ARASA is looking for a consultant or several consultants to undertake the following activities:

Call for Consultancy: Mitigating the Impact of Covid-19 on HIV Programs

  1. Develop a Wellness and Mental Health Policy for ARASA staff
  2. Develop/adapt  and pilot a mental health and resilience training for ARASA staff and partners
  3. A consultant to review its crisis preparedness and develop a Resilience Plan for the organisation to improve institutional preparedness for future crisis

Background and Context:

The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) was established in 2002 to galvanise a movement of progressive civil society actors to advance a human rights-based response to HIV in southern Africa. In 2020 ARASA and HEARD conducted a Rapid assessment on the impact of COVID-19 on community-led HIV responses in the SADC region. The assessment found that CSOs were unprepared for the impact of the COVID-19 national responses on their strategic mandates and operations.

Some of the factors determining how well CSO’s and Inadequately served populations (IPS’s) in particular were able to be resilient and flexible in navigating activities within a restricted working environment to minimize disruptions included pre-existing preparedness to adapt to crisis, resilience strategies in place and the flexibility and support of funders. In addition, availability of resources such as equipment to facilitate remote working reskilling of staff to ensure productivity, innovation and competitiveness were critical.

ARASA’s role is contribute to significantly scaling-up and sustaining civil society capacity for advocacy to hold governments accountable for ensuring that the commitment to human rights that have been agreed on at the regional level are followed-through and integrated at the national level to shape policy and programming.

Our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic as informed by our partners suggests that already marginalised communities within the HIV response, particularly sex workers, people who used drugs and LGBT communities faced particular challenges due to COVID restrictions. In response to what we heard in July 2020 ARASA led a call to SADC to strengthen support to HIV programmes targeting the most vulnerable during COVID-19 and a rapid assessment we conducted in the second half of 2020 confirmed that COVID-19 was having a devastating impact on those who were already living precariously and on the margins.

COVID-19 restrictions/lockdowns meant that communities initially struggled to access health services.

PLHIV temporarily stopped their antiretroviral treatment (ART) and other chronic medicines when they ran out. The COVID-19 responses also resulted in the interruptions in the supply chain of ART, and other essential medicine and commodities in the treatment and prevention of HIV including condoms and contraceptives. Gender-based violence increased exponentially. CSOs were unprepared for the impact of the COVID-19 national responses on their strategic mandates and operations.

Some of the factors determining how well we and our network partners were able to be resilient and flexible in navigating activities within a restricted working environment to minimize disruptions included pre-existing preparedness to adapt to crisis, resilience strategies in place and the flexibility and support of funders. In addition, limited resources such as equipment to facilitate online/virtual engagements and knowledge on how to use these platforms was critical.

Purpose of Consultancy:

It is against this background that ARASA is seeking to contract the services of consultants for the following purposes:

  1. Develop a Wellness and Mental Health Policy for ARASA staff
  2. Develop/adapt  and pilot a mental health and resilience training for ARASA staff and partners
  3. A consultant to review its crisis preparedness and develop a Resilience Plan for the organisation to improve institutional preparedness for future crisis

A consultant can apply for one or all of these assignments together.  

Duration and Timelines:

The work is expected to begin by 1 March one week after signature of the contract and should be completed by June 2022.

Reporting:

Although the consultant will work with several members of the ARASA Team, they will liaise primarily with the ARASA Programmes Lead.  

How to Apply:

Interested parties can send an expression of interest that includes the following to nyasha@arasa.info and cc felicita@arasa.info

  • Cover letter outlining
    • Consultant’s professional background;
    • Relevant skills, experience and qualifications;
    • Example of similar work undertaken, not older than 5 years,
    • Suggested methodology;
    • Estimated number of days required for the work;
    • The consultant’s daily rate and availability during the stipulated period
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (of no more the 3 pages which shows experience with similar assignments)

Kindly put “Expression of interest: ARASA Consultancy on Mitigating impact of COVID 19” in the title/ subject of the email.

The closing date for the submission of expressions of interest is 21 February 2022 (close of business).

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