The development and rollout of a Mental Health and Psychosocial Counseling (MHPSS) Capacity Building Course for USAID CHEKUP II staff and civil society implementers – JSH Zambia – USAID CHECKUP II Activity

POSITION: Consultancy

DURATION: 30 Working Days

LOCATION: Lusaka, Chipata, Chirundu, Kabwe, Kapri Mposhi, Kasama and Nakonde

POSTING DATE: 03/28/2023

DEADLINE DATE: 04/11/2023


The USAID Controlling HIV Epidemic for Key and Underserved Populations (CHEKUP II) Activity was awarded on September 13, 2022, with implementation through September 6, 2027. USAID CHEKUP II is implemented by John Snow Health Zambia (JSH) in partnership with JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and Media 365. The Activity aims to support the Ministry of Health in mitigating against and attaining HIV epidemic control by increasing equitable access to, and use of person-centered, community-driven, and high-quality HIV prevention services for key and underserved (priority) populations. USAID CHEKUP II Activity operates in seven districts with the highest HIV-burden in Zambia. These include: Chirundu, Lusaka, Kabwe, Kapiri-Mposhi, Kasama, Chipata, and Nakonde.

The Activity aims to address the needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and those most at risk of acquiring HIV and contribute to HIV mitigation and epidemic control. USAID CHEKUP II seeks to improve the health outcomes of priority and key populations by preventing new HIV infections and ensuring that all infected are identified, diagnosed, linked to treatment and virally suppressed.


USAID CHEKUP II targets a diversity of sub-populations, including adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in the 10-24 age band and adolescent boys and men aged 10 – 34 years old. By offering training services, building capacity among current MHSPSS providers through regular training and continuous professional development is a critical component of USAID CHEKUPII. Additionally, the training is meant to provide cadres with novel ways of improving the uptake of mental health services among USAID CHEKUP II beneficiaries who may not be responsive to current or traditional methods of MHPSS. 

USAID CHEKUP II aims to equip a critical mass of its frontline staff and partners with the capacity to provide routine mental health and psychosocial services (MHPSS). USAID CHEKUP II will employ several strategies to increase MHPSS among project beneficiaries and USAID CHEKUP II staff. This includes:

    1. Building the capacity among USAID CHEKUP II frontline staff, partners and relevant MOH staff in CHEKUP II’s districts of implementation;
    2. Providing regular supportive supervision services to service providers to reduce burn-out and help manage problematic cases;
    3. Developing a robust referral system that can last beyond project ends to facilitate the sustainability of services.

Zambia’s health strategy states that mental health is neglected in the non-communicable diseases section. Most mental health services are predominantly concentrated at tertiary institutions with limited provision of services at primary health care level1. It has also been reported that mental health service providers in primary care services have limited to no opportunity for continuous professional development, which reduces their ability to provide relevant mental health services to various sub-populations2. Building capacity among primary mental health care providers is one of the areas marked for the improvement of mental health services by the government. The utilization of existing mental health programs and skill development using the CETA program has proven to help improve capacity among primary mental health providers. Therefore, building on the provided information, USAID CHEKUP II seeks to create a hybrid course that will offer training in psychological first aid and CETA to equip and build capacity among mental health providers in the USAID CHEKUP II target districts.


The overall objectives of this assignment are to:

    • Develop a hybrid course incorporating psychological first aid services (PFA) and the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) program for MHPSS providers in USAID CHEKUP II I target districts.
    • Train USAID CHEKUP II frontline staff, relevant CSO implementing partner staff and other mental health and psychosocial services providers in the hybrid course.
    • Develop a supportive supervision strategy to ensure accurate implementation of coursework provided.


Scope of Work 

JSH is seeking an individual consultant or a firm to:

    • Identify and document the current and potential mental health needs among key and priority populations in USAID CHEKUP II target districts (Lusaka, Chipata, Chirundu, Kabwe, Kapri Mposhi, Kasama and Nakonde)
    • Assess the levels of knowledge and skills among frontline staff (client advisors/ mentors/ coordinators), USAID CHEKUP II implementing partners, and as appropriate, existing district-level psychosocial service providers to establish knowledge and skill gaps for MHPSS in USAID CHEKUP II target districts.
    • Develop a hybrid course incorporating psychological first aid services and the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), a USAID-approved curriculum in line with the findings for (2) above.
    • Offer in-person or online supervision services to trained individuals to provide regular mental health supervisory services to provide continuous feedback to trainees.



The consultant should provide a clear roadmap for developing a course that includes key elements, including psychological first aid and the Common Elements of Treatment Approach (CETA). The consultant should gather information and views from all key stakeholders to help improve the provision and uptake of mental health services in CHECKUP II target districts. The stakeholders will include relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, the private sector, faith based organizations, and community-based organizations that provide key and relevant support in primary mental health services. 


  • 15-20 page report detailing key findings from the assessment process
  • Course developed that includes content on both psychological first aid and the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA).
  • Monitoring and supervision plan developed that will be conducted in a hybrid format (online and in-person) after the training sessions.
  • Referral system SOP developed for effective streamlining of mental health services through existing structures in the seven the USAID CHEKUP II districts.

Required competencies

The consultant or consultancy firm must have proven and demonstrated experience, knowledge, and skills in the following:

    • Conducting training in mental health services among primary care providers.
    • Evidence of the development of a similar course offered to primary care or first-line mental health service providers, such as community health works
    • Strong analytical, writing, and reporting skills;
    • Evidence of recent successful work in similar assignments will be added advantage.

Submission of bids

Interested consultants are invited to submit a technical and financial proposal. The technical proposal should outline the methodology and provide information on the qualifications and experience of the consultant/team members (attach the resumes). The financial proposal should provide the breakdown of all expected costs of the consultancy for the duration highlighted above. These documents should be sent to by 17:00 hours on 11th April 2023.

Please note that you do not need to apply if you don’t meet the minimum requirements. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. If you have not heard from us within 3 weeks after the closing date, kindly assume that your application was not successful.

Closing Date: April 11, 2023

JSH is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer committed to workplace diversity. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, gender, disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, genetic information or political affiliation.