteria, into a sample evaluation and field trial protocol and where appropriate produce statistically valid and reliable results. The consultant will consider the study design, duration, number of tests, inclusion and exclusion criteria, study variables, operational definitions, ethical considerations, statistical methods and analysis as part of the protocol proposed. The protocol should enable UNICEF to select the best products for the use cases defined in the TPP and for inclusion in the UNICEF catalogue.
Once these inputs have been made, the revised protocol will be shared with the project Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the consultant will facilitate a meeting with them to gather inputs to further refine the protocol. Once adjustments have been made, the consultant will support the Project Manager to develop an implementation plan and budget for the field trials.
When the RFP closes and the products have been selected the consultant will support the Project Manager to brief manufacturers on the approach and process for participation in field trials and address any queries raised. The consultant will then work with the Project Manager and Country Office to support the correct execution of the protocol.
The Consultant will supervise, facilitate and document the sample evaluation and field testing in each location and will compile a report for UNICEF and feedback for manufactures.
Due to the COVID-19 situation at the time of writing there is some ambiguity around the feasibility of travel that may impact some of the proposed activities. Therefore, the consultant should be able to propose alternatives to the travel requirements that include remote support and engagement on the protocol development, sample evaluation and field testing. Payment will be made on daily rate pending approval of received deliverables.
The specific tasks to be performed, include but are not limited to:
- Desk review of existing protocols for appropriateness for testing E.coli and faecal contamination taking into account emerging technologies and methods;
- Development of a clear field-testing protocol using the TPP as guidance of criteria to be assessed in line with product requirements;
- Development of a country selection process for field trial location and preparation of a document to present the approach to the Technical Advisory Committee and UNICEF stakeholders including the Chief of Innovation and WSEC for inputs and feedback;
- Support the PM building the field trial team and resource requirements (with support from country offices);
- Supervision and facilitation of the field trial;
- Production of a report detailing the findings of the field tests for UNICEF;
- Compilation of reports for suppliers’ feedback after each phase of testing.
Deliverables and estimated days for completion:
- Report outlining desk review findings of existing protocols and outlining the approach to be developed (10 days)
- A sample evaluation protocol and field trial protocol (15 days)
- Selection criteria for field trial locations (June 2020) (5 days)
- Based on the successful development of the field protocol, support the project team to evaluate products submitted to the RFP against the evaluation criteria (July-September 2020) (25 days)
- Detailed report of results of all field tests (internal) (25 days)
- Individual reports for suppliers on how their product(s) performed in the field trial and suggested modifications after each stage of testing (October 2020) (10 days)
- Master’s Degree in research or evaluation methods, microbiology or water quality, with an emphasis on research methods or another relevant discipline
- An undergraduate university degree combined with an additional five years of relevant work experience in research methods on water quality testing in the field. Ideally with an understanding of new approaches to identification of risk in drinking water.
- Peer reviewed publications in a relevant field
- Minimum five years of relevant, progressively responsible, professional experience is required
- Experience working on field studies and research in developing countries
- Experience in the water quality sector including field testing of water samples for faecal contamination is a bonus but not essential
- Knowledge of the environment in which UNICEF operates is considered an asset
- Advanced knowledge and expertise in practicing research methods.
Other Skills and Qualifications:
- Knowledge of regulatory requirements and/or UN procurement processes is an asset
- Experience of regulatory industry is a strong asset – in particular, working with suppliers and producers of testing equipment
- Excellent report writing and presentation skills particularly for reporting and developing analytical and informative materials for internal and external audiences
- Demonstrated communication and relationship building skills.
- Demonstrated ability to write academic peer reviewed publications on technical subject matter
- Proven capacity to work with and coordinate collaborative teams across different locations and with different technical skills.
- Apply technical expertise
- Planning and organising
- Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.
- Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset.
Evaluation Criteria - Qualified candidates are requested to submit:
- Cover letter/application.
- Financial quote at a daily rate in US Dollars including all taxes and estimated travel costs for the 2 trips
- P11 form if not applying through UNICEF Employment site
- Evidence of peer reviewed publications in a relevant field
- Brief outline of proposed methodology/approach
- Contact details of 3 references who can be contacted for review of past performance on similar projects (and/or written references)
Please indicate your availability and daily rate to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered.
Please note that this advertisement closes on the 28th May