Intern to Participate in and Support Study in Muong Ang District, Dien Bien Province

1. Background
Since 2004 MCNV has been supporting a very successful community based care program for seropositive pregnant women and seropositive mothers and their children in Ha Noi. The program helps families to access medical, social and economic support resulting in improved health, improved income, and reduced stigma for the whole household. The Ha Noi model has been replicated since July 2006 in three other provinces where HIV affects many families, using increased opportunities to focus on the needs of HIV-positive children, including access and adherence support to paediatric ART. The program not only improves the lives of the women and children but also strengthens the capacity of the Vietnamese health and social care systems to cope with the new challenges of ensuring appropriate support for the special needs of PLHIV.

The program is participatory and involves communities, families and individuals along with the relevant local services in health, education and development in the development, implementation and evaluation of the program.  Strategic alliances between PLHIV groups and the state are considered instrumental in reforming the health services and increasing access to health and social services for the group members.

The model has worked in urban areas, and has been tested in rural districts as well. It is now also being applied effectively in an area dominated by ethnic minorities, in Cao Bang Province. Partners in the program include representatives from the health sector such as VAAC, PAC, and national, provincial and district hospitals, as well as those from mass organizations and other sectors such as local and national branches of the Women’s Union, provincial and district level Red Cross, and DOLISA.

Drawing on the experiences of earlier, successful interventions the program is currently being expanded into Dien Bien Province. At this early stage of program activities, new research is required to broaden understanding of the extent to which PMTCT activities are reaching ethnic minority women in Dien Bien.  A preliminary study has already been conducted in Dien Bien District and a second  study is due to be conducted to investigate the current health-seeking practices of pregnant women in sample communities in Muong Ang  District. Given the high proportion of ethnic minority communities in Dien Bien, much of the study will involve representatives of a major ethnic group in the program area, the Black Thai, and important comparative data will be gathered to explore the different situation of Kinh and Thai women.

The specific objectives of the research are as follows:
(i) to find out how reproductive health services are currently functioning and contributing to PMTCT amongst Kinh and Thai women in three settings situated within similar distance from a PMTCT treatment site in Muong Ang district in Dien Bien Province.
(ii) to use the opportunity of village-based research to collect additional information from Kinh and Thai women on their use of formal and traditional health services, expenditure on health and diet and other issues during and immediately following pregnancy.

A team composed of the MCNV international senior health advisor, one international expert and up to five Vietnamese researchers will travel to Dien Bien Province from 23-30 May 2010 to carry out field research. The research will be conducted in a participatory fashion, through one-to-one interviews, focus groups discussions and observations at village level. The work will be carried out in cooperation with programme counterparts. Preliminary analysis will take place in Dien Bien and the final data input, analysis and write up will be completed in Ha Noi.

2. Summary of the assignment

To support data collection and analysis.

Reporting procedure: The intern will report to the programme assistant, with final responsibility to the international senior health advisor.

3. Tasks
Participate in research team planning meetings prior to fieldwork.
Act as interpreter in meetings, focus group discussions and interviews conducted or attended by the international senior health advisor and/or the international expert.
Following detailed interview guidelines, conduct interviews with women of reproductive health age at village level, in some instances in cooperation with a local (Thai) interpreter.
Participate in discussions of interview findings at the end of every day of fieldwork.
Provide any additional assistance to the programme assistant, the international expert and/or the international senior health advisor in the field as and where required.
Closely transcribe and translate tape recorded focus group discussions.
Carry out data input.
Create templates for the presentation of research findings (e.g. tables, graphs, PowerPoint presentation formats).
Organise data and background literature in the MCNV Ha Noi office.
Perform other support tasks as and when required.

4. Time and duration of contract
The proposed period of the contract is three months over the period 21 May – 21 August 2010, including at least 7 days fieldwork in Dien Bien Province (23-30 May 2010).  The rest of the work will be conducted in Hanoi, based in the MCNV office.

5. Qualifications and Requirements
Vietnamese national.
Demonstrable English language skills (both verbal and written).
Undergraduate studies in sociology, anthropology or similar.
Interest in cultural issues and reproductive health.
Ability to work well in a cross-cultural setting.
Ability to cooperate and share ideas as part of a team.
Ability to meet deadlines in changing situations.
Ability and willingness to work flexible hours and respond to questions in a timely fashion.
Excellent computer skills including: Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Windows
Experience using tape recorders and ability to record interviews properly
Excellent administrative and secretarial skills, including ability to take detailed notes, and if required minutes, of various types of conversations
Pro-active attitude and way of working, especially in discussing any difficulties encountered.

6. Outputs
1. Comprehensive data from fieldwork conducted.
2. Oral review of fieldwork.
3. Transcriptions and translations of focus group discussions.
4. Templates for the presentation of research findings, as requested.
5. Comments on draft write-up of research findings.
6. Logical filing of data and background literature.

7. Remuneration
An internship allowance of Euros 80 a month will be provided. All travel expenses are paid and a generous per diem is provided during fieldwork.

This is an urgent recruitment. Applicants are requested to submit their CV and a covering letter to MCNV by 5pm Wednesday 19 May 2010.

To apply
Please send a resume and writing sample of work that has been written independently to: Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong at: [email protected] or [email protected]

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Ha Noi
Application Deadline: 
Thu, 2010-05-20