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26 Aug 2015

Freelance Shiny application developer

World Health Organization (WHO) – Posted by schlotheuberan Anywhere

Job Description


In order to build and strengthen the capacity of countries for health inequality monitoring, the WHO is developing a toolkit that facilitates monitoring, measuring and reporting health inequalities and setting evidence-based priorities. The Health Equity Assessment Toolkit (HEAT) allows users to explore and compare inequalities in countries by assessing disaggregated data and summary measures of inequality through interactive tables and graphs.

The beta version of the toolkit was developed using R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing and shiny: Web Application Framework for R, as well as a number of additional R packages including countrycode, digest, ggplot2, plyr, RSQLite, shinyBS and shinythemes. The beta version is a standalone version that uses the Portable Apps version of the Mozilla Firefox browser. It was released and tested in early 2015.

WHO is now looking for a consultant to finalize the standalone version of HEAT.

Description of duties

The Consultant will finalize the offline standalone version of the application. Based on the existing beta-version, the Consultant will

  • Finalize the interface of the toolkit,
  • Revise formulae for the calculation of summary measures of inequality,
  • Update the built-in database of the toolkit,
  • Incorporate html text into the toolkit,
  • Implement mechanisms for WHO staff to update content of the toolkit,
  • Work on other mutually agreed upon tasks related to the finalization of the toolkit, that altogether take up no more than 20% of total working hours.

Details about each deliverable are listed in the Annex. Please note that the Consultant will work off-site, but must be available to communicate via phone or Skype during CET working hours as required.

Required qualifications

The Consultant should have:

  • A university degree in computer science, programming or relevant field
  • Demonstrated skills in data analysis using R
  • Demonstrated skills in application design using shiny
  • Proven experience in application development using R and shiny as well as additional R packages that were used to support HEAT
  • Good communication skills
  • Excellent knowledge of English


Annex: Description of deliverables

Ad 1): Detailed information can be provided in a pdf file.

Ad 2): Revising formulae for the calculation of summary measures of inequality, in particular

  1. Treating the inequality dimension “Place of residence” as a rankable dimension in the calculation of the Range Difference and Range Ratio,
  2. Ensuring the correct selection of the reference group for the calculation of the Mean Difference from Best Performing Subgroup, Population Attributable Risk and Population Attributable Fraction,
  3. Updating the calculation of the Relative Index of Inequality (Kunst Mackenbach),
  4. Using national average as provided in the Health Equity Monitor database in the calculation of the Between-Group Variance, Mean Difference from Mean, Population Attributable Risk, Index of Disparity, Mean Log Deviation, Population Attributable Fraction, Relative Concentration Index, Relative Index of Inequality and Theil Index.

Ad 3): Updating the built-in database of the toolkit comprises of two steps:

  1. Preparing the updated database, which is a combination of disaggregated health data – which is provided in an excel workbook – and summary measures of inequality – which are calculated based on the disaggregated data using the formulae mentioned in 2),
  2. Integrating the updated database into the toolkit.

Ad 4): Incorporating html text into the toolkit, specifically

  1. Updating the text on the welcome page,
  2. Updating the acknowledgements,
  3. Updating the licence agreement,
  4. Incorporating a link to the user manual.

Ad 5): Implementing mechanisms for WHO staff to update content of the toolkit by transferring knowledge on how to

  1. Update the built-in database of the toolkit as described in (3); the mechanism should be flexible enough to allow for an easy integration of additional countries, years, data sources, health indicators and dimensions of inequality,
  2. Sharing knowledge on how to incorporate updated text and links into the toolkit, such as the ones listed under (4).

How to Apply

Please send your CV and demonstrated expertise and experience towards completing the TOR to Ms Anne Schlotheuber ([email protected]) with a copy to Dr Ahmad Hosseinpoor ([email protected]) by 31 August 2015. Only short listed applicants will be contacted.

Job Categories: Consultant. Job Types: Freelance. Salaries: Less than $100,000.

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